1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Wilkins vs Lull

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by zortation, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I haven't come across either on this side of the border, but if there is anyone out there who has, please offer your opinion. I'm not looking for anything specific really, but I am considering a PJ build of some kind in the near future.

    Like Lull, Wilkins basses seem to be strictly made to order, because I've never seen them in a store, so this may end up being a very short thread, but anyway, has anyone tried out a bass from both builders and if so, please offer up ANY opinions you may have regarding build, overall tone, feel, mojo, new bass smell, etc. :oops:
  2. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Never tried a Wilkins but can fully vouch for Lull.

    Mike Lull makes hot basses, period.

    He makes basses which are all flavors of vintage and modern, and quite a few heavy players use his instruments. They have excellent cut and real-world usage.

    Note: Oh yeah, by the way my favorite 4 string J neck of all time. Nothing beats it.
  3. AaronHuff


    Oct 31, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    No experience with Wilkins, but I don't think you'l find a better P or PJ than Mike Lull's. My main bass for the past couple years has been a Lull P4, and I can't say enough good things about it. Great build quality, lightweight, amazing neck, and the Lindy Fralin pickups are perfect.
  4. Lorenzini

    Lorenzini Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Also FWIW Lull only offers 18mm on his 5 strings, but offers 34 or 35 inch scale. This is a great service.
  5. Moog Audio in Toronto is a Mike Lull dealer. Looks like they have a couple of basses in stock.
  6. Wilkins


    Oct 20, 2004
    Wilkins basses can be found at The Amp Shop in Los Angeles
    Premier Bass Guitars in Superior, CO Bass and Beyond in Sacramento and Chicago Music Exchange in Chicago.
    It's a short list but I'm opening up stores right now and after Namm I should have about 6 more new stores. If you're anywhere near one of those stores go try one out.
  7. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Mike Lull makes so very cool basses.
  8. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    I can't do a direct Wilkins v. Lull comparison, but I do have in my possession a really sweet Wilkins Road Tested Pbass. As I understand it, this is Pat's entry into the more "affordable" market (priced similarly to an American Fender).

    I can say that this Wilkins feels, plays, and sounds SUPERB. I mostly use Jazz-sized necks with a C-shape, and this particular neck shape is a little odd to me, but very comfortable. It reminds me of an old ESP Strat I once lusted for with a "V" neck. It's not really a "V", but it feels like the shoulders of the back of the neck are flattened out just a little more than any of my other bass necks. The bulk is minimized, but it still feels solid. The fingerboard is relatively flat and wide (~1 11/6" wide and the radius is ~12"). The overall effect is a thick and VERY STABLE neck that *doesn't* feel like a baseball bat. The fretwork is very nice, and the tight-grain 1/4-sawn maple shaft Pat used is rock solid - and beautiful!

    A few more observations - the neck pocket is among the best I've ever seen; the neck and body are perfectly fitted. The balance is very good, no neck dive. So far, the thing has stayed in tune very well, and dead-spots are nearly non-existent. I'd put it up among the best dead-spot free basses I've ever played.

    Tone-wise, it's a very clear, articulate, but meaty P-bass. I haven't tried flats on it yet, but I expect they'd thump with all the authority a good P-bass should have. It chords and solo's beautifully - if that's your thing - but it also growls and supports the low end really well. No mush here.

    The only 2 things I'm not wild about, but I understand why they are what they are, are A) the Fiesta Red matte finish, and B) the bridge. The finish is very well done and my dislike is only personal preference. I love nitro and a glossy body finish, but those are far more costly to produce. And under stage lights, the matte finish looks really great. I've had several people comment in favor of the finish. The traditional plate bridge is functional, but given the high quality of every other aspect of the bass, I'd prefer a Hipshot Bent Plate bridge. Changing strings can be a pain and you'll eventually scrape up that matte finish behind the bridge when stringing it up. As I stated, the Road Worn is a more affordable series, but there is absolutely no cut in quality where it really matters - tone, playability, stability, reliability, etc. The best place to cut cost is the finish and the bridge, and both are still very effective.

    I've played a few Lulls and other high-end Fender-style basses which I'd be very happy to own, and I would put Wilkins up against all of them. Hope that helps.
  9. droskobass


    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal, Canada
    Former Part-Time, Non-Commission Employee MOOG Audio
    Pat Wilkin's booth was right across From Mike Lull's at NAMM Last year and I got a chance to hang out with both guys. They are both incredibly experienced, down to earth humble guys that are incredibly well respected in their fields.

    That being said, Mike is coming from the high end repair background (where you have to get it right the firsts time, you can't mess up a 1959 neck and throw it in the wood chopper to start again!)

    Pat's specialty in high end and custom Finishing. He actually finishes a lot of basses for Mike.

    Moog (where I work part time on a 100% non commission basis) is a Canadian Lull Dealer and the basses can be had at Par with no duty, brokerage, or even shipping costs (MOOG gets huge discounts on shipping because they ship dozens and dozens of pedals and recording gear every day from online sales)

    Currently The basses are stocked in Montreal and only transfered to Toronto (usually overnight) if a customer has a specific model in mind. Custom builds can be ordered from either store but in either case, I'm usually the guy that answers all the Lull questions (being the house bass player)

    As for Pat's basses, the ones I saw were great. He knows what he's doing and builds top shelf stuff. I imagine that both builders are typically constantly busy and never are in a position where supply exceeds demand. (Mike's wait is usually 8-16 weeks) Pat's I'm sure is the same. While mike had about 25-30 basses at the show, Pat had about 5, but more guitars and lots of literature on his incredibly elaborate custom finishes.

    These guys make the amazing basses and are in their prime (both in their late 50's early 60's) so their personal experience is at a max, and their skills and wit are still as sharp as their fret files.
  10. bassolp


    Nov 27, 2008
    QUÉBEC ca
    bass player for Cavalia
    Mike Lull for president
  11. I got nothin but love for Lull!
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    They're both very high quality instruments. The finish work is superb on both, for reasons cited above. Bass San Diego usually has some Lulls in stock, but not Wilkins.
  13. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    I'd love to try a Wilkins road tested. the price sounds great. I've seen a few expels with quartersawn necks (don't know if that's standard, but that's an up charge for lull)

    I've owned two Lull's and my surf green V4 is my main bass. lull makes a fantastic no compromise J bass.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either.
  14. Wilkins


    Oct 20, 2004
    Quartersawn maple is standard on my RoadTested basses. The only thing that I've cut the costs on are my prices, not the quality. I've seen a couple of people that have commented on the vintage style bridge that I use as inferior or a way to cut costs. With respect to everyone's opinion, I actually prefer those bridges because of the transfer of resonance from the strings to the body. The mojo of an early 60's Fender is in part due to the thinness of those bridges. If it's an issue for someone I offer the Hipshot A or C style bridge at a very nominal upcharge.
  15. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    My Lull M5V (sold to me by the very knowledgeable droskobass) certainly feels like it's 19mm spacing...
  16. j.kernodle


    Nov 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    with the hipshot A style, you get a bit of adjustability.
  17. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Thanks for the info drosko, I may give you a call sometime. :bassist:
  18. steve f

    steve f Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Toxic, Maryland
    Never played a Wilkins but I can say with confidence that it would hard to go wrong with Mike Lull's work.
  19. SherwoodGreen

    SherwoodGreen Inactive

    Dec 25, 2012
    That is true, You can't go wrong with anything Mike Lull builds...

    I recently played a Wilkins Road-Tested P-Bass at the AMP SHOP (the fiesta red one Pat)-

    It was love at first touch! I thought everything about that instrument was superb, especially the neck- IMO it was comparable to the best of the best, absolutely phenomenal feel- reminded me of US Lakland; maybe better!!:eek:

    The instrument just balanced perfectly, and had a great resonance, even unplugged.

    Run through an amp in the demo room, the Seymour Duncan pup did it's job, and there you have it; a stellar example of a Precision Bass.

    Great feel, perfect weight, very tight build and I think the satin finishes look superb. Pat Wilkins hit it outta the park with this series.

    Between those choices, it's win/win.
  20. kbuschmann

    kbuschmann Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2011
    Los Angeles
    "I'm not looking for anything specific really, but I am considering a PJ build of some kind in the near future."

    You might also want to look at what Mike Kinal in Vancouver can do for you. Very skilled builder. Versatile. Excellent value. A 'deserving of wider recognition' guy if ever there was one. Certainly comparable to Lull. I can't speak to Wilkins' work though - never seen one.

    Happy shopping/building.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 6, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.