Peavey is resuming production of its HP 2 electric guitar (opens in new tab). Although Peavey's press release makes no mention of the design's Eddie Van Halen connection with the genesis of the shape and some other features (likely due to contractual reasons), it notes 'renewed vintage appeal' having fuelled the HP 2's return.
First, we need to explain some Eddie Van Halen signature guitar (opens in new tab) backstory: the twin humbucker-loaded Ernie Ball Music Man EVH was launched in 1990 featuring maple- topped basswood body construction, which has persisted through to his latest EVH brand guitars. The guitar's neck was a replica of Eddie's own '5150' guitar, built from Kramer parts.
Eddie's endorsement deal with Ernie Ball ended in 1995, with Ernie Ball going on to produce a similar model under the Axis series.
In 1996 Eddie collaborated with Peavey on the Wolfgang range. He'd already been endorsing the company via the 5150 amp from 1992 (the EVH brand now produces its own 5150). The new guitars were named after his son, and later Van Halen bassist, who was born Wolfgang Van Halen in 1991.
In 2004 Eddie launched his own EVH brand of guitars, amps and merch and following the parting, Peavey launch the HP (the initials of Peavey founder and CEO Hartley Peavey) with the HP 2's launch (opens in new tab) following at 2017's summer NAMM.
It's unclear why production on the HP 2 was halted but now it's back for $2999,99 with preorders starting today at peavey.com (opens in new tab).
"Peavey has entrusted some of the best luthiers in Europe to take over production of the HP 2," states Peavey, "and the first 400 builds will be New Old Stock made from wood that’s been aging since the 1990s. "
The instruments built with this aged wood will be marked with “NOS” on the back of the headstock.
Finish options will be Black, Deep Ocean, Tiger Eye and Moonburst finishes.
The 25.5" scale bolt-on HP 2 features a contoured neck heel, and bolt-on, maple for the top and basswood for the back with a birdseye maple neck and fingerboard cut from a single piece of wood. Fingerboard radius is 15".
An adjustment wheel at the base of the neck can be used to tweak the the steel torsion rod with dual graphite reinforcement bars.
The HP 2 features two custom-wound Peavey humbucking pickups mounted directly to the body - a feature that was always important to EVH for resonance.
Alongside a Switchcraft 3-way toggle switch, there's two push-pull knobs for volume and tone to allow individual coil splits on the pickups. A Peavey/Floyd Rose licensed, double-locking tremolo also features.
Meanwhile, Eddie's home for a new Wolfgang design was his own EVH brand. And following Eddie's passing, his son Wolfgang will now reportedly take on the role of running the company alongside Eddie's longtime tech Matt Bruck.
EVH Gear produces a range of Wolfgang models from Eddie's specific designs, from the Wolfgang Standard at $649.99 shown above to Wolfgang Specials starting at $999 up to the top of the line USA EVH Wolfgang Edward Van Halen signature model at $3,699 pictured below.
EVH Wolfgang review (opens in new tab)
"EVH guitars do everything I want and more, Eddie told us in 2016. "They’re very versatile, all-round guitars, as are the amps.
“It’s just a really well-built, a lot of attention to detail instrument, that makes it easy for anyone to play. I mean, how many beginner guitarists do you know who stopped playing because their fingers hurt?
"For me it was like, the easier the better!" he added. "That’s why our entry model [the Wolfgang Standard] guitar plays as well as the top of the line Wolfgang.”
For more info on EVH Gear visit evhgear.com (opens in new tab)