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Doug Wilkes Bass


JanSpeeltBas
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Came across an old Doug Wilkes Bass (for sale, €750) - visited the website and read he's already in business for 30 years,
yet never heard of him. Anyone own one or have experienced his basses?
This particular model is Alembic styled, very laminated, lots of electronics, Schaller hardware, curious 2+2 headstock.

Pictures further on in this thread!

Edited by JanSpeeltBas
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Wilkes guitars were fairly popular during the 80's, hailing from Stoke-on-trent - I've still got one (did have two at one point), a half-fretted/fretless bass which has the unusual headstock tuner arrangement. The range consisted of a number of models as I recall, one being a StingRay copy. They are very well made basses. CD David has a very nice fretless model, don't you Dave! Certain fretless models in the range (inc. Dave's bass) had a very clever system which gave the popular `slap' and pull style of playing a nice edge. Basically, the end of the fretboard had two flush mounted brass plates which transmitted vibration into a transducer pickup which could be blended into the `normal' p/up sound. Will see if I can dig out some pics!

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[quote name='BarnacleBob' post='549194' date='Jul 23 2009, 06:27 PM']Ha Ha! Well done , Mate!
This is the builder I've been hunting for for years! Used to advertise in the trade papers in the 80's.
Couldnt find him cos I didnt have the name quite right!

Cheers

BB[/quote]
D'Wallis?
Glad I could help here... :)

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[quote name='JanSpeeltBas' post='552117' date='Jul 26 2009, 09:55 PM']The Wilkes Bass that started this thread...looks like NT but is actually bolt-on. Anyone played or owned one of these?[/quote]

Nice looking bass that! Mine's the same shape but in a very standard black paint finish - same headstock shape. They used all Schaller hardware.

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[quote name='doctor_of_the_bass' post='548440' date='Jul 23 2009, 12:56 AM']Wilkes guitars were fairly popular during the 80's, hailing from Stoke-on-trent - I've still got one (did have two at one point), a half-fretted/fretless bass which has the unusual headstock tuner arrangement. The range consisted of a number of models as I recall, one being a StingRay copy. They are very well made basses. CD David has a very nice fretless model, don't you Dave! Certain fretless models in the range (inc. Dave's bass) had a very clever system which gave the popular `slap' and pull style of playing a nice edge. Basically, the end of the fretboard had two flush mounted brass plates which transmitted vibration into a transducer pickup which could be blended into the `normal' p/up sound. Will see if I can dig out some pics![/quote]

I'm very curious about the half fretted bass. I understand that the E & A strings are fretted, D & G fretless. But is the fretless side of the fingerboard raised to the level of the frets on the fretted side? Would love to see pics...

From my archive some Wilkes copy's and the interesting Nightwing...

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[quote name='doctor_of_the_bass' post='554604' date='Jul 28 2009, 06:26 PM']Thanks Shaggy

My bass is just like the Supreme model (third one in from the left, bottom row)!

The frets have been filed down to the tang underneath the G and D strings so the board has two distinct levels.[/quote]

See the pic below.

[attachment=29948:Wilkes_2h.jpg]

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I remember seeing those in the 80's. There was a shop here in Whitley Bay called Backline and they were the only place that seemed to have them. Fretless was big at the time with Pino all over the place (no change there then) and I always thought the idea of the persussive plates was a great one. Has anyone had any experience of these - how well do they work?

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[quote name='JD1' post='556764' date='Jul 31 2009, 07:26 AM']I remember seeing those in the 80's. There was a shop here in Whitley Bay called Backline and they were the only place that seemed to have them. Fretless was big at the time with Pino all over the place (no change there then) and I always thought the idea of the persussive plates was a great one. Has anyone had any experience of these - how well do they work?[/quote]

They (the plates) worked very well - my bass only had a single magnetic p/up placed midway on the body so it sounded very much like a P bass - I think had it have had another p/up (bridge position) it would have been perfect!

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  • 5 months later...

[quote name='doctor_of_the_bass' post='548440' date='Jul 22 2009, 10:56 PM']CD David has a very nice fretless model, don't you Dave![/quote]


[quote name='JD1' post='556764' date='Jul 31 2009, 06:26 AM']I remember seeing those in the 80's. There was a shop here in Whitley Bay called Backline and they were the only place that seemed to have them.[/quote]

Just found this thread, I did own one which has recently been sold :)



And I live just down the road from where Backline used to be and that is where i fell for these basses, he had loads including the headless and half fretted. :rolleyes: MMmmmmmmmmmmm memories.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello everyone

Im pretty new to these forums, its really nice to see some other Wilkes basses, as previously discussed not many people have heard of him or of his work, which is a shame. I stumbled across Doug about 6 years ago through a recommendation from a friend who previously had Doug build him a 4 string fretted bass. When i saw and had a play on friends new bass i just had to have one made. Doug was great, very helpful and had plenty of ideas. I will post a few pics of my bass bellow. Unfortunately this is for sale as i just don't play it enough anymore and deserves a good home with someone that will play her.







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