Korean made Wolfgang Specials (EXP)
I have gotten quite a few questions about the Korean made Wolfgangs (EXP's), mostly along the line of why I donít feature them on the site. The people who have contacted me have all had very positive comments about the guitar. Now I own one and I must say for the money you can't beat it. It won't replace a Wolfgang Standard though.
The Korean Wolf has the same pick-ups as the U.S. made models. It has a quilt top (although it isn't really a "top"). It is a paper thin veneer that goes over the basswood (glued) but it is still real wood even if it doesn't have the thicker top of the U.S. models. And the top is beautiful. A standard deluxe archtop starts with a 5/8" thick top before carving and a Special is 1/4". The veneer on the Korean model is wafer thin (.020) so you can see why I say it wouldn't offer the tonal qualities of a maple top. You can tell the difference in the tone. So it will have the tone of the lower priced Special without a maple top. It does not have a birdseye maple neck but it feels similar. The body is basswood but a little denser wood. The workmanship is excellent and the Korean made Wolfgang is a good value. Someone who owns one and is an accomplished musician sent me the following e-mail in regards to this guitar, which he agreed to let me publish here. He clearly knows a lot more about this guitar than I do, so here is the information. This was before I owned one.
"Hello, I enjoyed visiting your website. Good info. I do have a comment to make regarding the Korean Quilt Tops. I have been playing for over 27 years. I was the runner up in the open auditions to replace Randy Rhoads in Ozzy's band for the Speak of the Devil tour so I would like to think I know what I am talking about. I just picked up a 2002 Korean Blue Quilt top. I can't get over the fit/finish/playability and tone of this relatively inexpensive guitar. I have owned in the past an original EBMM that was absolutely outstanding and I have had a few USA Wolf standards in the past. This Korean model is every bit as good as any Wolf I have ever owned or played. Sure no birdseye, sure the Floyd is a cast piece. Also there are no graphite reinforcement rods in the neck but that is because the neck is not natural and oiled like the USA models. It is sealed with a light coat of poly and this negates the need for the graphite rods. It is very smooth and contoured exactly like the other models but it is rather plain looking. You mentioned that the quilt top is "faux", I don't believe that that is correct. Peavey states that only the binding is "faux". I looked very closely at mine and if the binding is fake, it is the best fake job I have ever seen. Even the grain in the binding is noticable. I would almost 100% guarantee that it is not fake <Wolfganguitars.com: As it turns out it is a very thin veneer so it is real curly maple but not a standard maple top Ė still the wood is real>
Regarding the tone and the playability, this Korean model sounds and plays as good as any Wolfgang I have ever owned or played. The pickups are exactly the same as the EBMM's or the USA models. I am a pickup junky so I know tons about pickups. These zebras are the real deal. Fretwork is perfect and smooth. No dead spots or buzzing anywhere on the neck. Neck pocket is as tight as can be and very stable. Mini Grover tuners work flawlessly, it stays in tune under any conditions and the d-tuna works perfectly. The volume pot has a nice smooth feel and even the whammy bar is very stable and shaped correctly and it naturally sits at just the right place. If I was to judge it on collectability or future value it would certainly lose to the USA models but that is how most USA manufactures fair when they have an import line. I would compare the Korean Quilt top to the older Japanese Fender Stratocasters. When they 1st came out they were not accepted and were generally frowned upon because they were not made in the USA. Look at them now! They are widely recognized as superior or at least as good as the USA models. Their prices have skyrocketed. I feel that the Korean Quilt Top will become a "niche" Wolfgang and will rightly earn a spot on your website. Heck, mine is a very early 2002 and it doesn't have the Eddy signature burned in the back of the headstock. The reason is because the 1st run of Korean QT's were manufactured BEFORE the machine arrived in Korea that brands the name into the back of the headstock. I guess that means I have a rare model!! Anyway, I wouldn't email you if I didn't feel that you misrepresented the new Korean model on your website by calling it "not the real thing". After kicking butt, constantly learning and shredding for over 27 years it certainly plays/looks and sounds real to me. The reviews are outstanding on it also so it just can't be me. Thanks for your time... John Gallicano CAGE"