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Wilkinson Pick ups


Lord Sausage
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I haven't had experience of their pups but they are well-regarded. I bought some Fender-style Wilkinson tuners and they were very good. JHS use Wilkinson hardware on their Vintage range of basses.

[url="http://www.jhs.co.uk/wilkinson.html"]http://www.jhs.co.uk/wilkinson.html[/url]

Edited by discreet
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I had Wilkinson pickups in my Strat (I play guitar and bass, it was the WVS model IIRC) - they sound amazing for the money, and very good even not considering how cheap they are.

I now have Frailns in that guitar, which are better, but not *that* much better - if you have a limited budget I don't see how you can go wrong with the Wilkinson stuff IMO.

As a reference point, the WVS pickups sounded better than the stock pickups in my USA G&L legacy, and much, much better than the pickups in my 1979 USA Strat. They sounded pretty similar to those fitted stock in my USA '57 reissue Strat (certainly not worse, maybe just a bit darker, similar bite and clarity).

Not tried their bass pickups, but I hope maybe that's somewhat useful :)

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[quote name='6v6' timestamp='1361093280' post='1980794']
I had Wilkinson pickups in my Strat (I play guitar and bass, it was the WVS model IIRC) - they sound amazing for the money, and very good even not considering how cheap they are.

I now have Frailns in that guitar, which are better, but not *that* much better - if you have a limited budget I don't see how you can go wrong with the Wilkinson stuff IMO.

As a reference point, the WVS pickups sounded better than the stock pickups in my USA G&L legacy, and much, much better than the pickups in my 1979 USA Strat. They sounded pretty similar to those fitted stock in my USA '57 reissue Strat (certainly not worse, maybe just a bit darker, similar bite and clarity).

Not tried their bass pickups, but I hope maybe that's somewhat useful :)
[/quote]cheers! It's not so much budget at the mo. Just curious, thinking of doing up an old bass at some point!

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He has a great rep and I've got his har
dware on many guitars, the best being the compensating-saddled Tele bridge which does the job a a fraction of the price of the Gotoh one. I've been swithering about putting his P90 into a Tokai Firebird I've got.

Edited by Stacker
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i have a P5 in one of my frankensteins, its paired with a basslines MM5.

output is pretty well matched between the two, and it has the tone you would expect from the type of pickup it is (mine is flipped and slanted, think larry graham moon bass but a P). i have a tele set in my old affinity squire (when they were well made LOL mine is like a tank) they are great.

i have no problems with the entire brand, as long as you understand that they are not the top dog and dont expect top dog quality at every step. their tuners i have used on a strat (not mine) and they held tune fine and were smooth as silk when winding (they were the higher end of the line) and their trem systems are fine too (same guitar) on the one i played the saddles were really chunky and easy to intonate.

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I fitted a Wilkinson P-Bass [size=4]pickup to my Westfield (along with a Wilkinson [/size][size=4]hi-mass bridge) and the sound is great. I got the Westy for £35 from a car boot sale so I didn't want to go to the expense of Gotoh/Wizard bits. Wilkinson stuff is well designed and of excellent quality for the dosh. [/size] :)

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I've used his Musicman bass pickup, which was excellent ,although I wasn't able to compare it to other brands at the time. I suspect the price of replacement pickups is more of a marketing consideration than anything else. They all contain more or less the same bits.

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The price of after-market pickups is pretty much linked to the amount of R&D that has gone into them.

If you are going to spend time producing a pickup for a particular use or tone, make a range of variants and get them properly tested by musicians to find the right one(s), then that's going to cost a fair bit more than just winding some wire around a magnet to a specification that matches what someone else has already done.

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Wilkinson pickups are great for the money in my humble opinion. So are Kent Armstrongs.

I put a PJ set on my passive SGC Nanyo Bass Collection, and they are a vast improvement over the original ones.
I put Kent Armstrong vintage 10K on my bitsa P, and it sounds more like an old Precision than my USA Precision does. But then so does my 92 MIM.

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is it the active BBN5 or the passive?

i have 2 BBG5a and the pickups were great but the preamp was just ok...... one of them is the said frankenstein above (PMM5 with basslines eq) and the other is in bits awaiting a new pre :) i will get around to it at some point....... only been that way for 4 years though i may see if i can make a housing for a set of lane poor jazz i have, im sure they are a 5 string set (they are in a cheap ebay job at the mo).

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[quote name='Captain Codpiece' timestamp='1361110246' post='1981133']
is it the active BBN5 or the passive?

i have 2 BBG5a and the pickups were great but the preamp was just ok...... one of them is the said frankenstein above (PMM5 with basslines eq) and the other is in bits awaiting a new pre :) i will get around to it at some point....... only been that way for 4 years though i may see if i can make a housing for a set of lane poor jazz i have, im sure they are a 5 string set (they are in a cheap ebay job at the mo).
[/quote]It's passive.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1361106816' post='1981081']
The price of after-market pickups is pretty much linked to the amount of R&D that has gone into them.

If you are going to spend time producing a pickup for a particular use or tone, make a range of variants and get them properly tested by musicians to find the right one(s), then that's going to cost a fair bit more than just winding some wire around a magnet to a specification that matches what someone else has already done.
[/quote]

That's not how it works in the real world. Like anything else, the price of after-market pickups is pretty much linked to the punter's perception of their value. Given that most pickup makers are chasing the holy grail of "vintage" pickups, copying what somebody else has done is exactly what most of them do! How much R&D does it take to make another P-Bass pickup when all the design work was done 60 years ago?

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There are two levels of Wilkinson P and J pickups - the cheaper of the two (£15 for a P and £20 for a J-set) are steel pole pieces with ceramic magnets underneath the pickup. These come as stock on the Vintage 'Jaco' fretless J bass.

The more expensive ones (£25 for a P and £48 for a J-set) have alnico pole pieces and these are much nicer-sounding with more output - I put a set in the Vintage and it really did make a difference to the sound. The Vintage stratocaster I had featured the staggered-pole alnico pickups and they sounded really nice, even when compared to the 2009 MIM Strat I had at the time. I believe they are wound to Fender vintage specs.

I'd definitely give the alnico models a thumbs-up.

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[quote name='Green Alsatian' timestamp='1361136468' post='1981763']
There are two levels of Wilkinson P and J pickups - the cheaper of the two (£15 for a P and £20 for a J-set) are steel pole pieces with ceramic magnets underneath the pickup. These come as stock on the Vintage 'Jaco' fretless J bass.

The more expensive ones (£25 for a P and £48 for a J-set) have alnico pole pieces and these are much nicer-sounding with more output - I put a set in the Vintage and it really did make a difference to the sound. The Vintage stratocaster I had featured the staggered-pole alnico pickups and they sounded really nice, even when compared to the 2009 MIM Strat I had at the time. I believe they are wound to Fender vintage specs.

I'd definitely give the alnico models a thumbs-up.
[/quote]cheers

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As a side-note, the first Vintage V4 P copy I had featured the Wilkinson alnico pickup and being the tinkerer, I put in a Seymour Duncan SPB-1 in there, along with some CTS 250k pots. Through the gear I had at the time - an Ashdown Perfect 10 and a Hughes & Kettner Bass Master, there wasn't a great deal of difference between the two pickups with flats, so I sold the SD and kept the Wilkinson in there.

That's not to say the SD isn't a great P-bass pickup (it is), but at half the price, I'd go with the Wilkinson if I was replacing a weak/faulty pickup.

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[quote name='Green Alsatian' timestamp='1361136468' post='1981763']
There are two levels of Wilkinson P and J pickups - the cheaper of the two (£15 for a P and £20 for a J-set) are steel pole pieces with ceramic magnets underneath the pickup. These come as stock on the Vintage 'Jaco' fretless J bass.

The more expensive ones (£25 for a P and £48 for a J-set) have alnico pole pieces and these are much nicer-sounding with more output - I put a set in the Vintage and it really did make a difference to the sound. The Vintage stratocaster I had featured the staggered-pole alnico pickups and they sounded really nice, even when compared to the 2009 MIM Strat I had at the time. I believe they are wound to Fender vintage specs.

I'd definitely give the alnico models a thumbs-up.
[/quote]

Do the £48 a set one's come in any off the shelf basses and are these about the best you'll get for fifty quid a pair for a Vintage (brand) jazz? EDIT: Squier classic vibe jazz pair are about £40, do hese compare to the premium wilkinsons?

Edited by Cygnus x-1
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[quote name='Cygnus x-1' timestamp='1361230259' post='1983347']
Do the £48 a set one's come in any off the shelf basses and are these about the best you'll get for fifty quid a pair for a Vintage (brand) jazz? EDIT: Squier classic vibe jazz pair are about £40, do hese compare to the premium wilkinsons?
[/quote]

from my experience with the wilkinson gear squires duncan designed gear is about on par with the cheaper versions.

£48 a set is not bad. i think i payed about £30-35 for my telecaster set a few years back. proper chrome neck with cloth wound wires (may have been paper/fiber bobbin too but i cant remember) and the bridge has a proper brass plate like old teles and again the cloth wires. they were also wax potted (you could see the wax on the cloth windings where they meet the pickup)

Edited by Captain Codpiece
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