The Peavey EVH Custom Shop "was" a group of 4 highly talented
craftsman each with their own specialty. The shop closed to Wolfgang
orders in 2004 with the departure of EVH but has re-opened for the HP
Special in 2005 (Click this link to see a review of the first HP -
HP Review). The Custom Shop operated out of the Leakesville guitar facility, which was
closed in April, 2003. It opened in January of 2002. The EVH Custom Shop was moved to Peavey's main
facility in Meridian, MS in May of 2003 along with the rest of guitar production. I originally had no idea the Custom Shop was a such a small group. During the
slightly more than a year that they operated out of Leakesville, so much time
was spent on each guitar that they were only producing an average of little
less than one Wolfgang Custom Shop model per day. Approximately 285
Custom Shop Wolfgangs were produced in Leakesville, of which 92 of these
were specific orders and the rest were produced for the Vault or the NAMM
show.. The attention to
detail really showed in the finished product. Another 130 specific
customer orders were produced in Meridian after mid 2003 and another 70 or
so Vault guitars, many of which are not really true Customs as they were
using up remaining materials inventory. Thus, approximately 500 Custom
Shop Wolfgangs were built from 2002 through 2004 (220 were specific customer
orders). More than 100 of those have made it to this site thus far and
are pictured here. Again, some of the last 50 were really
put together using whatever parts and pieces they had in order to help move
the remaining inventory and shouldn't be viewed as the same quality as a
prior Custom Shop guitar. Any Wolfgang where the only upgrade is a
rosewood fretboard is technically called a Custom Shop, but most really are
not. EVH didn't want the production guitars to have rosewood
fretboards so the only way they could produce them like this was to call
them Custom Shop guitars. While these guitars are not really Custom
Shop guitars, the rosewood fretboard is less common. They only had this
option the last 3 years after the Custom shop opened. For now I would say about 450 real Custom
Shop models is a good number. The Custom Shop
models were/are the ultimate rock guitar. The HP Special model may
even go further, but time will tell.
It is my guess that the Custom Shop was conceived and
implemented as a way to showcase the best of what Peavey can do with guitars
and the Wolfgang. It is an image builder and a marketing program for
the company and not a profit center. Those are my words, not theirs.
With such a limited production, this just adds to the special nature of this
guitar. In addition to incredible quality, tone and unique
configurations, you have a very limited supply. Many of the guitars
produced by the Custom Shop are one of a kind.
When I started ordering
guitars from the Custom Shop I wanted to try everything. I wanted to
try each of the different woods they offered for the body. I had to try
different tops and different configurations. I am just as excited (maybe more so) when I receive
a new guitar from the Shop today or find one in the after market. There is
that great anticipation of opening the case for the first time. And
then plugging it in and firing it up! Wow! I also view
them as my art collection!
Following is a list of Custom Shop models, along with a
description and link to a page for each with pictures. About 1/3rd of these guitars are mine but as people send me pictures and descriptions of theirs I will
create a listing and a page for them and give them credit. If that
person would like to include their e-mail address for questions from others
I will include it.
Custom Shop Options - The Custom Shop would
do special things if you asked them to, which I really appreciate. One
was a string through bridge, another was a birdseye maple top. The
others were generally custom top colors, body colors or fretboard inlays.
They also produced some guitars for the NAMM shows and the EVH Vault with
some special options such as solid Koa or Korina construction, mahogany
neck, special inlays, decorative pick-up rings, Lucite body, etc..
Following was what they let you configure on-line:
After selecting whether to start with a Special, Special
Deluxe, Standard or Standard Deluxe, the basic options that anyone could
select in building a Custom Shop Wolfgang on-line were; the body wood; top
wood; fretboard wood; fretboard inlays; bridge type; hardware color; top
color / graphic and matching/standard headstock. The body wood options
were basswood (standard), Alder, Ash or Mahogany. You could get Koa as
a body wood but it wasn't a standard option. You could get a
stop tail bridge or a Floyd Rose Tremolo system (same price for either).
You could choose the hardware color as chrome (standard), gold or black.
The Specials came with the birdseye neck, which was an upgrade from a
production special. For the fretboard you could select Birdseye
(standard), Rosewood or Ebony. For the inlays they had pearl or black
dots (standard), EVH Blocks, Tribal Flames, Skulls or if you asked them they
would leave the inlays off. For the top you could select flame maple
(standard), quilted maple, Koa or none (solid body construction).
There were about 30 colors to choose from including graphics and a custom
graphic option. I did this with my Luna De Fuego guitar. I
supplied the art and they got it on the guitar with their artist. And
finally you could get a matching headstock, which I always did. I also
love the stop tail bridge, especially with the more exotic woods. It
overall just has a better feel on the action and provides for a little
better sustain. However, sometimes you just got have that trem and so
if I only had one Wolfgang it would have a trem. Fortunately, I have a
few to choose from!
Custom Inlays - All of the Custom Shop special
inlays were done by Ron Thorn. You can see Ron's site at:
I asked Ron if he did any custom inlays for the Wolfgangs beyond the 5 that
were available through the Custom Shop standard offering. This is what
he said: "As far as 'custom' inlays went, I recall one that I inlaid
that read 'Les Paul' in pearl in a 50's style font. That apparently
was going to be a gift from EVH to Les. I never saw it completed.
There were a handful of other ones, such as wolf heads, diamonds, and I
think a koa hot-rod flame board.... There were a couple that I did in
pin-stripe flames using a silver acrylic for the outside edge of the flames
and a black pearloid for the center.... those looked pretty hip." You
should check out Ron's site. He does some really cool stuff.
<Click the thumbnail pictures below for a larger image and
the links to the left where available for more pictures>