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Doug Wilkes Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lewibassist, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Has anyone heard of Doug Wilkes or of his work on custom basses.I have been recomended to look at this persons custom made basses.But i cannot find anything on the net about him or any examples of his previous work.Does anyone have any photos or any information on this person .all help greatly appreciated

  2. :help: please anyone :help: :help:
  3. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Never heard of them.
  4. deftim69


    Jun 11, 2003
    Nope never
  5. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Lewis, Doug Wilkes was building basses and guitars in the mid-80's out of Stoke on Trent, UK. I don't think he has a shop any more and I have not seen his basses for sale new in a shop for over a decade, though they do crop up used from time to time. You might try the Bass Center in London to see if they have a contact number. Doug had some interesting ideas, personal favorites were brass percussive plates inlaid in the base of the fingerboard of his fretless basses with a piezo underneath for some extra attack when slapping (remember it was the 80's) and necks where the E and A strings were fretted and the D and G strings were fretless. His basic body design was similar to a Jaydee Supernatural MK, but with a Fender-ish headstock with a unique 2 over 2 arrangement for the machineheads (U-D-D-U). I think the top of the range bass was the "GAF" bass (very nice). Hardware was Schaller and his necks (at least those that I tried) had a triangular profile that reminded me of Wals of the time. I also remember seeing a Wilkes "Strat" with sliding pick-ups. Hope this helps.
  6. JDGA fan

    JDGA fan

    Oct 9, 2003
    Ah, Here is a Wilkes bass on e-bay (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3702135573&category=4713). This is one of the half-fretted and half-fretless basses I was talking about. Most had bolt-on necks, while the higher end models were either set neck or thru-neck (I can't remember which), and had either a single humbucker P/U in the "precision" spot or dual P/U as this one. Active or passive, solid color or exotic woods, basically whatever your budget could stretch to.
  7. oldnick


    Nov 12, 2004
    Royston, UK
    I've got one. It's a 4 string fretted with gold plated Schaller hardware, 2 hummer pickups and a really good neck.
    It's painted white so not sure what the body wood is but it feels like hardwood.
    It's great to play and sounds excellent.
    Only dodgy bit were the active electronics, which I've removed for now.
    I'll upload a picture if anyone wants to see it!
  8. Hi this is Doug Wilkes, guitar and bass builder. just so's you know if anybody else asks I'm still hand building guitars and basses so email me back if you need to get in touch.

    Thanks, Doug
  9. carlosmoreton


    May 19, 2005
    I came across this thread a few days ago. Doug is a friend of mine and both myself and many friends have had Doug build some superb instruments for us. I actually play guitar and doug has recently built me a Gibson 335 style semi acoustic and a telecaster'ish type guitar.

    They are both built to a standard of workmanship that I could never get from gibson or fender.

    I own several guitars (fender, jackson etc) but fancied a new one, I looked at some genuine gibsons, PRS etc and was very let down. My main guitar up until this point was a Fat Strat, which I still enjoy playing and second-hand at under £1k is value for money.

    But, after chatting to a friend of mine who has had about 5 basses of Doug I thought I'd go for something custom.

    As a result I now own two Wilkes guitars and they are superb instruments. It's a wonderful feeling popping in to see Doug every now and again and see your guitar at various stages of being built. There's no conveyor belt production line at Doug’s workshop, it's all by done by hand and the result is that you have a guitar / bass that embodies the character and love that Doug really has for making these fine instruments.

    I know you guys are into basses, but I have attached a quick photo of my two Wilkes guitars. Doug is even in one of the photos holding my 335 semi shown in an early stage. The photo doesn’t represent a 10th of what they look like in the flesh.

    If you fancy something different that is totally bespoke built to YOUR requirements give Doug a ring, you will not regret it.

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