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New Wolfgang - EVH Alludes to this in 10/3 Interview?
The Iowa DJ's who seem to be able to reach EVH at his studio and get him to do informal interviews did so again on October 3rd, 2005. The interview is mostly lame but at the end Ed says he needs to go because he is working on a "new Wolfgang" that he needs to send off to someone to have it ready for the Winter NAMM show. Clearly there is something in the works, but that is all that I know now. I will post more here when and if I find more information that is credible. You can hear the interview at www.twodorks.com. Update 1/19/06. There was no new Wolfgang at the NAMM show that I saw. A Charvel rep was saying there would be a Wolfgang that was the same with a new headstock, made in Mexico but so far........ nada!
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 thousands 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!"
Dave Barry Electric Guitar Piece
This is a Dave Barry piece from 1998 that I ran across that I thought was pretty funny for any of us "older" electric guitar enthusiasts. Click this link to read. Dave Barry on Electric Guitars
New Jack Rokks character Flash Animation for the RockandRollWeekend.com site
This is a character I created from a 1973 Gottlieb pinball machine backglass called Jumping Jack. You will need to have the Macromedia Flash Player on your computer. You may recognize the song from the same year as the pinball machine (1973). If you have an old computer it might run too slow. You will be able to tell if that is the case. Let me know if you really like it or really hate it. I plan to use this as the intro and logo (Jack Rokks character) for the new site. Click here to run it: Jack Rokks
Hollow Body Wolfgang Guitars Shown for First Time Ever
They are not supposed to exist. EVH has never seen them, much less played them. I have been wanting to show these guitars for a long time. Here they are and the story that goes with them. Click this link: Wolfgang Hollow Body Guitars.
Interview - Tony Pasko, Peavey's Product Manager for Guitars and Amps.
Here is a link to an interview I did with Tony Pasko, Peavey's product manager for all guitars and amps, regarding the HP Specials, the Wolfgang, EVH and other fun stuff on April 4th, 2005. Tony Pasko Interview.
Triple XXX and JSX Amps
I was at the PRS (yes - PRS) NAMM Jam at the Grove in Anaheim on Friday night of the NAMM show (January 2005). I went to see Mark Tremonti and Alter Bridge play. At the show I got to talk to James Brown for a little while since it was late and the crowd had thinned by at least 2/3rd. James worked for Peavey for 18 years until recently when he left to go to work for Kustom. He designed the 5150 with EVH and was Mr. Amp for Peavey. He is a super nice guy. I took the opportunity to ask him of all the amps he helped design and build for Peavey if he had a favorite. He said "Without a doubt the Triple XXX". I believe James left before the JSX came out, which is really a version of the Triple XXX. I have one of each and I love them both. If I could only keep one it would be the JSX. The new Penta is a great amp too. I bought it with the idea I would try it and sell it and I ended up keeping it. Right now I can't say enough about the Triple XXX, JSX and Penta. I like them all better than my 5150. It is truly ridiculous to have all these amps to play at home, but one amp for all these guitars also just doesn't seem right!
Atomic Punks - Videos
This may be blasphemous, but I think The Atomic Punks "might" be better than Van Halen is today as a band assuming Van Halen is still a band. They are a tighter band. Their shows are always fun. Here is a link to videos of them playing classic Van Halen on their site: http://theatomicpunks.com/sect/video.html. Ralph does a better DLR than DLR. Russ nails the VH tunes and they have great background vocals as a band. The video at the HOB with Michael Anthony playing Running with the Devil with them is great. Also check out Ralph and Russ in their band Metal Skool. You may want to read the bios on the band members as they are very entertaining. Metal Skool
2005 NAMM Show - HP Special Report
Click the following link to get a report on the new HP Special. The first one was shipped and as luck would have it, it came to me. It is a great guitar and should really appeal to Wolfgang fans. Read all about it: HP Special Review
Wolfgang Values All Over the Place
I have had this WolfgangGuitars.com site up for close to three years. I have never had so many people asking me to buy my guitars as I did when EVH was touring and I have never had so much e-mail traffic. This started with the Van Halen tour announcement and peaked with the news of the EVH-Peavey split (see below) and the end of the tour. Once everyone realized there won't be anymore Custom Shop models being made and that whatever Peavey Wolfgangs there are, are all there will ever be, prices on some models really went up. The better Custom Shop models are going for original list price and above. I have been offered significantly over list price for a few of my Custom Shop models. First year quilts are harder to find than ever before and they are hitting the $3,000 mark and above for a better than average and up first year quilt guitar. There was even a 30+% rise in the price of the flame top standards on eBay. Price fell back to almost to what they were (for production models) before they started rising again recently. Standard Deluxe models use to hardly ever go for more than $1,000 and now anything nice does. It is hit and miss though on eBay. The same basic Wolfgang can go for a little over $1,000 one day and then $1,500 the next.
EVH - Peavey Split
The official signs started with the removal of the Custom Shop from the Peavey website, followed a couple days later by the total removal of the Wolfgang guitar line. Interestingly enough, as far as I know, no official announcement has been made by EVH. Peavey didn't make one until late December and then I believe they pulled it from their site. It is the end of an era with the Peavey Wolfgang and the end of a 13 year relationship between EVH and Peavey that started with the 5150 amp. The Wolfgang lasted over 8 years. The people at Peavey gave it their all for Ed and Peavey on the Wolfgang and I know there is some genuine sadness and even some bitterness (well placed) about this all ending and maybe more to the point, the way it ended. I think there are lot of interesting things about what happened here, but I will say that most of it is a side show. I think the net of it is that Ed just got bored and wanted to do something different and the rest of what happened are just reasons and excuses that support that, although if you had to pick a turning point it may have been when Joe Satriani joined Peavey on the JSX project. This is the feeling among some people at Peavey. Of course there are other circumstances, which contributed to the split. Who knows if any of them had been different if this might not have happened. My sense is that it still would have. Ed is not an easy guy to deal with, or so I hear repeatedly. I have no hand first hand knowledge of this.
By now everyone likely knows about the Charvel deal and the guitars Eddie sold on eBay. Originally the limited edition of EVH Art series guitars that would be striped and signed by Ed were announced and the first couple went up on eBay. On July 23rd, 2004 in conjunction with the NAMM - Nashville show Charvel and EVH announced a production EVH striped Charvel guitar that is now being offered for sale. The entire idea for the custom striped models and all the details (minus eBay) was conceived for Ed by Peavey but he didn't follow through. I have heard this from multiple people at Peavey. This included striped 5150 amps / cabinets to match. Of course they would have sold them through the dealers and not eBay. The Charvel lists for $3,300 and is generally being offered for about $2,500. I think the guitar is worth less than $1,000. It is a single pick-up guitar with a cheap paint job. I can't believe this project will be successful over the long term at this price point for lots of reasons. I am interested in trying one of the Charvels and I will eventually if I can buy one cheap, but I am not excited about this venture (see below).
In the end what came out of the EVH – Peavey relationship was an awesome guitar that will be with us for a long time. There are plenty of great production models out there, so that anyone who wants a really nice one can find one and will be able to for a very long time to come. They should also hold their value, and some may rise quite a bit. The real shame is that the Custom Shop died, although it is attempting to make a come back with the HP Special. I wish anyone reading this who is interested in these guitars could see the quality in my Custom Shop models and feel and play them. Some of them are just incredible, and especially at the price point. They rival ANYTHING else out there, period! I don't know if Ed fully appreciates what the Custom Shop produced. I have heard he has never even given them as much as a "thank you" for a job well done on his behalf. He should be personally signing and delivering a Wolfgang guitar to each of them, including the people that are no longer there.
Will there be another Wolfgang? Ed owns the design to the Wolfgang and has the right to take it somewhere else to be made if he wants to. On October 3rd, 2005 Ed did an informal interview with the two radio DJ's from Iowa who seem to be able to get him regularly for these interviews at his studio. Their site is www.TwoDorks.com. In this interview Ed says toward the end he has to go because he is completing a new Wolfgang design he needs to ship out so it can be available for the Winter NAMM show. He doesn't say who he is shipping it to but I would think it is Charvel / Fender. So maybe we will see a new Wolfgang. Peavey does own most of the design to the 5150 and is already producing a replacement (6505).
The following picture is from the VHND.com site. Click the thumbnail for the bigger image. At the time I wondered what name would be on the headstock later this year? I guess we know the answer to that now (Charvel of course!)
The EVH - Fender / Charvel deal
Lets start with the EVH Art series guitar. If this had been done for Charity I could have supported it. I am having a hard time with the concept of a "rawk star" selling his own guitars (played one song live with it to do so) at auction to the highest bidder, directly. 90 of them? I am not sure why. It just doesn't seem right. Maybe I will get use to the idea. It is certainly a very solid and clever business venture. If they had not been auctioned on eBay and were sold through dealers I think I would have a completely different view. A few people bought several of them each with the idea of making money off them. How about a lottery for the right to buy one at a fair price? Doing this for charity and as a way to launch the line would have been great. Ed sold about 90 guitars for an average price of about $12,000 each with one going for $30,000. That is over $1 million dollars! Mainstream fans can't afford these and as mentioned half of them were probably bought by a handful of people. Maybe a few special contests or give-aways would have been good.
I have a hard time seeing long term appeal to these production Charvel guitars. The production version is priced at $2,500 with a list price of $3,300. I can't see it. The price is already going down on them as they are showing up regularly on eBay and going unsold most of the time at over $2,000. It was a cheap guitar to begin with way back when and there isn't anything special about it. Basswood body with no top (cheap as it gets), hard rock maple neck (cheap as it gets), one pick-up, metal tuners and basic paint. What makes it worth so much? How about $750 as a fair price? How many do they expect to sell at $2,500? It is just my opinion but I think you have to be mad at your money to pay $2,500 for one of these. Wait and see what they go for in a couple of years. This isn't a great guitar, although I am sure it is a decent guitar. The Wolfgang and Music Man guitars appealed to a much larger market. You didn't have to be an EVH fan or even know who he was to really enjoy the guitars. They stand on their own. I don't think that is the case with an EVH striped guitar. Who is going to take one of these guitars on stage? It will make you look like you are trying to be Eddie Van Halen and worse, people may expect you to play like him! They will have to do something beyond these striped guitars to get long term mass appeal. I hear they have some kind of follow up already planned. Maybe we will see a Fender or Charvel Wolfgang? If we see something like a Wolfgang I hope they make at least small changes and call it something else. Don't let anyone snow you that the Charvel EVH will be "limited production". I think they will make as many as they can sell. If you read everything EVH has said in the past about it not being about the money and wanting kids to be able to get his guitars if they want one, the whole Charvel thing is contradictory to all of that. A cheap guitar at a high end price just because it has his trademark stripes on it? BOGUS! This is about nothing but the money. How can he price these at $3,300 list and sleep at night if he meant what he said in the past? I really can't judge the guitars until I get to play one, but I can't see them being worth significantly more than my best Custom Shop Wolfgangs!
Peavey Wolfgang Strings are GHS Strings Repackaged
You can't get the Peavey Wolfgang Strings anymore (other than old stock), but not to worry. They came from GHS anyway and I am pretty sure they are the GHS Boomers. I asked GHS and they Recommend the Boomers for the Wolfgang, which I don't think GHS can actually say. I believe Peavey just had them repackaged and branded for them. Peavey didn't produce their own strings for sure and they have used more than one brand over time, but mostly GHS on the Wolfgang.
See how the Wolfgang Guitar is Built!
Peavey use to have on their site a 25 minute tour of their Leakesville guitar production facility with the presentation focused on the building of the Wolfgang guitar. This presentation is well done and shows how they were built in Leakesville. It is very interesting for those of us not previously familiar with how a guitar is built. This piece is narrated by Hartley Peavey and is from 1996/97. I was unable to find it to link to, but Peavey graciously supplied it to me. The Leakesville facility they highlight in the presentation closed in April of 2003. Guitar production, including the EVH Custom Shop was moved to Peavey's main facility in Meridian. Here is a link to the presentation. It says it is 29 minutes but it actually runs for 25 minutes. The Birth of a Wolfgang - Peavey Wolfgang Factory Tour. It requires Windows Media Player. If it doesn't run for you, make sure you have this installed.
Finding the Build Date of your Guitar from the Serial Number
One of the most common questions I get is how do I find the date my guitar was built from the serial number. The only way to do this is to contact Peavey and ask them. They have a database and they will look it up for you if you ask. The place to ask is on the Guitar Forum at the Peavey website. Here is the link: http://forums.peavey.com:8080/~guitars
Some Pictures of EVH Playing Different Wolfgangs
According to someone at Peavey, they have produced over 200 guitars for Ed since the relationship was formed. Who knows what has happened to some of these as they certainly are not all at Ed's house. Here is a link to some pictures of Ed playing different Wolfgangs. Thanks Matt! If you have other pictures please forward them to me! EVH with Wolfgangs
The Coolest Guitar ever from Rock's loudest guitar player
See the coolest guitar ever, created by Rock n Roll's loudest guitar player from Rock n Roll's loudest band. Click the link to see "Mr. Horsepower"!
Van Halen Concert Recap for August 6th & 7th - Las Vegas
Click the following link for a recap of the Friday and Saturday night Las Vegas Van Halen concerts at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I had 4 Star tickets for Friday night and 5 Star tickets for Saturday Night (Front Row - Center)! Concert Recap
Music - What I like
I suppose the music I like is somewhat relevant to the guitars as it shapes the framework of the sound I like. Of course I am a Van Halen fan, and I like all the other things you might expect from the same era such as Aerosmith, Montrose (my favorite when I was 16), Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Frampton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, The Allman Brothers, Golden Earring, Robin Trower, Boston, AC/DC, Skid Row, Billy Idol, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix ...... You get the picture! They say most people stop listening to new music by the time they are 30. I tried very hard with three daughters to embrace the new music and I must say that it has opened up a whole new world for me and given me something to share with my daughters. I rely on them to keep me in new music. A lot of it is absolute crap, but there is some good stuff too. My favorite over the past ten years has been "The Offspring". My favorite band over the past two years is Puddle of Mudd. They are excellent song writers. I also like Fuel, Staind, Godsmack, Linkin Park and Nickelback, to name a few of the newer things I like. On the dislike side, I really dislike Rap and I can't listen to more than one or two Country songs at a time. I am not a real jazz fan either. We get a lot of great concerts in Las Vegas at good venues and I try to go to as many as I can!
When is a "Custom Shop" Wolfgang not really Custom?
Peavey wanted to produce a Wolfgang with a Rosewood fretboard but EVH had to approve all Wolfgang variations and he wouldn't approve this. Peavey had already started producing them a few years back. They put them in storage. Their solution was to call these guitars "Custom Shop" models because that got them around the problem. I would have done the same thing. I don't blame Peavey for wanting to move these perfectly fine guitars, but the people who end up with these guitars and then sell them on eBay should be up front about what they really are. Of course this may not happen. There is nothing custom about most of these guitars other than having a rosewood fretboard, which does not cost anymore. Peavey didn't charge the dealers Custom prices for these. They only charged production prices regardless of whether it was called "Custom" on the dealer invoice. It is simply a preference item. Unless the guitar has other Custom options besides the rosewood fretboard it probably isn't a Custom Shop model where you could expect a better grade of wood for the top and neck among other things. There are quite a few of these hitting the market as Peavey has emptied their warehouse of these guitars. A lot of them are green. A foreign distributor bought the remaining inventory of 107 Wolfgang guitars that included about 70 of these guitars. Almost all of these are stop tails. Others were sold previously (trems and stop tails) and have been showing up on eBay and being advertised as Customs. Essentially Peavey sold off all the Wolfgangs that were still in inventory. Again, there is nothing wrong with any of this on Peavey's part and I don't wish to suggest there is.. I just don't want to see people buying what they think is a Custom Shop model, paying top dollar and then finding out what they really bought is just a regular production guitar with a rosewood fretboard. The value of these guitars is the same as any other production model with the same configuration.
Wolfgang art - The latest in interior design! It works for me!
This site was last updated 03/24/06