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JHS Announces The New Fret-King Guitars

Published: Fri January 18, 2008  News Feed

Trev Wilkinson has done it again - the new range of Fret-King looks like some of the most exciting guitars you'll see this year. With several models that take clear influences from the past but turn them into something new. Amongst the new designs, we could highlight the Country Esquire Yardbird (pictured below) which is inspired by the Esquire model Jeff Beck used to play in the 60's, in The Yardbirds.

Initially known for vibratos and other guitar and bass related hardware it was just a matter of time before Trev Wilkinson just had to design and build his own guitars, adopting the design philosophy that he used in creating Wilkinson™ hardware, that change should never just be for change’s sake, only ever for the better.

Fret-King™ by Trev Wilkinson was born out of the desire to address a real need, expressed by many professional ‘journeyman’ guitar players for an authentic build ‘working vintage guitar’, free of compromise and without having to pay homage to nostalgic and outmoded design criteria set many decades ago.

Often referred to as a ‘Guru’, a moniker which he tolerates rather than endorses,Trev Wilkinson clearly has the respect of his peers in the guitar building fraternity with an undisputed reputation as a designer and innovator with vast experience, style, and a serious edge.

The Fret-King design ethic has always been to acknowledge, recognise, praise and defer to the great designs which previous innovators have created. A long and mutually respective association with none other than Leo Fender gave Trev all the answers and solutions to dispel many of the myths of this most iconic designer and allow him to get things right from the ‘inside out’.

Trev’s approach is to understand the styling, ergonomic, technical and engineering challenges of creating instruments which meet the needs of the working guitarist, and provide truly elegant solutions which enhance the player’s creative process.

Of the Country Esquire Yardbird model, Trev said:

“...I couldn’t resist building this! After seeing Jeff Beck and the ‘Yardbirds’ in the 60’s, his Esquire® was the guitar I wanted more than any other. The audacity of someone taking a grinder to a slab bodied ‘Holy Grail’ guitar was just so cool! That actual guitar now resides in my friend Seymour Duncan’s collection, but I did have the opportunity to spend some time with it, and the result is The Fret-King Country Squire Yardbird.

“It’s common knowledge that the front of the guitar was contoured, with a forearm chamfer, but unless you’ve actually held and played the original guitar, you’d never know that the back also had a ribcage chamfer contoured in. The Fret-King Yardbird is loaded with a Seymour Duncan® Broadcaster® repro pickup, voiced by the man himself, and the body is even routed for a front pickup if you would like to fit one later, just like the original.

“Just like the original Esquire®, the three-way pickup selector on the Yardbird is actually a tone selector. In forward position the tone control is bypassed and a preset bassy tone-created by running the pickup through two capacitors and a resistor is accessed. With the selector in the middle position both tone and volume work as normal; whilst in the last position the tone control is bypassed, allowing the pickup to go direct with all of its power and tone. It doesn’t get more real!”

Fret-King by Trev Wilkinson cleverly combines the art of expressive styling, an appreciation of subtle technical nuances, the science of ergonomics, and a clear understanding of the realities of ‘total product design’ to produce a peerless master class instrument, providing a rich and emotive tactile experience.

Look at some other Fret-King Models (click to enlarge):



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