The effortless playability coupled with the rich tones make the Peavey HP Special CT a worthy purchase. It’s a fine tribute to Peavey’s founder and a worthy successor to the heralded Peavey Wolfgang.
For years, Peavey had both the honor and the burden of making the celebrated Wolfgang model guitar, Eddie Van Halen’s signature guitar line. When Eddie and Peavey parted ways, many of us were disappointed that such a solid, affordable signature guitar would no longer be available. Not a company to live in the past and rest on its laurels, Peavey forged ahead to build a guitar that would rival and indeed surpass the Wolfgang. The Peavey HP Special is such a guitar. Indeed, it builds on the success of the Peavey Wolfgang and offers some new improvements.
The HP Special CT is built with a basswood body, figured maple top, and asymmetrical birdseye maple neck featuring graphite reinforcement. It is a 25 1/2″ scale guitar with 22 frets. Schaller machine heads are standard, as is a three-way pickup selector. Electronically, the HP Special CT sports two custom-wound HP Special humbucking pickups with coil taps. The bridge is a fully-floating, Floyd Rose licensed double-locking tremolo featuring Peavey’s own Lok Block system, that allows the bridge to be down only or full-floating.
The HP Special CT (“Carved Top”) is built upon a double-cutaway body made of basswood that has been specially designed to provide perfect balance when hanging from a guitar strap, something that many Wolfgang players hoped for but never got. Our review model sported a beautiful transparent moonburst flame-maple top that looks gorgeous on the black-painted body. It also had some sustain and high-end punch to the warm tone of the basswood body. The HP Special is available in numerous colors, including solid finishes.
Like its predecessor, the HP Special’s neck is a thing of beauty, designed from the ground up for serious fretboard pyrotechnics. It’s extremely comfortable and playable, due in no small part to the asymmetrical back carve that recreates the feel of a guitar neck that’s been played for 20+ years. The bird’s-eye maple is quite impressive visually as well. The neck’s 22 frets were perfectly polished with no discernible imperfections.
The Floyd-Rose licensed tremolo is the best double-locking system we’ve ever played. Unlike the Wolfgang, you have the option to set the bridge to fully floating; however, due to Peavey’s patent-pending “Lok Block” system, you can also set it to bend-down only mode if you prefer the tuning stability of that setup. Peavey has always pushed the envelope technology-wise, and we think the “Lok Block” may very well redefine double-locking tremolo systems.
As with the Wolfgang, the pickups are first-rate. The output is full and clear with beautiful overtones. They have also provided push/pull pots to engage the optional single coil mode. The pickup switch has also been logically relocated near the volume and tone controls.
Perhaps the best thing we can say about the Peavey HP Special CT is that it is simply one fun guitar to play. The effortless playability coupled with the rich tones make the Peavey HP Special CT a worthy purchase. It’s a fine tribute to Peavey’s founder and a worthy successor to the heralded Peavey Wolfgang. In fact, it far surpasses the Wolfgang, no easy task!
Name of Gear: Peavey HP Special CT
List Price: $1,749.99 – $2,299.99
Manufacturer Info: Peavey Electronics Corporation; peavey.com
Pros: Great balance; nice rock tones; innovative tremolo