Upgrading the pickups of your guitar doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg, especially wit a set of Wilkinson Guitar Pickups. The very idea of improving your current guitar is an exercise in saving money, otherwise you’d just buy something high end and be done with it right?
That’s not the only school of thought though, for some it’s just more fun to get down and dirty in the guts of your guitar and add your own unique touch to the instrument. Whatever your motivation, playing guitar is all about self expression and that needn’t stop at the music you play.
Trev Wilkinson is the guitar guru behind the well known Wilkinson moniker, a master exponent in the black arts of subtlety and nuance behind building truly great guitar gear. Since 1984 Trev has been making hardware and electronics for the guitar, building machine heads, bridges and everything in between.
Trev is all about innovation, and having collaborated with industry giants such as Leo Fender, Seth Lover and Wayne Charvel he is certainly in esteemed company. He brought the Encore Vintage Series to life thanks to his incredibly powerful VS50 vibrato system, as well as developing his own Fret-King brand, building unique, handmade guitars in the UK. Not content with those achievements, he was also responsible for elevating the well known Vintage Guitars brand by matching them with his high quality hardware and electronics.
With his incredible rock heritage and credibility, is no surprise to find that Trev Wilkinson's pickups are so highly rated. They are best sellers in most categories and best of all, come at an unbelievably reasonable price. As the man himself said “If you can’t make a great guitar for $5000, go do something else. Making a truly great guitar for a tenth of that is the challenge!”
With those wise words in mind, we at Northwest Guitars HQ we delved into the Wilkinson Guitar Pickup range to pick our top choices. Variety is the spice of life so we made sure to pick a selection that will fit a wide variety of guitars, so in no particular order, here they are…
Nothing says you mean business like a high output, hot Humbucker and the Wilkinson Hot Humbucker pickups certainly do the job. The clean tones are warm and clear with a fullness of tone and brightness at the treble end of the spectrum. Drive them harder and you get excellent overdriven tones with great sustain.
We found even at high volumes and gain they had a very low noise profile due to the wax potting which reduces noise and feedback. This makes these humbuckers perfect for hard rock riffing!
Shop Wilkinson Hot Humbucker here.
Getting a vintage Strat tone is something a lot of guitar players aspire to. A lot of guitar players also spend incredible amounts of money trying to achieve it but for the price of these you’ll be surprised at the amount of tone you get out of these Wilkinson Vintage 60s Strat Pickups.
They deliver a surprisingly warm tone with a springy cut and the variations available when you pair them with a five-way switch will cover everything from powerful lead tones to glassy cleans. Like the Strat you install them on, these pick ups are versatile enough to do a wide variety of styles.
Shop Wilkinson Vintage 60s Strat Pickups here.
Is there a tone as sought after as the Tele twang? With the Wilkinson Vintage Alnico V Tele pickups you’d certainly be forgiven for doing a double take at the sound they make when you see the price of these pickups.
They deliver a very vintage warmth of tone with the articulate sparkle we all crave from our Telecasters. Push them into overdrive and you get a buttery smooth sound, especially in the neck position which delivers creamy goodness in spades.
Shop Wilkinson Vintage Alnico V Tele Pickups here.
P90s have seen something of a resurgence over the last decade, and once you play a set it’s not hard to see why. The Wilkinson W90 Soapbar P90 Pickups sit in that middle ground between single coil and Humbucker, offering more output than single coil without getting overly beefy.
These W90s are really open sounding with plenty of mid range, delivering a sound that is truly all of their own. Put them through a valve amp and boy do they sing! A lot of guitar players are currently converting to P90s thanks to the unique tone, and with a set of these you can do it for a lot less.
Shop Wilkinson W90 Soapbar P90 Pickups here.
Sometimes you need a little extra beef from your Strat tones, and the Wilkinson Hot Alnico V Strat Pickup set gives you just the thing. Delivering an awesome amount of sustain, this pickup set features a reverse-wound, reverse polarity middle pickup for hum cancelling.
As you'd expect from a hot output pickup set, these pups pack a serious punch. The bridge pickup is slightly hotter than the others, giving you plenty of bite. Featuring non-staggered pole pieces you get a nice balance across all the strings, which makes this set great for use with effects pedals.
Shop Wilkinson Hot Alnico V Strat Pickups here.
We’ve done the research and come to the conclusion you don’t have to spend big to get huge tone. Whilst there are certainly plenty of great options across the pickup spectrum, you don’t have to compromise your tone just cos you’re limited by funds. If you need any further convincing, just take a look at all the great reviews for these pickups on our site!
Check out all of our Wilkinson Guitar Pickups here.
For more awesome pickups have a look at our Tonerider Pickup Guide.
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