Two Eddie Van Halen-played Kramers and a studio-used Peavey 5150 stack are hitting the auction block

Eddie Van Halen Kramer electric guitar
Guitar tech Zeke Clark pictured with the Kramer Custom he built for Eddie Van Halen (Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

A pair of striped Kramer electric guitars played by Eddie Van Halen are set to hit the auction block over at Gotta Have Rock and Roll, alongside a full Peavey 5150 stack that was used on Van Halen’s 1994 album, Balance.

First up in the striped six-string department is an EVH-played Kramer – serial number F1018 – wielded by the late guitar icon during both the 1984 and 5150 tours. 

Kramer electric guitar

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

The guitar is one of 14 axes built by legendary luthier Zeke Clark, with this one in particular being labeled as one of EVH's back-up guitars for both tours. As such, it is speculated that the guitar occasionally took to the stage slung round Eddie’s shoulder.

Though there is some confusion over when the guitar was specifically built, it has been extensively verified by two letters of authenticity – one from Clark himself and one from the auction house – and visually matches the guitars Van Halen wielded during the tours.

Features found on the iconic-looking axe include a classic red/white/black striped colorway, Floyd Rose tremolo, maple neck and fretboard, locking nut and a single control knob.

Eddie Van Halen guitars

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

The second six-string hitting the block is another Kramer – more specifically, an EVH-played and -signed Frankenstrat copy, which comes fully loaded with two strips of pick-equipped tape and one of Van Halen's cigarette butts.

Built by Dan Handerson – a stage technician who worked at a number of Balance tour shows – using original Kramer parts, the guitar was presented to Van Halen prior a performance one evening, who proceeded to play it during soundcheck for a show.

At the time, Van Halen was exclusively endorsed by Ernie Ball Music Man, and so Handerson’s clone was never wielded by the totemic guitarist in front of an audience. Still, EVH must have been impressed with the tech’s guitar, which sports Van Halen’s signature and the message, “Nice copy, Dan!!”

Peavey 5150 amp head

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

The final EVH-related item on the agenda is a full Peavey 5150 stack, used in the studio for Van Halen’s 1994 Balance album.

After recording for the album was completed, Van Halen, who had paired the Peavey with his Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, gave the stack to Armoury Studios producer Bruce Fairbairn.

As well as white 5150 styling, the amp head sports a three-band EQ, plus pre- and post-gain Rhythm levels. A post-gain Lead knob and a pair of Resonance and Presence power amp controls also feature, as does a Bright switch.

All three items are set to hit the auction block tomorrow (August 11) at 9am ET.

For more information, head over to Gotta Have Rock and Roll (opens in new tab).

Eddie Van Halen next to a Peavey 5150 stack

(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.