JHS - John Hornby Skewes & Co. Ltd. Musical Merchandise, Amplification & Pro Audio Equipment Distributors
    Gear Newsletter  
Trevor Wilkinson Vintage Guitars

Trevor Wilkinson Vintage Guitars

Hardware, Tuners, Pickups.

‘Alongside our design approach, we use
a lot of common sense as well...’

Though TWDA (Trev Wilkinson Design Associates) is world-renowned for top specification, high quality guitar hardware, the Wilkinson concern has definitely got its feet firmly on the ground as regards its approach to component development and manufacture. That’s good news, because the all-important ‘common sense’ factor so often gets swept aside in the continuing search for improvement.

Trev Wilkinson loves guitars and everything that goes with them. His enthusiasm for guitars is infectious. His knowledge of the guitar genre is boundless. Plus he maintains a constant interest in why the best guitars are how they are, what works and what doesn’t, and what can be done about it.

He’ll ask direct and forthright questions of the people who matter, people responsible for the best guitars ever made, and people who’ve played the best guitars ever made, and he’ll get straight answers.

Best of all, Trev’s been around guitars just a little too long to be swayed by unfounded ‘opinion’. He knows that that’s the path to nowhere.‘ What we’ve tried to do is eliminate many of the manufacturing discrepancies involved in making guitars,” comments Trev. “That way, we can ensure that we’re making a superior, consistent range of top level guitars.”

Thank goodness for common sense.

Trevor Wilkinson Guitar Parts & Vintage Guitars


Hardware, Tuners, Pickups.

“Steel is steel,” explains Trev. “If it’s heat treated it’s gonna last. Bending a piece of steel, whether it’s done by a Korean guy or an American guy on their bending machines, it’s still the same component part – providing the bend is done in the right place!”
The bridge specified for the V6 guitar, for
instance, is built to the exact specifications given to Trev by Leo Fender all those years ago in California. The actual spacing of the strings, the actual gauge of the bent steel string saddle, the shape, the size, everything is exactly as it should be. And as Trev says, improvement is the name of the game.
“ We’ve learnt over the years that you’ll never ever make a screw-in vibrato arm that doesn’t eventually work loose and wobble around, so why not use a
push-in arm? We’ve made that change and I think it’s for the better.”

“The Wilkinson sustain block that Vintage use for their V6 and VRS guitar vibrato systems is ‘stagger drilled’. Have a look at the base of the block and you’ll see that the hole positions in the block have been moved where the strings sit. This has the effect of making the angle of the saddle follow its natural intonation point to keep that pressure even at all points, which helps with the vibrato. Why? Because when you push a vibrato down, the strings go slack and they lift off the saddle.“ If there’s too much down pressure there, too much angle coming off the back of the saddle, the string then changes attitude on that saddle and when you let go of the vibrato bar, the string comes back sharp.
“That's one of the main reasons why a guitar goes
out of tune – bad return to zero on the bridge,”
argues Trev, “and that’s what I mean when I
say we’re trying to eliminate such performance

“With a guitar like the Vintage V6. I’m a firm
believer that the pickups were originally placed in
harmonically enhanced positions,” maintains Trev,
and rightly so. “I don’t believe in messing with that.
We want to keep that classic tone. That’s why
we’ve specified alnico V pickups using staggered
layout, chamfered edge polepieces to give you the
killer sound you expect.”

And again, improvements have been made to
enhance component performance.
“On the windings of the Vintage V6 guitar pickups,
we do make concessions; we re-calibrate the
pickups as they come down the guitar to ensure
consistency of tone and output. We may be the
only mass guitar manufacturer doing this. Plus,
the middle pickup is reverse wound so that
position 2 and 4 in a 5-way switch are actually in
hum-cancelling mode.”

But it’s not just the pickups that have received
such meticulous attention to detail. The classic
3-saddle design of the TC200 base plate has
been around for over 50 years, and is still widely
regarded as the ‘tone machine’. On the Wilkinson
unit, newly designed staggered brass saddles achieve
individual string intonation never before available
on this type of bridge. But Trev’s careful not to
interfere with success – the baseplate itself is a
faithful reproduction of the original, made from
steel, very important in a bridge of this style due
to the tonal effect it has on the magnetic field of
the pickup mounted in it.

A straight string path across the headstock matters
tremendously with vibrato systems in particular, in
helping maintain accurate tuning. Trev, ever the
ideas man, is aware of this, but hasn’t been
content to leave it at that.

“With regard to this, we’ve developed a set of
tuning keys with an idea that I’ve been working on
for the last 12 months, what we now call our
E-Z-LOK™ tuning post. You can actually use it as
a locking tuner or you can use it as a standard
tuner. Combined with everything else on the guitar
I would say this will give you tuning stability
second to none.

“Additionally, the tuning post string insertion
heights are staggered low to high along the
pegheads which keeps the string break angle
across the nut at a consistent level. This eliminates
the need for a string tree too, a known source of
friction which promotes tuning problems.”

Try a Vintage guitar today, and enjoy the Wilkinson effect; design, hardware, pickups and optimal performance.

Call it a victory for common sense.

Trevor Wilkinson Vintage Guitars
Trev Wilkinson’s extensive rota of research and development for the new Vintage range has certainly kept him a busy man.


Trevor Wilkinson Vintage Guitars

Rapid string changes are
no problem with this slot-loading high mass, face-mounted
bass bridge.
Vintage Guitars
Vintage Guitars
Check the quality of the Razer’s top spec secure set-neck construction, plus the body’s dramatic curves and additional chamfering.
This stylish and elegant Vintage VHE guitar headstock features high gloss facing, edge binding and gold finish Wilkinson tuners.
Vintage Guitars
Vintage Guitars
Slot-in V6 tremolo arm
means an end to those
wobbly arm blues.
High spec VRS guitars feature
attractively-patterned flame
maple tops
Vintage Guitars
Vintage Guitars
Staggered brass saddles
have intonating ability
for the first time.
High quality Wilkinson machine heads
have a smooth, even action
for top tuning stability.
Vintage Guitars
Vintage Guitars
Straight string path across nut
is vital in maintaining accurate tuning.

All products contained within the JHS website are available throughout the United Kingdom and Eire from all good music stores.

Please note, as trade only distributors we do not sell direct to the general public.

Specifications, colours and pricing are subject to change without prior notice.

Please contact your local music store. If you experience any difficulty in obtaining the products you require please contact us at info@jhs.co.uk
Please include your name, address and postcode.