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During his time fronting The White Stripes, Jack White made a bigger impact on the guitar world than anyone could have ever expected.
Although not that stereotypical virtuoso shredder, which is the type of player everyone seemed to be so obsessed with, Jack’s amazing songwriting skills, groove, and sound are what made him stand out from the crowd.
We often saw him using hollow-body guitars, just like on the legendary hit song “Seven Nation Army” from the early 2000s. But just about a year ago, in 2018, all the guitar lovers began scratching their heads when Jack was seen using the EVH Wolfgang USA Signature model.
While pretty much an instrument expected to be seen in the hands of hard rock or heavy metal type lightning speed shredders, Jack White proved that it can be an effective weapon in his hands as well.
Yeah, it does seem kind of weird, but while we’re at it, we figured we could go more into the details of this great instrument and see what secrets it holds.
First of all, this particular guitar model was conceived and developed by Eddie Van Halen himself and is a continuation of the models he did with Ernie Ball and Peavy. The Wolfgang Signature, in particular, is a special version of the model, with a lot of improved features.
Starting with the essentials, the body of this guitar, made in EVH’s signature Wolfgang shape, is made of basswood and features big leaf maple top. The finish is the satin urethane and the body can come in two different colors – Ivory or Stealth Black.
The guitar seen in Jack White’s hands has the Stealth Black finish. It should also be noted that the body features 5-ply binding.
As for the neck, the one on Wolfgang Signature is a bolt-on made from quartersawn maple and has the so-called “Wolfgang Backshape,” with the thickness of .805 inches at the third fret and .890 inches over at the twelfth fret.
Aside from the scale length of 25.5 inches, often typical of Fender Stratocasters, the radius of the neck is a pretty interesting one.
It is what guitar players call “compound radius” neck, and that means that the radius changes as you go up towards higher frets.
So, on the nut, the radius is at 12 inches, and as you go up it gets flatter, up to 16 inches. The total number of frets is 22.
Going over to the hardware, Wolfgang Signature features the special EVH-branded Floyd Rose bridge with the company’s “D-Tuna” for the 6th string.
This patented device allows you to drop the string two semitones and bring it up in an instant. In case you have any drop D tuning songs in your setlist, you don’t have to worry about down tuning in the middle of the show as you can just use the mechanism.
The guitar, of course, also features a locking nut and special EVH tuning machines. All of the hardware has a chrome finish.
Just when you thought things could not get more exciting, the guitar features two great Wolfgang humbuckers and pretty interesting controls to go along with them.
Aside from the reverse 3-position selector switch, there is a high friction tone pot and a low friction volume pot, designed specially to give players more precise control over their sound. Along with these, you get a big red killswitch that kills all signal when you press it.
And its design is another thing that will draw your attention here. Wolfgang is, by far, one of the best looking guitars you’ll manage to find out there.
The only problem here is that it’s really hard to decide which looks better – the Ivory or the Stealth Black finish. The body design is rounded up with a wonderful 5-ply binding.
The thing we found to be somewhat weird is the implementations eye hooks instead of those regular strap buttons. This is, of course, the old feature dating back from Eddie Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstrat.
One might think that the headstock looks weird, but taking a glance at the body, it fits the overall design pretty well. This being a “3 + 3” type of headstock, it’s pretty amazing how they managed to keep the strings going in almost a straight line.
We can’t really hide our admiration here. Very playable, ergonomic, stunning, and just awesome sounding guitar. And it all fits so well, making this one very versatile instrument that you can find in the hands of players of countless genres.
Just like Jack White noted some time ago, it’s one of the easiest and most comfortable guitars to play. That’s mostly due to the compound-radius neck.
Although the bass side cut is not as deep as on the treble side, there’s an indentation on the back of the guitar which makes it easier for you to reach higher frets.
Maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but performance-wise, we can easily say that this is pretty much the perfect guitar you have always dreamed of.
But the dream guitar comes with an astronomic price tag. Which is, of course, justified, but you just need to bear in mind that it’s not exactly something you would recommend to a beginner or an intermediate player.
It’s a professional instrument worthy of our praise, and we would argue that the Wolfgang Signature is a tool for highly advanced guitarists. It is, however, kind of strange to see it in the hands of a player like Jack White.
Not because he’s not good enough for it, but it’s just not the type of the instrument that you would expect a player such as him to use. Well, he certainly has all the freedom to use any guitar that he wants to.