Eddie Van Halen exploded onto the rock music scene in 1978 with a homemade guitar known as “Frankenstein.” “At the time, no guitar did what I needed mine to do, so I built my own that did,” he said. Many years later, he’s still doing it—studying and improving everything about the instrument. It’s personal for him, and that’s where the Wolfgang comes from.
“A guitar is a very personal extension of the person playing it,” he said. “You have to be emotionally and spiritually connected to your instrument. I could’ve just stayed at home and built this guitar for myself. I do this because a lot of people ask if they can get what I use. Well, yes you can, and what you get is identical to what I use. We redid everything on this guitar. That’s why it took so long.”
The process undertaken to develop the Wolfgang took over two years of intense trial-and-error research. The formidable task yielded a series of prototypes that endured a full year of brutal in-concert road testing by Eddie on Van Halen’s triumphant 2007-2008 world tour. The result is a bulletproof and beautiful tonal giant of a guitar that takes whatever you can dish out and then asks for more.
As the VH tour kicked off in the fall 2007, Eddie pushed every aspect of the Wolfgang guitar’s performance capabilities to the absolute limit, playing various Wolfgang prototypes every night on virtually every song. As the tour roared along, Eddie changed and adjusted components and specs until he was satisfied with the Wolfgang’s sound, feel and looks. To prove that it was battle-worthy and could survive the road, performance data was collected from every gig for months and months to establish and confirm consistency and durability.
This is what makes the Wolfgang the culmination of Eddie Van Halen’s endless pursuit of outstanding tone, durability and consistency. First available to the public beginning in January 2009, the EVH Wolfgang guitar is built to his exact specs and has every single feature of the Wolfgang guitars he himself plays on stage and in the studio. It’s exactly what he uses.
The EVH brand also includes the 5150III series of amp heads and speaker cabinets, endorsed by a roster of professionals that reads like a who’s who of contemporary rock. These amps deliver the incredible tones Eddie Van Halen has chased his whole life, as Eddie himself has defined and designed each of the 5150III amplifier’s three channels. In addition, there’s a good selection of EVH guitar accessories from cables to pickups, and a lifestyle line that comprises shoes, shirts, headwear and more, all inspired by one of the world's greatest guitarists.
Legendary tone is the result of hard work, sonic experimentation and dedication. Countless hours tinkering with different amps, guitars, and pedals is part of the journey, and perhaps no guitarist has ever taken that journey as far as Eddie Van Halen.