Other Guitars, other instrumentsUse this forum to discuss all guitars and other instruments that are not Teles or Strats -- Fender, Gibson, PRS, you name it. If it's a Tele or a Strat see the appropriate Tele and Strat Forums here.
I've always been a fan of the wild fetish guitars of the 60s, and just yesterday I stumbled across this beauty in an old guitar shop I saw on a road trip. I'd never seen or heard of Thomas guitars before, so this left a real impression on me. Well, I continued on my trip and when I got home I couldn't stop thinking about the unique guitar. When I woke up this morning I decided that I really should have picked it up, but since I didn't know the price I loaded up my van with as much extra gear that I had in case I needed to do a partial cash/trade deal if it was too much for my pocket book. When I arrived back at the shop, I showed the owner my gear that I brought to see if he was interested in anything, but my heart sunk when I found out the guitar wasn't for sale. I left the shop and went out for a bite to eat, but decided to ask the restaurant for a phone book and gave the shop owner a call before completely giving up and getting back on the road. The owner agreed to trade me the guitar for all the gear in the van. It was a bit more than I wanted to let go, but I happily agreed since I probably won't find another one of these for my collection anytime soon.
Anyhoo, here she is. This Century looks kinda' like if it were a Burns Bison that was heavily influenced by Italian design. Whether you love it or hate it, I'm pretty excited about my new toy. :)
I sat down today and gave it some playtime. I thought that either the neck pickup was dead or that the pickup selector switch was dirty. As I was messing around with the switches and knobs I heard some faint chiming when Switched to just the neck pickup. So I cranked up the volume and realized that the pickup selector switch was reversed from what I was used to and that it was the neck pickup I was playing on the entire time. The bridge pickup works but has very low output, but I believe it's a good thing. The bridge PUP on this guitar is the brightest pickup I have ever heard in my life. Think of playing a fender jaguar's bridge pickup with bass-cut switch enabled, and now imagine something 2x or 3x brighter! I still haven't gone through and fully set up the guitar, so I'll adjust the pickup pole pieces later and report back about how the guitar sounds in the middle position once I can achieve a proper blend.
So keeping in mind that I thought I was playing a very warm bridge pickup when in fact I was playing just the neck pickup, these guitars must just be very bright overall. I'll most likely order a set of flatwound strings to tame this a bit. The guitar also has very flat frets, almost feels fretless when playing up and down the neck. Unlike most guitars with tiny frets, it doesn't feel like you have to fight with them or apply much finger pressure at all. This is one strange bird, but so far I've been pleased with it. :)
Wow! That is fantastic! Love the headstock. You know, the rest of it really is reminiscent of a Burns Bison. I'm glad it's making you happy. Essentially, at the very least that's what we want from our guitars. Congratulations!
"I never practice my guitar... from time to time I just open the case and throw in a piece of raw meat." - Wes Montgomery
Thanks for the links, guys. From what I've seen it looks like mine has had seen better days. The Neck has been reset with the addition of that added bolt-on neck plate, the vibrato arm must not be original and the bridge pickup seems to be "dead" ( I didn't know dead pickups with broken windings still worked on the magnets alone if you crank an amp). I still can't complain, after all I was the one that begged for the trade. She'll make a fine rhythm guitar for me. :)
I've been looking around and I'm not really sure what this model is called? The neck and body are each both stamped with the serial # C066. Some catalogs show this body style and call it the century, and others call it the western falcon, but neither catalog show this exact guitar.
Looks like I have this top white guitar but with the gold vibrato style shown on the second guitar pictured. My vibrato is stamped "THOMAS" in the metal if you peek under it.
One thing I love about it is the dual mono outputs. I can plug it into my little blues amp and my large clean amp at the same time for a combination of the best of both worlds.
I wish this Harvey character was still around, I'd love to shake his hand.
Nice guitar, I just love seeing stuff like this, and the people that are into these ecclectic guitars are awesome. Hope it serves you well. I know some of those older Italian type electrics ( not sure if this is based on those) have some out of phase type pickup selecting which was preferred back then for a more laid back thinner sounding style.
you could get the bridge pickup re wound/magnets re charged.... it might come good....
"by degrees the flood of music drove all speculations out of his mind. It was as though it were a kind of liquid stuff that poured all over him and got mixed up with the sunlight that filtered through the leaves."
His first prototypes were made in 1962. The article says he liked DeArmond pickups, but refused to use them because he really disliked Gretsch for some reason. So he ended up sourcing his pickups and hardware from Framus in Germany.
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