Music Man EVH
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This site is for Wolfgangs but after much consideration I have decided to add a section on the Music Man EVH because the fact is that the Wolfgang owes its heritage to this fantastic guitar.  The Custom Shop Wolfgangs are now even more collectable due to the fact there were far fewer produced and the variety in the custom shop offerings far surpasses anything that Music Man ever did with their EVH guitar.  However, there are too many production model Wolfgangs produced for them to become highly collectable (except for the first year quilt top), in my humble opinion - of course! 

The quality of the tops on the Music Man EVH guitars are fantastic making them some of the most beautiful guitars ever produced for this type of guitar.  Based on my extensive experience with both I don't think the quality of the overall guitar is nearly as good as the Wolfgang.  They don't hold up nearly as well.  The quality of the tops was very consistent throughout the production life of this guitar and there the EVH Music Man is far superior.  There are also quite a few beautiful colors to choose from.  The guitar itself is very similar to the Wolfgang in many ways but to me has a little higher pitched tone and a slightly brighter sound that corresponds more to the earlier EVH sound, while the Wolfgang has a "warmer" tone.  This makes sense when you consider the evolution of the VH sound.  I am open to other descriptions but this is the best way I can think of to state the difference.  The neck on the Music Man is slightly smaller being 1-9/16" at the nut and the Wolfgang 1-5/8".  So as far as which guitar is better when it comes to tone......  I would think that totally depends on which tone you like.  I can't really see liking one and hating the other.  They are just too similar.  I can see liking one just a little better.  I like them both.  After all, why decide on just one when you can have them both?  My favorite though is the  Wolfgang.  And overall I go for the warmer Wolfgang tone.  I also find the Wolfgang much more comfortable to play, which is surprising considering how similar the guitars are.  And again, in my opinion the overall quality of the Wolfgangs is much better.  They hold up better.

Production Figures - According to someone who should know at Music Man, they produced approximately 6000 of these guitars from approximately January of 1990 to September of 1995 when the last one rolled out the door.  The estimate was about 1,200 per year although that would put the number closer to 7,000.   This is a recently provided number.  They don't give out an exact number.  I personally believe it is a little higher than this when you look at the serial number run but that is nothing more than my guess.

How Rare is the Color?     The most common colors are red, gold (amber), blue and purple with about 1400 of each.  This includes the stop tails as approximately 200 of the red, purple and amber were stop tails (about 600 total of these).  There are about 600 trans black and 600 sunburst.  I am not sure on the Natural but I would say 400 is a good guess.  They only made about 200 pink.  Green is said to be the third rarest color with 96 total pieces produced.  The rarest color is solid black at 16 pieces, followed by solid gold at 26 pieces.  These figures come from a very knowledgeable collector who got them from Music Man years ago and from another collector who for the most part had the same figures.  I can't say for sure that they are correct but I think they are at least close.

Serial Number Surprise - The serial numbers on the Music Man guitars are NOT consecutive.  You can't tell the day, month and year the guitar was produced by looking at the serial number.  The reason is that MM had the serial number plates produced all at once and they came back from the supplier out of order and MM didn't think it was worthwhile to put them in order.  So they just used them somewhat randomly.  Also, some serial number plates that had quality problems or got scratched were never used.  The only way to positively identify the production date is to ask MM.  They can type the serial number into their computer and get the date of production.  I have these for my guitars below.  You can see that although my serial numbers are in different ranges, all the guitars turned out to be from 1995 with the Natural and Sunburst models being two of the last ones built at the end of September 1995 when they ceased production.  It makes sense that the ones that are like new would be from 1995 as once people realized they were going away they started collecting them.  Peavey puts the Wolfgang serial numbers in the headstock as they produce them so they would not have this problem with serial numbers out of order.

Dye (color) Issues - Ever wondered why you will see the same color EVH MM but the colors look very different.  According to a tech at Ernie Ball who works on these guitars Music Man used a dye for a long time that was subject to extreme fading and it could happen very quickly.  In as little as 6 to 12 months an amber (gold) guitar could completely loose its pigment and look like a Natural.  He said he has seen cases where it is impossible to tell the original color was gold.  He says the resulting natural look is very cool and really shows off the wood but it is very different.  The only way to know the guitar was originally gold  is to look it up in the computer and see what it was built as.  The "aqua" color is a result of ageing on a trans-blue.  Now I like the aqua color in many cases but the bottom line is that they didn't make this color.  Ever seen a red one advertised as a unique color such as "dusky rose".  This the same effect.  The Ernie Ball tech said he just had a purple one in that looked like a trans black.  Even after they switched to a different dye he said the guitars will still fade based on their exposure to UV although not as badly as the earlier ones.  I have yet to see a purple one that hasn't faded except a new old stock guitar that was left in its case.  Peavey developed a UV blocker they put in their paint that keeps this from happening on the Wolfgangs.  It isn't in the first year Wolfgangs though, although I have not seen anywhere near the kind of fading in these as the MM's.

Is it Really Green, Solid Gold or Solid Black? - Before paying a lot of money for a "rare" color EVH Music Man I would check with Ernie Ball to see what the serial number shows it was originally built as.  Ernie Ball has been approached by people looking to re-paint their EVH MM Green, Solid Gold, or Solid Black.  Ernie Ball will refuse to do it but that doesn't mean it can't be done someplace else! 

Don't take those strings all the way off! -  When changing the strings always leave one string with tension.  Ernie Ball says you can very easily ruin the neck and your guitar by releasing the string tension without loosening the truss rod.  It is a very bad idea to ship the guitar with loose strings or without strings unless you had adjusted the truss rod.  The tech I spoke with this about at EB says he has seen guitars where the neck and/or body are badly damaged because of this.

How does the cheaper Ernie Ball Axis compare to it's predecessor the Music Man EVH? - That is what I asked Rollie Delgado who was head guitar tech at Ernie Ball from 1991 to 2000 and worked on most of these guitars.  Here is what he said: "The only differences between the Axis and the EVH signature are: The pickup switch was moved from the horn to down next to the volume knob; The axis also has a body bevel on the back, which the EVH does not; The neck width above the twelfth fret is also slightly wider on the AXIS. Pickups are the same as the EVH. Finally, The electronics routing on the AXIS is also a little different. If you look on the back of both and compare, the cavities are different. Other than that they are the same, same tone and feel. And the AXIS is much cheaper!"

If you have a Music Man EVH guitar that is a little different from anything shown here (especially a different color), I would love to get some good pictures and feature it on this site.  I am also looking for a green one for my personal collection that is a little roughed up and thus not so expensive (i.e. I am looking for a great deal on a piece that has some scars).  The rest of my MM EVH's are in collectors condition so I can deal with one with a few blemishes!  I would also like to get the serial number on anything you send me.  <Click the thumbnail pictures below for a larger image and the links to the left where available for more pictures>

87952 Amber Quilt This is an absolutely gorgeous amber quilt that belongs to Brent Henderson
80797 Blue Flame This was the first EVH Music Man purchased by a Music Man employee and is owned by Rollie Delgado who was Music Man's head guitar tech from 1991 to 2000.  Rollie built and set-up thousands of Music Man and EVH guitars.  This one has survived 12 years  of gigging without a scratch until Rollie retired it in 2004 in favor of a maroon Wolfgang special EXP that Rollie says after some tweaking sounds and plays just as well. Most of all he doesn't have to worry about damaging it, at least not as much!  See Rollie's comments above if you are interested in how the Ernie Ball Axis compares to the MM EVH.
Trans Black - 80412 This is an early one.  This guitar has seen a lot of playing before a collector put it away in about 2000.  I sent this back to Ernie Ball to be refurbished.  They said it was the last one they were going to do as they didn't have time and they were turning out to be too much work.
Amber Quilt - 87879 This guitar is essentially new and is now owned by Adam Barrett.  If this guitar has been played there is no sign of it.  Most of the guitars that are unplayed or are like new are very late serial numbers.  These people knew when they got their guitars that they were not being made anymore so I think this is why there are quite a few in like new condition as they were more likely to put them away.  You rarely see an early serial number that is unplayed or like new. (Production date: 8/10/95). 
Sunburst  Quilt - 88997 This guitar is unplayed with the tags still on it and the plastic on all three covers on the back is perfect like the day it was shipped from the factory.  Imagine walking into a guitar store and finding a brand new, beautiful Music Man EVH for sale.  This is it.  I need to take another picture of this guitar though. This picture was taken by the person I bought this from.  This picture is not a true representation of the color.  The colors are not as bright as this but it actually looks classier than this.  Lighting is everything when taking pictures of these tops.  This guitar also looks like it was produced near the very end of the EVH - MM deal. (production date: 9/27/95).  One of the last few produced.
82402 - Gold Top This is a rare Gold Top submitted by Tim Joyce.  The "0" could be a 6 in the serial number.  It was hard to read in the photo.  The guitar looks like it is in almost new condition.  Tim hit the eBay jackpot on this one.
Sunburst - 82605 Super nice Sunburst from 1992.  Almost perfect. 
Red Quilt - 85660 The guitar is in very nice condition and is now owned by Adam Barrett.  The plastic is still on the back.  However, it does have one tiny ding (not through the paint) between the pick-ups which must have really upset the person who did it because other than that it looks like a collectors piece, which it now is. (production date: 6/8/95).  
Red Quilt - 86542 Super nice red quilt that has been back to Ernie Ball for the once over recently.  This guitar is pretty much flawless and a great collector's piece.  One of my favorite necks on any Ernie Ball.
Natural Quilt - 88775 This is one of the best quilts I have.  It is very unique.  I like the natural finish much better than I thought I would and it seems like this color is somewhat scarce as you don't see too many.  The neck is a little darker from oiling but there is no staining.  The top is like new.  The quilt on this color shows more in less light than the other colors, probably due to the lighter color. (production date: 9/26/95). One of the last few produced.
Natural Quilt - 84573 Another really nice natural.  I like this finish as it shows off the wood.  This one is in near mint condition.
Blue Quilt - 85548 This guitar has a beautiful color.  I have a close up photograph in the bright sun on the linked page to show you how different this color can look based on lighting.  The true color is in the other pictures.  The blue guitars generally age to more of an aqua color.  This was not a color they originally offered.  They were all trans-blue as I believe Music Man only offered one color of blue.  This guitar has a PERFECT top and the frets have all been dressed as well.  the plastic is still on all the covers on the back.  The only thing this guitar needs to make it perfect is the fretboard lightly sanded, but it has been cleaned and sealed.  (production date: 4/26/95)
Trans-Blue Quilt (NOS) Here is what the trans blue looked like originally.  The one above has faded to the aqua color.  Both are beautiful but this original blue color is hard to find. This guitar was stored and not displayed as it is new old stock.   
Blue Quilt - 84757 Here is another transblue with a very nice quilt pattern.  The guitar is in near mint condition with a perfect top with the exception of a pin head size "depression" on the top right above the bridge pick-up that close-up shots did not pick-up as you can see on the linked page.  The guitar is in superb original condition.
Purple Quilt - 80899 This is an NOS purple Quilt from 1991.  It has been its case its entire life so the purple has not faded at all.  It is gorgeous.  You would be hard pressed to find a nicer purple MM EVH.
Purple Flame - 87730 Nice Purple flame, although I am not even sure it isn't a quilt.  It is somewhere in between.  It is in near mint condition, vibrant color with no fading. 
Pink Quilt Not one of my favorite colors for a guitar, but definitely unique.
Pink Quilt - 83026 Another pink one.  Has a few minor blems, but overall in nice shape.
Green Quilt (NOS) This is a New Old Stock (NOS) green quilt.  One of only 96 and how many can there be in this condition? 
Natural Quilt - 83197 This guitar was submitted by Jeff Walz.  He is the original owner and purchased it on 3/26/93.  It has a very interesting Quilt pattern.  Very nice!
Sunburst Stop tail The rare of the rare.  Only two Sunburst stop tails were ever made.  The word is that Ed has the other.  They decided not to sell this color, along with one brown prototype.  Another color they decided not to sell.  This guitar went for big bucks!
Mr. Horsepower No, it isn't an EVH model, but it is an Ernie Ball, Music Man and from the only Rock guitar player that is worthy to share the same stage with EVH.  Click on the Mr. Horsepower link to get all the details on the guitar and more pictures.





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This site was last updated 02/07/06




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