Review: EVH Wolfgang Special QM

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Review: EVH Wolfgang Special QM

EVH Guitars Wolfgang Special
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

EVH Wolfgang Special QM - Sangria | Fender Music Australia | RRP $2299.00

The EVH Guitars Wolfgang is a now classic body shape, known worldwide as Eddie Van Halen’s own design across a few companies. Settled now in the company he founded himself, the aptly named EVH, the EVH Wolfgang Special nestles itself comfortably between accessible EVH Wolfgang Standard guitars and their USA-made top-tier models.

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EVH’s range harnesses all the modifications and frankensteining (a newly developed verb) that Eddie Van Halen himself did in the seemingly endless pursuit of tone. We say seemingly because Eddie did seem to reach the end of the tone rainbow eventually, changing the world of guitar as we know it. The Wolfgang Special ties together some of his mods, like direct mount pickups, a D-Tuna, and Treble Bleed Circuit together for a streamlined, modern machine.

The EVH Guitars Wolfgang Special QM (quilt maple) is a solid body electric with a bolt-on neck. Known for their precise and laser-focused sound, bolt-on guitars are used extensively amongst modern metal and rock players, allowing for blistering levels of gain while retaining a clear, concise and balanced sound overall. This model specifically has a Sangria finish, its deep, vibrant red finish bleeding into a warmer hue as the burst fades towards the dual humbuckers and Floyd Rose. Striking nickel hardware offset the warmth of the burst, highlighted further by the baked maple neck and fretboard.

The EVH Wolfgang is built from basswood, the quilt maple cap offering a more exotic look, and the Sangria burst highlighting the depth of the maple. It features the Wolfgang shape, a slightly offset, slightly single-cut appearance, though its curves and shape makes for a really comfortable play. 1-ply cream binding completes the look!

EVH humbuckers

Dual (direct mount) EVH Wolfgang Humbucking pickups are controlled by a three position toggle and volume and tone pots. The direct mount design was something used extensively by Eddie himself, removing everything in the way of accessing various switching mods on his own guitars, as well as additional space for flutter and divebombs techniques on his Floyd Rose.

The tremolo on this Wolfgang is a Floyd Rose 1000 Series Locking, securing the strings at both the bridge end and the locking nut at the other end. As standard, the Wolfgang Special features EVH’s D-Tuna system, a simple contraption that allows for quick switching to drop-tuning. Because of the mechanism involved in securing a Floyd Rose, this is usually impossible without some quick work with an allen key, the D-Tuna offering just enough additional tension to return the guitar to standard when depressed.

Beyond the body, the Wolfgang Special’s neck is made from baked maple, offering a uniquely cool look as well as a more robust and responsive tone. Maple in general is bright, but baking it removes any mud from it sonically, providing a snappy, immediate tonality to the guitar even before it has been plugged in. The tuners are a three-a-side affair, with EVH’s own branded tuners securing the strings above the locking nut and string retainer. No need for locking tuners here, they’re secured between the nut and bridge for maximum stability during massive, soaring divebombs. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the absence of a truss rod cover at the headstock, as the Wolfgang Special (and a lot of EVH Guitars’ range) feature a handy spoke wheel at the base of the neck.

Amplified, the Wolfgang Special has an immediate clarity to it. The Wolfgang Humbuckers are definitely hot, but there’s a vintage grit to them, while also cleaning up nicely. The guitar overall isn’t overtly bright, nor is it muddy and overly hefty. In a word, it’s balanced. Individual strings ring out between chords, and whether noodling near the nut or wailing up to the 22nd (jumbo) fret, there’s an immediacy to it all. It plays nice with both cleaner settings and high-gain, retaining the ability to articulate every string no matter your amp settings. The right combination of woods and hardware have made the Wolfgang Special something really, uh… special.

An additional mention has to go to the Bourns Low Friction Volume Pot, and Bourns High Friction Pot that would allow Eddie to more accurately adjust settings on the fly. The volume pot has 500K of resistance while the tone has 250K, a winning combination after years of experimentation from EVH.

All in all, the Wolfgang Special from EVH Guitars is a sight to behold. Bursts are nothing new, but this Sangria burst is really pleasant. It straddles modern trends and vintage good looks, helped along by the warm tones of the baked maple. Speaking of tones, the direct mount humbuckers offer tone in droves! Easily shifting from clean to all-out gain, the Wolfgang Special handles it all with ease, retaining its own clarity and balanced sound no matter your settings. Tuning is a breeze with the Floyd Rose system, and even when really trying to getcha pull, the Floyd Rose 1000 series locking bridge can handle it all.

Modern tones, refined playability and eye-catching good looks – what’s not to love?

For more info visit EVH Guitars.