Tom Holmes pickups- any cheaper alternative?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Noah, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. Noah

    Noah Gold Supporting Member

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    I recently got a nice Les Paul that has a set of Tom Holmes pickups (I believe a 450/455 SET) and they are the best sounding PUs I've ever heard in my life. I play high energy rock type music, and these pickups just sing on both rhythm and leads. They seem to be pretty high output. I've tried different pickups before, but had no idea pickups could make such a huge difference in tone like these do.

    I'd like to replace the pickups on my other guitars with them also, but there's no way I can afford to, even if I could find some.

    Can anyone recommend a fairly high output humbucker that might get me close tonewise to these Holmes pickups? It's time to replace the Duncan JBs! Thanks.
     
  2. Greentone

    Greentone Member

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    Jim Rolph's pickups are great too. Very similar to Holmes in terms of tone and quality.
     
  3. Alpedra

    Alpedra Member

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    Lollar Imperials are amazing PAFs.. though maybe not so suited for high energy rock or metal..

    Jim Rolph´s are great... and so are Bareknuckles...
     
  4. Chrissy

    Chrissy Supporting Member

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    Hi Noah,

    I have that same set in my LP. I can tell you some of the PAF-like pickups I've tried that were different to the Holmes and how - that might prevent you from going through dozens just to find they are a different flavour.

    Please note - this doesn't mean the others sound bad... all the PAFs at this level have their merits... I'm just answering the original poster as best I can.

    Lollar Imperials were a bit brighter, chirpier, sizzlier.
    WCR Crossroads neck / Darkburst bridge: neck not as chunky as the Holmes, but maybe clearer. Bridge more slimmed down as opposed to fat.
    Timbuckers: neck clearer yet less complex, bridge less chunky.
    SD Antiquities: more hollow sounding, less of the "sing" you mentioned

    Hope that helps!
    Chris
     
  5. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    I'd say Chris' comments are bang on. I'd recommend a set of T60's, I thought they were the closest I played, but they aren't quite the same. The Holmes have their own thing going on.
     
  6. jzucker

    jzucker Silver Supporting Member

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    Dimarzio PAF. Seriously. I have them in my Sadowsky Semi and they are unbelievable. You don't need to spend $500 to get a great humbucker.
     
  7. Noah

    Noah Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I have WCR Darkbursts in my Hamer that I got from Scott Peterson, and they sound great, but they seem to be a little tame compared to the Holmes PUs.
    I couldn't find any link for the Jim Rolphs. I guess they are defunct?
    For the price, I might just try the Dimarzio PAFs on a guitar first and see how they stack up.
     
  8. trucks

    trucks Member

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    If you want an overwound paf, look into the Wolfetone Marshallheads!
     
  9. ford

    ford Member

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    Check out Pete Biltoft's pickups at vintagevibeguitars

    His prices are very reasonable and he can tune his pickups however you like them. He's even going to make me a custom set of humbuckers to fit my G&L Asat Junior without any routing. Just another company to check into!

    rock

    bford
     
  10. Trandy

    Trandy Member

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    Here and there....
  11. brianf

    brianf Member

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    Then you need the WCR Fillmores. I found the same thing with the darkbursts in my 2003 R7. The Fillmores have more output and brought the R7 to life.

    Give them a try.

    brianf
     
  12. Masa

    Masa Member

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    I have 7 x Tom Holmes pickups. All my humbuckers are Holmes. I tried WCR Fillmores on my Hamer which had Tom Holmes. They sound very different. I like Holmes better. It's a lot more open sounding. I'll put Holmes back to the Hamer, when I have time.

    BTW, I can't belive he's charging so much for his pickups. I paid $120 ~ $140 per pickup about 10 years ago. I was mainly a single coil guy, until I found Holmes.

    Masa
     
  13. Highway Jones

    Highway Jones Member

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  14. Noah

    Noah Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you have too many. :) Care to share the wealth?:BEER
     
  15. Droptop

    Droptop Silver Supporting Member

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    Peter Florence's '59 Voodoo Pickups are also amazing.
     
  16. gkelm

    gkelm Gold Supporting Member

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    Cool! :D
     
  17. Noah

    Noah Gold Supporting Member

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    I went to that Japanese website, but I can't figure out how to order at all... :(
     
  18. leofenderbender

    leofenderbender Supporting Member

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    I've tried most of the recommendations here and the Holmes are just better. With the exception of the price, the formula he uses for those pickups is perfection in my ears.

    Holmes 450/455s are balanced, open sounding, hi fidelity, tight bass, dig in perfectly. I wish I didn't sell them.

    Voodoo '59s have a twangy bridge and a muddy neck. The bridge pickup is great, the neck pickup never did it for me - gone.

    Lollar Imperials are bright, have decent fidelity but are boring. Glad I sold them.

    Dimarzio PAFs are crisp, well balanced, overdrive well, definitely worth the price. Nice on a jazz axe - still have these.

    Suhr DSVs - well balanced, open sounding, nice balance of highs & lows, dig in well, closest to Holmes but without some of the mojo. I've had these for years and they are the real deal too.
     
  19. swankmotee

    swankmotee Member

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    I sold my Holmes 455T's and replaced them with Wolfetone "Marshallheads" and will never, ever look back!!!!!!! The Holmes were excellent but lacked the vintage bloom and sag at clean settings and the MH's make my 03'R9 sound just like Pearly Gates!! If you play high octane,heavy rock these are the Shite Muslim of PAF higher ohm pups! :dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude:dude
     
  20. LZ_69

    LZ_69 Member

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    If your interested in a set of Rolphs, just give him a call at (859)448-9463 but be prepared to answer questions and generally bs for a good half hour.
     

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