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  1. #1
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Default HP Special Endorsement

    The Wolfgang Special, which became the HP Special after Edward left Peavey, has been picked up by a pretty reputable player: Greg Howe is now playing them and ripped it up at NAMM.

    http://www.greghowe.com/video.php?bc...ctid=474424968

    I love Greg Howe's playing!

    Here are the specs of this guitar:

    -25 1/2" scale with 22 frets
    -Oil-finished, highly figured asymmetrical birdseye maple neck w/ graphite reinforcement
    -Three-on-a-side headstock /Enclosed die-cast Schaller® machine heads
    -Three-way pickup selector
    -Offset basswood body w/ sculpted neck joint
    -Bound flat top
    -Two custom-wound HP Special humbucking pickups w/ coil taps
    -Fully floating, Floyd Rose®- licensed, double-locking tremolo
    -Patent-pending Lok Block™ system-sets tremolo to "down" only or fully floating
    -Master volume & tone control
    -Strung with .009-.042 gauge 6505 USA custom strings

    Does anyone know anything about the "Lok Block"? I would find this very useful if it is reliable.

    I also like the coil taps.

  2. #2
    Eruption smme5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reckless Fable View Post
    The Wolfgang Special, which became the HP Special after Edward left Peavey, has been picked up by a pretty reputable player: Greg Howe is now playing them and ripped it up at NAMM.

    http://www.greghowe.com/video.php?bc...ctid=474424968

    I love Greg Howe's playing!

    Here are the specs of this guitar:

    -25 1/2" scale with 22 frets
    -Oil-finished, highly figured asymmetrical birdseye maple neck w/ graphite reinforcement
    -Three-on-a-side headstock /Enclosed die-cast Schaller® machine heads
    -Three-way pickup selector
    -Offset basswood body w/ sculpted neck joint
    -Bound flat top
    -Two custom-wound HP Special humbucking pickups w/ coil taps
    -Fully floating, Floyd Rose®- licensed, double-locking tremolo
    -Patent-pending Lok Block™ system-sets tremolo to "down" only or fully floating
    -Master volume & tone control
    -Strung with .009-.042 gauge 6505 USA custom strings

    Does anyone know anything about the "Lok Block"? I would find this very useful if it is reliable.

    I also like the coil taps.
    Like the fiddle but damn dude did nothing of the sort in terms of "ripping it up". That was the most stiff, lifeless, boring playing I have ever witnessed. I know he can play, ain't the point. Just provide a little more action than a corpse when promoting product Greg!

  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smme5150 View Post
    Like the fiddle but damn dude did nothing of the sort in terms of "ripping it up". That was the most stiff, lifeless, boring playing I have ever witnessed. I know he can play, ain't the point. Just provide a little more action than a corpse when promoting product Greg!
    Fusion guitar might not be your cup of tea, but to call it boring and lifeless is just obtuse and narrow-minded. I think Greg has a ton of soul, who was a huge Eddie fan growing up as well.

    To each their own, I guess...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reckless Fable View Post
    Does anyone know anything about the "Lok Block"? I would find this very useful if it is reliable.

    I also like the coil taps.
    The locking mechanism is deisgned to give the option of locking the trem in place (or stopping it in actuality) so you can only bend down on the bar. It's a great idea, but I've wondered if it does indeed keep the bridge completely stable when using something like a D-Tuna and also if there's some sustain loss since it is not sitting flush against the body.

    The voicing of the pickups was changed slightly from the Wolfgang design to accomodate the coil taps. The were brightened up in the mids and highs.

  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    The locking mechanism is deisgned to give the option of locking the trem in place (or stopping it in actuality) so you can only bend down on the bar. It's a great idea, but I've wondered if it does indeed keep the bridge completely stable when using something like a D-Tuna and also if there's some sustain loss since it is not sitting flush against the body.

    The voicing of the pickups was changed slightly from the Wolfgang design to accomodate the coil taps. The were brightened up in the mids and highs.
    Nice! I was wondering about the pick-ups. I have a wolfie, but I HATE the neck pick-up. It sounds like mud and I like gravel much better. I LOVE mid-range eq, and can't stand the V eq positioning that many rock guitarists typically employ.

    I've been thinking about replacing the neck pick-up on it because I really love the overall feel of the instrument, however I find myself looking more to single coil neck pick-ups. I'm still worried about having a coil tap mod done on my Wolfie--I just fear that it will kill the overall sound of the instrument. There was a guy on here a while back that knew of someone who did coil-tap mods and swears by it, but I've been too chicken to pull the trigger.

    I saw your myspace page, have you had any mods done to the Wolfies that you play? Seems like you like a much warmer, more late-Eddie tone. Nice tunes on your site Andrew!

  6. #6
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    basswood, pickup taps, floating bridge.... starting to sound familuar
    I SURVIVED TEXAS LINKERS WEEKEND I, II, III, IV and VI and VII.barely made it to VIII time to slow down
    I musta had a broken middle finger for V
    http://www.youtube.com/user/daneph

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reckless Fable View Post
    Nice! I was wondering about the pick-ups. I have a wolfie, but I HATE the neck pick-up. It sounds like mud and I like gravel much better. I LOVE mid-range eq, and can't stand the V eq positioning that many rock guitarists typically employ.

    I've been thinking about replacing the neck pick-up on it because I really love the overall feel of the instrument, however I find myself looking more to single coil neck pick-ups. I'm still worried about having a coil tap mod done on my Wolfie--I just fear that it will kill the overall sound of the instrument. There was a guy on here a while back that knew of someone who did coil-tap mods and swears by it, but I've been too chicken to pull the trigger.

    I saw your myspace page, have you had any mods done to the Wolfies that you play? Seems like you like a much warmer, more late-Eddie tone. Nice tunes on your site Andrew!
    Hey, man, thanks for the compliments. I've "warmed up" my tone even more on some more recent recordings. I'm kind of itching to get something new released for that reason among others.

    Likewise, I don't fear the mids!

    Funny, I really love the sound of the neck pickup on the Wolfgang. I don't, however, use it very often with overdrive; the middle and neck positions are 80% of the time used clean.

    I've done lots of mods to my Wolfgangs. On a few of them I've done a coil tap accessible via a push/pull pot on either the tone or volume knob. Some have said the Wolf pickups don't sound good coil tapped. I think they're fine (not super-great by any means, though), and I like the tone options they offer. I bought a stop tail Wolfgang with DiMarzio Super Distorition pickups in it and had planned to put the originals back in until I heard the DiMarzios clean. So I did a coil tap on them, and now that guitar offers something completely different from all the others. (Ironic that I don't really care for the Super Distortion pickups with, uh, distortion.) I also did Seymour Duncan Phat Cats in a Wolf and they are AWESOME! If you truly are considering changing out the neck pickup for something single coil, consider the Phat Cat.

  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Hey, man, thanks for the compliments. I've "warmed up" my tone even more on some more recent recordings. I'm kind of itching to get something new released for that reason among others.

    Likewise, I don't fear the mids!

    Funny, I really love the sound of the neck pickup on the Wolfgang. I don't, however, use it very often with overdrive; the middle and neck positions are 80% of the time used clean.

    I've done lots of mods to my Wolfgangs. On a few of them I've done a coil tap accessible via a push/pull pot on either the tone or volume knob. Some have said the Wolf pickups don't sound good coil tapped. I think they're fine (not super-great by any means, though), and I like the tone options they offer. I bought a stop tail Wolfgang with DiMarzio Super Distorition pickups in it and had planned to put the originals back in until I heard the DiMarzios clean. So I did a coil tap on them, and now that guitar offers something completely different from all the others. (Ironic that I don't really care for the Super Distortion pickups with, uh, distortion.) I also did Seymour Duncan Phat Cats in a Wolf and they are AWESOME! If you truly are considering changing out the neck pickup for something single coil, consider the Phat Cat.
    Great post. I'm not worried so much about coil tapping the bridge pick-up, since I LOVE the sound of the humbucker in the bridge. It is the muddiness of the middle and neck positions that bugs me. I'm <i>ok</i> with the middle, but it could improve and be a bit more gravely for me.

    Bottom line is that I need to replace the neck pick-up regardless of what I do. I'm a fan of Seymour Duncan, so I'll investigate your suggestion further.

    Do you know of any mainstream players that use neck Phat Cats?

    Also, did you do your own mods, or did you have someone else do them for you?

    Cheers!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    ...I've done lots of mods to my Wolfgangs. On A FEW OF THEM...

    ...sorry, completely off topic, but this just cracked me up.

    "On a few of them"...classic.

    Hell, Andrew owns more freakin' Wolfgangs than I own socks, for Christ's sake...

  10. #10
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubs View Post
    ...sorry, completely off topic, but this just cracked me up.

    "On a few of them"...classic.

    Hell, Andrew owns more freakin' Wolfgangs than I own socks, for Christ's sake...
    Yeah, maybe he's a drug dealer or somethin'?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubs View Post
    ...sorry, completely off topic, but this just cracked me up.

    "On a few of them"...classic.

    Hell, Andrew owns more freakin' Wolfgangs than I own socks, for Christ's sake...
    Quote Originally Posted by Reckless Fable View Post
    Yeah, maybe he's a drug dealer or somethin'?
    I'm not a drug dealer, guys!

    The Wolfgang is a special guitar for me. It changed my playing and approach to the instrument. I was never one to believe that the guitar itself could act as a catalyst, but this one did.

    The story: I played a 40th Anniversary USA Strat from February 1995 to June 1998. It was one of those "staple" guitars--well made and of course had the reputation. What I didn't realize the whole time I owned and played it was that I actually didn't like the thing. I wasn't making note of important details while playing. For example, I like to rest my hand on or near the bridge, but when I'd do that on the Strat my fingers would also be resting on the volume knob. So--not consciously--I shifted my hand up slightly, but then I was unable to mute the way I like to, and the tone got thinner. I started playing harder (again not consciously) to get more depth to the tone, but I also couldn't mute and keep things clean as I liked, so my playing got sloppier AND I was breaking strings all the time. It reached a point that in 1997, a time when I was supposed to be writing and recording a second solo album, that I was so frustrated with the guitar I'd go for weeks without playing. (There were, of course, other outside factors contributing to my overall music frustrations.) In the spring of 1998 I split with a longtime girlfriend, and the next day I made myself go to my favorite music store so as to do something that actually made me feel good about myself. I hadn't been there for over six months or something, but still got a big name-calling greeting when I walked in the door. (I needed that bad that day.) The store had become a Peavey dealer a short time earlier, and the manager looked at me and said: "You like Van Halen. Try one of these out!" He'd handed me an ivory Wolfgang Special, and when I tell this story of sitting and playing it unplugged for the first time in person I'll make a little "angel's singing" sound right about here. I didn't realize all the things I didn't like about my other guitar(s) until I played one that seemed to be a perfect fit. Anyway, I hadn't planned to buy a guitar that day, but...

    When studio clients of mine or other folks try out one of my Wolfgangs for the first time, I often get to see the same reaction from them that I probably had that day I played one for the first time.

    Fast forward to 2004. I got wind of the EVH-Peavey split in about June, and I immediately turned to eBay to find what was supposed to be my second and last Peavey Wolfgang--a Standard flame top. Instead I bought a green Special flame top, then a few weeks later a gloss black Standard, then a few weeks later (after jumping through a lot of hoops) a new dark cherryburst Standard flame top, and then it just kept happening in 2005 and 2006. With all other guitars I only have the desire to own one. With the Wolfgang, where I am able to appreciate all the little differences in parts and construction, I love having a variety to choose from. And, provided I keep them in good condition (and I do, though they are meant to be functional hence I do play all of them), they are an investment. At some point in the future of my life the lack of rhyme or reason for owning so many will come to the fore and I'll thin out the herd; I strongly suspect I will do so reluctantly, however.

    The (legitimate) income boost I enjoyed a few years back has now returned to "normal," so sadly my excessive Wolfgang buying days are over.

    Anyway, it's fun!

    PS - I've been profiling all of my guitars on my website: www.andrewthomas.net Click the 'News Archive' section to find them.
    Last edited by AT; 02.21.07 at 12:00 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reckless Fable View Post
    Great post. I'm not worried so much about coil tapping the bridge pick-up, since I LOVE the sound of the humbucker in the bridge. It is the muddiness of the middle and neck positions that bugs me. I'm <i>ok</i> with the middle, but it could improve and be a bit more gravely for me.

    Bottom line is that I need to replace the neck pick-up regardless of what I do. I'm a fan of Seymour Duncan, so I'll investigate your suggestion further.

    Do you know of any mainstream players that use neck Phat Cats?

    Also, did you do your own mods, or did you have someone else do them for you?

    Cheers!
    No, I don't know of any mainstream players who use Phat Cats off the top of my head, but I admittedly don't pay very much attention to that kind of thing. They're basically a really well-made version of the P-90, if that helps.

    I've always worked with the techs at the music store I teach at to do the mods on my guitars. They know soldering and wiring schematics much better than I and are able to do everything very "pro." I come up with the confirguration and parts, and together we do the actual work.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    Likewise, I don't fear the mids!
    Exactly! I think a lot of people have gotten so used to scooping mids for modern rock and metal, that they forget that you need them in your lead tone. I'm ashamed to admit that - after playing for 23 years - I finally learned that. Mids make all the difference in getting a nice, fat, fluid, overdriven lead sound. Jack 'em up, I say!
    http://www.myspace.com/pennydreadfulnj

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  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis5150 View Post
    Exactly! I think a lot of people have gotten so used to scooping mids for modern rock and metal, that they forget that you need them in your lead tone. I'm ashamed to admit that - after playing for 23 years - I finally learned that. Mids make all the difference in getting a nice, fat, fluid, overdriven lead sound. Jack 'em up, I say!
    Actually, I think the way that I learned the key to great, warm yet full sounds came from working in an R&B studio about 10 years ago. These guys would get absolutely amazing tones from their instruments and their recordings that sounded really warm, yet still full. The more powerful notes actually punched you in the chest. It didnt' make sense to me as a V-minded rock-guy, so I looked at all the settings, and the mid-range was open on almost everything.

    I almost threw my guitar out the window when I played with the V-eq. The tone was thin and I always wrestled with it. I'd listen to someone play the piano and it would ruin me listening to guitar tone.

    Who'da thunk that R&B would show me the light?

 

 

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