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My desire to design my own guitars is by no means saying that the older designs were flawed.

My designs come from within me just like the designs we know and love came from someone else.

My Semi-Hollowbodies

I use a through neck design for my semi-hollowbodies with different degrees of construction inside the body depending on the model I’m building.

The Elite, Jazz Elite, Professional & Blues Queen are all 14” archtops.

The purpose of these guitars was to find a spot tonally somewhere between a solidbody and a hollowbody. I wanted to be able to play the guitar at high sound pressures levels without unwanted feedback yet be able to hear the harmonic overtones of a hollowbody with the sustain of a solidbody.

To achieve this I kept the body smaller than most semi-hollowbodies 14” at the lower bout and 1 3/4” sides.

The tops and backs are carved from solid billets of wood that I carve intergal soundposts into that get glued to the through neck.

Along with the soundposts I carved pickup surrounds that also get glued to the neck. This keeps the pickups in a cavity like a solidbody instead of in open air which can cause microphonic feedback.

The glueing of these soundposts to the neck accomplish a few different things.

  1. They dampen the top and back that are carved from solid billets of wood so they’re not overly lively yet have a woody tone.
  2. The soundposts are under the bridge to transmit tone through the top and into the neck.
  3. The soundposts also prevent the top from ever distorting due to the down pressure of the strings.

Example picture of inside guitar.

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The Improv

The Improv is a 15” archtop with the same construction method used on the 14” archtops but has tapered sides, 1 3/4” at the upper bout to 2 1/8” at the lower bout.

The concept behind this guitar was a bigger tone with more air and harmonic overtones yet still controls unwanted feedback.

Example of tapered sides:

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I also designed a cavity in the back of the guitar so if a pot ever needed to be replaced of if someone wanted to change pickups they wouldn’t have to struggle

getting things in and out through the F-Hole:

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The 16” Anniversary Model/ TS10

There are only ten Anniversary guitars being built, after the first ten the model name will be the TS10.

This is also a through neck design but the soundposts are only on the top. The back is open to allow for the most amount of air and harmonic overtones.

It is 16” at the lower bout with 3” sides.

This guitar has the lowest threshold for sound pressure levels but still far more controllable for feedback then a full hollowbody.

 

 

Solidbodies:

Gibson inspired guitars, The Legend, Legend Special and Contoured Legend Special.

I chose to design my own body and headstock shape for these guitars as to not copy what someone else has already done or to infringe on a trademark.

These guitars are set neck but have a different set neck design then the guitars they were inspired from.

Instead of having a pocket for the neck in the top of the guitar I designed the pocket in the back of the guitar which allows me more glueing surface

and a longer tenon on the neck for tone coupling of the neck & body.

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Fender Inspired Guitars, The HTL “ Homage To Leo” and Classic.

I stayed pretty close to the original body shape of these two guitars because there is no trademark to infringe upon and because they’re just cool shapes.

These guitars are also set neck to get the best tone coupling of the neck to body and so I could design a much more comfortable heel for access to the upper register.

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And because these guitars are set neck I designed them to have a 4 degree neck angle for ease of playing.

The raised are on the body is to accommodate for the 4 degree neck angle.

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The design appointments all my guitars have in common:

A patented headstock design with a volute in the back of the headstock and a carved top of the headstock for two opposing radii.

A radius is a very strong architectural design, you can see them holding up bridges.

By using two opposing radii I feel that the integrity of an angled headstock is far enhanced and much less likely to break if the guitar were to fall.

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A comfortable heel for access to the upper register.

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Hope you like my design ideas.

Chuck Thornton