Played an R8 with Tom Holmes p/u's - WOW!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Dana Olsen, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Yesterday I played an RB Historic w/ Tom Holmes humbuckers.

    OMFG, what a sound. Those Tom Holmes HB's are 'freakin AMAZING.

    They have lots of highs, and none of it harsh at all! Thay have LOTS of Bass, but it's very clear and understated, it doesn't "hammer you' at all. They're some of the best pickups I've ever heard in an electric guitar period, bar none. (For the record, I own a '59 Dot Neck ES-335 with real PAF's)

    It comes with all the Certs of Authenticity, OHSC, blah blah blah.

    The Tom Murphy Les Paul I've been playing is a better Les Paul than this R8, but w/ the Holmes HB's, the R8 sounds better through an amp. The Murphy LP has amazing acoustic properties, and feels better to play. The R8 has a plain-ish top (no prob for me) but those Holmes pickups - WOW! Through an amp, the R8 is freakin amazing. It does not play as magically as the Murphy, but it's fine - could use new frets though.

    Both insturments are wonderfully dynamic, the Murphy a little more so.

    So, the R8 is used - they want $2800. Too high? The Tom Murphy Les Paul - they want $3900 for it. Too high?

    OUCH! The market has really gone high. Both guitars are more than I paid for my all original '56 TV Les Paul Special 5 years ago, and more than the mint '56 LP Junior I co-bought with Mark Robinson 4 years ago.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  2. Don L

    Don L Member

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    The prices sound about right to me...
     
  3. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks Don - I appreciate any input.

    Dana O.
     
  4. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Member

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    Tom Holmes are killer!! I need to get a set. Hey Dana, give me a shout when you have some free time.

    Josh
     
  5. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a old set of Tom Holmes I'm just waiting to put in the right guitar.

    Hmmm.........

    Is that $2800.00 with the Tom Holmes pups? If so, sounds about right.
     
  6. CharlieS

    CharlieS Member

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    The Tom Holmes PAFs are great.

    If the Murphy LP is an R9, it's a great price. You can always get a set of Holmes for the Murphy.
     
  7. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey CharlieS - the Murphy is a '57 RI Gold Top. I haven't seen the COA, but I think R8's and R9's are Sunbursts modeled after 1958 and 1959 Les Pauls, is that right?

    I don't know if this one is Murphy built, or Murphy relic'd. I haven't figured this one out either - are there are two categories for Murphy Les Pauls - one he built and ones he relic'd? Anybody know?

    The LP I played with the Holmes p/u's was a lightly used 2002 R8. It wasn't quite as good an example of a Les Paul as the Murphy one, but it sounded better through an amp thanks to the Holmes p/u's.

    I agree, the Tom Holmes HB's are the end of the world - I've really never heard anything like 'em, except for a GREAT original PAF.

    Thanks, Dana
     
  8. Crunchyriff

    Crunchyriff Member

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    That would be correct.
     
  9. dewman

    dewman Gold Supporting Member

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    prices sound ok, hell the holmes pups are 600$ anyway...I let an R9 slip through my fingers for around 2.5k once...a memorial day sale at the local guitar center...shoulda gone for it but as all extremely expensive guitars at guitar center, it had never been set up properly and the neck was bowed too much for my comfort, but probably just needed a truss tweek and a pro setup and she woulda been wonderful...grrr

    if you want a new one, best prices I have found come out of san diego at centre city music. a true mom and pop store, specializing in gibson and a real gem of a place since they have essentially two or three employees and a smallish shop...
     
  10. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    Yeah man! Still LOVING those Holmes Charlie... :dude
     
  11. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

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    i'm not on the holmes bandwagon, imo not paf'ish enough for the buck.
     
  12. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting 1959burst. Got a PAF type p/u that you prefer to the Holmes? I've heard some pretty good ones , but I'd never heard Holmes p/u's before and I was really surprised. They worked really well in this guitar - I noticed it right away when I plugged in at real low volume. I've liked Harmonic Design, some Seymours, haven't heard WCR's or Wolfetones yet, at least not in a place where I could really 'hear' 'em. A guy on the Les Paul Forum was talking about RS Guitarworks PAF's specially would by Lindy Fralin ... I've heard Lindy PAF's I've liked too. What do you like out there?

    So, I played an R8 w/ Holmes HB's and the TM Goldtop w/ stock HB's last weekend. The Goldtop was a better guitar - it had wonderful natural dynamics, and everything I played on it 'worked'. Also, I kinda like slightly used (relic'd) Goldtops (GRIN)

    The R8 w/ Holmes p/u's sounded amazing through an amp. It wasn't quite as good a guitar as the TM Goldtop, but the Holmes p/u's sounded almost more PAF-ey than my Dot Neck's original PAF's. Great tone, pretty nice guitar, regular sunburst plain top - I kinda like plain tops too.

    Tough call for me. R8 - $2800 w/ Holmes p'u's. TM Goldtop - $3900

    Both are a lot of money to be uncertain about, for me anway. Both relatively 'safe' as market values go, but DANG, that's a lot of money.

    (I repeat myself when I'm distressed, I repeat mysef when I'm distressed)

    And that's of course ignoring the 'need' factor - do I need a Les Paul? Well, not really, but I've spent a lot of the last 12 -14 years 'collecting' different guitars, but now I have guitars I play, and a lot of guitars I don't play much. I'm wanting to thin my herd, clear out some deadwood, and dangit, I LIKE Les Pauls.

    Thanks all for the input. I gotta quit this public equivocating and make a decision.

    Thanks again, Dana O.
     
  13. GuffMorgan

    GuffMorgan Supporting Member

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    On the Tom Built and Tom Relic'd, I believe only a small run of the very first batches of Historics were actually built by Tom, after that the Custom Shop took over and he took over as more of a supervisor type role.

    Though I could very well be wrong.

    If I had the money in your situation I'd go with the Tom Murphy and add Holmes PUPs to it after the fact if I thought it was a better playing/sounding guitar. Plus the Murphy will hold it's value (and probably go up in value) more than the R8 will.
     
  14. pep

    pep Member

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    Give Dave Stephens at sdpickups.com a try for some sweet PAF's. I know him personally and he is a great guy. Most importantly, he has put in the blood/sweat/tears necessary to know how to get the tone you want. IMHO $600 is too much for any pu's that aren't vintage.
     
  15. Patrick Ginnaty

    Patrick Ginnaty Member

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    I have Duncan Antiquities in my R8. It sounds "real" IMHO (I've had a few vintage pieces, and a coupla pairs of real PAFs). Great sound for not big $$$.[​IMG]
     
  16. Patrick Ginnaty

    Patrick Ginnaty Member

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    It has pu covers on it now, though.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009
  17. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman

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    ants are the closest in my book, i've tried a ton of pickups holmes,fralins,high order,bare knuckle,rio grandes,dimarzio,florence,tim whites,lollars,etc,etc,etc in my quest for close to the real deal paf sound. i currently have a set of high orders in my R9 that i use for gigging as i need a little more agressive paf tone.[​IMG]
     
  18. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    $600 is definitely high for non-vintage p/u's.

    I love Dave' Stephens "Long Tall Texan" Strat p/u's, and a couple other models too.

    1959burst - "ants"? Either I don't understand the acronym or I've never heard of them. I did a Google search on "ants guitar pickups' - no results were returned. Help an ignorant brutha out and hip me to 'ants' please.

    It's true I could add the TH pickups later on. The R8 is a good guitar. The Murphy speaks in a unique and rare (in my experience) way. If they were $800 each I'd buy both.

    Thanks, Dana O
     
  19. DonW

    DonW Velocity Town Angel Silver Supporting Member

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    Ants-Antiquities? I put a pair of Holmes Vintage style HB's in my LP std. I love them, I'm a big SD Seth Lover fan as well but the TH pups get it for me.
     
  20. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I feel so unhip - of course, Antiquities.

    Duh! I really liked the Holmes too. I'd heard they were good sounding, but I was still surprised at just how good. There are other good ones too, but these Holmes were some of the best I've ever heard.

    Thanks, Dana
     

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