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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Default The latest shipment of Wolfgang Specials

    Hey guys.
    Thought you'd find this interesting as the Special has been a bone of contention since it's release with some.
    Last Friday, I was at L&M and spied a selection of newly arrived Wolfgang Specials, (Sorry, no Stealths) so went over to check them out given there was discussion that the latest ones were to have had some improvements.
    Wow! Have they ever! Fender was listening.
    Firstly, and most important, the high E string problem is gone. No more falling off the fretboard. On all 5 in the store, not just the first one I picked up. Secondly, it would seem that the bodywood selection is better. The sound of the guitar is crisper, and much more similar to the Standard.
    The issue with fret ends also appears to have been addressed. No more sharp ends present when running your hand up and down the neck.

    So yes, Fender seemed to have stepped up the QC.
    Unfortunately.....This is the last of the Japanese EVH's, and just when they got it right finally.
    Now the good news (depending on how you look at it)
    The Special according to the rep who was in the store, are going to be coming from Mexico now. He assured me that the MIM Special will have all the incured improvements the Japanese model now has, and here's where it get's better for the consumer...he stated that from what he has heard, the Special will be more affordable dropping possibly over 400 dollars as opposed to being made in Japan.
    This is potentially good news.
    If the MIM's are anywhere near as good as the latest Specials, and they are significantly cheaper, then I will gladly add one to my collection.
    Just thought I'd pass it along. I've been pretty critical of them, but nice to see Fender were taking the public opinion into consideration.

  2. #2
    Hot For Teacher psrajam91's Avatar
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    fuck yes!
    If these Guitars go sub $1000, I'm buying another one no questions asked. I love my black one, but the fact that they actively made these things better is nothing but good news.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Don't get your hopes up too much that the prices will drop significantly. The move to Mexico is to increase profit margin... I highly doubt it will translate into savings for the consumer... I could be wrong but I don't think I am...

    BTW, it's nice to see they are finally getting their act together on the Specials...
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Yeah. I mean it's not that the guitars were altered from actual spec, but the fit and finish is far better from ones I've tried from time to time over the past year. As far as the body wood goes...Not sure if it's a better selection, or just better drying, but if you remember a previous critique I had was that the Special felt kind of dead acoustically, but these feel much more resonant. The tone is just more lively and bell like, and you can feel a nice vibration through the guitar itself.
    I simply didn't get that on the earlier runs.
    The neck still feels slightly different than the USA in the hand, but I swear it feels like there's more meat on the edge of the fretboard where the earlier ones fell away, and I think this is where the high E problem was coming from.
    Anyway....Check em' out over the next couple months. I'm not shilling them here, but I was impressed to say the least, or I wouldn't be posting this.
    As far as cost...It's simply cheaper to produce in Mexico, so there should be savings past on to the consumer...Hopefully it will be around the 400 mark in savings or greater. As it is, these current Japanese Wolfs in my mind should be around the 700 - 800 mark realistically given the quality, so if the MIM's are that price, I'd snag one.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fast98dodge View Post
    Don't get your hopes up too much that the prices will drop significantly. The move to Mexico is to increase profit margin... I highly doubt it will translate into savings for the consumer... I could be wrong but I don't think I am...

    BTW, it's nice to see they are finally getting their act together on the Specials...
    Well, there is that for sure, but Japan has taken a shitkicking too.
    I remember talking to Ikira Tanaguci a luthier from Japan, about the Wolf Special being made in Japan, and he said they will be expensive as hell for a more budget minded instrument just because since the 90's production cost is higher there, and he couldn't understand the logic other than they may be trying to rehash memories of just how good the MIJ Fenders were back in the day.
    I'm a skeptic too...don't get me wrong, but given the improvements, I'm hopeful their on the right track and listening to the consumer. Sales have not been what they expected, and cost according to the rep was a big factor in this.

  6. #6
    Romeo Delight Chrisvanguitar5150's Avatar
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    its the little things that make a big difference tho!
    "what's a great song? Lot's of people think songs without singing is not a song. Tell that to Beethoven and he'll kick your ass"

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  7. #7
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow, this is awesome. If the quality of the Specials have been kicked up a notch and then the chance they might lower the price just because it's made in Mexico, that is really cool.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    If they can get the Mexico versions to be 90 to 95% of the quality of the 5 Japanese ones we die young just sampled at a $999 price point, they'll fly off of shelves.

    If this scenario was available to me back in late September/early October last year, I wouldn't have even considered going the custom build route. I would've had a Stealth Special in a heartbeat...

    I would be willing to guarantee that if they do lower the price, they won't go much lower than a grand... I'm sure Fender's bean counters have crunched a lot of numbers and have to be making some great margin on them. They will obviously be making more than enough on them to halt production on one continent and ramp up production on another continent. That takes a decent chunk of money when every dollar spent is more critical than ever for Fender... Why??? Don't be fooled, guys. This isn't Fender or EVH trying to make the guitar more affordable for the masses or they are just nice people. This is about making margin and making their portfolio look good. Remember, Fender is going to be a publicly traded company on the stock market soon. These moves are designed to make them look better "on paper" to have a higher trading price when shares do become available. They have a decent chunk of debt and about $100 million of the money raised will pay PART of it down...
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  9. #9
    Eruption
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    12.13.17 @ 01:30 PM
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    Default

    Look at Fenders IPO (U.S. Securities and Exchange) FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT

    Risk Factors
    http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/ipos/f...HTM_TX293340_2
    (scroll to page 17-20)

    This could explain why there are so many different expirences with guitars made overseas:

    For example, as of December 31, 2011, more than 11,000 guitars manufactured by one of our OEMs had failed our quality control inspections because the OEM began using a lower-quality component without our permission, and several thousand additional guitars manufactured by that OEM may fail our inspections as well. Our quality control measures largely consist of inspecting samples of products shipped to us and visiting our OEMs. We do not, however, base any of our employees at these manufacturing sites. Our inspection methods may prove inadequate to detect defects in our products before they reach consumers. If OEMs do not maintain adequate quality control measures, or if the quality control inspection measures that we employ fail to detect quality control issues, our reputation and the value of our brands could be harmed, and we could incur increased returns and warranty expense, which would harm our business and operating results.

    It also states the following concerning the Mexican plant:

    We are currently expanding our Mexican plant capability to operate as a cost-effective alternative to some of our OEM capacity in Asia. Although we have switched some production to Mexico on a limited basis, switching production to Mexico on a larger scale in the event of disruptions in Asia would take from several months to a year and could result in significant lost sales. Any disruption to an OEM that is the sole manufacturer of a particular product would have a significant impact on our net sales of that product. To the extent disruptions at an OEM occur for an extended time period, we may be required to obtain new manufacturers. This process would increase the complexity of our supply chain management and be time consuming and expensive, and would likely result in delays in deliveries of our products to our customers. Furthermore, there is no assurance that we could find new manufacturers who are satisfactory to us on commercially acceptable terms or at all. We maintain only a limited amount of business interruption insurance that would not be sufficient to cover us in the event of significant disruption at our facilities or at any of our OEMs.

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Well, there is that for sure, but Japan has taken a shitkicking too.
    I remember talking to Ikira Tanaguci a luthier from Japan, about the Wolf Special being made in Japan, and he said they will be expensive as hell for a more budget minded instrument just because since the 90's production cost is higher there, and he couldn't understand the logic other than they may be trying to rehash memories of just how good the MIJ Fenders were back in the day.
    I'm a skeptic too...don't get me wrong, but given the improvements, I'm hopeful their on the right track and listening to the consumer. Sales have not been what they expected, and cost according to the rep was a big factor in this.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAD-1972 View Post
    Look at Fenders IPO (U.S. Securities and Exchange) FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT

    Risk Factors
    http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/ipos/f...HTM_TX293340_2
    (scroll to page 17-20)

    This could explain why there are so many different expirences with guitars made overseas:

    For example, as of December 31, 2011, more than 11,000 guitars manufactured by one of our OEMs had failed our quality control inspections because the OEM began using a lower-quality component without our permission, and several thousand additional guitars manufactured by that OEM may fail our inspections as well. Our quality control measures largely consist of inspecting samples of products shipped to us and visiting our OEMs. We do not, however, base any of our employees at these manufacturing sites. Our inspection methods may prove inadequate to detect defects in our products before they reach consumers. If OEMs do not maintain adequate quality control measures, or if the quality control inspection measures that we employ fail to detect quality control issues, our reputation and the value of our brands could be harmed, and we could incur increased returns and warranty expense, which would harm our business and operating results.

    It also states the following concerning the Mexican plant:

    We are currently expanding our Mexican plant capability to operate as a cost-effective alternative to some of our OEM capacity in Asia. Although we have switched some production to Mexico on a limited basis, switching production to Mexico on a larger scale in the event of disruptions in Asia would take from several months to a year and could result in significant lost sales. Any disruption to an OEM that is the sole manufacturer of a particular product would have a significant impact on our net sales of that product. To the extent disruptions at an OEM occur for an extended time period, we may be required to obtain new manufacturers. This process would increase the complexity of our supply chain management and be time consuming and expensive, and would likely result in delays in deliveries of our products to our customers. Furthermore, there is no assurance that we could find new manufacturers who are satisfactory to us on commercially acceptable terms or at all. We maintain only a limited amount of business interruption insurance that would not be sufficient to cover us in the event of significant disruption at our facilities or at any of our OEMs.
    Thanks for that info... I'll have to read the whole thing later on...
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  12. #12
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    Default

    I can't believe the Specials are over 1K...especially with all the flaws they have had. I don't think I will be buying any of the current EVH guitars. I like his sound better on the older guitars...the new sound is pretty buzzy.

    I'll stick with my EBMM Axis. It might not have Ed's name on it anymore, but it is a flawless guitar. My next guitar will probably be a Kramer 1984 reissue. Anyone selling one?
    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

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  13. #13
    Eruption LeftyVanHalen's Avatar
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    My Japan WG special is awesome. No quality issues at all.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by F'nRockstar View Post
    I can't believe the Specials are over 1K...especially with all the flaws they have had. I don't think I will be buying any of the current EVH guitars. I like his sound better on the older guitars...the new sound is pretty buzzy.

    I'll stick with my EBMM Axis. It might not have Ed's name on it anymore, but it is a flawless guitar. My next guitar will probably be a Kramer 1984 reissue. Anyone selling one?
    There are more mids accentuated by the new EVH pickups, but the buzzy sound is more to do with Ed's mic placement these days. He used to mic a couple inches from the edge where the sound is warmer. Now he mics very close to the center of the cone which is far more trebley and aggressive sounding. More what metal players go for than what we're used to with Eddie.
    I was real surprised when I saw the Cafe Wha? clips and got to see the mics on his cabs.
    Last edited by we die young; 04.12.12 at 07:41 AM.

  15. #15
    Eruption donkost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Hey guys.
    Thought you'd find this interesting as the Special has been a bone of contention since it's release with some.
    Last Friday, I was at L&M and spied a selection of newly arrived Wolfgang Specials, (Sorry, no Stealths) so went over to check them out given there was discussion that the latest ones were to have had some improvements.
    Wow! Have they ever! Fender was listening.
    (clipped because I will type too damn much below, ha)
    I just have to say that this incredible info from WDY and Lou/LAD was very timely as I was minutes away from pulling the trigger on a new Special yesterday from American Musical Supply. They have an 8 payment plan, and they couldn't match the ZZounds 10 payment plan but they knocked another $70 off the guitar and might go lower. I want to use the plan so I'm not out very much money in case I get a dud and need to return it within the AMS 45 day return period. They have a very generous return policy, most vendors allow 30 days. Even given the issues raised by a number of people there are probably more excellent examples of this guitar out there when compared to the ones with issues. People with problems tend to complain more on forums as opposed to people who are happy with their purchases. LeftyVH here is the exception to that, but he was trying to set the record straight in a few threads where the problems were being discussed.

    It seems that Fender/EVH had every intention on making the Special essentially the same guitar but put together overseas with a flat top and single layer binding. They just didn't foresee substandard parts being used and didn't have the ability to catch it when it was done. Heck, I read one thread somewhere where a guy said the Special he had used really crappy tremolo springs in addition to other problems. Who would ever think to check those out?! It would be great if they lower the price by hundreds of dollars after production has been moved to Mexico, but I think it would also piss off quite a number of people who have bought them at the current price. Fender certainly is capable of having very high quality guitars manufactured overseas. I have a MIC Squier Telecaster Classic Vibe 50's in Butterscotch Blond, just had to scratch that Tele itch, and man that guitar was incredible right out of the box! I couldn't even do a thing to improve the setup.

    WDY- I hate to ask, but is there any chance you could grab a few of those Wolfgang Special serial numbers if you get back to L&M again? I think I'm still going to pull the trigger on a Special from AMS. Maybe they can also tell me beforehand if their stock is pretty recent. I was even considering getting a USA on the payment plan just so I could compare the two of them at home and send one or the other back. Really though, if the Special is built to the proper spec it's all that I need. Actually I don't even need it as I have a fantastic '98 Peavey Wolfgang Special. This next purchase is just a GAS thing, you know how it goes...

 

 

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