HOLMES, TOM
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HOLMES, TOM
Instruments previously built in Tennessee circa 1970s to 1980s.
Luthier Tom Holmes custom built numerous high quality, solid body guitars for a number of years for artists such as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Bo Diddley, and others. In the mid-1970s, Holmes came up with a design for a "triple coil" (i.e., a pickup that could be split into a single coil and a humbucker instead of just splitting a dual coil), and custom built guitars to bring the idea to the marketplace. The T.H.C. guitars were completely handcrafted (save for the tuners and the bridge) by Holmes, and a majority of the guitars were sold through Larry Henrikson's Ax-in-Hand Guitar Shop in Dekalb, IL. Other T.H.C. models include a limited run of Holmes/Gibbons "Cadillac" guitars (based on the Gretsch Cadillac model played by Bo Diddley).
In the mid-1980s, Holmes became involved with the Gibson Guitar company. Holmes designed the tooling for some of the company production, and was a part of Gibson's '57 Classic pickup reissue. During his work on the reissue pickup, Holmes worked on a P.A.F. design similar to the original vintage pickups. With the success of his design, Holmes went into business with his own company, hand winding his P.A.F. reproductions and stamping out the proper pickup cover to go with it.
Holmes' pickups have appeared in certain limited production models from the large guitar manufacturing companies, and are very popular in Japan and Germany as aftermarket reissues. Collector's tip courtesy David Larson at Audio Restoration, and Larry Henrikson at Ax-in-Hand.

From Blue Book Publications:


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