NAMM 2016: EVH has announced a limited edition Tour Relic Wolfgang, built to the exact specs of Eddie Van Halen's 2015 touring guitar, plus three new takes on the Wolfgang model.
The Tour Relic Wolfgang is the big news here, featuring a 'momentary kill switch' mod, a relic'd ivory-over-black finish and eye-bolt strap holders. Elsewhere in the range is the USA Wolfgang, which shares many specs with the Tour Relic but has a non-relic'd, conventional finish and no killswitch, while the Wolfgang WG Standard offers a more affordable option for EVH fans.
Browse the gallery for more information on each of the guitars...
Wolfgang USA Ivory
PRESS RELEASE: From Eddie Van Halen comes the Wolfgang®, representing over 35 years of cumulative EVH® experience and expertise in guitar design. The process undertaken to develop the Wolfgang® took over two years of intense trial-and-error research.
The formidable task yielded a series of prototypes that endured a full year of brutal in-concert road testing by Eddie on Van Halen's triumphant 2007-2008 world tour. The result is a bulletproof and beautiful tonal giant of a guitar that takes whatever you can dish out and then asks for more.
As the VH tour kicked off in the fall 2007, Eddie pushed every aspect of the Wolfgang's performance capabilities to the absolute limit, playing various Wolfgang prototypes every night on virtually every song.
As the tour roared along, Eddie changed and adjusted components and specs until he was satisfied with the Wolfgang's sound, feel and looks. To prove that it was battle-worthy and could survive the road, performance data was collected from every gig for months and months to establish and confirm consistency and durability. This is what makes the Wolfgang the culmination of Eddie Van Halen's endless pursuit of outstanding tone, durability and consistency.
Available to the public beginning in January 2009, the EVH® Wolfgang guitar is built to his exact specs and has every single feature of the Wolfgang guitars he himself plays onstage and in the studio. It's exactly what he uses.
"Everything that I've built, destroyed, stumbled onto, learned and experienced is in this guitar," Eddie Van Halen said. "Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible: stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, five- piece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose® bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going. We left no stone unturned."
Limited Edition Wolfgang USA Tour Relic (Replica)
PRESS RELEASE: SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (January 21, 2016) – For the legion of fans who attended the 2015 Van Halen Tour, it’s unlikely they failed to notice the striking, aged-looking Ivory Wolfgang USA guitar that Eddie Van Halen played onstage.
In exciting news, EVH Gear has announced that it will make available an exact replica of this very instrument for consumers with the release of a limited 20-piece run of custom-built EVH Wolfgang USA Tour Relic Replica guitars.
Van Halen originally planned on using the same Wolfgang USA in Stealth Black that he played during the band’s 2012 tour, but he also asked Master Builder Chip Ellis to build him this guitar with a detailed relic treatment so that the original coat of black paint showed through the Ivory top coat.
“Chip built that for me and did a wonderful job,” Van Halen said in a recent interview. “I compared it to my trusty old Stealth, and the white guitar sounded better, so it immediately became my main guitar for rehearsals and the tour.”
Famous for tinkering with his guitars, Van Halen decided to sand down the back of the neck since he felt it was a little thicker than what he typically prefers from his neck profiles.
“It’s still a little fatter than the Stealth’s neck, but I’m happy with it, so it stuck,” he said. The custom-built instrument also features an ebony fingerboard, block fretboard inlays, custom kill switch, EVH Custom High Friction (Tone) Pot and an EVH “HPU” or High Performance Upgrade, custom-made Low Friction (Volume) Pot.
“It’s the only volume pot I’ve found where I can play ‘Cathedral’ without any crackle or pop,” he said.
All of these features will be found on the EVH Wolfgang USA Tour Relic Replica, which also comes with a Custom Anvil white case (with black interior) featuring the Van Halen logo, Certificate of Authenticity autographed by Eddie Van Halen, EVH instrument cable, EVH strings .009-.042 and an EVH leather strap with dog leash clasps.
PRESS RELEASE: Over 35 years of Eddie Van Halen’s experience, knowledge and experimentation have been distilled into the Wolfgang Special. Tested, tweaked, and refined on the road, this purebred music-making machine places the same highly responsive performance and sound in your hands.
With stunning style, giant sound and high-speed playability along with player-oriented features, it’s ready to crank out some serious rock.
The robust graphite-reinforced quartersawn maple neck—carved and rolled to EVH’s exacting specifications—supports a speedy 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard, facilitating energetic riffing and blazing leads. Twenty-two jumbo frets take every bend with ease without affecting the instrument’s natural tone, allowing every note to ring true.
The crystal clear Custom Designed EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking pickups are mounted directly to the basswood body, supplying girth and sparkle, as well as near-endless sustain to power chords and melody lines.
The rock-solid EVH-branded Floyd Rose Locking Trem combines with the Floyd Rose Locking nut to maintain precise tuning, no matter how insane your whammy-bar histrionics get. The EVH® D-Tuna retunes to Drop-D and back with strict accuracy at the mere flick of a finger, making this the only guitar you’ll need onstage (your tech will thank you, trust us).
Every component of the guitar has been selected and positioned for high-speed playing. The low-friction volume knob lets you perform speedy violin-like volume swells with ease while the tone knob resists easy turning—avoiding unwanted tonal shifts as your picking hand flies furiously across the strings. The EVH DNA injected into this monster of a guitar makes the Wolfgang Special is a hard-rocking machine that begs to be unchained so you can tear it up! Available in three new finishes.
Wolfgang WG Standard
PRESS RELEASE: Unchained performance, priced for the gigging musician! Designed and road-tested by Eddie Van Halen himself, the Wolfgang Standard is ideal for aspiring shredders.
Refined by adjusting components and specs until he’s satisfied, no piece—large or small—is produced until he personally signs off on it, reflecting his commitment to quality and his connection to the gear that bears his name.
The Wolfgang WG Standard contains many of the same blazing features as it’s more expensive brethren—a blazing one-piece bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement rods holds strong against the ravages of temperature and humidity and a speedy 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard with comfortably rolled edges and 22 jumbo frets won’t drag your fretting hand down.
Dual EVH Wolfgang humbucking pickups mounted directly to the body increase vibration transfer, resulting in sustain for days on end. Two domed control knobs have been dialed-in to Van Halen’s exacting specifications—the smooth feeling 500k pots make it easy to find your sound while retaining the crisp high end sparkle of the EVH Wolfgang pickups. The EVH-branded Floyd Rose® Special bridge and R2® locking nut consistently stay in tune through the deepest whammy dives and horse whinnies.
Available in with striking finishes, the uniquely styled Wolfgang body with ergonomic forearm carve and “belly” cut bears oversized strap buttons to keep your instrument where it belongs throughout any onstage acrobatics you may indulge in.
Full of raw rocking tone—whether played clean or crunchy—with the Wolfgang Standard in your arsenal you won’t be afraid to plug in, turn up and rock out with your pedal to the metal.