Here’s more on the pickups in the new EVH Wolfgang guitar from the Ed interview in the latest issue of Guitar Player — which by the way was published with four different covers — plus some non-pickup nuggets about the new Wolfgang.
> Part of this interesting quote was omitted unintentionally by GW in a layout F-up, but someone there sent me what was missing:
VAN HALEN: [There’s a point near the saddle where the har]monic is the root. That’s where you want the pole piece centered. I’ve checked other guitars and they just stick the pickups anywhere. That can cause all these dissonant overtones that make you go, “Shit! Where the hell did that come from?” Not many people know that. The pickup obviously picks up the sound from the strings. If it’s underneath a dissonant harmonic, it’s going to sound dissonant.”
From a different part of the interview:
VAN HALEN: That’s how I can tell just by hitting one note. If it takes too long to feed back, it’s not picking up the right frequencies from the string.
Also pickup-related: Ed apparently could tell (by ear) there was a little foam pad in the back of the pickup of one of the prototypes, installed there by Chip to aid in preventing microphonic feedback. He ripped it out!
Other Wolfgang nuggets:
> It’s never stated explicitly anywhere, but the body seems to be basswood with a maple cap.
> Ed blind-tested eight different finishes on his guiitars and like “number 4,” hence him using that guitar at the start of the 2007-08 VH tour. Number 4 had a “very thin” acrylic finish, which is what the EVH guitars will have.
> Control cavities left unfinished to allow the wood to breathe and age.
> The neck is thinner, like his 1984-era Kramers, and has graphite reinforcements to keep intonation stable.
> The guitar has stainless-steel frets, about which Ed said: “Anyone who thinks they take away form the tone is crazy. It has nothing to do with tone.” Ed apparently whittled away the prototype’s regular nickel-silver frets in just 3 weeks of pre-tour rehearsal! Wow!
> Sounds like Ed “concocted” (his word) a new Floyd Rose setup, complete with brass sustain block.
> Low-friction volume pot with an MXR knob (no value given on the pot).
> They went through many batches of tuners, and ended up with the toughest ones, made by Gotoh.
> Not much more on the new Drop to Hell non-trem tailpiece (link to patent is here). Ed said: “I’ve always wanted to hav a guiar where you could drop the low E string’s tuning in an instant. This bridge drops from E to A as quaickly as you can flick the lever, and you can go anywhere in between or even lower if you want.”