Review: EVH Gear Wolfgang WG Standard Guitar — Video


The EVH Wolfgang USA guitar designed and played by Eddie Van Halen is one hell of a fine instrument, but not everyone can afford its $4,000-plus sticker price.

Fortunately, EVH recently introduced its most affordable version of the Wolfgang guitar yet—the EVH Wolfgang WG Standard.

With features that include a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo and a pair of Wolfgang humbuckers, it offers much of the same vibe as Eddie’s main ax while saving shredders a whole lot of bucks.

FEATURES The EVH Wolfgang WG Standard is available with a basswood body (gloss black finish version) or basswood body with quilt maple top (transparent black and transparent red finish versions).

One slight difference between the WG Standard and the USA model is that this version’s lower bass bout is contoured for increased playing comfort as well as tummy cut on the upper back of the body. The bolt-on one-piece maple neck has 22 jumbo frets, a 12- to 16-inch compound radius, 25 1/2-inch scale, comfortable shallow C-shaped profile, oiled natural finish, and spoke wheel truss rod adjuster located above the 22nd fret.

Electronics consist of a pair of direct-mounted Wolfgang humbuckers, master volume and tone controls, and a three-position pickup selector. Hardware includes an EVH-branded Floyd Rose Special tremolo, EVH brand tuners, and oversized strap buttons. There are a few notable differences between the Wolfgang WG Standard and the Wolfgang USA models, such as the lack of a D-Tuna, nickel frets instead of stainless steel, regular pots instead of low-friction versions, and no multi-layer binding, but the Standard model’s features offer the same basic essentials as the flagship USA version.

PERFORMANCE Thanks primarily to its maple fretboard, the Wolfgang WG Standard sounds slightly brighter than its USA counterpart, but its fierce tone and expressive responsiveness is virtually identical. The jumbo frets will likely please shredders more than the small vintage-style frets found on the USA model as well. In fact, with its lighter weight and forearm contour, the Wolfgang WG Standard is overall more comfortable to play.

Attention to detail is quite impressive for a guitar in this price range. The fretboard edges are rounded to maximize playing comfort, and the fretwork is simply perfect. The transparent finish versions add an extra dimension of class with their quilt maple tops with unstained edges that simulate the look of natural wood binding.

LIST PRICES $733.32 (gloss black); $799.99 (transparent black or transparent red)

A pair of direct-mounted Wolfgang humbuckers provides fierce tones and expressive responsiveness. The flat-top body features a contoured lower bass bout that enhances playing comfort by providing a smooth surface where the forearm contacts the top.

THE BOTTOM LINE The Wolfgang WG Standard may lack a few of the high-end details of the flagship EVH Wolfgang USA model, but its sound and playability are essentially the same, making this model an incredible bargain.

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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.