HP Specials
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When the Peavey – EVH split became known and it was clear the Custom Shop would close, it was a sad day.  I thought, well it was great while it lasted.  An American Made Custom Shop guitar that fit my taste exactly, of great quality at a surprisingly low price was a thing of the past.   Many people who had thought about ordering a Custom Shop Wolfgang were seriously bummed out.  I know because I heard from them.   It was always about the guitars for me.  Having EVH’s name on them and having him associated with them added to the image and brought the Van Halen fans, but it was the art, quality, tone and the way the guitars played, along with the thrill of creating them in your mind and seeing them come alive that was the thing for me.  So I went from sad resignation to hopeful when the word started to leak that the Custom Shop would keep going with a new and maybe even better guitar.  But what would it be?  

They said it would be better, because you could get more options and it would appeal to Wolfgang fans but it wouldn’t be a Wolfgang.  I was skeptical.  What was first important to me is what would be the same?  The same people building them, with the same quality of materials in the same facility with the same mandate to build the best guitar they possibly could.   And the same neck, with similar pick-ups but more versatile.  That meant it would play very similar and sound very similar.  What would be different?  A floating trem for one, although it can be locked down to only go flat very easily.  Actually it comes locked down.  You could never get a floating trem on the Wolfgang. A nice body contour on the back to make it more comfortable to play (I like that).   Pick-ups that are designed to be split and a coil tap (nice).  And a slightly different body shape and headstock.  I think the shape of the Wolfgang is awesome, but I have grown to like the HPS even a little bit better.  Side by side the HP looks better.  I like the slightly pointer top horn that gives the guitar nice lines and makes the new headstock work.  I really didn’t want a Wolfgang clone.  What I wanted was a neck like the Wolfgang, pick-ups that were at least as good and then all the same options and quality.  That is what we got and more.  So I got pretty excited about it.  I got so excited I became a Peavey dealer in December of 2004. 

Why would I do that (become a Peavey dealer)?  I have more than a full time job and I couldn’t possibly make enough money at this to make it financially appealing.  All I can say is I love the guitars and I enjoy working with the people at Peavey.  I also enjoy conversing with people who share my passion.  I have stopped asking why I do it, I just am!  

What I plan to do is photograph all the HP guitars that pass through me and put them on the site.  I will soon have a new site for this called Rock and Roll Weekend (www.rocknrollweekend.com)  Right now it points to the Wolfgang site.  Until I do, they will be on this page. 

Here is a link to the news announcement on the Peavey site: Peavey HP Special News

Here is a link to a review I did of the first HP Special delivered:  HP Special Review

Here is a link to the pricing of the Production Models from the January 2006 Peavey guide:  HPS Production Model Prices

Here is a link to the pick-up specifications and the operation of the controls:  HP Special Pick-ups and Controls

Here is a link to an interview I did with Tony Pasko of Peavey on April 4th 2005.  Tony is the product manager for all guitars and amps at Peavey:  Tony Pasko Interview.

Here is a picture of Peavey's unique and proprietary trem stop mechanism.  There is a small opening in the back of the guitar where you can easily loosen the two screws and slide the bracket forward to make the trem fully floating.  Click for larger image.

UPDATE - 01/19/06 - I went to the first day of NAMM this morning.  I Spent some quality time at the Peavey booth talking to Tony, Tim and Lanee.  I wasn't expecting to see 16 HP Specials right out front with new graphics for advertising, with price lists, etc.  (See pictures below)  They do appear truly ready to go with these guitars.  I bought all 16 of their NAMM HP Special guitars. Peavey did lower the pricing on the HP production models and distinguish between Custom Shop and production models (see link above).  The tremolo now comes locked down so it doesn't float but you can access the bracket that controls this directly from the back and very easily make it floating.  Originally the arch top controls were going to be recessed and now that is only going to be a Custom Shop option.  There will be 7 standard colors for production guitars.  Maple tops will be flame.  Cherryburst, Tobacco burst, Amber, Red and moonburst for the flames.  The solid colors are gold and black.  They will have no maple top.  A quilt top will only be available through the Custom Shop.  The headstocks on production guitars will match in color but not the wood.  There will no veneer on them.  That will only be a Custom Shop option.   They have an EXP model on their price list with a list price of $599.  I wish they wouldn't do that but oh well.........  The whole "HP Special" name is already confusing since it is a different guitar than their other HP's..  You can contact me at: knappg@att.net

UPDATE - 01/29/06 - I only have 4 of the 16 NAMM HP Specials left to sell.  They are all nice.  There isn't a clinker in the bunch.  I have a couple dozen more Custom Shop HPS's that I ordered a year ago that I am hopeful will begin showing up soon along with all the guitars people ordered through me.  This guitar has exceed my expectations and if the word gets out how great it is getting a custom shop HPS is going to be a pretty good wait.  Once things smooth out on getting these delivered I will begin taking orders again.  I hope to have my new site up soon (RockNRollWeekend.com). 

HP Special "Autumn" Quilt - Numero Uno! Here it is.  HP Special #1.  Received May 10th, 2005.  It is essentially a prototype since it is slightly different than the final version and was hand built.  It doesn't have the final trem stop mechanism and the pick-ups are slightly different.
Autumn Quilt Flat top The sister to the CT autumn quilt above, this flat top version is every bit as nice.  I played this guitar for 5 minutes.  It feels great, plays great and a nice surprise was that the pick-ups have been improved from the original I got in May, at least I think most people will think so.  They are awesome.  I like the original too though.  It doesn't get any better than this top for a quilt.
Dark Purple Quilt  CT This is my very first customer order received on 12/15 for Mike Davis.  He waited a long time for this guitar and it looks like it is worth the wait.  Arch top custom color (dark purple) with black binding, ebony fretboard, matching headstock and pearl bar inlays.  It also has custom control knobs. Speed knobs also included.  Note the controls are not recessed.  This is not an option going forward.  They only agreed to do the original orders like this since the decision not to had not been made yet. Serial number is  51402080. 
Greenburst Quilt String-Thru This guitar arrived just a little late for Christmas (2005) for Andrew Schultz who ordered it way back in March.  It was worth the wait as this is about as nice as they get.  I was surprised when I heard the Custom Shop had agreed to do a String-Thru for Andy as the previous word was they didn't want to do these right now.  I guess they just like to make their customers happy!  This is the first string-thru HP Special.  Hopefully there will be more.  It has a Mahogany body
Solid Alder Flat top The pictures just won't do this guitar justice.  This guitar is elegant and has a beautiful smooth feel to the wood.  A classic.  This guitar is going to Gary Gould.  Very lucky guy!   I ordered another as soon as this came in.  The back is as pretty as the front.  Played it for 5 minutes.  Great tone.  Feels super as all three that I just received do.  This is a versatile guitar. 
Trans Black Quilt Flat top This is just the coolest trans black guitar I have ever seen.  This is not a color I am in love with, but I am with this one.  It is alive.  I wasn't planning on keeping this one but I couldn't sell it.  I asked Peavey if they could make me another just as nice and they said they could so I ordered one, which I will offer for sale when it arrives in 90 to 120 days.  Maybe that one was the NAMM '06 trans black quilt?
Custom Purple CT Quilt Top

It doesn't really get any nicer than this purple CT quilt built for the 2006 NAMM show.  The headstock is fully matching with the quilt veneer.  This one is on hold for Andy.
Custom White Sparkle

 

Very original and retro looking white sparkle flat top built for NAMM 2006.  I had to keep this one.  White headstock to match.
Custom Tobacco Burst Quilt Top

 

Peavey is calling this color tobacco burst instead of sunburst like they did on the Wolfgang.  This is a nice quilt flat top built for NAMM 2006.  Headstock is a matching color on birdseye.
Custom Lava Orange CT Quilt Top

This orange quilt CT is a very unique and cool color that Peavey named lava.  Built for NAMM 2006.  Great top.  The headstock is matching with a quilt veneer. The back on this is a nice orange color that looks great on the guitar.  I am partial to getting the body to match like this.  This guitar belongs to Robert Schwab of NC.  Serial #51399537
Custom Moonburst Quilt Top

 

Very nice Moonburst flat top quilt built for NAMM 2006.  The headstock is a matching color on birdseye.  This guitar belongs to Kurt Carlton of FL.  Serial #51394536
Custom Solid Alder

 

This is a solid alder flat top built for me, but shipped to NAMM 2006 instead.  It is exactly like a Wolfgang that I have that I like a lot.  It has an ebony fretboard.  The headstock is a matching color on birdseye. This guitar belongs to Robert Schwab of NC.  Serial #51394585
Custom Turquoise CT Quilt Top

I had to keep this one.  I loved the color.  Built for NAMM 2006 this CT has a great top, exceptional neck and fretboard and the matching headstock with the quilt veneer.  After playing this guitar some I have to say this is one of the best all around guitar I own... period.  I love the way it sounds and plays.  It just shows that the year Peavey took getting the HP Special right was worth it!
Custom Yellow

This is one of the two guitars they used for the two NAMM '06 graphics with the girl holding it behind her head.  I thought that graphic was well done.  This is an all yellow flat top with black binding and black hardware with a maple neck and birdseye fretboard.  I had a chrome trem on it on the outside shot.  I will have to redo that later.
Custom Shop Black CT Quilt Top.

 

Peavey does the best trans black color.   Another awesome quilt CT built for the NAMM 2006 show.  This one is on hold for Myke.
Custom Cajun Red CT Flame Top

 

Cajun red flame CT with matching headstock that includes the flame maple veneer.  Built for NAMM 2006
Custom Amber Quilt Top

 

This one was much nicer than I expected once it arrived.  Top notch quilt and a nice fretboard.  The headstock is a matching color on birdseye.
Custom Pink Sparkle

 

Another unique NAMM '06 guitar.  This cool pink sparkle is a flat top with a rosewood fretboard.  The headstock is black with white lettering.  This guitar belongs to Keith Aylward of Canada.  Serial #51393182
Custom Blue/White Sparkle Flames

This guitar looked greenish-blue at the NAMM '06 show with the lighting at the Peavey booth but it isn't green at all.  It has more of a turqoise blue in it with the white sparkle.  It is a flat top with a black headstock.  It was one of two guitars they used for the NAMM advertising graphics with a girl holding it up by her head.  This guitar belongs to Jim Bechakas of PA. Serial #51389529
Custom Cherryburst Quilt Top

 

This cherryburst is bright and vibrant.  It is a flat top and built for the 2006 NAMM show.  The headstock is a matching color that appears to be on birdseye.  This guitar belongs to Jason Campbell of VA.  Serial #51385894
Custom Dark Cherryburst Quilt Top

 

This dark Cherryburst quilt was built for NAMM 2006.  It has a matching headstock with the quilt veneer.

"THE BUMBLE"

Bumble Bee Flame - In progress. 

This one is going to be awesome!  Custom Bumble Bee inlays on an ebony fretboard.  Hardware will be black.  I have been working on this concept with Tim for about two years.  The color in the top is more yellow than some of the pictures show.  Getting the natural flame to have the contrasting yellow without it turning greenish in the staining process was the hard part that Tim finally figured out.  Pick-ups will also be yellow/black as in the one picture.

Black Quilt - Live! This could be the first live performance with an HP Special.  Levi Peto, Las Vegas's best rock guitar player performs with the HPS on Saturday night, January 14th at the Tailspin with his band Highwire.  Levi said the guitar felt and sounded great!
HP Special - Trans Black Quilt Prototype This guitar was one of the three at the January 2005 NAMM show prototypes they quickly built just in time.  This guitar does not have the same neck as the final version or the Trem stop. 
Gold Top CT Prototype Another of the three NAMM 2005 Prototype guitars, this is the CT model (archtop) with the recessed controls.  This one isn't too exciting for me.  All three of these guitars had the different prototype necks so they really were not representative of the final offering.
Blue Flame CT Prototype This blue flame top from the NAMM 2005 show,  This one also has the recessed controls and speed knobs.  The neck is like the other two and not what the final HP Special guitar was delivered with.
Orange flames on Grey This guitar was part of the 16 built for NAMM.  It was supposed to come with the rest but I was informed there was a problem with it and it needed to go back to Peavey instead. 
"Carina" Purple Quilt Before Peavey settled on the name "HP Special" they were going to call the guitar the "Carina".  I am told this is Italian for beautiful.  They built two prototype "Carina" guitars, one of which was for Chelsea Constable a Peavey artist (at the time).  This has the German Floyd she wanted and a stunning single piece quilt top that the story goes was sitting around Peavey for 25 years waiting for the right guitar.  It is awesome.  It has a Wolfgang pick-up in the bridge position that Chelsea put in because she liked it better.  It has a floating trem.  There is another black one like it somewhere.  This design was modified before becoming the HP Special.  It was built by Tim Litchfield.
NAMM 2006 displays These are the 16 HP Specials that were built for NAMM. 
Charvel Display at Fender This picture is taken inside the big (and warm) Fender booth.  It is their Charvel display.  As you can see there is nothing new related to EVH.  I saw no new Wolfgang at the show.

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This site was last updated 02/07/06

 

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