Tag Archives: Eddie Van Halen

A Different Kind Of Truth

The test had arrived for Van Halen to commence on a path once again with David Lee Roth. Indeed, the band had for the most part, gotten their act together. Being a reunited front with the new line up of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son the band had to deliver a new record for the Van Halen fans.

The test came when the record was released in February 2012. However, although on paper the songs were old, leftover rewrites, the record itself is an enjoyable listen, although not exactly a perfect record itself.

Van Halen have got back to work with a renewed and fresh approach to their music.

Picture courtesy http://loudwire.com/van-halen-launch-2012-north-american-tour/

The record begins with the trashy and enjoyable, “Tattoo”. Although the song is enjoyable, it wears out after successive listens. Still, it is way better than anything on Van Halen III, pure proof of the band’s new and more focused direction.

The glorious “She’s The Woman” is a much better song. It starts off with a brilliant guitar part, leading into a loud and catchy tune, with an interesting solo in the midsection. Not bad overall.

The chugging “You and Your Blues” follows, indicating a different side to the band’s repertoire of music. Entertaining and very listenable.

For the new Van Halen record, Eddie Van Halen used the latest in EVH Wolfgang guitars, an EVH USA Wolfgang Stealth which sounds loud and powerful as it does here.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-stealth-ebony-fingerboard-stealth-black-w-case/

The next song, “China Town” is rather awful. In a way it is sort of laughable, but sounds very ordinary indeed. For those who like skipping tracks, you may be best off doing so here.

“Blood and Fire” follows, which is another rather ordinary song with a forgettable chorus. Still it is miles better than anything that Van Halen have recorded since Balance.

The pseudo-thrash of “Bullethead” follows, rather strangely catchy. It is a loud, full on roar of a song. Good listening.

Eddie Van Halen himself is back on track and happier than ever to create new music.

Picture courtesy https://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/people_tag/eddie-van-halen/

“As Is” continues the rather nonsensical lyrics that seem to dominate this album. Indeed, some of the older Van Halen fans may be disappointed by this approach to lyric writing, yet is very musically viable indeed.

The rather boring and forgettable “Honeybabysweetiedoll” makes as much sense as it sounds by the song title, and the song itself. It seems as though Van Halen had put the worst tracks on the first half of this record…

It is fantastic to see Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen part of the Van Halen crew, a remarkably musically talented young man.

Picture courtesy http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-wolfgang-van-halen-talks-bass-different-kind-truth-and-more

Next up, “The Trouble with Never” is a rather good and catchy piece which demonstrates how wonderful and well respected Eddie Van Halen should be considered and deserves every bit of respect for his great guitar skills on it. Not bad at all.

“Outta Space” is obviously a rework, but not a bad one at that. Deeming indeed that the earth is full, it continues the nonsensical slur of lyrics that predominates the album.

The “Ice Cream Man” of this record, “Stay Frosty” is an anti-religious and reveals that in life, one must Stay Frosty in terms of laidback attitude. Starting off acoustically, it becomes a loud and rocking song that is well served.

David Lee Roth and the three Van Halens have successfully buried the majority of issues between each other and work cohesively together as a unit with great success.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2012/02/16/van-halen-allowing-fans-to-shoot-photos-video-at-shows/

“Big River” follows, which is a good rework of one of the songs on the Van Halen Zero demo. With all these wonderful songs here, one must think that the wait for a new Van Halen record was sure worth it.

The last, loudest and heaviest, and most likely, the best song of the album “Beats Workin’” shows Eddie Van Halen at his best. Indeed, those many years of tone chasing per se have proved that EVH himself can create a monstrous and undeniably brilliant sound. Legendary.

As long as their efforts continue with this new approach, Van Halen will continue to survive well into the 21st century.

Picture courtesy https://wallpapersafari.com/free-van-halen-logo-wallpapers/

Overall, the critics all agreed that this was a good, though not great, effort from Van Halen. Indeed, it has been many years between the previous Van Halen III and the A Different Kind of Truth record. Despite all this, it is a solidly good record that shows the future direction of a reworked and re-energised band. Well done.

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Custom Line

As time moved on, so did the need to make some adjustments to the EVH Wolfgang line. Obviously Eddie’s tastes, as well as the guitar market, were ever-changing and therefore so did the need for other EVH Wolfgang models as well.

The Custom line of EVH Wolfgang guitars featured generally do not come equipped with the Floyd Rose available (except for the EVH® Wolfgang® Limited Tour Relic Replica, which is in a high price range) but have different individual features of their own.

The EVH Wolfgang Custom line is very special and unique indeed.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/

Firstly, let’s observe the EVH Wolfgang Custom Deluxe USA. Available in Black, Gold and Vintage Burst gloss finishes, this particular guitar features a mahogany core body with maple top (AAA maple top on the Vintage Burst model), mother of pearl inlays and plenty of other interesting features. For those who are interested in such a guitar, listed below are the specifications, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/evh-wolfgang-custom-deluxe-usa-ebony-fingerboard-gold/:

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® USA Custom Deluxe

Model Number: 5108100858

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $5333.32

Colours: Black, Gold, Vintage Burst.

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: Aged White/Black/White

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Gloss

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Neck Binding: White

Scale Length: 24.75” (628mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Bone

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickups; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: TonePros® TP6 Adjustable with Stop Tailpiece

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

This guitar certainly is one of the less orthodox guitars available for purchase by EVH Gear.

 

The EVH Wolfgang USA Custom is one beautiful guitar.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/

Similarly, a later addition to the EVH Wolfgang Custom line is the EVH Wolfgang® USA Custom itself. Built to Eddie Van Halen’s specifications, it has some features not found on any other EVH Wolfgang model.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the specifications, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/wolfgang-usa-custom-ebony-fingerboard-black/:

GENERAL:                         

Model Name: Wolfgang® USA Custom

Model Number: 5108000803

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $4,799.99-$5,066.65

Colours: Black, Cherry Burst, White.

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 24.75” (628mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Synthetic Bone

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8mm)

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Wolfgang® Custom-Designed Nickel-Covered

Neck Pickup: Wolfgang® Custom-Designed Nickel-Covered

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickup; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: Tune-O-Matic Style with Fine Tuners

Tuning Machines: Gotoh® with Pearl Buttons

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.046 Gauges)

Unique Features: ½” AA Solid Flame Maple Top and seven-ply binding; Bound Mahogany set neck 24.75” scale length; Compound radius (12”-16”) ebony or rosewood fingerboard; 22 vintage Stainless Steel frets; Seven-ply headstock binding; Dual Wolfgang Custom nickel-covered humbucking pickups; Stop-tail bridge with fine tuners; EVH custom tuners; Dual EVH custom low-friction 500k volume pots; Dual EVH custom high-friction 250k tone pots.

Included Accessories: Striped EVH case; Truss Rod Wrench.

As you can see from the product specifications, the EVH Wolfgang USA Custom is one unique piece of kit. There are certain features that cannot be found on any other Wolfgang model, and this makes it a collector’s item indeed.

 

Keith Richards was the first profesional guitarist to come up with the idea of a Relic’d guitar.

Picture courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/spyder8674/keith-richards/

The last guitar that we will observe from the EVH Wolfgang® USA Custom line is the EVH® Wolfgang® Custom Relic® USA. For those of you who are unsure what a ‘relic’ guitar actually is, it is simply a new guitar model with a particular process applied to it to make it look aged. In actual fact, this process was initiated by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones many years ago, who once desired a guitar that had a worn out look rather than something that looked brand new.

In any case, below are the specifications for this particular model, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/evh-wolfgang-custom-relic-usa-ebony-fingerboard-relic-black/:

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang USA Custom Relic®

Model Number: 5108200803

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $7999.99

Colours: Black, Cherry Sunburst, Gold

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: Aged White/Black/White

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Relic’d Gloss Lacquer

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Neck Binding: Aged White

Scale Length: 25.5” (648mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Relic’d Lacquer

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickups; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: Gotoh® Hardtail with Fine Tuners

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome with Pearloid Buttons

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: 2 Bourns 500k Low Friction Volume Potentiometers; 2 Bourns 250k High Friction Potentiometers; Ebony Headstock Overlay; Amber “Bell” Control Knobs and Cream Pickup Bezels on (815) and (858); Black “Bell” Control Knobs and Black Pickup Bezels on (803); 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods; Schaller® Chrome String Retainer Bar; Side Mounted Square Jack Plate; 5-Layer Aged White/Black Body and Headstock Bindings; Aged White Fingerboard Binding; Heel-Mounted Spoke-Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment at Butt of Neck.

 

As you can tell, the custom line of EVH Wolfgang guitars are wonderful and uniquely collectable in their own way. The author has chosen not to include the EVH® Wolfgang Limited Tour Relic (Replica) as it will be covered at a later date.

For the meantime, those who are seeking a hardtail model with all the most unique custom specifications of the EVH Wolfgang models, look no further than the EVH Wolfgang Custom line. These models are designed for those who desire an instrument to keep with eternal fascination.

Eddie Van Halen himself seems perfectly happy with the service and array of EVH Gear models by Fender.

Picture courtesy http://cosmomusic.ca/blogs/2016/01/namm-2016-the-eddie-van-halen-replica-guitar-only-one-in-canada-and-were-getting-it

 

EVH/Fender Accessories

Being the entrepreneur that Eddie Van Halen himself is, through his EVH Gear brand with Fender, he has released a variety of products outside his own line of custom guitars and amps. This article aims to cover such products that Eddie himself has released through the EVH Gear blueprint. All products are available at www.evhgear.com

First off, let’s observe the custom pickups that are sold by EVH Gear. The first is the EVH® Frankenstein™ Humbucker Pickup. Retailing at $200 US, this is a modern day replica of the Frankenstrat humbucker pickup which is designed to the specifics of the original pickup used in the Frankenstrat by Eddie himself. Not bad considering that in most people’s budgets the Frankenstrat Replica is way out of the ordinary price range of many people’s budgets.

The EVH Gear Pickups on sale are worth the money if you cannot afford an EVH Wolfgang yourself, and you wish to buy something that can be installed into your guitar to get closer to the Van Halen sound.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/accessories/evh-frankenstein-humbucker-pickup/

There are also some other alternatives for EVH Gear pickups. There is also the same pickup presently being marketed with a Chrome Cover with a limited edition run of 200, retailing also at $200 US for those who prefer that sort of thing.

Also available in the range of custom made pickups are the EVH® Wolfgang® Bridge and Neck humbucker pickups (no single coil pickups available for purchase) for installation into any guitar. These are the primary pickups that are placed directly into the main line of EVH Wolfgang guitars. The pickups individually retail at $200 US.

For those who desire an even cheaper way to customise the sound of the electric guitar, there are also EVH® Custom Potentiometers. For those of you unaware of what these are, they are used underneath the tone and volume knobs to “shape” the sound. For $15 US per set, you can choose from 250K low friction, 500K low friction or 250K High Friction pots. Given the price of these, this is an excellent way to “hotrod” your own electric guitar, EVH style.

The EVH Gear custom potentiometers are another great option to consider from EVH Gear itself.

Picture courtesy http://www.musiciansfriend.com/potentiometers-knobs-for-fretted-instruments/evh-custom-low-friction-500k-potentiometer

One of the more interesting trends amongst guitar amplification companies in modern times is to sell so-called “Micro” amps. Many companies such as Marshall, Blackstar, Vox and Fender themselves have successfully marketed these amplifiers that are so small that they can be taken virtually anywhere with ease. So in a good effort of marketing and thought, EVH Gear made the 5150 III® Micro Stack.

Although a relatively new addition to the EVH Gear line up, the EVH version of the Micro amp is the smaller version of the larger 5150 III amp line. Retailing at $70 US, it comes with four controls: Gain; Volume; Tone and a Power switch. Listed on www.evhgear.com are the follow attributes of this particular amplifier:

  • One-watt single-channel amplifier
  • Single 3” speaker
  • Integrated tilt-back kickstand
  • 1/4” headphone jack and 9VDC adapter jack
  • Dimensions: Height – 6.92”; Width – 5.35”; Depth – 2.63”

The option of purchasing an EVH Gear Micro Stack is a good idea for one who wants a cheap, affordable and portable option of the latest line of EVH Gear amplifiers.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2016/01/21/evh-5150-micro-stack/

If you are looking for a small and affordable way to hear the 5150 III, this amp may be your best bet.

Another interesting product for sale is the previously mentioned product on this website called the D-Tuna. Eddie Van Halen has previously used this on both the Ernie Ball Music Man and Peavey guitar line of guitars that he marketed, and is a simple and useful addition onto the Floyd Rose tremolo system. For sale for $60 US, it comes in three different colours for the guitar respectively.

Since the early days of Van Halen, Eddie himself has gone to curious methods to create guitar strings that are highly personalised and branded to his own nature of playing. From the very early days boiling a mixture of Fender electric guitar strings, to the latest EVH branded guitar strings, which are Nickel Plated Steel strings, Eddie has made a good effort into the use of guitar strings.

With the EVH® Premium Strings, retailing at $13 US a packet, one can find the modern day electric guitar strings that Eddie himself uses on his EVH Wolfgang guitars. Bear in mind that Eddie uses 9-46 string gauge on his guitars, a must to remember to get the specific feel of Eddie’s playing. Other string gauges include 9-42, 10-52 and 10-56.

Trying a set of EVH Gear strings is a good and cheap way of testing out what Eddie Van Halen himself uses currently.

Picture courtesy http://www.vanhalenstore.com/page/VH/PROD/EVHGS

For a cable to carry the signal from the guitar to the amplifier, EVH Gear do market and sell a 6” R to R cable that Eddie Van Halen uses himself in his guitars. It is a 24 gauge copper cable with double shielding for extra protection of the cable itself. Retailing at $40 US, it is an affordable way of finding a cable that could work for the guitarist.

Alternatively there are other cables from the EVH® Premium Cables line ranging from $20 US to $40 US marketed and made in a similar way to the 6” R to R cable.

For those playing gigs and live performances, there are straps available for the guitarist. The regular strap is priced at $60 US whilst the Nylon strap is priced at $35 US.

Picks, anyone? For those who enjoy collecting various plectrums and brands of plectrums, the array of plectrums available from EVH Gear should be worth considering.

Picture courtesy http://www.vanhalenstore.com/page/VH/CTGY/GG

For those who do really wish to chase bargains of the EVH Gear sort, there are Eddie Van Halen custom plectrums (aka Picks) for one to purchase. For an EVH® Premium Pick Tin, including 12 plectrums, is worth $12 US.  Alternatively there are individual plectrums to buy, starting from $6 US for a small set. These are made by Dunlop with a special grip on the plectrums, as well as coming in a variety of thicknesses for the player.

Lastly, there are two different types of gig bags available for those who are interested. Featuring waterproof padding and a black exterior and red interior, the price of a gig bag is $100 US. Also for the star shaped guitars, there is another slightly different shaped gig bag also selling for $100 US.

All in all, these are some rather interesting, relatively affordable and varied accessories to choose from if you are a Van Halen fan. Certainly worth checking out as well if you are a fan of not just Eddie Van Halen, but EVH Gear as well.

Eddie Van Halen certainly has approached the broad variety of products available under the EVH Gear name very well.

Picture courtesy http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/6605131/eddie-van-halen-synesthesia-rumors-brown-sound

EVH/Fender 5150 III

Understandably Eddie Van Halen, after leaving Peavey, needed to work together with Fender on a line-up of amplifiers that were more modern and that would do the job for him on the road.

Released around the same time as the EVH Wolfgang, the 5150 III amps are arguably one of the heaviest sounding amps on the market, ideal for a variety of metal style sounds and output. This amp is a powerful piece of equipment, one which Eddie Van Halen himself has stuck by.

No doubt Eddie Van Halen and Chip Ellis of Fender put their best efforts into creating the EVH 5150 III.

Picture courtesy https://i.ytimg.com/vi/VG6WaL4Iel4/hqdefault.jpg

Eddie himself uses the all-tube amp, using eight 12AX7 and six 6L6 tubes. On each amp, and specifically Eddie’s amp, there are three channels of output: Clean, Crunch and Lead.

To get a good idea of what Eddie uses, we will observe the stats of the 5150 III® 4×12 Straight Cabinet and the 5150 III® 100W Head. The Cabinet itself is valued at around $1,333.32 US and the head is valued at around $2,399.99 US, in itself, not cheap. But since the release of the original 5150 III amplifiers, there have been a variety of models released for the gigging and home musician.

Let’s observe the stats of both of these, focusing on the cabinet first then the head, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

The EVH 5150 III was modeled heavily on the original Marshall Superlead that Eddie himself had used for many years.

Picture courtesy http://musicplayers.com/reviews/guitars/2007/0907_EVH5150.php

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: 5150III® 4×12 straight cabinet, Black

Model Number: 2252100000

Series: EVH® 5150III® Cabinets

Amplifier Type: Speaker Enclosure

MSRP: $1333.32

Colour: Black

Electronics:

Inputs: One ¼”

Channels: N/A

Rectifier: N/A

Wattage: 60 watts at 16 Ohms

Hardware:

Cabinet: Birch/Pine

Handle: Two Recessed Side-Mount Plastic

Tubes:

Pre Amp Tubes: N/A

Power Tubes: N/A

Miscellaneous:

Included Accessories: Removable Casters Included.

 

As you may be able to tell from reading this, the cabinet itself is a very basic set up and construction. Let’s next observe the specifications of the head, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: 5150III® 100W Head, Ivory, 120V

Model Number: 2251000400

Series: EVH® 5150 Heads

Amplifier Type: Tube

MSRP: $2399.99

Colour: Ivory

Electronics:

Controls: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume, Channel Select, and Presence for each Channel.

Effects Loop: ¼” – (Send/Return)

Inputs: One – ¼ inch

Line Out: One – (1/4”)

Channels: Three – (Clean, Crunch and Lead)

Voltage: 120V

Wattage: 100 Watts

Hardware:

Cabinet Material: Birch/Pine

Handle: Molded Plastic Strap with Nickel-Plated Caps

Front Panel: Black EVH Striped Steel

Control Knobs: Chicken-Head Style Pointer

Tubes:

Pre Amp Tubes: 8 x JJ ECC83

Power Tubes: 4 x JJ 6L6

Miscellaneous:

Included Accessories: 4-Button Footswitch Included

Accessories:

Footswitch: 4-Button Footswitch Included

 

There are many different models of EVH 5150 III amplifiers out there on the market. This is merely just a sample of what one can purchase if one desires and a good way to follow the modern Van Halen amplified sound.

The EVH 5150 III is a perfect selection for the metal players out there.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/

 

References:

  1. Ground Guitar. 2016. Ground Guitar – Everything guitar-related. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/

EVH/Fender Wolfgang

Now that Eddie Van Halen was working together with Fender on various products, it was time for him to work hard with Fender on creating a brand new guitar to sell and market under the EVH Brand.

To begin with, discussions were made with Fender about making a new guitar for Eddie. Once the 2007-2008 reunion tour was underway, Eddie Van Halen took at least two prototypes of the new collaborative guitar that he was working on with Fender. He gave Fender feedback and information about the sound and performance of this new project that he had been working on with them along the way after each night of performance onstage. This project was almost top secret, until the release of the EVH Wolfgang in January 2009.

The clever thing about the new prototypes from Fender? Similar look to the previous Peavey Wolfgang line of guitars.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2008/06/06/van-halen-2007-2008-tour-highest-grossing-in-bands-history/

To make things clear, this guitar, although sharing the name of the previous guitar line that Eddie Van Halen had promoted and used for some time, in actual reality the guitar itself is completely different in many aspects.

In a video recorded around the time of the release of the guitar, Eddie Van Halen had a discussion where he stated, “Everything that I have built, destroyed, stumbled onto, learned and experienced is in this guitar”. Indeed, the guitar itself is a one-of-a-kind and is basically impossible to copy. Indeed, if Eddie himself had desired to create a monster, he indeed, has.

The guitar line itself has been one that Eddie Van Halen himself has stuck by for a long time now. Although initially there was only one type of EVH Wolfgang, other models were introduced at a later date. For historical purposes, the main Wolfgang model will be observed here.

The EVH/Fender Wolfgang is here to stay.

Picture courtesy http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/EVH_Wolfgang_Special_Electric_Guitar_Review

Some of the features are very unique to the Wolfgang, such as the custom wound double potted EVH licensed humbuckers, stainless steel frets and the hand rubbed urethane oil finish. Eddie’s own EVH Wolfgang has a custom made “kill switch” on it, to cut out the sound manually, useful for tremolo sounds. The specifications for the main EVH Wolfgang are listed below, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® USA, Ebony Fingerboard

Series: Wolfgang® USA

Body:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Original Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Block

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: Custom Designed EVH® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Custom Designed EVH® Humbucking

Controls: Master Tone, Master Volume

Pickup Switching: EVH Reverse-Style 3-Position Switching

Pickup Configuration: HH

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome with Pearloid Buttons

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: Hard mount pickups; Magna Coatings Paint, 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods, Scaller®; Chrome String Retainer, EVH®; D-Tuna, Square Jack Plate

 

In short, if you are looking for the main go-to guitar that Eddie Van Halen himself has used in the most recent times, look no further than the main Wolfgang USA that is on sale for around $4,000 US from EVH Gear, depending on the colour. This is the main guitar that Eddie himself uses to this day.

Eddie Van Halen loves the good job that Fender did for his latest line of guitars, and the easygoing relations commercially shows in both of their own outlook with each other.

Picture courtesy https://hardrockhideout.com/2008/12/17/eddie-van-halen-launches-the-all-new-evh-wolfgang-guitar-available-jan-2009/

 

References:

  1. Wolfgang USA. 2016. EVH Gearhttp://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-ebony-fingerboard-5a-flame-top-3-tone-burst/
  2. EVH Wolfgang Guitar. 2011. YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCePMSJ_0-E
  3. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. 2016. Ground Guitarhttp://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/

EVH/Fender Striped Series

Shortly after Eddie Van Halen signed up with Fender, Fender took over Charvel’s striped series and made it into their own through the EVH Gear company.

The interesting thing about these guitars is that Charvel only offered three different versions for the time that Eddie was licensing Charvel to sell these guitars, based on the previous guitars that Ed had used, namely the Frankenstrat Mark I and II, and also the Bumblebee guitar. Yet in recent times (around 2015) the EVH Striped Series Star and Striped Series Circles were released as well. The latter two guitars were based on guitars that Eddie Van Halen had built himself many years ago, and are relatively affordable collector’s items today.

The EVH/Fender Striped Series guitars go way back into the history of Van Halen.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2015/01/18/evh-stripe-series-star-guitar-coming-soon/

Each guitar is rather cheap for a unique piece of kit. The guitars go up to the max of around $1,500.00 US each and all are beautiful and simple, with a powerful pickup in the bridge position.

Listed below are the specifications of each different model of the EVH Striped Series:

There is a good variety of different EVH/Fender Striped Series models to choose from, depending on your taste.

Picture courtesy http://iheartguitarblog.com/2013/04/get-yer-evh-striped-series.html

SPECIFICATIONS:

Body:

Body Shape: Other

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8 mm)

Headstock: Standard Stratocaster®

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Hand Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH® Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D -Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: One White “Tone” Knob On Volume Pot

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (0.009-0.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: EVH® Neckplate, Bar String Retainer, Thumb Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment, Vintage Strap Buttons, 1-Ply Black Pickguard on Black and White Model Only.

 

The EVH Striped Series Circles has some slightly different characteristics to it as a guitar:

The EVH/Fender Striped Series Circles guitar was based on the original “Unchained” guitar that Eddie Van Halen specifically built and recorded that song with.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/striped-series/evh-striped-series-circles-maple-fingerboard-black-and-white-crop-circles-graphic/

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH® Striped Series Circles, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Crop Circles Graphic

Model Number: 5107902586

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1199.99

Colour: Black and White Crop Circles Graphic

Body:

Body Shape: Other

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.86 mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: “Bye See Ya Later” Graphic on Guitar Back, EVH Neckplate, Bar String Retainer, Thumb Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment Vintage-style Strap Buttons

 

Understandably, the EVH Striped Series Star model has its own features as well for a guitar:

There is just something genius-like and amazing about the various EVH/Fender Striped Series Models.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2015/01/18/evh-stripe-series-star-guitar-coming-soon/

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH Striped Series Star, Rosewood Fingerboard, Black and White Stripe

Model Number: 5107902536

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1527.76

Colour: Black and White

Body:

Body Shape: Star

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (64.8 cm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R3 Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (43 mm)

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Position Inlays: White Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH® Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

 

From a collector’s point of view, these guitars are not just simply playable, but worth your money. If you are a fan of Eddie Van Halen and want to embrace a piece of your own artistic value, the EVH Striped Series is the way to go.

The Eddie Van Halen collaboration with Fender has been nothing but wonderful.

Picture courtesy http://eddietrunk.com/eddie-van-halen-unchains-long-awaited-stripe-series-circles-guitar/

EVH/Fender Frankenstrat

Once Eddie Van Halen and crew pulled their act together and a new contract with Fender was signed, Fender became a reliable and productive ally for Eddie Van Halen. Historically Eddie had fallouts with each company that he had been with after a period of generally five to ten years. Since being with Fender, Eddie has not wavered in his faith with that company for the service that has been provided to him.

Fender granted Eddie Van Halen his right to market their products under his outlet called EVH Gear. The first fruit of this collaboration came in 2006, when Fender began a limited edition run of custom made Frankenstrats with specifications to be the exact same as the final incarnation of the original Frankenstrat that he had built and modified over a time frame of many years. This is truly a collector’s piece, provided that you are able to afford it.

The principle man to deal with EVH on his gear needs was a younger but clever man named Chip Ellis. Chip is the main guy that Eddie deals with for his gear via Fender.

The idea that the Frankenstrat could be replicated entirely and made in a limited edition run of 500 guitars was conceived and has been on the market since 2006. It is virtually the same guitar as the original Frankenstrat in every detail: from the striped paintwork and a custom wound Seymour Duncan humbucker in the bridge position to the more intricate elements of the guitar, such as the cigarette burns and the 1971 quarter near the Floyd Rose tremolo system. It also comes with some wonderful accessories, a hard case and booklet and certificate of authenticity.

Eddie Van Halen and Chip Ellis are two very clever men indeed who wore together well on the EVH Gear based products.

Picture courtesy http://www.jameslimborg.com/music-and-guitar-pedals/van-halen-news-desk/

In a video recorded at the 5150 studios, Eddie revealed the history and some his input into the guitar itself. Noted in the video to avoid confusion with the near identical replicas, Eddie Van Halen wrote in capital letters: “THIS IS THE SHIT – THANKS CHIPS” on the original Frankenstrat.

The only real downside, apart from the limited availability of this replica, is the price tag. The replica Frankenstrat goes for around $25,000.00 US and is virtually unaffordable in that respect. A good alternative is the EVH/Fender Striped Series, which was the next collaboration project that EVH and Fender worked together on.

In short, if you have a spare ten grand or two lying about, this is a definite must for any Eddie Van Halen fan to purchase. For more information, visit http://evhgear.com/frankenstein/.

 

 

References:

  1. EVH Gear. 2016. The Eddie Van Halen Frankenstein Replica Guitar. http://www.evhgear.com/frankenstein/
  2. Dan from Ground Guitar. 2016. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/
  3. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 1)”. YouTube video, 6:02, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/xwatch?v=i2mh7zGfFRM
  4. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 2)”. YouTube video, 5:47, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICXeYawQqFs
  5. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 3)”. YouTube video, 6:18, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9_ZDxoxhoc