The Peavey HP2 In The Flesh

By far the most talked-about guitar at the Melbourne Guitar Show this past weekend was the Peavey HP2. If you haven’t heard yet, this marks Peavey’s return to USA-made electric guitars, and it’s very, very similar to the old Edward Van Halen Wolfgang models. Word has it that these are actually made using New Old Stock bodies that had been sitting around unpainted since Eddie departed, and that this first run has already been completely sold to dealers. 

If you’re in the USA, you can keep an eye on Guitar Center’s Peavey guitar inventory (including used Wolfgangs) here. If you’re here in Australia, Galactic Music is our Peavey distributor and you can find your nearest dealer here.

I checked the HP2 out up close and was instantly taken back to how great the Wolfgang was. There are a few subtle changes that separate this from the Wolfgang though. The pickups cosmetics are now standard zebra, instead of one zebra and one reverse zebra, and the pickups are tweaked a little to allow them to sound better in single coil mode than the originals did. The Peavey logo on the headstock is bigger, and there’s a range of new finishes including the beautiful Deep Ocean. It was hard to judge the sound on the crowded and very noisy show floor but initial impressions are that the tone is everything it should be, with maybe a little more detail in the high end. 

Obviously it goes without saying that EVH’s Wolfgang guitars are phenomenal quality, and the range hits a lot of different price points that Peavey isn’t hitting. I know a lot of completists who will want an HP2 to go alongside their army of Peavey Wolfgangs, EVH Wolfgangs and Striped Series, Ernie Ball Music Man Edward Van Halen guitars and various Kramers. 

Peavey’s New USA-Made HP2 Looks Familiar…

Look, there’s no way to get around this so let’s just dive in: Peavey has returned to building guitars in the USA again, in the form of the HP 2 Guitar. And It looks very much like the Peavey Wolfgang. Eddie Van Halen took the Wolfgang design with him when he left to set up his own company working with Fender, but I’m pretty sure Peavey wouldn’t have taken this step without some kind of legal justification for using the design. One thing’s for sure though: this thing looks hot. Seriously, look at it in this pic. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here. When EVH left Peavey, large chunks of the Wolfgang design lived on in the form of the brilliant HP Special guitar for a while. Those things were phenomenal. Does the market have space to sustain two Wolfgang-shaped guitars, one of which has ‘Wolfgang’ on the headstock? I guess we’ll see. I can’t wait to try one of these though.

Here’s the press release.

Peavey® Builds Legacy of Innovation with USA Made HP™2 Guitar

MERIDIAN, MS — Building upon the legacy of its award-winning, USA made guitars, Peavey Electronics® proudly introduces the HP™2 Guitar at the 2017 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. The HP2 is constructed with leading-edge technology, traditional handcrafted methods, professional-quality upgrades, and customizations. When a USA-made guitar bears the initials of Peavey founder and CEO Hartley Peavey, players can expect an iconic design with its own unique flair.

While the esthetic is classic, the HP2 undoubtedly stands out with its carved top and offset, asymmetrical body design that offers comfort, proper balance, and maximum playing ease. Maple was chosen for the top and basswood for the back; solid basswood construction is also available. Peavey selected these hardwoods not only for their natural beauty and weight characteristics, but also for their specific tonal qualities. Cream or black-edge binding accents the body.
At the select birdseye maple neck and fingerboard, players will find unmatched stability and playability. Dual graphite reinforcement bars and an easy-access, adjustable steel torsion rod provide additional strength, as does the bolt-on construction with contoured neck heel. The oil-finished fingerboard is cut from the same piece of wood as the single-piece neck, keeping the color and grain patterns consistent. The stress-relieved lamination also adds increased stability. The HP2 has a 25 ½’’ scale length, 22 jumbo frets and 15’’ fingerboard radius. The 10-degree tilt-back headstock has a 3+3 tuning machine configuration featuring Schaller® tuning machines with pearloid or cream buttons. The chrome-plated hardware finish completes the look.

The HP2’s construction and electronics work in harmony. Two custom-wound Peavey humbucking pickups supply optimal output and tonal response. They’re made using a two-step wax-dipping process that provides ultra-low noise operation and resistance to microphonic feedback. The pickups are mounted directly to the body, further reducing feedback at high volume levels and enhancing response. A Switchcraft® 3-way toggle switch allows selection of pickups in up, center and down configurations. Players will also find either a Peavey/Floyd Rose® licensed, double-locking tremolo assembly or tune-o-matic/stop tailpiece fixed-bridge to complete the guitar. Finishing off the guitar are two push-pull knobs for volume and tone, with the ability to split the pickups individually.

Get a closer look at the HP2 at peavey.com, or if you’re at the Summer NAMM show through July 15, stop by booth #623.

About Peavey Electronics®
Founded in 1965, Peavey® is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of musical instruments and professional sound equipment. Peavey has earned more than 180 patents and distributes to more than 130 countries. Peavey and its MediaMatrix®, Architectural Acoustics®, Crest Audio®, Composite Acoustics®, Budda®, and Trace Elliot® brands and affiliates can be found on concert stages and in airports, stadiums, theme parks and other venues around the world. Chief Operating Officer Courtland Gray says, “We are striving every day to produce the world’s finest music and audio equipment.” To find out more, visit www.peavey.com.

EVH Unveils Marshall-Vibed 5150III & More

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EVH Gear: ya gotta hand it to Eddie Van Halen and co. They really give fans what they want. Oh, they might not give them everything they want right off the bat – there’s still no Shark, and although the EVH Striped series is cool, there are surely fans hanging out for one with a partial pickguard, neck pickup and a pickup selector switch jammed in the middle pickup cavity – but what they have given us is a great mix of the ‘I always wanted that’ and the ‘I didn’t realise I wanted that but it turns out it makes all my dreams come true.’ Two of the newest additions to the range will definitely please die-hard Eddie fans. One is a striped Wolfgang Special which is just super cool. The other is – oh holy crap – an EL34-loaded 5150III amp based on Eddie’s old Marshall tone. Yes! YES! Here’s the press release. Read More …

The World’s First 24-Fret 7-String Shred Machine?

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I was just scanning some recent guitar auctions, as I am wont to do, and I saw something super cool at a Guernsey’s auction from February 27: Tony Mottola’s 1952 7-string, 24-fret Gibson Custom Super 400CES. Mottola was a legendary session musician who played with Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. He also played in the Doc Severinson Orchestra on The Tonight Show. This guitar has a carved spruce top with maple back and sides, and custom P90 pickups with seven pole pieces. It was offered for auction with its original hard case and a copy of the production ledger for March 1992. The serial number is A 9934. What an amazing piece of history. Following are some more guitars – including instruments belonging to Eddie Van Halen and Richie Sambora – but first here are some more pics of the 7-string: Read More …

The EVH Micro Stack. Adorable.

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Aww who’s a cute little cutie. Check out the EVH 5150 Micro Stack. It’s a one-watt, single-channel amp with one 3” speaker and dedicated controls for Gain, Volume and Tone, its own integrated tilt-back kickstand and a 1/4” headphone jack. It’s powered by 9VDC adapter or 9v batter and the look is all 5150. Could you imagine having a mini wall of these on your desk?

You can pick one (or a mini wall of them) up from VanHalenStore.com.

EVH Limited Edition Wolfgang Special W/Stripes

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I saw one of these the other day when I was visiting Sky Music: a super limited edition EVH Wolfgang Special with striped finish. Unlike the ‘Bumblebee’ finished one featured here recently, this has a Floyd Rose tremolo instead of a Tune-O-Matic bridge. These aren’t even on the EVH website but retailers have had them for a little while. Most of them have already sold out but if you poke around and are extremely lucky you can still find one.

The one pictured is from eBay seller kid-rocket. Click Here to see striped EVH Wolfgang guitars on eBay.  Read More …

EVH Working On ‘Brown Sound’-Inspired Amp

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Whoa! Eddie Van Halen has given a great, revealing interview to The Washington Times where he spills the beans on all sorts of things (such as that the band planned to release their early demos but the sound couldn’t be brought up to snuff), but perhaps most exciting to we guitar geeks is this little tidbit: “People are always screaming and yelling for that classic vintage guitar sound. The 5150 III amps are very high-gain. The main thing that we’re working on is an amp that is modeled after the old vintage Marshall that I used on the first six records. I wanted more sustain out of them.” Read More …

Van Halen Hit The Road

Van Halen fans (in the USA), rejoice! The band is hitting the road for a greatest hits tour this year, and they’ll kick off preparations with a performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live on March 30. They’ll then appear on Ellen on April 2, and the tour kicks off on July 5 in Seattle. And don’t forget, their new live album is about to land. It just arrived in my advance media streamy promo dealie and it sounds raw and wild like it should. Here’s the press release including 2015 tour dates: Read More …