Chuck Thornton builds his exquisite guitars in Sumner, Maine, a town of fewer than one thousand souls on the banks of the Nezinscot River.
Chuck fell in love with the guitar at the age of eight, he played in various bands through his teens and eventually attended the Berklee School of Music for a year, when he realized that a life as a guitar player might not be in his future. But he had a much stronger feeling for the bass guitar, he began playing bass professionally and in 1985 he built his first bass. He built 55 through neck basses between 85 and 92. In 1993 Chuck went to work in Maine with Dana Bourgeois doing fret work and set ups and built 33 of his own guitars on off hours.
In 1996 he began working with Jon Cooper, where he learned the craft of building violins and cellos. This is when he designed and built his first semi-hollow bodies. In 2000 Chuck went back to work with Bourgeois at Pantheon Guitars doing fret jobs and setups and as shop foreman and in off hours designed his 14” semi-hollow bodies that he still builds today and in 2004 he opened CP Thornton guitars.
Today Chuck builds seven unique models, both arch tops and solid bodies, and two bass guitars. They include his 14” semi-hollow bodies, the Elite, Jazz Elite, Professional and Blues Queen; his solid body models, the Classic II, The HTL “Homage To Leo” and the Contoured Legend plus his TR-4 and TR-5 basses.
“I don’t want to make you sound like someone else — I want to make you sound like yourself.”
Such is Chuck’s philosophy on building guitars. And we can add that when you play one of Chuck's extraordinary instruments your guitar won't look like anyone else's either, for he possesses a rare ability to design and build inspiring instruments that are entirely unique yet comfortably familiar, and they play and sound as good as they look. We urge you to visit his comprehensive web site and behold all the different models he builds. Savor the fine design lines and sweeping curves of his bodies... the generous carve of the necks, and his superb finish work. Having played and reviewed his guitars since 2007, we can assure you that they are masterfully built works of fine art with exceptional tone and resonance. Chuck is also very accessible via phone or email to discuss whatever you might have in mind for your next guitar. He is a true custom builder building legendary custom instruments.