Tag Archives: EVH

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Special

After some time, the EVH Gear team realised that what was needed was a cheaper, more traditional alternative to their line-up of guitars. Along came shortly after the introduction of the main EVH Wolfgang series the EVH Wolfgang Special.

The EVH Wolfgang Special is a more traditional approach to the EVH guitars made and designed by EVH/Fender.

Picture courtesy http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?278785-EVH-Wolfgang-Special-or-Washburn-N24

The non-American made EVH Wolfgang Specials bear little difference to the main line of EVH Wolfgang guitars, except that some models come with a flame maple top and most notably on many models, with a maple fingerboard.

So for those who love the more traditional approach to maple necks and a cheaper price tag, there is a good option for those looking for a better alternative to the EVH Wolfgang line.

As indicated by EVH Gear, the Striped Wolfgang Specials are hand painted as opposed to a Graphic paint job, which is a bonus in any guitar player’s book. These guitars take around three weeks to be constructed from start to finish.

The EVH Wolfgang Special Striped is one good looking shred machine.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/

There are four main models to choose from: EVH Wolfgang Special; EVH Wolfgang Special TOM, EVH Wolfgang Special Striped and the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Black and Yellow. Note that the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped and the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Black and Yellow versions of the EVH Wolfgang Special line are relatively recent additions to the line-up. Also note that the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped comes with an Ebony fretboard, as opposed to maple.

The standard EVH Wolfgang Special comes in an array of different colours to choose from and the price hovers around the $1,300US to $1,500US price range.

Let’s observe the specifications of the EVH Wolfgang Special, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

The EVH Wolfgang Special comes in a large variety of colours, such as the El Natural finish.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® Special

Series: Wolfgang® Special

Colours Available: El Natural; Satin Red; Matte Army Drab; Gold; Gloss Black; Stealth Black with Ebony Fingerboard; Vintage White; Burnt Cherry Burst; 3 Tone Cherry Burst; Tobacco Sunburst.

 

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: Yes

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane

 

NECK:

Neck Material: Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Neck Plate: N/A

 

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH Bourns Low Friction Pot). Tone (250K EVH Bourns High Friction Pot)

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

 

HARDWARE:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Included Accessories: Tremolo Arm, Wrenches, D-Tuna Accessories

 

The EVH Wolfgang Special TOM is also a consideration for those looking for an EVH Wolfgang Special without the Floyd Rose tremolo system, as some players may prefer this option with prices not dissimilar to the regular EVH Wolfgang Special. Below are the specifications for this part of the EVH Wolfgang line-up, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

 

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang Special TOM

Series: Wolfgang® Special

Colours Available: Burnt Cherry Sunburst; Gloss Black; Vintage White.

 

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood with Flame Map Top

Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane

 

NECK:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Graphite

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Neck Plate: N/A 

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

 

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Middle Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

 

HARDWARE:

Bridge: Fully Adjustable Compensated Bridge with Tunamatic-Style Tailpiece

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

 

Please note that although the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped and the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Black and Yellow are not covered here, they will be covered in another area as this is a relatively new addition to EVH Gear. If these guitars sound like that they are ideal for you, please visit www.evhgear.com for more information.

Now there are no excuses for those who love Maple fingerboards to pick up an EVH Wolfgang Special.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/extras/namm/

References:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uecAYTUgtNw

Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model

Once the Ernie Ball strings were being manufactured, it soon became apparent that Kramer and co. did not enjoy the idea that another company was creating strings for their client. In an odd stroke of fate as Kramer were in rapid decline financially, Eddie Van Halen and Ernie Ball fell out with Kramer due to accounting misconduct by Kramer. Allegedly Kramer and Ernie Ball did not see eye to eye on financial accounting issues and shortly after Eddie found out, ceased the working relationship that Eddie Van Halen once had with Kramer.

In the interim, Eddie Van Halen had come up with a design for a new guitar, possibly foreseeing the future. The guitar itself was further refined when Eddie Van Halen began working more closely with Ernie Ball Music Man. As a result, he had designed his first guitar, an important step in his musical journey.

Ernie Ball’s Music Man department and Eddie Van Halen worked together on the EVH Model.

Picture courtesy http://icmp.co.uk/events/tunnel-tunnel-festival 

The model itself was produced for around five years, although Eddie famously used this guitar during the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance era, as well as on tour. The reason for changing company was due to the fact that supposedly Eddie Van Halen was upset by the inability of the company to satisfy demand with the production of these guitars. The truth is probably closer to the fact that Eddie was unhappy with some of the limitations of this particular guitar, as he was already secretly designing the Peavey Wolfgang for Peavey at the end of the association with Ernie Ball.

Nonetheless, once the association had ceased to be, Ernie Ball continued to produce this particular guitar under the name Ernie Ball Music Man Axis, with some slight modifications. These were: removal of Eddie Van Halen’s signature; toggle switch moved more towards centre of body; body contour added; widening of neck to prevent string slippage; “tone” knob renamed “volume”; and saddles changed from offset to non-offset on tremolo system.

Eddie Van Halen was very happy with his Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model.

Picture courtesy https://www.tumblr.com/search/ernie%20ball%20musicman

Eddie was known particularly to favour an Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model that came in an Amber Orange colour, which was equipped with the first of Eddie Van Halen’s patented D-Tunas, a device that enabled the playing to Drop D tuning without extensive time spent fiddling around with the Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. This simply operated by pulling a knob attached to the bottom string of the guitar, instantly changing to the note from E to D. Additionally, the guitar itself had a neck electronically mapped to be exactly the same as the one on his previous main guitar, the Kramer 5150. It also had a black 5150 sticker on the body towards the end of usage by Eddie Van Halen on his #1 EVH Model.

The guitar itself is a great bit of history. Although you could possibly find genuine Ernie Ball Music Man EVH models on EBay, it is most likely easier to find an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis from Ernie Ball Music Man’s website. These retail for around $3 000 AUS or so, but is worth every dollar and is a great playing guitar, coming in a variety of colours. For those who desire the specifications, they are listed below, courtesy of the Ernie Ball Music Man website:

This guitar is still available commercially from Ernie Ball Music Man under the name Axis, although with some slight modifications.

Picture courtesy http://www.music-man.com/instruments/guitars/axis.html

Model: Axis

Size: 12-5/8” wide, 1-3/4” thick, 36-1/4” long (32.1 cm wide, 4.5cm thick, 92.0 cm long)

Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz (3.29 kg) – weight varies slightly

Body Wood: Basswood with bookmatched figured maple top

Body Finish: High gloss polyester

Body Colours: Back and sides – Opaque Black

Body Bindings: Binding – Cream

Bridge: Music Man® locking tremolo with fine tuners; lowers pitch only

Scale Length: 25-1/2” (64.8cm)

Neck Radius: 10” (25.4cm)

Headstock Size: 1-5/8” (41.3mm) at nut, 2-3/16” (55.6mm) at last fret

Frets: 22 – High profile, medium width

Neck Width: 1-5/8” (41.3mm)

Neck Wood: Select maple neck

Fingerboard: Select maple or rosewood

Neck Finish: Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend

Neck Colours: Standard – Natural; Optional – Matching Painted Headstock

Tuning Machines: Schaller M6LA with Pearl Buttons

Truss Rod: Adjustable – no component or string removal

Neck Attachment: 5 bolts – perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets

Electronic Shielding: Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminium lined control cover

Controls: 500kohm volume pot

Switching: 3-way toggle pickup selector

Pickups: HH – 2 DiMarzio Custom Humbucking

Left-handed: No

Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 9s-42s

 

For those looking for a slightly different alternative, there is also the Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport. Specifications are not listed here, yet you can go to the Ernie Ball Music Man website and have a browse if you wish.

This guitar truly is a piece of good history, and will make a fine addition to your collection.

Ernie Ball Music Man also made a double-neck baritone guitar for Eddie specifically for live performances of the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge song “Spanked”.

Picture courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/pin/177751516517126418/

References:

  1. Ball, Sterling. 2008. I guess I have to talk about EVH… Ernie Ball Music Man Forums. http://www.music-man.com/blog/sterling/i-guess-i-have-to-talk-about-evh.html
  2. Ernie Ball. 2007. Ernie Ball Forums. http://forums.ernieball.com/music-man-guitars/21007-ernie-ball-axis-history.html