Tag Archives: History

EVH/Fender Striped Series 5150

In a direct nod to one of Eddie Van Halen’s all-time favourite guitars, the Kramer 5150, along comes an almost exact reproduction of that particular guitar.

The EVH Striped Series 5150 is a much better deal than hiring a luthier to complete a replica job by yourself (although many prior to the release of this guitar did so). So without further a due, let’s dive into the details of the guitar.

Based on the Kramer 5150, this guitar is one essential bit of kit.

Image result for eddie van halen 5150 guitar

Picture courtesy https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comments/3ox4hn/how_to_make_a_van_halen_5150_guitar_replica/

The paint process of the EVH Striped Series guitars, including the Striped Series 5150, takes around 2 to 3 weeks to complete. The guitar itself is not an exact replica since it does not exhibit the wear and tear from Eddie on the original Kramer 5150. Instead, it serves as an homage guitar.

It comes in a satin finish, complete with virtually identical contours on the body itself. The body is made of basswood in comparison to the (presumably) poplar body on the original itself. There is a direct mount EVH Wolfgang humbucker in the bridge, as opposed to the Seymour Duncan pickup used on the Kramer 5150. It also features a 12 inch to 16 inch compound radius on the neck.

Aside from this, most of the features remain as close as or identical to the original. Below are the specs, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/striped-series/striped-series-5150-maple-fingerboard-red-black-and-white-stripes/:

Smiling indeed: the legend that is Eddie Van Halen.

Image result for eddie van halen with 5150 guitar

Picture courtesy https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/artist-interviews/eddie-van-halen-early-guitar-gear-tone-evh-and-more

GENERAL:

Model Name: Striped Series 5150®, Maple Fingerboard, Red, Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107902515

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1931.02

Colour: R/B/W “5150” Striped Pattern

BODY:

Body Material: Basswood

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Hi Performance Modified “C” Shape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648mm)

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: 1.685” (42.8mm)

Headstock: EVH

Neck Plate: 4-Bolt Standard

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

ELECTRONICS:

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

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

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

Included Accessories: 3mm, 2.5mm Allen Wrenches Tremolo Arm

 

For those who enjoy the 1980’s and Eddie’s Kramer 5150, start here.

 

References:

  1. EVH Gear NAMM 2017 New Gear Exclusive Tour 5150 & More. EVH & Gear TV. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uecAYTUgtNw&t=86s

EVH/Fender Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature Model

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eddie Van Halen put out this model of guitar for people to enjoy after much interest in the EVH Gear label.

The continuous evolution of Eddie’s sound and tone over the years has had many twists and turns. The result is this, EVH’s signature model guitar. It is exactly what Eddie himself uses and plays today.

Eddie Van Halen is a living legend, as shown here in the special Smithsonian lecture for which he was an honourable guest at. He fully deserves the credit for his musical development, of the latest main development is the guitar next to him, which this article is about.

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen has been honored by the Smithsonian Institution for his contributions to American music. (Smithsonian Institution)

Picture courtesy https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/2/eddie-van-halens-immigrant-take-on-american-rock-n/

So, what differs to the main line of EVH Wolfgang guitars? Coming in either an Ivory (White) or Stealth (Black) finish, there are a few key differences to the regular line of Wolfgangs here.

Firstly, the Basswood body is complemented with a Maple top. The pickups are also somewhat different from a traditional Wolfgang, being that the neck pickup is an Alnico 3 type humbucker, with the bridge pickup being an Alnico 2 humbucker. Prior to this, all EVH Gear guitars had Alnico 2 pickups on them in both positions.

The EVH Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature also comes in an Ivory finish. As mentioned by EVH marketer Matt Bruck, the Ivory version of this line of guitars is intended to be a halfway house between the Stealth version, and the Tour Relic Replica that Eddie recently played in 2015 on the live tour.

Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature, Ebony Fingerboard, Ivory

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-edward-van-halen-signature-ebony-fingerboard-ivory/

Additionally, there is the kill switch. This is on Eddie’s own guitar which acts as a push-push volume cut, which Eddie notably uses on “You Really Got Me” in live performances, and other songs he plays. Additionally, instead of the regular strap buttons come key clasps, ideal for the dog-lead style strap that Eddie Van Halen uses on his guitars for a more secure strap setting.

In any case, below are the specifications of the guitar, courtesy of the www.evhgear.com website:

GENERAL:

Model Name: Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature, Ebony Fingerboard, Stealth

Model Number: 5107920868

Series: Wolgang® USA

MSRP: $4475.51

Colours: Choice between Ivory (White) or Stealth (Black)

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood with Big Leaf Maple Top

Body Finish: Satin Urethane

Body Back: Basswood

Body Top: Big Leaf Maple

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape, .805” @ 3rd fret / .890 @ 12th fret

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12”-16” compound radius (304.8 mm to 406.4mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Locking

Nut Width: 1.650” (42mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: NA

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearloid Dot (Stealth) or Block Inlays (Ivory)

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® AL3 Humbucker

Controls: EVH® BI Tech HPU Low Friction Volume, EVH® Bourns High Friction Tone

Pickup Switching: EVH Reverse-Style 3-Position Switching: Position 1: Neck Pickup, Position 2: Neck and Bridge, Position 3: Bridge.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

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

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

Switch Tips: Black

MISCELLANEOUS:

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

Is there anything Eddie Van Halen himself cannot do or has not done in his pursuit of the perfect tone? Eddie truly is the master of tone chasing and this guitar is the last step (so far) in that tone chasing nature of his. 

Picture courtesy https://spinditty.com/instruments-gear/EVH-Wolfgang-vs-Ibanez-JEM77

Notably, this guitar is the final step (to this date) of Eddie Van Halen’s most recent evolution, although future changes could be done to this guitar and line up of guitars. If you are fascinated by the most modern and recent addition to the evolution of the Brown Sound, or just need a fantastic shred style guitar to add to your collection, look no further.

 

References:

  1. Wolfgang® USA Edward Van Halen Signature. EVH Gear. http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-edward-van-halen-signature-ebony-fingerboard-stealth/
  2. EVH Wolfgang USA Edward Van Halen Signature Electric Guitar – New From NAMM 2017. Musician’s Friend, YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF0fdY3gAiI

EVH/Fender 5150 III S

Eddie Van Halen himself admitted that his musical tastes were constantly changing in pursuit of his tone chasing and updated revisionism on his musical equipment.

In acknowledgement of this fact, Eddie began modifying his own EVH 5150 III amplifiers to further suit a more personalised experience. The result is a limited edition head which is available for purchase.

Eddie never fails to disappoint with his EVH Gear brand.

Eddie with his Striped Series 5150 and 5150III EL34

Picture courtesy https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com/artist-interviews/eddie-van-halen-early-guitar-gear-tone-evh-and-more

So, what differs from the previous EVH 5150 III amplifier heads? The basic differences from the regular EVH 5150 III heads are, as noted from www.evhgear.com themselves, are:

  • Increased gain on Channel Two for greater sustain.
  • Revoicing on Channel Two for further low-mid frequency clarity definition.
  • Channel Three also features increased gain.
  • Improved low end control range on Channel Three.
  • Each Channel has an additional resonance control on the rear of each channel to fine tune low frequency response.
  • Eight JJ ECC83 preamp tubes.
  • Four Shuguang 6L6 Power Tubes.
  • Switchable output impedance (4, 8 and 16 ohms)
  • Adjustable bias control.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eddie was inspired by his early Van Halen sound in the making of the EVH 5150 III S amplifier.

Image result for eddie van halen with marshall amp

Picture courtesy https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=491342

Aside from this, all the regular features are, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

GENERAL:

Model Name: 5150III® 100S Head, 120V, Black

Model Number: 2250250000

Series: EVH® 5150 III® Heads

Amplifier Type: Tube

MSRP: $3055.54

Colour: Black

ELECTRONICS:

Controls: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume, Channel Select, Prescence and Resonance for each channel

Effects Loop: 1/4” – (Send/Return)

Inputs: One – 1/4″

Line Out: One – (1/4”)

Channels: Three – (Clean, Crunch and Lead)

Voltage: 120V

Wattage: 100 Watts into 4, 8 or 16 ohms (Switchable)

HARDWARE:

Cabinet Material: Birch/Pine

Handle: Molded Plastic Strap with Nickel-Plated Caps

Control Knobs: Chicken-Head Style Pointer

TUBES:

Pre Amp Tubes: Eight JJ ECC83S / 12AX7

Power Tubes: Four Shuguang 6L6

ACCESSORIES:

FootSwitch: 4-Button Footswich Included

 

The basis for the update of this amplifier was to mold together two brilliant theories of the perfect sound that Eddie himself has been tone chasing in his amplifiers throughout his music career. The first was to provide a modern amplifier that would be ideal for a fresh and innovative approach for those who sought the latest in rock innovation.

The second was to replicate, in this modern amplifier, a tone that looked back at the heyday of Eddie Van Halen that he had early on in his career with his Marshall Superlead head. This is not an easy sound for a company to capture. However, Eddie himself has blown away any competitors and imitators in this regard. The best product is the one that sells itself, and the EVH 5150 III S, for these reasons, is a must have for any gigging musician today.

EVH Gear are no doubt forward thinking and boundary pushing in their approach which complements Eddie’s tone chasing vision.

EVH® Logo 3x5 Banner

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/accessories/evh-logo-3-x-5-banner/

 

References:

  1. Review: EVH 5150 IIIS EL34 Amp Head and 4×12 Cabinet. Guitar World. https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/review-evh-5150-iiis-el34-amp-head-and-4×12-cabinet

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Limited Tour Relic (Replica)

During the supporting tour for the Tokyo Dome Live In Concert album in 2015, Eddie did not play his EVH Wolfgang Stealth that he normally held onto. Instead, Chip Ellis of EVH Gear made Eddie Van Halen a brand new guitar that was seen on the tour.

This guitar is very special to Eddie.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhtrading.com/topic/evh-wolfgang-custom-with-floyd

The story goes that Eddie wanted a guitar that had a Relic’d paint job. So Chip Ellis got to work and designed this guitar. According to Eddie, he liked the sound of this guitar more than he enjoyed the sound of his Stealth, so he used it on tour.

Eddie reportedly shaved and sanded the back of the neck to make it easier to play, but aside from this, the guitar was left in more or less the same condition during the tour.

The EVH Gear brand is here to stay and produces new and exciting equipment with each passing year.

Picture courtesy http://guitardisorder.com/tag/evh/

The sound quality of this guitar is noticeably different to that of the EVH Wolfgang Stealth, sounding more like a natural guitar. Below are the specifications of this guitar, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com:

 

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® Limited Tour Relic (Replica), Ebony Fingerboard, Ivory

Model Number: 5101011000

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $13,888.88

Colour: Ivory

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood with Maple Top

Body Finish: Lacquer Relic

NECK:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

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)

Headstock: EVH

Neck Plate: NA

Neck Finish: Oiled Relic

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Mother-of-Pearl Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount EVH Wolfgang® Zebra Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount EVH Wolfgang® Zebra Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Reverse Toggle: Position 1. Neck Pickup, Position 2.  Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Bridge Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

Special Electronics: Bourns Low-Friction Pot (Volume), Bourns High-Friction Pot (Tone)

HARDWARE:

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

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

Orientation: Right Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

Unique Features: Red Monetary Kill Switch, Eye-Bolt Strap Holders, Non-Matching Black Headstock, Cream Binding on Relic Ivory Finish, Black Undercoat with Ivory Top Coat, Relic’d and Replicated to Exact Specs of EVH Tour Guitar 2015 Direct-Mount Pickups, Magna Coatings Paint, 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods, EVH® D-Tuna.

Included Accessories:

Signed Certificate, EVH Premium Leather Strap, EVH Premium Instrument Cable, EVH Strings, EVH Pick Tin w/ Picks.

 

Notably on the website, this is a limited edition twenty piece run, so although the price is high for this guitar, it will not be sold forever.

Tokyo Dome Live In Concert

Many older fans of Van Halen in particular were disappointed with the lack of activity from the Van Halen camp between Van Halen III and A Different Kind of Truth. There were calls from some Van Halen fans for a new live set to be assembled with the return of David Lee Roth.

Although Dave is back in the Van Halen camp, this recording is disappointing overall.

Picture courtesy http://logonoid.com/van-halen-logo/

So in early 2015, Van Halen unleased their most recent offering, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert, which was recorded on June 21 2013 and the Van Halen boys chose this as their best from the 2012-2013 A.D.K.O.T. tour. It is their second official live album and is a two disc set.
The biggest problem is that, regardless of the songs here, the band seemingly have not really embraced the necessity for change in the 21st century like they did in the past. David Lee Roth’s singing is undoubtedly awful, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tone is less “sound” and more just “brown” in quality, Alex Van Halen still pushes a reasonable groove but Wolfgang Van Halen is no Michael Anthony in terms of backing vocals, although he excels on the bass guitar.

Wolfgang has proven to be a great bass guitarist.

Picture courtesy http://ultimateclassicrock.com/wolfgang-van-halen-tremonti-2014/

Still it is sad to hear and see (depending on if you have the CD or DVD) Van Halen become just another old rock and roll act. Although David Lee Roth has his own stage front man personality which is a one-of-a-kind, his singing and his inability to hit the notes properly leaves something to be desired. Although the live recording was edited, Dave’s vocals were not.

A good thing about this record is that it is entertaining to hear David Lee Roth adapt the songs for the Japanese crowd. And of course, Eddie’s solo is okay. But this mixed bag of goods just seemingly falls flat.

Van Halen still have a good future ahead of themselves, regardless of the quality of this recording.

Picture courtesy http://www.laweekly.com/music/i-waited-31-years-to-see-van-halen-and-it-was-totally-worth-it-6127958

The reviews and enthusiasm for this Van Halen live album were more negative than the Live: Right Here Right Now album during the “Van Hagar” era, which is sadly the truth. Still, if you need to have every single Van Halen album in your collection, visit this from time to time. Otherwise, need not bother.

On another note, a highly successful tour was done after this album was released around the U.S. Notably Eddie’s guitar playing was better than it had been for many years. A new album will be arriving soon around 2018-2019, although this is speculation.

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

 

Zero

Although not officially a Van Halen album, Zero is being covered as it is a very important addition in the back catalogue of Van Halen releases. It is crucial to recognise this as a worthy listen and also the beginning of Van Halen’s career in the studio.

The story behind Zero is that Kiss’s Gene Simmons stumbled across Van Halen in their club circuit trip around Pasadena in southern California. Simmons was suitably impressed, so much so that he asked Eddie to join Kiss. Eddie declined.

Still, Gene Simmons was determined to promote Van Halen. He booked them some time to record, and the result was Zero, a demo tape of ten Van Halen songs. Simmons sent off many copies of this demo tape to various recording companies, only to be turned down.

The rocker Gene Simmons was crucial in promoting very early Van Halen.

Picture courtesy http://worlds-collection.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/gene-simmons.html

Despite all this, the result was a very good one, musically at least. Gene Simmons forced Eddie to extensively overdub parts, much to Ed’s dislike. Upon listening, the sound quality is definitely not the best. But the songs are exceptionally good.

Beginning with the heavy On Fire, all the way through to story tale like Put Out The Lights, this demo tape is well worth listening to. It is mostly loud, hard rock blending an array of styles and drawing on the great rock groups, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin along the way. Although Eddie had not necessarily reached his artistic peak here, the album was good enough, so much so, that Van Halen later reworked a large majority of the songs from Zero onto A Different Kind of Truth in 2012, over thirty years later.

The latest Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth reworked many songs from the original Zero demo tape, proof of the band’s confidence of the material on it.

Picture courtesy http://3minuterecord.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/van-halen-a-different-kind-of-truth.jpg

Much of what to come on later albums is here, humorous tales such as Woman In Love and House of Pain. But there is an energy and variety that adds to these songs like Babe, Don’t Leave Me Alone and the original She’s The Woman that other bands would have trouble with. This is what makes this album an enjoyable listen.

Although not an official release, it is circulating around on the internet in various forms. Nonetheless, Zero is a great introduction to Van Halen’s music, and a must for any Van Halen fan.