Jim Romeyn - Fine Guitars Broker

James Romeyn, owner of the website, Fine Guitars Broker (link included below), tells why he purchased his first Thorell Guitar:

"How I Came To Buy A Thorell"
"After moving from California to north Utah I started shopping for a new guitar; an employee at our local music store recommended Thorell for guitars in my price range.  Frankly, it seemed highly unlikely that a superior builder would be located in Cache Valley, population of 115k, about 75 minutes northeast of Salt Lake City.  Ryan was pleasant on the phone and he invited me to play one of his guitars.

Meanwhile, I leaned strongly toward purchasing an R Taylor after finding they offered four nut widths including my preferred 1-13/16.  Then something caused me to rethink that decision.  My closest R Taylor dealer was familiar with Ryan’s guitars and said they were superb; he was not a Thorell dealer.  During a visit to his store I mentioned I was considering a Thorell till it occurred to me an R Taylor would probably maintain better resale value.  To my great surprise he replied that I might be wrong.  In other words, he said the Thorell might have better resale than R Taylor.

That was not the expected reply.  How great must be Thorell’s guitars that a retailer would risk losing a commission by confirming the performance and resale value of an instrument he could not sell?  We can only assume he is a great lover of great guitars and their builders.  (It also made little sense that R Taylor offered only one saddle width regardless of the nut width chosen.)

The rest is, as they say history.  Shortly thereafter I visited Ryan’s shop, played a new mahogany Dreadnaught stringed for the first time ever just thirty brief minutes earlier, and wrote a check.  I’ve seen Doc Watson (in his prime) perform many times; I’ve played and am familiar with the sound of choice prewar Martin D-18s.  The brand new Thorell Dreadnaught was competitive w/ the best I’ve heard.

It had a special sound, hard to characterize, but here’s my best shot: the sound was “tidy”, highly integrated and smooth, yet supremely detailed.  It played loud, with great bass authority, yet the harmonic overtones and sweetness were just as pleasing.  These last characteristics are, in my opinion, a great bane of guitar builders.  Great performance in bass and dynamic range almost universally means less performance in overtone sweetness and delicacy.  Ryan appears to know how to walk that tightrope.

My two other favorite builders are Steve Klein and Eric Schoenberg.  Klein is estimated to be in his mid-50s and Schoenberg is maybe a bit senior.  No complaints here, as I’ll be getting my senior discounts in just a few years.  The fact that Ryan Thorell is the tender age of 30 and can be mentioned in the same breath with the above two highly respected builders properly expresses my love and admiration for Ryan’s work."

Here is are links to James Romeyn's website, Fine Guitars Broker, and his posts on Thorell Guitars: http://jamesromeyn.com/
Thanks for your comments and support Jim!