There’s a very particular feeling I get whenever I check out the EVH section at Fender’s room at NAMM. It’s a feeling that Eddie Van Halen (and the folks working with him like Chip Ellis, Matt Bruck and Fender) have so much experience, knowledge and creativity when it comes to guitars and amps that your tone is in the best possible hands. And that’s something that’s apparent whether you’re plugging into an EVH 5150III amp, picking up one of the EVH Striped models that made their second showing this year, or one of the much pricier EVH Wolfgang Custom Relic USA models. Here’s a look at the EVH booth at NAMM. Continue reading
Back in January we all gasped in awe at the EVH Wolfgang Custom Relic U.S.A. on display. The particular one sitting on the wall was Eddie Van Halen’s personal guitar, but now you can own one too. Or, if you’re not into the whole Relic thang, there’s a non-dinged-up version called the EVH Wolfgang Custom Deluxe U.S.A, which is the same guitar except with different binding and inlays, and minus the fine-tuning tailpiece and locking nut. At the same time, EVH Gear has unveiled a new limited edition hand-customized EVH 5150 III 100S head and 4×12 cabinet combination which are identical to the amps and cabs Eddie Van Halen has recently been touring with. Here’s the press release: Continue reading
It seems that when I ask anyone what will be remembered amongst the strongest releases of 2013 lately, they immediately elect the new letlive. album The Blackest Beautiful [Epitaph]. Out July 5 here in Australia and July 9 elsewhere, it’s a passionate, powerful, energetic burst of post-Rage-Against-The-Machine angst and ferocity, with a huge organic sound and a world-class approach to subtle but crucial vocal harmony. It’s also brain-grabbingly memorable, despite its complexity. Guitarist Jeff Sahyoun – who also engineered the album – has developed an idiosyncratic style which blends traditional riff-rock with post-hardcore adrenaline and a sound-designer’s appreciation of using found objects for weird noises and textures. Currently on the Warped tour throughout the US, I caught up with Sahyoun while he kicked back in a carpark in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading
If you’ve been to the EVH Gear section of the Fender room at NAMM, you might have noticed this particular Wolfgang USA Custom hanging on the wall with a few others. If you looked a little closer though, you may have noticed something that skipped your glance the first time ’round…
Yup! EVH is getting into the relic’ing game! Continue reading
YES! I’ve been hoping, wishing, and making bird offerings to my Viking forbears for this guitar for years, and finally EVH Gear is coming through with the goods! This is the EVH Stripe Series [official website]. And they’ll be surprisingly affordable, all things considered. US recommended retail is $1,199.98.
EDIT: The page on the official EVH site seems to have disappeared now.
It features a Basswood Stratocaster-style body with EVH stripes in three finishes: red with black stripes, black with yellow stripes and white with black stripes. There’s a graphite-reinforced maple neck with a hand-rubbed oil finish and thumbwheel truss rod adjustment, compound-radius maple fingerboard (12”-16”) with 22 jumbo frets and black dot inlays, and a direct-mount Wolfgang® humbucking pickup.
Other features include a single white volume control knob (labeled “tone” which is a classic Eddie-ism), single-ply black pickguard (white with black stripes model only), bar string retainer and Floyd Rose® locking nut, EVH-branded Floyd Rose® locking tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®, EVH die-cast tuners, chrome hardware, vintage-style strap buttons and EVH neck plate.
More info on the official EVH site.
Eddie Van Halen and his EVH Gear team have got the really hard work out of the way – designing the flagship EVH Wolfgang and 5150III amplifiers – and now they seem to be really having fun with it. Case in point: this 5150III. It’s still a 5150III as we know it, but slightly more Van Halenized. Dig the matching logo on the cabinet too.
Note the 1X12 speaker cabinets under the for the 5150 III 50 watt head. It’s rated at 16 ohms and is loaded with a 30-watt Celestion® Heritage speaker. It’s exactly 25 percent of the cubic size (by volume) of its 4×12 big brother and is available in black and ivory. I played through this rig at the Fender party the other night and it sounds INCREDIBLE. Very responsive, very raunchy and very, very rock.
Notice the EVH Wolfgang bass played by Wolfgang Van Halen at the band’s Cafe Wha? gig the other night? Check out the pic below from VHND.com. I wonder if these will make it into production. Imagine one with a stained black flamed maple top. A five-string version would be pretty badass too.
Remember the EVH Wolfgang Stealth and USA Custom I snapped at NAMM? (That is to say, snapped photos of them at NAMM – I didn’t actually snap the guitars). Well below is some more info courtesy of this link on the EVH Gear website.
By the way, it’s my birthday next week. Just saying.
EVH Introduces Wolfgang USA Custom and Stealth Guitars
EVH introduces two new Wolfgang guitar models, the Wolfgang USA Custom and the Wolfgang Stealth. Both are distinctive variations on the hugely successful original model, the U.S.-made EVH Wolfgang guitar designed by Eddie Van Halen.
Perhaps the most uniquely elegant instrument in the Wolfgang series, the Wolfgang USA Custom represents Eddie Van Halen’s personal tribute to the short-scale set-neck guitars of the late 1950s, combined with the distinctive modern personal touches he prefers on his own guitars. These two elements culminate in a truly magnificent tone machine embodying the best of yesterday and today.
Eddie Van Halen has some amazing gear on show at NAMM this year, including a set-neck Wolfgang, the Wolfgang Stealth (above), a lefty Wolfgang and a 50-watt, 3-channel 5150 III Mini amp. (Unfortunately I didn’t manage to catch EVH himself when I was at the EVH Gear booth. Oh well. Next time).
The set-neck model (the Wolfgang USA Custom) features a mahogany body and maple top (the bolt-on version is basswood with a maple top) which is almost 2″ thick. The neck is reinforced with carbon reinforcement rods that extend all the way into the headstock. The bridge is a Graph Tech Tune-O-Matic bridge with Schaller fine tuners.
I’ll start with the fit and finish. The body is basically the same shape as the older version, if not exact. The neck still has a roundish feel like the older one, but scaled down. It’s not really chunky and I wouldn’t consider it really thin either. It falls right in the middle. To me, its a perfect balance. The more I play it, the more I like it. Kind of like an old glove. The stainless steel frets are much smaller the 6105′s. They felt a little weird at first but they are growing one me, and I’m really starting to like them. The action was the best I’ve ever felt on any guitar. I have had professional level and setups and this one is right there on par, probably better. I can’t believe how close the strings are to the board, especially on the higher frets. There is a slight buzz in some areas, but no fretting out or loss of tone anywhere. I have never seen anything like it that was playable.
The knobs on this thing are on top of low friction pots, so they move really easily. This is something I could have done without, as the slightest brush of the volume knob with your pinky is gonna move it. I can see how they would come in handy but I have never played using the volume swell technique used in eddies “Cathedral”. But maybe now is a good time to learn :) The trem springs were a little loose when I received it, as the bridge was lifting with big bends. A few cranks on the screws solved that problem. Other than that the actual finish of this thing is superb: I couldn’t find any flaws whatsoever.
The sound of this thing is just amazing. Compared to what I thought was perfect in the older version, the new one made me realize I really don’t know what perfect is. This thing is a different sound all together. It’s much brighter. I think this is what really puts the sound over the top. It has a nice full sound to it and the separation is unbelievable: every note stand out on its and comes through nice and clear. At first I was having problems getting tapped harmonics to ring loud and clear, but after a day or two I got used to it and that’s not an issue. I will definitely buy another one of these in the future when the price comes down a bit, and probably trade my older one in for it.
This thing is awesome. Eddie and fender really got it right.
Musician’s Friend has opened up preordering for the new EVH Wolfgang guitars.
The guitars are made by Fender but released under the EVH brand name, as with Eddie’s new 5150 III amps.
Since 1978, every hard rock guitarist has tried to be like Eddie Van Halen. Whether it’s emulating his two-hand tapping; stripped-down, single-pickup, single-knob axe; the renowned “brown sound;” wild whammy bar action; squealing artificial harmonics, or his just-go-for-it attitude.
Not merely artist-approved, the EVH Wolfgang is the result of Eddie’s total involvement and commitment. The Wolfgang is the outcome of two years of exhaustive research, testing and refining, revising, and tweaking by Eddie and his EVH crew. Wolfgang prototypes were given a grueling on-tour workout every night for over a year. As an example of EVH’s relentless pursuit of perfection, more than 80 pickups were tried and rejected before the company developed in-house the pickups that produced the “hitting me in the gut” sound that Eddie demanded.
Reflecting on the work that went into the new Wolfgang, Eddie observed, “Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible. We redid everything on this guitar. The only similarity to the previous Wolfgang is the body shape, and even that’s changed. You name it—stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, five-piece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going… we left no stone unturned.”
In addition to black and vintage white, the EVH Wolfgang comes in an opaque tobacco sunburst finish over a gorgeous quilted maple top. The EVH Wolfgang starts at $2,999.99.
Eddie has climbed the guitar summit and now shares his achievement with you. He’s done all the refining, road testing, and tweaking for you. Now it’s up to you.
Eddie Van Halen is auctioning off two classic 1956 Chevys next week, and each of the cars comes with a one-of-a-kind custom EVH Wolfgang guitar pimped out to match the car. Not a bad combo, eh?
Here’s the press release:
EDDIE VAN HALEN TO AUCTION A PAIR OF 1956 CHEVY CLASSICS AT BARRETT-JACKSON SCOTTSDALE
Custom, Theme-Matching Guitar to be Auctioned with Each Vehicle
(Los Angeles, CA – January 5, 2009) A pair of Chevrolet classics from the personal collection of rock ‘n’ roll icon Eddie Van Halen will be sold at No Reserve during the 38th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., Jan. 11-18, 2009. The 1956 Chevy 210 (Lot #1259) and 1956 Chevy Nomad (Lot #1259.1) will each be auctioned with matching, one-of-a-kind EVH Brand “Wolfgang” guitars and a pair of red, white, and black EVH striped sneakers. Hailed as “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™,” the Scottsdale auction and lifestyle event will feature a diverse mix of the world’s most desirable collector vehicles. SPEED will broadcast nearly 40 hours of live, high-definition coverage of all six auction days.
“Rock ‘n’ roll and collector cars go hand in hand,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “And Eddie’s cars, although from the same year, represent the diversity of the collector car hobby. The Nomad is restored to original specifications while the 210 is a custom built street rod with modern performance gear. I expect these cars to enter special collections that salute both rock ‘n’ roll and automobiles.”
The maroon 1956 Chevrolet 210 is a Pro Street hot rod built by customizer Jim Van Gordon. The car features a powerful 454 c.i.d. big block Chevy engine that pumps out more than 600 horsepower, making it suitable for the drag strip while still street legal. Additional highlights include a narrowed 9-inch Ford rear end with Detroit Locker, Mark Williams axles, 4.30 gears, 4-link coil-over suspension, disc brakes, and custom wheels and tires. Racing gauges and a dark grey color scheme underline the interior of the 210.”
Van Halen’s 1956 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon sports a classic “Cashmere Blue” and white paint scheme and was once part of the famed “The Harrah Collection” in Reno, Nev. The car underwent a frame-off restoration and features a 265 c.i.d., 210 horsepower “Power Pack” V8 engine, power steering and power brakes. An upgrade to disc brakes was added for improved stopping and safer driving.”
“Out of all the cars I have owned over the years, I hung onto the ‘56 Sedan and Nomad because I was closely involved in restoring and building them, so they are very special to me,” explained Van Halen. “I almost hate to let them go, but I don’t have the time to drive them. It kills me to see them sit there when someone else could be driving them and have the pleasure and joy of owning these beautiful classic cars.”
“Since they are so dear to me, I thought I would make it even more special by having two custom made Wolfgang guitars built to match each car,” Van Halen added. “I hope the new owners enjoy these cars as much as I have and keep the guitars and cars in their families for a long time, because they are all one-of-a-kind.”
In 2007, Eddie, president of ELVH INC, partnered with Fender Musical Instrument Corporation to launch EVH Brand guitars, amps and musical products. A limited run of Van Halen FrankensteinTM replica guitars were introduced in addition to the EVH 5150III TM amplifier line and EVH guitar accessories. In January, Eddie will launch an all new Wolfgang guitar. More information on the EVH Brand is available at www.evhgear.com.
The Van Halen cars and guitars will be joined by the world’s most desirable collector vehicles and automobilia to be sold at the historic Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction. Lifestyle attractions will also return to Barrett-Jackson in January in the form of luxury vendors, galas and fashion shows. Barrett-Jackson’s trendy night-spot, “The Garage,” will be the site of exclusive gatherings throughout the event.
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions™” in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla. and Las Vegas. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit http://www.barrett-jackson.com/