Joined: 13 Aug 2013
|Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:17 pm Post subject:
|My answer requires a bit of background:
I've owned every different type of EVH guitar that's been made, except for the super expensive replica, but I've played that too. So, I've got a pretty good idea of how they all compare.
My last EVH guitar was a '93 EBMM/EVH, which I sold a while back, so I was without any EVH guitars. I heard the EVH line was coming out with a Made in Mexico Striped Art Series guitar, and was very interested. I've always been impressed with the quality of the Mexican Fender stuff. I did own an Art Series Charvel, but was not a fan of the hidden neck heel truss rod adjustment, so I got rid of it. The new striped series seemed like a good value for the money, with the features that I wanted.
I asked my local guitar shop if they would be ordering them, and they said they would, so I was pretty set on picking one up. I checked in with them a bit later to see if they had come in, and was told that they were on back order for quite a while. In order for them to order the Art Series stuff, they had to also order some Wolfgang Specials, and a couple Amps, and they had received them.
While I was in the store, I decided to pull down a Wolfgang Special to pick it apart. I was prepared to find all the faults with the guitar. I imagined that since it was made in China that it would be comparable to the Korean Peavey Wolfgang Quilt-Top Specials. I seriously was not even considering purchasing one. I was basically on a fault-finding mission.
After careful examination of the fit, finish, and quality, I was surprised to not find a single flaw in the instrument. After playing it, I was blown away by the feel and the tone of it. It's not the same tone as a Peavey or an EBMM, but maybe somewhere in between. I walked away from the experience feeling as though I played a guitar that was equal to or better than a Peavey Wolfgang Special.
After being thoroughly impressed, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the specifications of the guitar. I found that it came with the same hardware and electronics as it's American counterpart. I didn't expect that the frets would be Stainless Steel like the American, but they were. It also has the same compound radius fretboard like the American. Same thin-skin paint finish with bare wood cavities, and it even has a nice birdseye maple fretboard.
I played it a couple more times, and finally got over the fact that it was made in China and bought it.
So, where does it fall compared to Wolfgangs past? That's a kind of complicated question. As far as features go, it's better than a Peavey Wolf special for sure. We could debate subjective things like tone all day long, but it comes with more bells and whistles than the Peavey Specials. Bound body, Stainless Frets, same tuners as the American. I think the only place where the Peavey special might out-do the EVH is on the maple caps that came on the Flame-top Specials. The EVH Specials are using a maple veneer, whereas the Peavey FT Specials used an actual maple cap. The one thing that none of the Peavey specials had though was a tone control.
It's really tough to compare the EVH Wolf Special to a Peavey Wolf Standard. It does have some advantages over the Standard, like the Stainless Frets, Bournes Pots, thin-skin paint and unfinished cavities. The Peavey has the advantages of the carved top. If it were a choice between a new Chinese EVH Wolf Special, or a used Peavey Wolf Standard, I would have to say it depends on what year the Peavey was. The early Peaveys were great, but the quality seemed to dip there towards the end.
As far as the Peavey EXP Wolfgangs go, there is absolutely no comparison. Even made in China, the EVH is light years above and beyond the Korean Wolfgangs. Not even close.
I don't know what the Japanese Specials were like, but I can't imagine them being any better than the one I picked up. It's a workhorse, a real ass-kicker.
If someone wants to argue that the Peaveys feel better to them, or have better tone, that's one thing, because it's a totally opinion based arguement. But if you are saying that because the EVH is manufactured in China that it's somehow an inferior instrument, I'm going to raise the bullshit flag on you. You have either never played one, or you are just not being honest with yourself. I went into the experience with my mind made up that it was inferior, and it completely surprised me. My hesitation on pulling the trigger on one wasn't based on my experience with the guitar, but where it was manufactured. Once I realized that, I had to admit to myself that I was just being a dick.