This will be a slightly picture intensive, and long, post.
I am going to start this by stating a fact: 4 years later, my MIJ Wolfgang Special is the nicest guitar I own, and is an absolute dream to play. It stays in tune, the D-Tuna still amazes me, it sounds awesome, and I fall in love with the neck all over again every single time I pick it up. I truly love this guitar, have for 4 years, and to this day, whenever I take it out of the case to play, I feel like a kid who is getting a “treat.”
I am not sponsored by Fender, or EVH Gear, but if you haven’t picked one of these up to try, you really are missing out, and if you own one yourself, you know I am not just whistling Dixie. They really are something special.
So, last year, my brother built me an EVH Kramer replica, and for all intents and purposes, that became my “daily driver.” Wolf stayed in the closet, in its case, and “Bozo” and I became very well acquainted.
My brother truly is skilled in terms of making a wonderful instrument, and I love playing this thing……..but it cannot stay in tune for more than 5 seconds, and I have a real bad feeling that the bridge pins are coming loose from the body. Seeing that it took him 7 months to hand carve and hand build, I am REAL worried about damaging it. This isn’t just a guitar to me – it’s a testament of love from one brother to another….so as much as I love it hanging on my wall, or plugging him in and letting him scream, I am probably going to put it into a case and let it rest for a while as I find a luthier that can fix the problem.
In the meantime, I love the idea and design of Floyds, but for me, they just don’t work. I **very** rarely even bother attaching a whammy bar to my guitar. 9 times out of 10, I’m playing rhythm anyway.
I wasn’t looking to add another child to the collection. It truly started because I simply wanted tuning stability….but then it quickly snowballed and became more. I guess that is just the way of things, or maybe it is the little lie we tell ourselves in order to justify getting “one more.”
I wanted something that played well, sounded good, wouldn’t break the bank, didn’t have a Floyd, that stayed in tune and could take a beating. Requisites were pretty straightforward and simple.
I was **this** close to pulling the trigger on a Schecter Hellraiser before it dawned on me:
“My Wolfgang is awesome. I love playing that thing. The only reason I don’t anymore is because it is becoming a “collector’s item.” [They are no longer MIJ, no longer have quilt as a top, and no longer have stainless vintage medium frets.] Why would I want to switch things up with a totally new guitar if Wolf is the guitar I am always going to WANT to play, the one I LOVE playing?”
From then on out, it was simply a matter of finding one.
I scoured all the big box stores, ebay, craigslist, was doing cost tracking, and averages, etc.
These typically sell from $650-800, but even at the higher end of the cost spectrum, they are made in China. Mine is MIJ, and I KNOW the quality of it. I’m sure the MIC and MIM versions play just fine, but as I have NEVER bought a guitar over eBay, unplayed before, I wasn’t about to take a risk on an “unknown.” Regardless of what your bias on this subject is, I’ll pay the money for quality, perceived or not.
I was budgeting for $700. I wound up snagging this for $549, shipped, and the second I hit the “buy it now” button, I was waiting for the police to show up, cause I really feel like I stole this thing. It does have a few “dings,” but seriously…..the thing is clean. Maybe it was going so cheap because everyone wants the Floyd / D-Tuna model? Either way you cut it, I don’t find myself getting many deals, and truly felt like I got an awesome one on this. The **case** sells for like $180.
Wolf has NEVER given me tuning problems, and while I am sure I will miss the D-Tuna at some point, I have a feeling this thing is going to deliver exactly what I want.
I already feel like it has a soul. Maybe it's because there is no center cavity cutout for a Floyd, and there is simply more wood, but this thing sounds different than the Tobacco one, and it SCREAMS.
I don’t particularly like black guitars. I never have. They are too common, and I love wood grain too much. However, this thing isn’t a “typical” gloss black – to me, that satin / matte actually goes a long way in distinguishing itself as something a little bit different.
This is also the only guitar I have that has an ebony fretboard.
Between the fretboard, the bridge, and the fact that it is used, the thing was different enough for me to justify the purchase, and I have a feeling that this one will become my main for a long time…..at least until Fender / EVH release one in Trans Blue Quilt, anyway….then I’ll just have to come up with another reason for “just one more….”