This site is for Wolfgangs but after much consideration I have decided to add a section on the Music Man EVH because the fact is that the Wolfgang owes its heritage to this fantastic guitar. The Custom Shop Wolfgangs are now even more collectable due to the fact there were far fewer produced and the variety in the custom shop offerings far surpasses anything that Music Man ever did with their EVH guitar. However, there are too many production model Wolfgangs produced for them to become highly collectable (except for the first year quilt top), in my humble opinion – of course!
The quality of the tops on the Music Man EVH guitars are fantastic making them some of the most beautiful guitars ever produced for this type of guitar. Based on my extensive experience with both I don’t think the quality of the overall guitar is nearly as good as the Wolfgang. They don’t hold up nearly as well. The quality of the tops was very consistent throughout the production life of this guitar and there the EVH Music Man is far superior. There are also quite a few beautiful colors to choose from. The guitar itself is very similar to the Wolfgang in many ways but to me has a little higher pitched tone and a slightly brighter sound that corresponds more to the earlier EVH sound, while the Wolfgang has a “warmer” tone. This makes sense when you consider the evolution of the VH sound. I am open to other descriptions but this is the best way I can think of to state the difference. The neck on the Music Man is slightly smaller being 1-9/16″ at the nut and the Wolfgang 1-5/8″. So as far as which guitar is better when it comes to tone…… I would think that totally depends on which tone you like. I can’t really see liking one and hating the other. They are just too similar. I can see liking one just a little better. I like them both. After all, why decide on just one when you can have them both? My favorite though is the Wolfgang. And overall I go for the warmer Wolfgang tone. I also find the Wolfgang much more comfortable to play, which is surprising considering how similar the guitars are. And again, in my opinion the overall quality of the Wolfgangs is much better. They hold up better.
Production Figures – According to someone who should know at Music Man, they produced approximately 6000 of these guitars from approximately January of 1990 to September of 1995 when the last one rolled out the door. The estimate was about 1,200 per year although that would put the number closer to 7,000. This is a recently provided number. They don’t give out an exact number. I personally believe it is a little higher than this when you look at the serial number run but that is nothing more than my guess.
How Rare is the Color? The most common colors are red, gold (amber), blue and purple with about 1400 of each. This includes the stop tails as approximately 200 of the red, purple and amber were stop tails (about 600 total of these). There are about 600 trans black and 600 sunburst. I am not sure on the Natural but I would say 400 is a good guess. They only made about 200 pink. Green is said to be the third rarest color with 96 total pieces produced. The rarest color is solid black at 16 pieces, followed by solid gold at 26 pieces. These figures come from a very knowledgeable collector who got them from Music Man years ago and from another collector who for the most part had the same figures. I can’t say for sure that they are correct but I think they are at least close.
Serial Number Surprise – The serial numbers on the Music Man guitars are NOT consecutive. You can’t tell the day, month and year the guitar was produced by looking at the serial number. The reason is that MM had the serial number plates produced all at once and they came back from the supplier out of order and MM didn’t think it was worthwhile to put them in order. So they just used them somewhat randomly. Also, some serial number plates that had quality problems or got scratched were never used. The only way to positively identify the production date is to ask MM. They can type the serial number into their computer and get the date of production. I have these for my guitars below. You can see that although my serial numbers are in different ranges, all the guitars turned out to be from 1995 with the Natural and Sunburst models being two of the last ones built at the end of September 1995 when they ceased production. It makes sense that the ones that are like new would be from 1995 as once people realized they were going away they started collecting them. Peavey puts the Wolfgang serial numbers in the headstock as they produce them so they would not have this problem with serial numbers out of order.