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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    11.30.17 @ 11:14 AM
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    Default New guitar & review - HP Special

    I got this off ebay a couple of weeks back but have been forgetting to take some good pictures and post a review. I don't like taking pictures with the flash on, but it's too rainy today to get any good natural light.

    2007 Peavey HP Special (flat top); color is transparent margarita.

    I started playing in a worship band at my church's contemporary service last year. At first, I used my Wolfgang Standrd but soon switched to my '04 American Standard Strat (the blue one below). It's been my main guitar since, which is amazing for me to say because when I was younger I hated Strats and wouldn't playing anything that didn't have humbuckers. Times change, tastes changes, and versatility is the main thing for me these days...hence the Strat. One of my favorite tones has been the #2 position on the pickup selector with a little overdrive.

    Anyway, as much as I love the tonal versatility of the Strat, here lately I've been wanting something that plays smoother. I've owned the amber Wolfgang Std. for about 10 years now and since then I've had a hard time adjusting to a satin finish on neck. I had decided at first to look for an Axis Super Sport, even though I didn't like the 10" radius as much as the 15" radius on the WG ( I had an emerald green Axis but sold it two years ago).

    I don't know why I didn't think to look for a reasonably priced HP at first, since the coil-taps would've satisfied my need for more tonal versatility. I ran across it late one night on ebay and grabbed it for the BIN price.





    The neck has quite a bit more birdseye than the one on my Wolfgang Standard.


    One small difference that makes an impact is the trem arms: the one that came with my HP has about twice as many threads (I'm assuming that both arms are the original ones).


    Finally, here's a couple of the auction pictures.


    I could tell from the auction pictures that the bridge humbucker wasn't original. When the guitar arrived I took it apart and discovered that both pickups are DiMarzios: an Air Norton in the neck and an Evo 2 (Evolution) in the bridge. Although I decided a while back to experiment with lower output bridge pickups for my next guitar, I have to say that even though the Evo 2 is a loud pickup it sure sounds nice with the coils tapped. With the pickup selector in the middle position and both pickups split, I can get clean crisp tones that I only dreamed about with my Wolfgang.
    I may try a more medium output bridge pickup in the future, but I think I'll keep the Evo 2 for now. One thing that may be contributing to the output is the string spacing; there's only 1/16" from the top of the pickup to the bottom of the low E. The only way I can see to lower it would be to remove some wood from the cavity. For comparison, my Wolfgang with a similar setup has a full 1/8" from the top of the pickup to the low E.

    I only have one Wolfgang now (the Standard), but at one point I also had a Wolfgang flametop special, a regular Wolfgang special, and an EBMM Axis. I thought the Wolfgang was a better playing guitar in comparison to the Axis that I previously owned. This new HP plays better than my Wolfgang, no question. While I realize the cool factor that the Wolfgang has due to the EVH association, I think the HP is an honest improvement over the Wolfgang (and this is coming from a die-hard Wolfgang fan).

  2. #2
    Eruption nicholas_kudochop's Avatar
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    Great review and and very cool guitar! I like the Wolfgangs, but I really think you can get a better guitar (and for less $) when going with the HP.

  3. #3
    Eruption Naked Wake's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 12:57 PM
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    that is a gorgeous guitar

  4. #4
    Top Of The World 5150 Frankenstrat's Avatar
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    Holy cow! Such a beautiful guitar!!! *drooling uncontrollably*

  5. #5
    Hot For Teacher danielleesale's Avatar
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    Beautiful

  6. #6
    Top Of The World
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    01.31.15 @ 11:44 AM
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    Great review!

    Somehow, this guitar has flown under my radar. If I remember correctly, Peavey had to use their own pick ups and change the body to escape infringing on Ed's patent.

    I would imagine Peavey voiced the new pickups closely to the Wolfgang's, but does anyone know the particulars?

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium Mikey Metalhead's Avatar
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    06.12.15 @ 12:43 PM
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    Default

    I use EVO's, I love the roll off of the volume and distortion.

    nice guitar btw
    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
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  8. #8
    Hot For Teacher dtuner317's Avatar
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    10.29.13 @ 08:27 PM
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    Sharp guitar. It is funny though, Peavey has NO problem finding nice Maple caps or REALLY nice birdseye. Just another case of Edward Van Halen and fender cutting corners. THe HP's are really nice guitars.

  9. #9
    Hot For Teacher
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    Quote Originally Posted by lieu910 View Post
    Great review!

    Somehow, this guitar has flown under my radar. If I remember correctly, Peavey had to use their own pick ups and change the body to escape infringing on Ed's patent.

    I would imagine Peavey voiced the new pickups closely to the Wolfgang's, but does anyone know the particulars?
    Regarding the pickups, here's an excerpt from Geoff Knapp's website. He interviewed one of Peavey's product managers right before the HP Special came out:

    GK: What about the pick-ups? I heard the HP Special pick-ups were a little different. How much is someone like me who doesnít have the ultimate ear likely to notice the difference and how about someone who does have a great ear?

    TP: They will be a little brighter. The Wolfgang pick-ups were a little darker and when you split them they sounded crappy like humbuckers often do when you split them. You get that out of phase sound rather than a nice bell like, single coil sound like you want. That is because they were never designed for that and so it just didnít sound right. When you split the pick-ups on the HP Special with the coil tap you will get a great single coil sound. So you wonít need to have a strat for that other guitar to go with your Wolfgang. The HP Special can fill that role. It is a very versatile guitar.

  10. #10
    Top Of The World
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcody5150 View Post
    Regarding the pickups, here's an excerpt from Geoff Knapp's website. He interviewed one of Peavey's product managers right before the HP Special came out:

    GK: What about the pick-ups? I heard the HP Special pick-ups were a little different. How much is someone like me who doesnít have the ultimate ear likely to notice the difference and how about someone who does have a great ear?

    TP: They will be a little brighter. The Wolfgang pick-ups were a little darker and when you split them they sounded crappy like humbuckers often do when you split them. You get that out of phase sound rather than a nice bell like, single coil sound like you want. That is because they were never designed for that and so it just didnít sound right. When you split the pick-ups on the HP Special with the coil tap you will get a great single coil sound. So you wonít need to have a strat for that other guitar to go with your Wolfgang. The HP Special can fill that role. It is a very versatile guitar.
    Good read. Thanks.

    I think I may go with an HP as opposed to a new Wolfgang.

  11. #11
    Eruption
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    Great review, and that top is absolutely STUNNING! WOW!
    Last edited by jimi11580; 03.01.09 at 03:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Little Dreamer
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    03.04.09 @ 09:19 PM
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    Awesome guitar, I think i saw that guitar for sale on eBay! I am building one just like it and got my hands on an original set of HP pups. I am using basswood for the body,, with an exhibition grade top I re-sawed off a nice billet I picked up from Grizzly.com for about $425 bucks, and is the best quality I have ever seen before. I am curious to see how closely mine sounds to the real thing. I love the HP's design, and think they sound pretty close to the Wolfgangs, but most of the woods used for the HP's is top notch in comparison to other guitars. Nice score on your new guitar!!!!!!

  13. #13
    Romeo Delight
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    08.06.14 @ 09:56 AM
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    as much as i love the Wolfs and HP and AXIS style guitars I would love to see a cross between lets say a Suhr and a EBMM Axis.

    I would want the more classic strat shaped suhr body with the basswood body and maple top. Suhr uses thicker tops on his.
    Pair it with a EBMM Wolf style neck with bare wood and that killer spoke wheel truss rod. Single truss rod though cause i agree with John Suhr that they sound best and that is what EBMM use as well.
    Also incorporate the EBMM style heel contour with a classic strat headstock.
    Oh and have the neck NOT have the hang on the 22 fret but EBMM style and be all one piece.

    did i miss anything.......oh Floyd or Gotoh flush to the body but slightly recessed for a better feel like the new EVH Fender.
    Oh and NO angle on the neck. I dont dig that at all. Makes the guitar slightly stiffer.

    And maybe make the floyd sit flush by blocking it in the trem pocket instead of the back of the guitar cause it makes setups easier and will eliminate the use of shims which i hate.

    can you imagine that??

 

 

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