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  1. #1
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:22 PM
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    Default New Wolf Special Impressions

    In my travels yesterday, I was finally able to get my hands on the new MIM Wolf Special. It was a gloss black, and looked very nice.

    Up until now, I've been wondering if I would trade my 1st Gen EVH Wolf Special for a new one. After having an opportunity to actually play one, I now have my answer.

    Quality wise, the guitar is on point. No flaws that I could detect. The finish is very glossy. Binding is narrower than what you would see on an old Peavey Standard.

    Playability wise, it is very nice. The Jumbo frets gives you a more familiar feeling to the older Wolf models. To me, the neck carve felt slightly different. It felt like more a c shape than the 1st Gen Special. No issues with playability whatsoever.

    The carve on the top seems flatter than the carve on the USA or the Peavey Wolf. It seems flatter under the strings and not as high of a carve toward the neck, especially toward the lower horn. Not a huge deal, it still looks classy.

    In general, I was really pleased with the resonance and tone. Sustain was there as it should be. If I were in the market for a Wolfgang and didn't have one, it would probably be the one that I would choose. That being said, I wouldn't trade my 1st Gen Special for one.

    Here are the major reasons why I wouldn't.

    1) The pickups are not the USA Wolfgang pickups. It may not be perceptible, but it would bug me to the point where I would probably replace them.
    2) Not a fan of the black hardware. On a Stealth with a dark fretboard it looks right to me, but not on a maple fretboard.
    3) No case. This is probably the biggest deal killer for me. I don't care if you charge me the extra $150.00 for the case on the price.

    Other reasons are that there were design features on the 1st Gen that were shared with the USA version, like thin skin paint, stainless frets, and unpainted cavities that I would be losing. It's not that I'm opposed to regular frets or paint, my other guitars are fine without these features. It's just the idea that I would be trading a guitar with more features for one with less, only to gain a carved top and Jumbo frets.

    Like I said, I'd be into it if I didn't already have a kick-ass Special.

    I would say that the real choice would be between a Peavey Wolf Standard and the new Wolf Special. If you were able to get a Peavey Standard for the same price as the new Wolf Special, I would say you would go with the Peavey all day long. USA made, Real slab of Maple for the cap, and a tilt back headstock. It's getting harder to find those though, and this is a really good alternative for one for less money.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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  3. #2
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 09:38 PM
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    Thanks for the evaluation!

    Nice write up on the pros and cons.
    "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.
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    11.10.17 @ 05:45 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    In my travels yesterday, I was finally able to get my hands on the new MIM Wolf Special. It was a gloss black, and looked very nice.


    1) The pickups are not the USA Wolfgang pickups. It may not be perceptible, but it would bug me to the point where I would probably replace them.
    It's interesting you mention this. I recently got one of the limited striped Wolf specials. I knew it would not be the quality of my US Stealth, but I did expect a similar tone at least. The tone of the special is SIGNIFICANTLY darker and bassier, and less bright than my US Stealth. If they used different pickups this now makes complete sense. I really don't have any major complaints about the guitar, I just expected it to sound much closer to my US Wolf and it's drastically different. I'm seriously considering changing out the pickups now--assuming the Wolf pickups you can buy are what would ship in an US Wolf.
    Last edited by Stealth5150; 06.02.15 at 07:35 AM.

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    Unchained AsIs's Avatar
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    11.16.17 @ 07:07 PM
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    Default

    Great write-up!

    Regarding the pickups, I'm pretty sure the pre-Mexico imports did not have the US pickups in them either. Not saying the MIM ones are the same as the pre-MIM, but that perhaps they are from yet another source. Does Fender Mexico make pickups in house?

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    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 08:22 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsIs View Post
    Great write-up!

    Regarding the pickups, I'm pretty sure the pre-Mexico imports did not have the US pickups in them either. Not saying the MIM ones are the same as the pre-MIM, but that perhaps they are from yet another source. Does Fender Mexico make pickups in house?
    Here is the information that I've come across in my research.

    The 1st Gen. Wolf Specials shared the same pickups as the USA version. The MIM Specials are using an Asian produced version of the Wolf pickup. As I understand it, the giveaway is a sticker on the baseplate of the MIM Wolfs that indicate an overseas produced pickup. Also, one thing I noticed right away is that the bobbins on the new MIM Specials seemed to be glossier than the ones on my 1st Gen Wolf Special.

    I know that my Special sounds different than the new MIM Special, which to me would make sense that the ones I have in mine are the USA version.

    I'm willing to admit that I may be dead wrong about this, but it's clear to me that even if the 1st Gen pickups were not the USA produced versions, they are different than what is being put in the MIM Special.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    On Fire Stealth5150's Avatar
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    11.10.17 @ 05:45 AM
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    Thanks for the info! Do you have any idea if the Wolf pickups you can purchase are the ones that ship in a US Wolf?

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    Right... forgot that the MIMs have the overseas stickers. Mine included. But if I recall from watching EBay sales, the stickers were showing up on parted out Specials well before the MIM Wolfs existed. So perhaps the MIM guitars have the same pickups as the made in China ones. And then maybe MIJ ones had the US pickups?

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    Default New Wolf Special Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Stealth5150 View Post
    Thanks for the info! Do you have any idea if the Wolf pickups you can purchase are the ones that ship in a US Wolf?
    Good question. I seem to recall that when this was discussed before, someone quoted the box as saying Made In US.

    Also if I recall, in that conversation some dismissed the whole issue as made overseas "to US specs" would have no difference. -- Interesting to hear otherwise now after a real-world compare!

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    11.10.17 @ 05:45 AM
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    I've emailed EVH gear for clarification. I'm perfectly willing to swap out the pickups on my striped special if it will make a difference. It's sounds drastically darker than my US Stealth pickups.

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    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AsIs View Post
    Right... forgot that the MIMs have the overseas stickers. Mine included. But if I recall from watching EBay sales, the stickers were showing up on parted out Specials well before the MIM Wolfs existed. So perhaps the MIM guitars have the same pickups as the made in China ones. And then maybe MIJ ones had the US pickups?
    Not sure on that. I have a MIC Special, and it appears to have the US pickups in it. I don't know for sure, and I'm not in the mood to pull my pickups off just to find out. I can tell you that the ones in my guitar do look and sound different than the MIM Specials. I suppose it's possible that they made the change on the MIC Specials at some point before the end of production, and that I may have one from before they made the change.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    08.27.17 @ 03:51 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    Here are the major reasons why I wouldn't.

    1) The pickups are not the USA Wolfgang pickups. It may not be perceptible, but it would bug me to the point where I would probably replace them.
    2) Not a fan of the black hardware. On a Stealth with a dark fretboard it looks right to me, but not on a maple fretboard.
    3) No case. This is probably the biggest deal killer for me. I don't care if you charge me the extra $150.00 for the case on the price.

    Other reasons are that there were design features on the 1st Gen that were shared with the USA version, like thin skin paint, stainless frets, and unpainted cavities that I would be losing. It's not that I'm opposed to regular frets or paint, my other guitars are fine without these features. It's just the idea that I would be trading a guitar with more features for one with less, only to gain a carved top and Jumbo frets.
    I agree 100%. When I decided I'd finally get a WG a few months ago I ran like my ass was on fire to find a pre-MIM version for the same reasons. The MIM I tried last month was nice for sure but I prefer the features that you mentioned.
    As far as pups go, I demoed the MIM through a different amp than I have at home so a comparison to my stealths wouldn't be accurate.

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    Unchained AsIs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobozos View Post
    I suppose it's possible that they made the change on the MIC Specials at some point before the end of production, and that I may have one from before they made the change.
    Very possible!

    All very interesting. I'm a longtime Kramerr fan/collector. With Kramer, mysteries like this pop up all the time. It's fun getting to the bottom of it all sometimes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsIs View Post
    Very possible!

    All very interesting. I'm a longtime Kramerr fan/collector. With Kramer, mysteries like this pop up all the time. It's fun getting to the bottom of it all sometimes!
    Yeah Fender seems to do this a lot with import models.

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    I'll also add, that the pickup in my black & yellow striped series sounds borderline indistinguishable from the bridge pickup in my US Stealth.

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    One other thing that I can't confirm now because they have taken the Spec. sheet off the EVH website for the 1st Gen Specials, but if I recall correctly, the 1st Gen Specials pickups were described as "EVH Wolfgang Custom Wound" or some such language. The description for the new Specials is simply "EVH Wolfgang Humbucking". I can't remember exactly what the difference in the language was, but I believe there was a difference in the description. Maybe someone has a cached copy of the old description.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

 

 

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