Yes, I am still working through a wide selection of EVH-themed pickups. This time, it is the Wolfgang® set, made by Fender. Not to be confused with the Wolfgang pickups made by Peavey when EVH was with them…I supposed EVH learned a lesson from the experience with Music Man and DiMarzio, apparently trying to keep more rights to certain aspects of products he is putting his name on.
Speaking of the DiMarzio pickups in those early 90s EVH model Music Man guitars, they are considered to be excellent and hard to beat. I’ll save the comparisons for the final entry of this series, but I can say that these EVH Wolfgang® pickups are not to be taken lightly. There is definitely some solid pickup design going on here.
Since working with a full set for this one, I had to set aside the single pickup test guitar I’d been using on all other previous models. Instead, I decided to give the EVH Wolfgang® pickups a real workout in a guitar that has a history of being a challenge. Mahogany body, maple neck, maple board, Schaller Electronic double-locking trem, Switchcraft 3-way toggle, and 500k CTS pots….and a total re-wire of fresh, new, clean hookup wire. I’d have preferred to try these in a EBMM Axis, but the round tabs would not allow mounting without surgery on something.
These pickups are monsters. You couldn’t get more monstrous and alive pickups if they were hoisted to the top of the castle and struck by lightning. They are clear, they are punchy, they are articulate, they are powerful, they are edgy, they are responsive to pick attack…and they are on the verge of wanting to be out of control.
These bad boys shine with a clean amp setting. They are not rude, but they are not quite polite. They are equally touch sensitive on a clean setting as dirty. From on pickup to the other, as well as blended, all the clean settings were very usable. Chimey and edgy to full and round. Rolling back the volume pots accommodates big strumming chords all the more so.
When switching to a dirty amp setting, you remember why you wanted to play guitar. This is where these EVH Wolfgang® pickups want to be. All the notes were exactly as I’d want them to be…none too sharp and none too loose. Punchy power in the neck, while still offering an excellent lead voicing…..focused attack in the bridge, and still maintains a touch of sweet highs.
series – 14.73k
split N – 7.35k
split S – 7.38k
parallel – 3.68k
series – 17.67k
split N – 9.02k
split S – 8.65k
parallel – 4.42k
Nope, I didn’t mix those up. The bridge clocks in at well into the 17k DCR range. And the coils are on the more symmetrical side than some in this sort of pickup. Fender uses 44 AWG and…get this…Alnico 2 magnets! For something this articulate and sharp and well-defined, you’d never expect A2 magnets or such a high resistance…. another example of how sometimes you have to trust your ears more than the specs.
As with the lion’s share of EVH-themed pickups I’ve tried, the EVH Wolfgang® pickups are well-voiced all-around good rock pickups. They can handle Van Halen era,Van Hagar era, and most any heavy blues and rock and hard rock applications. If your local music shop has an EVH guitar with these in it, definitely check them out.
Darth Phineas is a long time music industry insider who provides his readers with unbiased reviews on musical instrument and guitar gear. You can read more of his reviews and check out industry news on his Facebook community Darth Phineas, Twitter or his website is darthphineas.com