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CP Thornton Club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nightman, Apr 28, 2018.


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  1. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Right! Ed Hamilton is all that!! It was his demos that convinced me to but a CP Thornton bass. I saw his videos on a post in the classifieds for a CP Thornton and was hooked. He travels a lot and is busy, but he is also a TB'er!! Say Hi to the CP Thornton Club, @edham, when you get a chance!!!
     
    staccatogrowl and Carlostito like this.
  2. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, $3200 is a lot easier to handle than $5000, but had I known about that bass when they were on the market, I would certainly have bought one.

    My $.02 - Since the Fender is not all original I say have Chuck turn it into something really special. It would be interesting to see and hear the results!!
     
    Carlostito likes this.
  3. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    Hi All, Thank you Nightman for starting this club, this was very thoughtful and kind of you to do. And thank everyone who joined the club and shared there thoughts and pictures of your basses. I love building basses and guitars and couldn't imagine doing anything else. I appreciate all of you for without you I couldn't do this. As some of you know I started building basses in 1985 and built 50 though neck basses from 87 through 92. In 93 I went to work for Bourgeois Acoustic Guitars as the fret man & set up man. I also built 33 of my own guitars during this time. In 96 I was offered a job working for Jon Cooper who is a master violin maker and worked for him from 96 till 2000, I built three guitars and one bass of my own during my time with Jon. In 2000 I went to work for Pantheon Guitars as the fret man and set up man as well as shop foreman. In 2004 I opened the doors of CP Thornton Guitars and since then I have built 507 guitars and 30 basses. I was fortunate enough to meet and sell 9 guitars to Walter Becker of Steely Dan. I played bass in a couple of Rock Bands from 85 till 93 but became so busy building instruments that I stopped playing until 2012. I picked up a cheap bass and worked on it to make it play OK and fell completely in love with the bass all over again. I had wanted to design and build basses since 2004 but was so busy building guitars I couldn't find the time to do it but after falling in love with it again I had to do it. The first 50 basses I made from 87 to 92 were through neck and I love that design but I wanted to try a set neck design which is the bass with the integral thumb rest that some have posted on this page. I loved that bass but there are two reasons I stopped building it, one was because of the set neck and thumb rest it was virtually impossible to buff out a gloss finish which is why I did them in a matte finish. The second reason I stopped building them was my programmer had a very difficult time programming this bass and it was going to cost many more thousands of dollars to do what I wanted. Then Carlostito came to my shop with his 65 Jazz Bass and there was something about it that I bonded with, not the bass itself really but the simplicity and feel. Now some people may not agree with what I'm about to say but to my ears through neck basses have a great low end, tight & punchy but I find the high end to bright. The set neck bass to my ears was closer to the through neck then to a bolt on neck in tone. But what I love about bolt on neck basses is the warm round upper register. So my concept in my bolt on neck basses is building them with wood combinations that will give me a warm high end with a punchy crisp low end. I feel like I've written a small novel here so I'll say goodnight but again, thank you all for your kind words and support.
     
  4. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    @CP Thornton, thanks for dropping in on the CP Thornton Club thread and sharing with us! It was my pleasure to create this club thread for your CP Thornton basses and, please, drop in anytime!!! (and when you start building those set-neck basses with the built-in thumb rest again, put my name on one!)

    I'm looking forward to taking my CP Thornton to its first secular music gig tomorrow night. I'll get an opportunity to stretch it out and see how she does in the turns! :bassist:

    I think I'll use my GK 800 MB Fusion with a Greenboy Fearful 12/6/1 cabinet and see how loose the ceiling is in the place!! :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  5. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Okay, so the gig last night (pic below) using the GK 800 MB Fusion to power the CP Thornton through a Greenboy Fearful 12/6/1 started out being a little wrestling match trying to get pedals, the amp EQs and my passive bass settings to give me the sound I had and liked in my music room. Well, yep, it doesn't quite work that way, does it?!?
    But I was able to get things balanced to where the sound was much better in the room than what I was hearing next to my rig.
    All in all, I'm liking my CP Thornton very much and there is so much more in-store for me as I learn about this bass and the bass heads and cabinets I use with it.

    IMG_0666.
     
    Carlostito and BlueLou like this.
  6. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    I know exactly what you're talking about, it amazes me what the pressure of the gig or just Murphy's Law can do to the sound of your equipment. The band had practice the day before a gig and everything sounded perfect in the rehearsal room, the next day I loaded the gear into my truck got to the gig set everything up but foolishly waited till sound check to make sure everything was right. Turn on my amp the band starts a song and no sound coming out of my amp. This is like 15 min. before we're supposed to start, I use a TC Blacksmith amp in a rack with a BBC Maximizer with two Bergantino HD 210 cabs and a pedalboard with a Aguilar Tone Hammer & Catalinbread SFT for further tone shaping of the Blacksmith and a Aquilar Octamizer and MXR Fuzz. So here I am trouble shooting everything 15 min. before we're supposed to start to find out there was something wrong with the Maximizer which worked perfectly the day before the gig & believe it or not the day after the gig. That one was Murphy's Law but this one was the pressure of the gig, we just finished playing Red by King Crimson where I use the fuzz and went into Led Boots by Jeff Beck and I can't figure out why my tone is so bad until I look down and see the fuzz still on.
     
    BlueLou and Nightman like this.
  7. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I think there could be many threads about what went wrong at a gig. Just when the band is ready and you are about to bring it, it turns out something small has happened in a big way.

    Oh, but I bet your rig with those two Bergantino HD 210 cabinets is a monster!! I'll need to check out the TC Blacksmith bass head, too!

    So, back to gig pressure situations. I'm primarily a church musician and I don't leave my gear, so I have to set things up and tear them done. One Sunday I'm running late and taking this new Demeter bass amp I had just received that Saturday, which doesn't have Tuner Output. In a hurry to get set up, I unknowingly plug my guitar cable into the OUT on Seiko Tuner and plugged the IN on the Tuner into the amp. :rollno:
    Everything powers up but no sound. I'm like, 'WHAT!?!'. I'm checking everything, and of course the Tuner looked like is was fine. So, I'm thinking something is wrong with the amp. The MOM (Minister Of Music) is asking me if I'm ready cause the service music needs to start and I checking all the cable connections, and switching things around to the cabinet, and even checking the battery in the bass. Of course, they start without me, and I'm beginning to sweat a little cause this is so simple and I've done this so many times before.

    So, as the first song was well on its way without me, I sit down in my chair thinking 'I'll just sit this service out!'. Then a still small voice said, 'Look at the Tuner!'. And with that glance it was so obvious as to how wrong I had run my cable into and from the Tuner! :banghead: I was like, 'I just know some musician(s) in the congregation watching me go through this and laughing!'.
    It was a 'DUH' moment, for sure!!
     
    BlueLou likes this.
  8. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    Yeah, that's pressure !!! It's the little things.
     
    Nightman likes this.
  9. BlueLou

    BlueLou

    Oct 26, 2017
    Vermont
    Hello Chuck, I saw your updated web site with the new area "Latest Creations"
    I love seeing the photos of your builds and what other customers are asking for.

    What do you see in the world of creations for the near future?
    Is the bolt on neck bass design you are currently creating the format
    you want for the near future? Are you considering any neck thru builds in the future?
    As you mentioned in your previous post neck thru designs have a whole different set of tonal parameters.
    So what is fomulating in the building stewpot for the future?
     
    Carlostito and Nightman like this.
  10. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    Hi BlueLou, Glad you like the new page on my website, I'll be posting pictures there of every new build I finish. As for the future I'm concentrating on the near future at the moment. I'm in finish now with four more basses that are for sale, two 4 strings & two 5 strings and one of my Improvs for a client in MA. plus I'm starting 6 more Classic II's of which 5 are sold. As for future designs I'm planning on another guitar model. I absolutely love the basses I'm building now so my future plans for these are to try to get them into the hands of more players.
     
    Carlostito, BlueLou and Nightman like this.
  11. Samuel Newsom

    Samuel Newsom

    Mar 5, 2018
    So I’m not quite at the level you guys are...I play at home no gigs no band but I’m always loving to learn new things. I wanted to learn how to do my own setups for a while as basses are much more finicky in terms of setup than guitars are in terms of playability (or so it seems to me) and I was never quite happy with the good money I paid to have an instrument adjusted. I bought a beater $200 strat to hone my skills on before touching any of my nicer basses and I know well enough to not touch anything without the proper tools and proper knowledge of exactly what it does. I was getting a lot of fret buzz from my Thornton. So I checked the neck relief and it was way too tight. I’m thinking either the climate and seasonal change or the guitar store set the relief to more guitar relief specs. I backed off the truss rod about a quarter of a turn total and the fret buzz is completely gone and the SOUND of this bass!!!!! Thanks to chucks factory set up I didn’t have to touch anything else on this bass everything else was perfect-string heights etc...I find it hard to get that low action with no fret buzz set up from a tech who isn’t a bass player. I’m in love all over again! Chuck don’t change a thing on these basses!
     
    Nightman likes this.
  12. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    DITTO!!
     
  13. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Chuck, you are tempting me too much with your available finished new 5'er bass(es)!!! (Where did I hide my check book??)
     
  14. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    Hi Sam, A set up is a personal thing and the player knows best what he/she needs. Over the course of the last 25 years I've probably done over 3000 fret jobs & set ups and I've learned that it depends on the persons playing style. For the bass player I've found that if they play with a pick and play aggressively they'll need a little higher action and a little more relief in the neck. The finger player who has great technique like Tom Kennedy can benefit from a lower action and a straighter neck. I don't actually measure the relief I put into my bass necks I go by feel but they probably range around .008" to .010" @ the 7th fret with the 4th string held down at the 1st fret and 17th fret. So if you like the way I set it up before you get it and as long as you haven't touched the saddles then the only thing that moved was the neck. So in your case Sam you got the bass and loved the way it played, you didn't adjust the saddles but one day it's buzzing, then what moved was the neck. I recommend buying a 6" steel ruler that measures 32's of an inch on one side and 64th of an inch on the other side. Without touching the strings hold the bass in playing position, not laying down, and measure from the top of the 17th fret to the bottom of the 1st string should be 5/64", same for 2nd string. 3rd string and 4th string are 6/64" or 3/32" and 5th string is 7/64" and if you play hard 8/64". These are the measurements I use to do a set up on my basses so if the action feels low take a measurement from the top of the 17th fret to the bottom of the first string and if it it measures lower then 5/64" turn the truss rod counter clockwise giving the neck a little relief and measure again until you reach 5/64" The next day measure again to make sure you didn't go to far with your truss rod adjustment. If the action feels high do the same thing as above but turn the truss rod adjustment clockwise until you reach 5/64". Make sure the allen wrench is in the truss rod good so as not to damage it.
     
    Samuel Newsom likes this.
  15. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    I certainly don't mean to tempt you Nightman but I will send you pictures when they're done.;)
     
    Nightman likes this.
  16. Samuel Newsom

    Samuel Newsom

    Mar 5, 2018
    My truss rod was around .008-.010” relief when I started and it was buzzing. And it did buzz some when I had bought it originally for my playing style. But when I released the truss rod some to bring it to around .012-.014 the buzz went away for the most part and plays great for me, although I may tweak it a little bit from there. After reading your response I measured the string heights at the 17th and it’s 5/64” on every string (after I had released it) so I’m betting the guys at whole tone may have adjusted the saddles from your settings. But it plays great for me so I’m not going to mess with it much! But thank you for sharing your set up specs!
     
  17. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    You're welcome Sam. If it plays the way you like with no buzzing then it's set up perfectly for you. Enjoy!!!
     
    Samuel Newsom likes this.
  18. Nightman

    Nightman If it ain't low, it's got to go! Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    :woot:
     
  19. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Thanks for the sharing the background and insights on the design choices!

    Still, the clean lines and overall of the set-neck design is very beautiful. Any thoughts to doing a bolt-on instrument with the headstock and rear-routed design of the set-neck bass, perhaps without the thumbrest (cool as it is)?

     
  20. CP Thornton

    CP Thornton Commercial User

    Apr 30, 2018
    CP Thornton Guitars
    Hi mikezimmerman, The body of the bolt on neck is the same body as the set neck just without the thumbrest and
    without the contour of the top. Because I was building a bolt on I wanted it to resemble the tried & true J bass and I wanted to use a one piece, not counting the fingerboard, flatsawn neck instead of a two or more piece quatersawn neck with the tilt back headstock. If someone wanted passive circuitry in this bass with the six controls like I had on the set neck then I would have to do a control cavity in the back. I suppose at some point I could re engineer the two basses and morph one design into the other.
     

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