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Tom Holmes or Throbak

nbtrue

Member
Messages
389
I was about to purchase a set of Throbaks for my Les Paul and then my name just happened to come up on the Tom Holmes list. So my question is for people that have experience with these, which should I go with? I would prefer to hear from people that have experience with both, but I am fine with hearing your opinion on them if you own one set or the other. And yes I know that there are a lot of others out that that are probably just as good for less $ (I've tried a lot of them), but I want to give one of these two a try so I'm just looking for some input on them. If you have them and can give me a description of how they sound (scooped mids, strong mids, etc etc) then I'd appreciate it. And yes I know its all subjective and only I know what I'm going to like, just trying to get some extra info before I buy them since they aren't cheap haha!! Thanks for your help.
 

sfarnell

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,112
I'd like your spot in line for the Holmes......:drool

I'm not familiar with the Throbaks but I love the Holmes.
 

Seegs

Member
Messages
10,169
Each company makes more than one model so you would have to specify which model in which guitar/amp combo and for what kind of music in order to really hone in on more than just the company...

IME it's like Mercedes vs. BMW...pick your poison they are both great!!

I had the Throbak Limited (A2 magnets) and Limited + (A5) and the Holmes H450 (A2) set in which both pickups were the same...normally those are reserved for the neck position with an H455 for the bridge...the higher the number the more winds and the hotter (more mids) the pickup is...

I had them in an 80s 335 and a 2007 R8...

The Holmes H450 in the neck is very warm...fat and buttery smooth but it has enough high end to not be muddy at all...they are incredibly touch responsive and creamy sounding...the H450 in the bridge needed to be adjusted closer to the strings in order to balance out the volume between it and the neck pu...

This is the set I opted to go with in my R8 because it just sounded huge in that guitar...

The Throbaks are clearer...a bit thinner and almost single coil-like...a really snappy pickup...

Clean the A2 model was very nice but I did not like how the A2 pickup sounded with overdrive it was a bit sizzly and almost fizzy to my ears...

The A5 was equally as nice clean and the overdriven tones were thick...creamy smooth and had none of that undesirable (to me anyway) sizzle/fizz...

This is the set I opted to leave in my 335 because it complimented this guitar perfectly...

As mentioned before there are tons of choices of great pus to choose from with more popping up everyday it seems...it makes the task even more daunting to find the right set for a particular guitar seeing as how they are all upwards of $3-400 or so...

Chow,
Seegs
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,140
Why not just buy the Holmes since it takes forever to get them? Yo can always sell them for what to paid if they don't work out. I have both but have never ABed them in the same guitar. Great pickups either way.
 

THROBAK

Member
Messages
456
Here, a shootout just for you:

http://www.andras-shimon.com/MUSIC/Throbak_vs_Holmes.mp3

The major difference between the two is that the Throbak coils are
much more mismatched then the Holmes.
The Throbak is like a great Burstbucker
The Holmes is like a great Gibson 57

By the way I sold both and settled on Stephen Design VL59JP

:rimshot
I believe Holmes winds matched coils in turns and hand guides. ThroBak has a fairly modest mismatch at the lower range of a vintage P.A.F. coil mismatch and I machine wind with vintage machines. The machine winding gives more low end clarity.
 

pfddi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
270
I think Seegs has the right approach, as both are good pickups, therefore no "right or wrong." I have both pickups as well as JM Rolph's and Stephen Design and it took me a lot of switching out in guitars to determine the best sound. But - like Seegs - I have them in guitars that - to my ears - they sound great.
 

Leftyman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,651
David Allen p-51 mustangs. You will thank me later.
Didn't he just get done saying he didn't want input on other pickups?????

Anyways, I have only had experience with the Holmes but I can say they are phenomenal. It's not so much a heavy or scooped mids thing as it is a clarity thing. The clarity is unlike any other pickup I have ever heard. I would just purchase the Holmes. You can sell them for more than you purchased them for even after you have installed them in your guitar. I have a set in my Les Paul. I also have a set that I have put away because I actually forgot I was on the waiting list after 2 years. When my name came up, even though I didn't have a guitar to put them in, I couldn't pass them up. PAF clones have been big for awhile now, but ask yourself who was doing it first? Not to mention Tom use to wind pickups for Billy Gibbons. Seems like everybody is now jumping on the PAF wagon and making pickups.
 

Aran

Senior Member
Messages
3,192
Buy both. Try both and sell what you don't want.

I own Tom's myself. But I know TBs are great as well.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,806
My personal choice would be the Throbaks. However, since you've waited so long for the Holmes get them and see how you like them. If for some reason they don't do it for you, you will have no trouble selling them for what you have invested in them, or more.
 

kingsxman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,920
Tempted to get on the Holmes waiting list. I'd also love to try a set of Throwbaks.
I've been pretty happy with the custom buckers in my LP though and have Sheptones that I like...but its a continual search and a desire to tweak that keeps us going with these things.

How do you get on the Tom Holmes waiting list? His website just has an email address. I suppose you just email? is there a deposit required?
 

clay49

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,644
I've had 4-sets of Holmes over the last 7 years or so. I keep trying them, thinking, "I must have missed something when I tried the last set." I also recently bought a Throbak SLE-101 bridge, since I had heard such great things about those and it was one of the othe boutique PAF winds that I had yet to try.

I dropped them into my Les Paul and gave them both a spin through my Kemper Profiler. In the end, I've settled on DiMarzio 36 Anniversry pickups, with one tweak - I replaced the bridge A5 magnet with an Unoriented A5, which softened the attack just a scosche, and it gets me where I want to be (basic classic rock tones from the mid 70's- mid 80's) better than anything I've found in the boutique world.

That's not to denigrate either of these two fine pickups being discussed, it's just that YOUR ears need to tell you what is best, and I've found that, more often than I would have expected, there is not a consistent correlation to the price differential.
 

corn husk bag

Member
Messages
4,242
Email him and his wife will email back asking you what you want. After this you can actually speak to Tom by the telephone.

Kind Regards,
Steve

Tempted to get on the Holmes waiting list. I'd also love to try a set of Throwbaks.
I've been pretty happy with the custom buckers in my LP though and have Sheptones that I like...but its a continual search and a desire to tweak that keeps us going with these things.

How do you get on the Tom Holmes waiting list? His website just has an email address. I suppose you just email? is there a deposit required?
 






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