“He hit the strings on his guitar, laid it on the floor, had the amp cranked and left his studio – and left it on for days. That was his torture test”: Eddie Van Halen’s rig builder Dave Friedman discusses the guitar legend’s gear testing regime

Eddie Van Halen, onstage in 2007 – the year the EVH 5150 III launched
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen is well-known for having an approach of ‘creative destruction’ when it came to his gear. The lasting innovations and breakthroughs he helped to shape –from the locking tremolo, to the D-tuner, the high-gain amp and, of course, the Superstrat concept – were all born from his desire to push things to their breaking point.

Recently, Van Halen’s one-time rig builder and amp industry legend Dave Friedman was interviewed on Jeremy White’s YouTube channel and discussed just such an example of that process.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Matt Parker
Features Editor, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is Features Editor for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.