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  1. #1
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Default MIM Wolfgang Special Review

    NGD (or week, rather?) I received my new MIM EVH Wolfgang Special on Wednesday and have been playing it like crazy since the minute I opened the box. Here's my review, a quick clip, and a few pics. I tried to be thorough, but feel free to ask any questions I may have missed.

    Fit and Finish

    • Superb. The cavities are painted, unlike the previous Specials and the USA models. But the finish on this guitar is stunning, the top is beautiful, and the D-Tuna recess makes the device much more usable.
    • This is the Three Tone Cherry Burst model. The top and stain on this is ridiculous in person. The pictures on the EVH Gear and Guitar Center websites suck, they make the three tones of the burst seem to be very separate when in reality they’re blended quite nicely.


    Playability

    • Out of the box the guitar comes with 9’s and medium-height action. This got me through two dress rehearsals and one performance no problem. But I switched it to 10’s and made a few tweaks to increase playability...
    • How the neck is seated is an adjustment I’ve made on each EVH Wolfgang I’ve had my hands on. They all require two things:


    1. The slightest shim possible. I take a business card, cut about 1/4” off the end, round the edges and make a spot for the lower neck screw. This lets it sight nicely in the bottom of the neck pocket and angles the neck ever so slightly to allow for better action. (I don’t recommend doing this with anything thicker than a business card. If a more radical adjustment is needed make a full neck pocket shim).
    2. Pulling the neck towards the bass side. Simply hold the guitar in a manner that allows you to put pressure on the treble side of the neck while you’re bolting it back on. This helps move the high E string a bit away from the end of the fretboard, causing less slippage.

    Now this thing plays like butter. Nice low action with minimal/acceptable buzz.

    Tone

    Acoustically it sounds incredibly well balanced. Plugged in I believe it’s missing a tiny bit of the typical EVH magic. I’m very familiar with the EVH Wolfgang pickups, as I’ve got them in my 2 main partscasters and I had them in the MIJ Special I owned for a while. While I think these pickups are probably 90% of the way there, they may be a tad bit different. I haven’t taken them off the guitar yet to measure and confirm that, but it’s my gut feeling from my ears. They may be overseas pickups made to the same/similar spec as the US made pickups, like the “BJK” ones mentioned in another thread. Either way, they still sound great and are nothing to be disappointed about.

    The Little Things

    • The pickup switch was wired reverse for a Wolfgang, like a standard Les Paul would be (bridge down, neck up). I had to open up the switch cavity open and reverse it.
    • The new switch tip is a sort of trapezoidal shape. It seems to be some sort of metal and feels like a nice durable piece of hardware. I switch pickups a lot when playing, and while this switch tip looks super cool the sharp edges were a bit abrasive on my right hand. I might just be a sissy, and it may round out over time, but I swapped it with a standard switch tip.
    • Interestingly, the nut is shimmed from the factory, and the shim is a bit taller than the nut is, so you see some of it when looking directly at the headstock. I’ve never seen that on a Wolfgang before.
    • My neck heel has “US” written in pencil on it…hmm?


    Overall/Conclusion

    On paper I felt this guitar would be missing a few things compared to the MIJ/MIC models, most notably the Stainless Steel Frets, the birdseye maple, and the case. After tweaking the setup and putting it through its paces at several rehearsals and performances I can easily say that I’ve ended up with the superior guitar. The neck is silky smooth, the larger frets are more comfortable to play on, and the arched top (including D-Tuna recess) just makes the guitar feel classier to me. Since it's more like my Peavey it's a bit more “homey” to me.

    Pics and Vid

    I wanted to record a proper review, but the holiday craziness is going to delay that a bit. Here are some pics and a super quick clip of the Beat It solo. Rhythm is channel 2 on the 5150III looped via my Line 6 M9. Lead is channel 3 w/ a bit of delay, also courtesy of the M9.



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    Last edited by Jedi McFly; 12.20.14 at 08:15 PM.

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  3. #2
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    WOW !!!
    Thanks so much for the detailed review and run down of your new axe . Very cool info and insight . Glad you're happy with the recent purchase . She looks cool too ...
    Question -- how are the frets ? I'm curious if they really are 'jumbo' , as listed in the ads ?

    Regarding the video clip ? Simply fantastic playing , brother ! You certainly have the X factor and touch to your playing . You make it look easy ... Bravo
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  4. #3
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Great review and sick job on Beat It. God damn was that smooth.
    .
    .
    .
    VH with Dave ('78-'84) - The best years....the "real" VH.
    VH with Sam ('86-'96) - Incredible era....."We have renamed this town 'New Halen!'.
    VH with Gary ('98) - Fucking disaster. WTF was that??
    VH with Wolf/Dave ('12-'15) - Amazing comeback. Smokin' album and tours.

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  6. #4
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    vhMcG, my Dad has my calipers, so I can't measure the frets, but I'd say they feel great. They don't have that crazy railroad track feel, they're just right. Here's a pic to try and help give you an idea. Click image for larger version. 

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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Edit
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

  9. #6
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    So, all the specials have jumbo frets?
    I thought they have the vintage as frets?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi McFly View Post
    Thanks guys!

    vhMcG, my Dad has my calipers, so I can't measure the frets, but I'd say they feel great. They don't have that crazy railroad track feel, they're just right. Here's a pic to try and help give you an idea. Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for taking the time to post that pic , Jedi !!!
    Yet another great example of how musicians on the VH Links tend to look out for , and help each other ...
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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  12. #8
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evhintexas View Post
    So, all the specials have jumbo frets?
    I thought they have the vintage as frets?
    Apparently , the EVH striped series all have jumbo frets - like Eddie used back in the day . The newer Wolf Specials are supposed to utilize them as well , as opposed to the prior ones which had more 'vintage' (small) fret wire on them . At least that's how I understand it ... I personally prefer bigger frets , so I'm very curious to check out some of the new guitars .
    Too bad they aren't stainless steel though , haha .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  13. #9
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Idk
    I've grown very fond of the vintage frets on the two USA wolfs I have.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Oh yeah , I've owned more than a few Wolfgang Special guitars (US and EXP) and got used to the small fret wire too . I just prefer large/jumbo instead . I've thought about having a couple of guitars refretted just for that purpose !

    I see why EVH went for the big ones for the striped series , yet wonder why his new Wolf guitars are sporting them too ? Hmmm ...
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm kinda tripping on that as well. Its starting to look like the vintage ss are only available on the USA Wolfs now.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    Didn't the original EVH Wolfgang specials have the vintage ss frets ?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by vhMcG View Post
    Oh yeah , I've owned more than a few Wolfgang Special guitars (US and EXP) and got used to the small fret wire too . I just prefer large/jumbo instead . I've thought about having a couple of guitars refretted just for that purpose !

    I see why EVH went for the big ones for the striped series , yet wonder why his new Wolf guitars are sporting them too ? Hmmm ...

    i doubt he even knows which have which on these cheap models. its all about the $$$. you'll never see him playing any of these cheap ones.

  18. #14
    Whoa, this is heavy! Jedi McFly's Avatar
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    I think it boils down to this: vintage sized frets = stainless, jumbo frets = nickel. The USA and Customs have stainless, the others all have nickel.

    And while I won't hold my breath for Eddie to play one of these new MIM specials I will say that I think it is a better guitar than both the MIJ EVH and MIA Peavey Specials I owned.

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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    I searched some other websites
    The first year specials have the ss frets.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

 

 

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