Wilkinson Hardware has launched its very first website – wilkinsondirect.com (opens in a new tab) – offer customers the possibility of buying directly online.
The new website features Wilkinson Pro Series, Anniversary Series, R Series and Platinum Series products, featuring a wide range of guitar parts including tremolos, wrapovers, hardtails, specialty bridges, saddles and pickups.
Earlier today, we spoke with Wilkinson’s Rick Lowe about the company’s new approach to customer contact.
“The idea of the website is to let people know what we do,” he explains. “We felt it was really important to have something that people could find out.
“Previously, Wilkinson didn’t have a web presence, mainly because so many products went through distribution.
“However, since Trevor Wilkinson’s daughter, Kate Wilkinson (opens in a new tab)was named CEO, the company has moved in a different direction and we look forward to the future.
“Trevor is still heavily involved, but his role is more in design and invention – in other words, where he’s most comfortable.”
Trevor Wilkinson’s storied career in designing, building and building guitars goes back decades.
In the mid-80s, the inventor collaborated with Fender on the Roller Nut. Incorporated into the Strat Plus design, this engineering marvel has earned it many accolades throughout the industry (indeed, Jeff Beck still uses Wilkinson’s original design).
Shortly after, the inauguration VS100N tremolo (opens in a new tab) Was launched.
“The number of companies Trevor has been involved with is remarkable,” Lowe continues. “He still works with Harmony Musical Instruments in India, and they produce guitars for a variety of brands.
“In addition to helping other companies, Trevor is always heavily involved in the design of new products. There’s a lot going on for us in terms of new products and artists.
“Pete Thorn just made a movie about the new WVS130-2P (opens in a new tab) locking saddle tremolo, which is probably our most popular tremolo right now. This was really successful as it solves a lot of issues people have with tuning stability.
“The vibrato of the Year One series, the WVS54 (opens in a new tab)is an authentic reproduction of the original [1954 Fender Stratocaster] bridge, including the methods involved in its manufacture. And that rings true with our R Series Pickups (opens in a new tab) as well.”
Aiming to compete with high-end pickup builders, Wilkinson’s new website features a range of vintage-themed products, including Stratocaster- and Telecaster-style single coils, as well as units inspired by the P-90 and PAF.
“We wanted to introduce a range of pickups that we felt matched our high end [hardware] Pro Series,” Lowe points out.
“The [R Series] pickups are designed around certain eras with specific players in mind. Thus, different styles from the 50s, 60s and 70s are available.
“The Caliber 5761 (opens in a new tab) humbucker, for example, is an authentic reproduction of the classic late 1950s PAF humbucker designed by Seth Lover. It’s typical of what Trevor watches and what he wants to post.
“This mic is made in a very special way and features lacquer dipped coils like the originals.”
While maintaining its strong reputation for quality guitar parts, Wilkinson has managed to keep its costs realistic.
“It’s a well-priced piece of equipment, which is very important to Wilkinson,” Lowe points out. “We were able to create products that were affordable and fully functional.
“A good example is the Ancient (opens in a new tab) range electric guitars by JHS which was created by Trevor.
Although Trevor Wilkinson is well known throughout the industry, he seems to be much more comfortable working behind the scenes, doing what he does best.
“Trevor is not one of those guys who wants to be on the front page of a magazine,” says Lowe. “He’s very proud of what he’s done, but he doesn’t feel the need to shout it from the rooftops.
“With a bit of luck the new website (opens in a new tab) will help with that!