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This article was originally published in issue #10
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Review of Wolfgang USA Custom Guitar -
So to the top of the range, set-neck Wolfgang. This guitar boasts exquisite styling, woods and features and looks that, I must say, seem to me to be anything but Van Halen-like! In fact it reminds me more of the type of instrument a rich collector would add to his collection of Private Stock PRS models proudly hanging on the wall, as opposed to the beaten-up, stripy, cigarette burnt and battle scared axe that we have become to know and love in Eddie's hands.
The body is the same Wolfgang design, but is made from mahogany with a ½" solid maple flame top and seven-ply body edge binding. It's a thick body, with the pickups mounted into some seriously meaty wood, although they are in surrounds and not direct mounted. The neck is a vintage style set (i.e. glued) neck, made from mahogany, with a bound ebony board, and custom trapezoid fret markers. The neck includes 22 stainless steel vintage frets and it also features graphite stabilising rods, and also has the now familiar EVH wheel for truss rod adjustment.
The headstock also features seven-ply binding, and thanks to its angle, no string retainer is required. The machine heads are conventional style with pearl buttons and this guitar also features a standard non-locking nut, although the stop tail bridge still has fine tuners.
The look and styling of this guitar is quite different to the other Wolfgangs. The pickups are not direct mount, with the EVH custom design humbuckers with nickel covers mounted with pickup surrounds. It also features two low friction 500k volume pots, and two 500k tone pots. The knobs are the more traditional 'top hat' style knobs as opposed to the more functional MXR style used on the rest of the range.
Once again the guitar sits and balances perfectly, and the body feels noticeably thicker than the USA Wolfgang. Plugged in, it sounds...well... exceptional: very thick and full, and quite different in sound to the USA Wolfgang. Cleans are rich and thick and when the gain is kicked-in, the crunch is very dark - almost Les Paul like. This is a very big sounding guitar.
I couldn't help feeling that although this unique instrument it is to Eddie's spec, it doesn't sound like you would expect an Eddie guitar to sound. Maybe he's mellowing in his old age!?