Thoughts on Thorell's - Some Reasons to Consider Thorell Fine Guitars:


Ryan Thorell is the owner and master luthier at Thorell Fine Guitars. Ryan lives near Logan, Utah which is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains, about 90 miles north of Salt Lake City. His website is which we encourage you to visit.

1. 4 min.Video by master guitarist Frank Vignola explaining his reasons for purchasing a Thorell Guitar:
New video of Frank Vignola talking about his Thorell Guitars:

Four recent CD's from Frank Vignola playing his Thorell "FV" Guitar:
a. "Just Between Frets":
b."100 Years of Django":
c. "Looking Up":
d. "Standards": 

2. Dr Dave Walker saw Ryan's guitars for the first time at the 2009 Montreal Guitar Show and wrote the following review on his popular music blog. (Especially read paragraph 4 and the last part titled, Dr. Dave says.):
In this review Dr. Walker states: "The assortment of archtop guitars was staggering (e.g. Manzer, Benedetto, Monteleone, Ribbecke, Graf etc.), but I was particularly taken with those of Ryan Thorell. Not only did the Thorell instrument make my playing sound good, but in the hands of Frank Vignola, the instrument absolutely sings. Mr. VIgnola’s concert was a highlight of the show for me, topped only by the opportunity to chat with him and discover what a really nice person he is.
I was so impressed with the Thorell guitars the first time I played them that I had to return to try them again to be sure my brain was not fooling with my ears. There were many great archtop guitars at the show but I found the Thorells to be something really special. The guitars certainly made my playing sound better, which did it for me, but listening to others play them I could really hear that full, rich timbre in all its glory. Last, but certainly not least for most guitarists, these beautiful instruments are AFFORDABLE - even for musicians. You don’t have to be Frank Vignola to sound great playing one of these guitars. And of course, when you think that he switched to a Thorell from a Benedetto it tells you that these are some of the finest
sounding guitars out there."

3. J.D. Moffat, Guitarist with Ray Charles, Lou Rawls stated: "A true artist… Ryan builds one of the finest guitars that I have ever played"

4. Review by Jazz Guitar Life (Read especially paragraphs 3-5 after the picture of the Frank Vignola Trio performing):
"This Jazz Guitar Life review among other things including an interview with Ryan, states: One other element of the Frank Vignola Trio needs to be mentioned before I wrap this up, and that is the all important overall sound of the group. It’s obvious that Frank Vignola loves the acoustic quality that has shaped the majority of the sound of his earliest influences, and he reproduces that sound very effectively. For the most part, the sound comes from Frank’s dynamic digits and encyclopedic knowledge of the period. But there’s also the fastidious choice of Guitars that cater to a certain tonal quality. Both Frank and Vinnie play Guitars built by Luthier Ryan Thorell who knows how to create and build instruments that stay true to Frank’s musical identity and purpose."

5. Guitarist Bill Inverso: "I own four Thorell guitars at this time and I just ordered a Frank Vignola model. All of Ryan's guitars are so unique in their voicing, it brings the love of playing music back to the player and the audience. I just love these guitars, nothing comes even close. Ryan is a hidden secret that isn't going to stay a secret for long. He puts all his love and expertise in every instrument and I am proud to be an endorser for Thorell guitars. Thanks Ryan for being a great friend and a creator of the finest instruments I have had the pleasure to play."

6. Cliff Cultreri,
guitar industry wizard and owner of "Destroy All Guitars" stated: "Thorell guitars are a commitment to the idealistic vision of what a guitar can be. Each guitar is crafted with an individual intent, that the whole process of building this particular guitar will be a unique experience. This plays across directly to the guitarist; their experience of this instrument is as personal as their own expression."
I have a Ryan Thorell Gianina coming for myself. After playing the prototype, I absolutely could not resist. Ryan has captured the Unicorn by creating the guitar that many other great luthiers have chased for decades but couldn't quite capture. Playing a Nylon Archtop that works and functions at the highest level, projecting gorgeous sounds that make you never want to stop playing, is finally a reality. I could not possibly be more excited or anxious to receive this incredible guitar, as I'm counting down the days."

Destroy All Guitars Website:

7. Forum Comments like these: (Both have posts showing pictures of Thorell Guitars.)

8. Keven Johansen, Associate Professor at the University of Utah School of Music where he has taught since 1983. (Keven has performed with jazz legends including, Milt Jackson, Roy Hargrove, Al Grey, Stanley Turrentine, Louie Bellson, Clark Terry, Brain Bromberg, J.D. Moffat, and Joey DeFrancesco): "Ryan made me my first Thorell in 2006. Although I was completely satisfied with the Thorell I had purchased, Ryan made me an amazing offer. He offered to build me a guitar customized to my specifications. If I did not like it, I could keep the Thorell that I had already broken in. Ryan Thorell’s custom guitar virtually plays itself. Its tone was full and rich from the beginning and it is improving as it ages, just like me.
Whoever ends up with the first Thorell that I purchased will be the second most fortunate guitarist on the planet. My current Thorell represents perfection. Ryan, thank you for your artistry and your friendship”.

9. James Romeyn,
owner of Fine Guitars Broker stated: "I visited Ryan Thorell’s shop, played a new mahogany Dreadnaught, and wrote a check. I've learned that Frank Vignola (played with Dave Grisman) prefers his Thorell Corina to his '37 Martin D-18. ... 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. 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."

Fine Guitars Broker Website:

10. Guitarist, Vinny Raniolo has the following statement listed on his website about Thorell Guitars: "Beautifully crafted instruments by a young new builder who is quickly making a name for himself as one of the world's finest Luthiers!"

11. Recent Email from Eric who purchased a Thorell "FV" Guitar:
"Subject: quick update on #5 frank vignola
hi ryan,
i'm loving this guitar... i mean this work of art. no lying, once its in my hands, i play for hours. it plays like a champ, effortless and easy. the sounds i'm getting out of this compact body are amazing. it puts out more sound than my 18" arch. but, it's the tone, the unbelievable sweet voice of this siren, that mesmerizes me. it's beautiful to look at, a pleasure to play, and a treat for the ears. you hit a home run with this one. this guitar is way above my ability level, i feel lucky to own it. i'd like to thank you again, for building this extraordinary instrument for me.
all the best, eric"

12. The Gear Page Review of the Thorell "FV" guitar at the Montreal Guitar Show:

Among other comments TGP stated: "Ryan Thorell's unique and toneful Frank Vignola signature model has a carved top that is only about half the depth of a traditional archtop
guitar; add to that hybrid gypsy guitar bracing and Thorell has a guitar that is both loud and stable while maintaining a bright, pleasant tone whether the player is comping chords or playing a melody line. ... Thorell's guitars are loud and have a lot of presence, but they are not
harsh or brittle sounding. The harder they're played, the more bass comes out, but the sound never breaks up or suffers imbalance. The necks are fast and clean, with hidden fret ends to keep the look clean."

13. Ryan was awarded "Best of Show" at the prestigious Park City Arts Festival in Park City, Utah for his guitars. -

14. Thorell "Sweet E" Guitar - Chosen for May in the 2009 True Fire "Guitars That Make Us Go Mmmmmm!" Calendar
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