Review: EVH Striped Series Guitar

The EVH Wolfgang guitar is the only way to go if you want what Eddie Van Halen plays today.

Of course, there are still vast numbers of guitarists who want what Eddie was playing in the Seventies and Eighties, and to satisfy that desire EVH recently introduced the EVH Striped Series.

Based on Van Halen’s legendary Frankenstein guitar, the EVH Striped Series is a stripped-down speed machine with a single humbucker and volume control, plus Van Halen’s trademark striped finish in three different motifs—black and white, yellow and black, and red, black and white.

Features: While the EVH Striped Series doesn’t boast all of the innovations that went into the EVH Wolfgang, it does offer a few modern upgrades that Eddie’s Frankenstein didn’t originally have back in the day.

Most notable are the light and resonant basswood body with a side-mounted output jack, the neck’s thumbwheel truss-rod adjustment, and the chrome-plated Floyd Rose double-locking vibrato with an EVH D-Tuna that allows players to instantly switch to drop-D tuning. The remaining features are classic Frankie, including the Alnico V Wolfgang humbucker mounted directly to the body, the single volume control with a Strat-style knob labeled tone, and the maple neck with a maple slab fretboard, hand-rubbed oil finish, 25 1/2–inch scale and 22 jumbo frets.

Performance: As someone who has spent years chasing the finer details of Eddie Van Halen’s classic brown sound, I can testify that this guitar will get players closer to that goal than any other piece of gear except perhaps the amp. The punch, clarity and presence of the Wolfgang humbucker is truly remarkable, combining the power and depth of a vintage PAF-style humbucker with the crisp attack and presence of a Strat single-coil. This pickup’s output is not overly hot, so it retains phenomenal definition even when played through a high-gain amp with over-the-top distortion. That elusive presence and zing heard in Eddie’s guitar tone on the classic VH six-pack is already there from the get-go.

The EVH Striped Series guitar pairs well with any variety of amps. Of course, the 5150 III is its natural partner, and this combination is absolutely killer. But the guitar also sounds great through modern beasts, like Bogners, Diezels, Friedmans and Mesa/Boogies as well as vintage Fenders, Marshalls and Voxes. The single volume control rolls down smoothly to crystal-clear clean tones that retain all the presence and bass of the full up setting.

List Price: White/black or black/yellow $1,199.99; red/white/black, $1,398.95
Manufacturer: EVH,

Cheat Sheet: Three different finishes featuring Eddie Van Halen’s trademarked signature striped pattern are available for fans of different classic Van Halen periods.

The Wolfgang humbucker combines the power of a vintage PAF with the attack and presence of a Strat single-coil.

The Bottom Line: The EVH Striped Series is a must-have for classic Van Halen fans, but it’s also an incredible-sounding ballsy guitar for modern players seeking an expressive speed machine.

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Chris Gill, Video by Paul Riario

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.