Tag Archives: Setup

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

Peavey Wolfgang

Due to some of the limitations of Eddie Van Halen’s Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model and the contract ending with Ernie Ball, Eddie decided to pursue Peavey further in his ultimate quest for the perfect sound and tone.

In 1995 Eddie Van Halen and Hartley Peavey worked together placing the finishing touches on a brand new line of guitars for Edward and the result was both unique and amazing simultaneously. The guitar itself was made commercially available in 1996, along with a licenced production of Peavey EVH Wolfgang guitar strings as well. The name was the same name as Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen.

Eddie Van Halen was eager to move on with guitar design and refinement.

Picture courtesy http://olho.nu/van-halen/gear/evh_peavey-guitars.htm

This new guitar was similar in some respects to the previous guitar that Eddie Van Halen had used, yet there were some subtle differences that had made this guitar more unique than the previous one that Eddie had used.

The basic idea of the design was almost identical to the Ernie Ball guitars that Ed had used for some time. Basswood was used for the body, with maple used for the neck and for the body design, a licensed Floyd Rose tremolo and two custom designed and wound EVH/Peavey humbucking pickups, as well as Schaller M6 mini tuners.

Some of the design differences in comparison to the previous Ernie Ball guitars were the addition of maple top and a unique three-way switch placed at the top of the body which was reversed in comparison to regular three way switches typically placed at the same position. Additionally the new Peavey line-up also included, for the first time, a D-Tuner added to the Floyd Rose tremolo system which was not included on the previous line of guitars. A tone adjuster with knob was also added, along with a new uniquely shaped headstock.

In a sadly ironic way Eddie Van Halen endorsed and played the Peavey Wolfgang throughout the worst period of his musical career.

Picture courtesy http://olho.nu/van-halen/news/2005-01-10_evh-parts-with-peavey.htm

The first commercially produced Peavey guitars that were created in 1996 were limited only to the Peavey Wolfgang Standard, which came in six different finishes. The quality of these guitars varied widely due to the difference in quality of the flame maple tops, which later was changed to curly maple tops in a way of remedying the problem of quality of sound output.

A variety of different models were offered over the years. From 1997 to 2004, there were models such as: Wolfgang Standard; Wolfgang Standard Deluxe; Wolfgang Special; Wolfgang Special Deluxe; Wolfgang Special EXP and also Peavey provided a custom shop for those who preferred that sort of service.

The Peavey Wolfgang guitar is an underrated lost piece of history.

Picture courtesy http://johnnyolsa.com/Guitars/

Eddie himself primarily played during this time a Wolfgang Standard with a Tobacco Sunburst style finish. He did play this through both Van Halen tours respectively after production commenced, yet apparently destroyed this guitar on the last show of the 2004 tour.

All Peavey Wolfgang guitars came with a special handbook with a personal statement from Eddie himself about this unique brand of guitar, along with tips for care. Below are some stats of the Peavey Wolfgang:

 

Body:

  • Figured maple top/basswood back or solid basswood construction.
  • Unique offset cutaway design with carved top.
  • Cream or black top-edge-binding.

Neck:

  • Birdseye maple neck and fingerboard, oil-finished.
  • Dual graphite reinforcements and adjustable torsion rod.
  • 25 ½ inch scale length, 22 jumbo frets.
  • 15 inch fingerboard radius.
  • 10 degree tilt-back headstock with 3+3 tuning machine configuration.
  • Bolt-on construction with contoured neck heel.

Electronics:

  • Two custom-wound Peavey/EVH humbucking pickups.
  • Volume and tone controls.
  • Switchcraft® 3-way toggle switch and output jack.

Hardware:

  • Schaller® tuning machines with pearloid or cream buttons.
  • Peavey/Floyd Rose® licensed, double-locking tremolo assembly or tune-o-matic/stop tailpiece fixed bridge assembly.
  • D-Tuner™ (available on tremolo model only).
  • Chrome-plated hardware finish.

In a strangely repressed way and under huge pressure, Eddie Van Halen’s Peavey Wolfgang was one of the most forward thinking designs of guitar yet.

Picture courtesy http://www.rocknrollweekend.com/index2.html

Although Ed ended his contract with Peavey in 2004, if you are seeking this guitar, be sure to look at eBay for various models of this guitar, although it can be rather pricey to purchase a second hand one. Sadly this guitar was strictly produced by Peavey and there are no other real alternatives to finding a guitar quite like it. Once Eddie ceased relations with Peavey, he took his ideas elsewhere and left Peavey with little memory of his involvement with them and Peavey now only produce the 5150 amplifiers (now branded as the 6505 amplifier range) and the guitar strings he used to use. Regardless of this, this guitar is part of the history of the Brown Sound and if you have one today, you are very lucky indeed.

Eddie named the guitar after his son Wolfgang. This clearly meant that the Peavey Wolfgang indeed was special to Eddie Van Halen at the time.

Picture courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Van_Halen

 

References:

  1. 2015. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/
  2. Knapp, Geoff. 2006. Wolfgang Guitars – The Unofficial Site of the Wolfgang and HP Special Guitar. http://www.wolfgangguitars.com/
  3. Peavey. 1998. EVH Wolfgang Operating Guide. http://peavey.com/media/pdf/manuals/80301829.pdf

Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model

Once the Ernie Ball strings were being manufactured, it soon became apparent that Kramer and co. did not enjoy the idea that another company was creating strings for their client. In an odd stroke of fate as Kramer were in rapid decline financially, Eddie Van Halen and Ernie Ball fell out with Kramer due to accounting misconduct by Kramer. Allegedly Kramer and Ernie Ball did not see eye to eye on financial accounting issues and shortly after Eddie found out, ceased the working relationship that Eddie Van Halen once had with Kramer.

In the interim, Eddie Van Halen had come up with a design for a new guitar, possibly foreseeing the future. The guitar itself was further refined when Eddie Van Halen began working more closely with Ernie Ball Music Man. As a result, he had designed his first guitar, an important step in his musical journey.

Ernie Ball’s Music Man department and Eddie Van Halen worked together on the EVH Model.

Picture courtesy http://icmp.co.uk/events/tunnel-tunnel-festival 

The model itself was produced for around five years, although Eddie famously used this guitar during the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance era, as well as on tour. The reason for changing company was due to the fact that supposedly Eddie Van Halen was upset by the inability of the company to satisfy demand with the production of these guitars. The truth is probably closer to the fact that Eddie was unhappy with some of the limitations of this particular guitar, as he was already secretly designing the Peavey Wolfgang for Peavey at the end of the association with Ernie Ball.

Nonetheless, once the association had ceased to be, Ernie Ball continued to produce this particular guitar under the name Ernie Ball Music Man Axis, with some slight modifications. These were: removal of Eddie Van Halen’s signature; toggle switch moved more towards centre of body; body contour added; widening of neck to prevent string slippage; “tone” knob renamed “volume”; and saddles changed from offset to non-offset on tremolo system.

Eddie Van Halen was very happy with his Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model.

Picture courtesy https://www.tumblr.com/search/ernie%20ball%20musicman

Eddie was known particularly to favour an Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Model that came in an Amber Orange colour, which was equipped with the first of Eddie Van Halen’s patented D-Tunas, a device that enabled the playing to Drop D tuning without extensive time spent fiddling around with the Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. This simply operated by pulling a knob attached to the bottom string of the guitar, instantly changing to the note from E to D. Additionally, the guitar itself had a neck electronically mapped to be exactly the same as the one on his previous main guitar, the Kramer 5150. It also had a black 5150 sticker on the body towards the end of usage by Eddie Van Halen on his #1 EVH Model.

The guitar itself is a great bit of history. Although you could possibly find genuine Ernie Ball Music Man EVH models on EBay, it is most likely easier to find an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis from Ernie Ball Music Man’s website. These retail for around $3 000 AUS or so, but is worth every dollar and is a great playing guitar, coming in a variety of colours. For those who desire the specifications, they are listed below, courtesy of the Ernie Ball Music Man website:

This guitar is still available commercially from Ernie Ball Music Man under the name Axis, although with some slight modifications.

Picture courtesy http://www.music-man.com/instruments/guitars/axis.html

Model: Axis

Size: 12-5/8” wide, 1-3/4” thick, 36-1/4” long (32.1 cm wide, 4.5cm thick, 92.0 cm long)

Weight: 7 lbs, 4 oz (3.29 kg) – weight varies slightly

Body Wood: Basswood with bookmatched figured maple top

Body Finish: High gloss polyester

Body Colours: Back and sides – Opaque Black

Body Bindings: Binding – Cream

Bridge: Music Man® locking tremolo with fine tuners; lowers pitch only

Scale Length: 25-1/2” (64.8cm)

Neck Radius: 10” (25.4cm)

Headstock Size: 1-5/8” (41.3mm) at nut, 2-3/16” (55.6mm) at last fret

Frets: 22 – High profile, medium width

Neck Width: 1-5/8” (41.3mm)

Neck Wood: Select maple neck

Fingerboard: Select maple or rosewood

Neck Finish: Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend

Neck Colours: Standard – Natural; Optional – Matching Painted Headstock

Tuning Machines: Schaller M6LA with Pearl Buttons

Truss Rod: Adjustable – no component or string removal

Neck Attachment: 5 bolts – perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets

Electronic Shielding: Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminium lined control cover

Controls: 500kohm volume pot

Switching: 3-way toggle pickup selector

Pickups: HH – 2 DiMarzio Custom Humbucking

Left-handed: No

Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 9s-42s

 

For those looking for a slightly different alternative, there is also the Ernie Ball Music Man Axis Super Sport. Specifications are not listed here, yet you can go to the Ernie Ball Music Man website and have a browse if you wish.

This guitar truly is a piece of good history, and will make a fine addition to your collection.

Ernie Ball Music Man also made a double-neck baritone guitar for Eddie specifically for live performances of the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge song “Spanked”.

Picture courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/pin/177751516517126418/

References:

  1. Ball, Sterling. 2008. I guess I have to talk about EVH… Ernie Ball Music Man Forums. http://www.music-man.com/blog/sterling/i-guess-i-have-to-talk-about-evh.html
  2. Ernie Ball. 2007. Ernie Ball Forums. http://forums.ernieball.com/music-man-guitars/21007-ernie-ball-axis-history.html