EVH has announced a double whammy of iconic comebacks as the outrageously eye-catching Circles and deadly Shark guitar make a return. It’s part of the EVH brand’s continued work honouring Eddie Van Halen’s legacy, with son Wolfgang now at the helm.
Van Halen may be synonymous with the striped design you’ll see on his range of guitars and pedals, but his stripes and spots design is just as striking. Now it’s available on two guitars, the Frankenstein-derived Circles, and the outlandish Shark shape, which returns after years away.
The EVH Striped Series Circles features an extraterrestrial-esque crop circles graphic in a satin finish. However, away from its design, EVH tells us “there’s nothing alien about the rest of this high-performance tone machine” which features a sleek basswood body, and a quarter-sawn maple neck with an oiled finish.
The “fast and smooth” 12-16” radius maple fretboard delivers 22 jumbo frets and rolled edges. Neck pickup fans look away, as it wields a bridge pickup only – an EVH direct-mount pickup with a single black plastic knob for volume control.
As is to be expected, there’s a Floyd Rose for whammy bombs and squeals, as well as Van Halen’s innovative D-Tuna device for instantaneous switching between standard and drop D tuning. These are supported by locking nuts and EVH tuners. A Striped Series gigbag is also included so that even grannies on the subway know that your guitar is loud.
If you don’t like your guitars modestly and subtly shaped, then the EVH Striped Series Shark might have enough bite for you. It marks the end of a three-year sharkless period for the brand, and the bar is set high after Guitar World scribes hailed the 2020 model a "spot on replica".
Of the dual comeback, EVH says “After years of receiving requests for this famed instrument, EVH is proud to release the new Striped Series Shark model.”
Its angular body is carved from the corpse of an ash tree, with a rock-solid C-shaped maple neck. Its pau ferro fretboard, which is also a 12-16” radius, 22 jumbo frets and white dot inlays, is punctuated by its “hockey stick” headstock. The guitar’s striped paint job also continues around the back of the guitar.
Neck pickup fans, conversely, can rejoice with it featuring custom-designed EVH Wolfgang alnico 2 humbuckers in the neck and bridge. These have been wound and dialled in to produce an optimum amount of power and articulation, which is balanced with sweet sustain and chunky rhythm tones as part of a balanced EQ curve
The rest of its features are workmanlike, with the mismatched aesthetic very much part of the charm. The bridge pickup features parchment bobbins with metal braid wire, with the neck receiving black bobbins with metal braid wire for a Cruella de Vil-styled black-and-white contrast.
There are low-friction numbered tone and volume knobs, with the latter boasting a treble bleed and even-volume tapering to smooth out your volume swells. A chrome-plated, solid-brass harmonica bridge continues to add to the charm alongside a three-way toggle switch which is housed on a brass mounting plate, brass nut, gold and chrome custom EVH-stamped Gotoh tuners.
The finishing touch comes via chrome eye hooks with turnbuckles which hinge of the jaws of the body’s bottom. Like the Circles model, it comes with an EVH Striped Series Shark gigbag.
Were you to open your wallet for one of these new guitars, you’ll need $1,399 for the Strat and $1,899 for the Shark. You can get your hands on one from April.
For more information on the Striped Series, head to EVHGear.com.