“The SA-126 is way beyond a typical semi-hollow. There’s nothing else like that guitar. It’s like a hot rod, but with a souped-up modern engine”: Wolfgang Van Halen on building the supersized sound of Mammoth II (with some help from Eddie’s Frankenstein)

Wolfgang Van Halen
(Image credit: Ryan Piorkowski)

For Wolfgang Van Halen, 2023 was a huge year. He spent an enormous chunk of it on the road with his band, Mammoth WVH – opening for Metallica’s M72 stadium tour shows in the United States, Europe and Canada as well as the Alter Bridge Pawns & Kings tour and finishing the year with his band’s first tour as the sole headlining act. 

Thanks to his guidance and vision, the EVH brand has continued to grow, with new releases like the Frankenstein series and MIJ Wolfgang Signature model, and he brought the revolutionary semi-acoustic electric SA-126 model to its final stages of completion. Somehow, he even found time to make the biggest commitment of his life by marrying his longtime girlfriend, Andraia Allsop, in October. 

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.