HP Special and Custom Order Frequently Asked Questions?

 (Link to Order Form: HP Configuration Worksheet)

 Is the HP Special just a Wolfgang with a new name?

No.  The Peavey designers didn’t want the HP to be a Wolfgang because they didn’t want to upset Wolfgang owners and they wanted to build something that was the next step forward (up).  However, the HP should appeal to anyone who loves the Wolfgang because it has the same tone and quality with even more options.  I have also confirmed it will have the same neck.  That is huge!  The pictures below are from the NAMM show in January other than the two on the right, which is the very first order that is currently in process for me.  They did the custom color for me and the picture was sent to see if I liked it.  I love it!   Click on the thumbnail image for the larger picture.



Why is it called an HP Special rather than its own name like the original “Carina” name that was announced?

I think that it was probably easier for Peavey not to fight with EVH on a new guitar.  EVH owns the Wolfgang brand and design and Peavey and EVH agreed at some point that Peavey wouldn’t build a clone of the Wolfgang like Ernie Ball did with the Axis and the EVH Music Man.  By taking an existing line it was easier to get it launched quickly.  The name “Special” is confusing because in the Wolfgang line the “Special” meant the flat top version.  That is not the case with the HP Special.  The HP Special represents both the archtop and the flat top.  The archtop is called the HP Special “CT”.  CT stands for "Carved Top".  In case you didn't get it HP stands for Hartley Peavey.


Is the HP quality likely to be lower than the Wolfgang?

It is there intent to make it even better and I can’t see why there would be any change in quality anyway.  It is being built by the exact same people, in the exact same facility with the exact same machines and tools.  My expectation is that it will be every bit as good unless they make decisions to use lesser materials or build procedures, which so far is not at all the case.  The HP Special is Peavey’s premier guitar now.  It is intended to be the best of what they can build.   Although they are not saying this, I sense they want to “one-up” the Wolfgang, which is good for us as consumers.  This should be the ultimate USA Custom Shop guitar at a great price.


Will they build me a guitar the way I want it?

For the most part the answer is "Yes".  A lot of things that will likely eventually be available, will not be available in the first 6 to 12 months as they need to get the guitar launched and they won't be ready to do some of the options in the beginning.  If you have never ordered a guitar from the Peavey Custom Shop and you love guitars, this is something you will love.  To think about what you want and then have them build a guitar just for you, with your options is very cool.  It is a different experience than just buying a new guitar from a store or on-line and of course you are getting a work of art.  This is a personal experience and you will appreciate the guitar even more.   In my opinion the Peavey HP Special was a way to continue the Custom Shop and to keep a prestige guitar in the Peavey line up.  For the guitar player that wants the ultimate rock guitar they needed something when the Wolfgang went away and they wanted to keep the Custom Shop going.  This was the way to do it.  They will build the guitar in 10 stock colors and in 2 base models (flat top and archtop).  This is just like the Wolfgang line.   And of course there will the Custom Shop versions.  You can get "most" everything you could get in a Peavey Wolfgang Custom Shop model and more, although a lot of options won't be available in the first year.  So think Wolfgang Custom Shop options and then go from there.


What are the main differences between this guitar and a Wolfgang?

1) The trem is floating but there is a lock down bracket that is on the guitar so you can have it go just one way like the Wolfgang.  The trem is the same one on the Wolfgang.  2) The pick-ups are pretty much the same but designed to be split for a single coil sound.  The HP Special comes with a coil tap switch for this purpose.  Another add without taking anything away.  The pick-ups are said to be slightly hotter but most people probably won't notice the difference.  Their appearance is exactly the same.   Multiple pick-up configurations are also something that may be offered on a Custom order eventually, but not the first year.  3)  The body has a contour cut into it for better playing comfort.  4)  The horns are slightly pointier and the headstock is just a little different.   The selector switch has been moved to the lower part of the guitar as the top horn won't support a switch (not enough room).  5) The Archtop has the knobs recessed into the body a little.   The knobs are also different but that is certainly something you can change yourself easily if you like something different like the strat style knobs that were on the Wolfgang.  6)  The neck profile was slightly different on the prototypes but I have been told they will make the neck the same as the Wolfgang and that those were not representative of what we will see.  They were just trying that at NAMM to see what people thought.  By popular demand they are going with the Wolfgang neck.    7) The headstock is matching (nice touch!).  This use to cost extra on the Wolfgang Custom Shop models. 


What are the differences in materials used?

There are none.  It has the same basswood body standard.   It is all the same hardware.  The binding is different.  A natural wood "binding" comes standard and there is an upcharge for a cream or black tape binding.  They really don't want to do these so the price is kind of high.  The Wolfgang archtop had a unique poured binding, which they are not doing anymore as they said the process resulted in too many wrecked tops.  Stainless frets are available at no extra charge.


What won’t I get on the HP Special that I got on a Wolfgang?

EVH’s name on the headstock.  While cool to have for many it does make the guitar more expensive for obvious reasons and it doesn’t make it a better guitar.   You won't be able to get any of the custom fretboard inlays available on the Wolfgang, but you can do other things.  The trem will only float but it can be locked down to only go flat. 


What options can I get on the HP Special?

If you want to order a guitar use the below list as a guide.  Here are the things to think about when ordering a Peavey HP Custom Special:  (Link to Order Form with prices: HP Configuration Worksheet)

  1. Choose the Archtop (CT) or the flat top model.  The Archtop is the top of the line.   The controls will recessed on the Archtop but not the flat top.  A lot of people prefer this.  I believe it was done in part to help separate the guitar from the Wolfgang and to compete with PRS.  The archtop Custom starts at $2,399 list and the flat top I believe is $2,199 list for the Custom Shop version.  Only a trem model is available right now.


  1. Choose a body wood.  Basswood is standard.  You can also get Alder, Ash, Mahogany, Koa and Korina for an upcharge.  See the pricing form.  If you like warm distortion Basswood is best, followed by Alder.  Mahogany will give you better clean tones and be more versatile.  At least that has been my experience.  I am not sure what I think about Ash but it is my least favorite of the available choices.  Koa is also available.  It is beautiful and better for clean tones and lighter distortion.  Korina is also a possible option.  


  1. Choose a top wood.  Unless you chose a solid body construction (no top) you will want to choose a top wood.  The top provides some brightness to the tone.  A flame (tiger) maple or quilted (curly) maple top will sound the same as they are the same basic type of wood.  The difference is cosmetic.  The flame top, quilt top or a solid color is standard.  A quilt top is a standard (no charge) option, which is nice.  A Koa top is also available.  Korina is not listed as as option.  Birdseye is something you can get but they don't really want to do it as it is very hard to find a nice piece for a top.  The list price on the Birdseye top is $800.  I wouldn't do it at that price.


  1. Choose a top color.   They can do anything and you can also do a burst in anything but you will pay an upcharge of $300 list for a custom transparent color.  There is no upcharge for a custom solid color.  There are 10 standard colors on the models built for stock.  They are Trans Amber, Moonburst (blue), Red, Tobacco Burst, Black, Gold, Cherry Sunburst, Trans Black, Trans Margarita and Black Cherry.  Here are pictures of the very first ones they are doing for me with a custom color.  I don't have this guitar yet. 



  1. Choose a body color.   Unless you specify otherwise the body will be gloss black like the Wolfgang.  I like doing the body in a color other than black on many guitars.  An example would be a dark orange body to go with an Orange Quilt top or a dark burgundy body to go with a Koa top.  If the wood is something nice like Mahogany I would go with a transparent finish.  Basswood is not good for a transparent finish based on the way the wood looks and comes out when it is stained.


  1. Choose your hardware color?  Standard is chrome, but you can upgrade to gold or black hardware for an additional charge.  If you go with black, consider making the pick-up tops all black. 


  1. Choose your fretboard wood.  It comes standard with maple (flat top), birdseye (Archtop).  You can get ebony or birdseye for an upcharge.  There is no charge for Rosewood.    I have found that while beautiful, ebony is the most subject to shrinkage in a dry climate.  The result is the frets protruding slightly at the edges if you don't keep the guitar in a more humid environment.  I run humidifiers all the time.  Ebony will also change the tone a little, adding brightness.  Birdseye is the best for the warm distortion (“brown”) sound.


  1. Choose your fretboard inlay.  There are only three options and there is no extra charge for any of them.  Pearl dots, black dots and pearl bars.  They will do custom inlays but you would need to get a quote as they send these out.   I don’t advise getting anything but black dots on a birdseye or maple fretboard because you can’t see them well enough.  You might as well get no dots on the fretboard and just go with the side marker dots.  Again, you should be able to see them.  There is an upcharge (not sure why) for dots on 5 and 12 only of $100 list.   Also, they will not do any of the EVH or custom inlays they offered on the Wolfgang.


  1. Choose a binding color if the guitar has a top.  To me, I think when you burst a color into a black around the edge or a very dark color that the black binding can look good because it disappears.  The guitar actually appears to be beefier.  If you get a black binding where it will contrast with the guitar I think this is risky.  Sometimes it looks good and sometimes it doesn’t.  The natural wood binding is standard, although this isn't really a binding.   If you want a cream or black binding they want $300 at list for this.  That hurts!  A sprayed gold binding is $200.  The bindings are tape bindings and not the poured binding on the Wolfgangs.  I am told they ruined too many good tops with that process.  The bottom line is they just want to do the Natural bindings.

Note:  You may eventually be able to get different pick-up configurations as well but not for about six months to a year at least.  The standard will be two humbuckers.   A D-tuna is not currently an option.  Strap locks are a $100 list option.  A left handed guitar is $600 extra but it will take six months as these bodies have to be hand made.


I can help you to configure a guitar that is right for you.  I have had a lot of experience trying a lot of different things and I can tell you what I think will work and what won’t for what you are going for with your Custom Shop guitar or at least what it is likely to be the best.  In fact, I doubt there is anyone who has spent as much time actually trying out all these different options in a finished Wolfgang product other than the people in the Custom shop.


Do you have a music Store?

No, I am a collector of Wolfgang guitars that got a little carried away and recently turned it into a side business for fun.  I don’t do this for the money (luckily).   My side business is called “Rock and Roll Weekend”.  I will have a website called www.RockNRollWeekend.com that will be up shortly where I will do all business from.  By day I am the CEO of a software company, which is more than a full time job.  Our company makes the software I will use to run the back end of this business and new, integrated Rock N Roll Weekend web store.   The website address for my company is www.camcommerce.com.  I started this company in 1983 when I was 24 so I have been at it awhile.   My guitar activities have nothing to do with this company but it might help you feel more comfortable that you are dealing with a reliable and stable individual that you know where to find if you felt you needed to. 


How do I contact you by phone?

Before publishing my phone number on the site I am trying to see how much work this is going to be first.  If you are serious about ordering a guitar and want to speak to me, if you give me your phone number I can call you.  I can then give you a number you can reach me at.  I realize people ordering guitars like this are spending a lot of money and that the personal contact is important.  I just don’t want to publish the number on my site and be getting more activity of all kinds that overwhelms me.   Also, I live on e-mail for my job and I am very good about responding as I don’t like to get behind.  E-mail is the best way to reach me at any time.  I am constantly checking and responding to e-mail.


What are the price and terms on an HP Special Custom Shop Order?

If you order a guitar, I require a non-refundable $400 deposit, with the balance due when the guitar is shipped to you.  Of course if for some reason I can’t get the guitar I would refund your deposit.  I can take payment by check or wire transfer.  I can also take credit cards and payments through Paypal but I would need to charge 2.9% to cover their fee as I am working on very thin margins.  As for the price please e-mail me about that.  I provide a straight discount from the list price of whatever you order.   On a final payment I would need to hold any personal checks until they clear.


Where will you ship to?

I will ship most anywhere.  I have had good luck so far shipping guitars all over the world.  I do require a bank wire transfer on any International payments / shipments.


Will the HP Special's be a reasonable investment?

I don't like to lose money on guitars I buy.  If I can own it and enjoy it and not have it go down in value I am happy.  If it goes up in value that is just gravy.  Having said that you never know, but I do think at the prices I am offering that you won't lose money on this guitar as long as you don't order something goofy or beat it up.  They just can't make that many Custom Shop guitars so if the guitar is a success in the market then you will have an early serial number of a guitar that will be hard to get and that people will have to wait in line for.  If it is not successful in the market and it is discontinued you will have a rare guitar.  I think we can be sure the guitar will be awesome.  That is totally separate (unfortunately) as to whether it succeeds in the market.  It certainly helps!  My sincere advice is if you liked the Wolfgang to order one of these early.