Sorry, Jack Secret, this might take more than 25 words...
I've never been the biggest EVH fan (I think it was that smug grin during his solo on the Jump video), so his many endorsements haven't really been on my radar over the years.
Until last week, when The Auction Site Which Shall Not Be Named turned up this 2004 Peavey Wolfgang Special :
It's Korean made so, of course, that means :
- No-name pickups
- Hardly the most awe-inspiring maple cap you ever saw
- No figured maple neck or fingerboard
But, apparently, it also means :
- Extremely solid mahogany body
- Fantastic construction
- Free D-Tuna
- Chunky but oh-so-comfortable neck
- Amazing tone. No-name they may be, but the pickups are anything but budget items.
It's an odd beast - lay it next to an RG and it looks tiny but the body is far bigger than it looks and it feels very comfortable to play (lack of a forearm contour notwithstanding).
Being spawned from The Auction Site Which Shall Not Be Named, it inevitably needed some TLC, although it arrived in a sturdy cardboard box and what seemed like several metric tonnes of packing foam.
As usual, I stripped it down, cleaned it up with isopropyl alcohol, reassembled and restrung it. On the way, I sanded the back of the neck with 800 grit sandpaper and hit the body with finishing polish to remove the light pick scratches it had picked up.
Once it was restrung with D'Addario XLs in 9-42, I set it up to suit my preference. The bridge was sitting low on its knife edges, as the posts were too low, so on every trem dive it shifted on the the posts and knocked horribly. To counter this, the previous owner had slapped grease all over the posts and the knife edges; I cleaned the excess off and reset the posts so that the bridge plate was sitting flat to the body (no back routing on this guitar). Smoothness returned.
For the D-Tuna to work sweetly, the fine tuner on the low E string needs to be backed right off. It wasn't, so the in/out movement of the D-Tuna was very stiff, something the previous owner had again attempted to correct with grease. Once everything had been cleaned off and the guitar retuned with the fine tuner backed off, the action of the D-Tuna was smooth and light.
If you can only play Wizard necks and anything else makes you feel ill (which would be a shame, as it means that Strats and Les Pauls are off the menu for you), then this isn't the guitar for you. On the other hand, my go-to guitars have been RGs for the last 15 years but I picked up the Wolfgang last night and played it for 2 hours straight, with a daft grin on my face the whole time.
If you see a Wolfgang Special for a decent price, you could do far worse than to grab it and thrash it to within an inch of its life.