EVH pays homage to Eddie Van Halen’s Japanese guitar history with the MIJ Series Signature Wolfgang

EVH has updated its MIJ Series with the Signature Wolfgang electric guitar – a model that finds itself between the premium USA and affordable Mexican-made iterations of the Wolfgang template.

But this version of Eddie Van Halen's signature guitar is not only notable for its middle-ground price bracket and its faithful spec sheet – its Japanese origins are also significant.

Japan is, after all, a country whose guitar-building exploits are closely linked with Eddie Van Halen, who throughout his career played numerous models that were built in the Fujigen factory.

Examples of Van Halen’s own assortment of Japanese-built guitars include his bolt-on Flying V and Ibanez destroyer, as well as an assortment of Japanese Strats. 

This MIJ Wolfgang, then, takes on an even greater layer of meaning for Van Halen fans.

Arriving in the same classic Ivory and Stealth Black colorways found on the USA Edward Van Halen Signature, the MIJ model also features an identical basswood body with Big Leaf maple top, as well as a bolt-on quartersawn maple neck.

The neck profile, as was the case with the USA six-strings, has been crafted to Van Halen’s exacting specifications, and is complemented with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard that flashes 22 stainless steel frets.

It’s worth noting the Stealth Black version is adorned with pearloid dot inlays, while the Ivory variant opts for pearloid block inlays.

Other direct similarities to the top-of-the-line Wolfgang include the EVH-branded Floyd Rose locking tremolo with EVH D-Tuna, R2 locking nut, heel-mount truss rod wheel and 25.5” scale length.

In the electronics department, EVH Wolfgang Alnico 2 bridge and Alnico 3 neck humbuckers are wired to a three-way toggle switch and a kill switch. The volume control features a low-friction pot and treble bleed circuit, while the tone knob has a high-friction pot to avoid accidental rolls.

The MIJ Wolfgangs have been a long time coming, after EVH co-runner Matt Bruck told Guitar World of the brand’s plans to reignite its Japanese links.

“Ed’s history with Japanese guitars predates Van Halen’s records,” Bruck said at the time. “He played a bolt-on Flying V and an Ibanez Destroyer during the club days, which were both built by Fujigen. People also don’t know that Ed did a lot of experiments on Japanese Strats before and after the first record.

“We’re super-excited to do something with Fujigen and for the Japanese market. People in America and around the world will be able to access those models, too.”

As mentioned above, the MIJ Signature Wolfgang sits between the $4k USA model and $750 Mexican version, and will be available for $2,699.

To find out more, head over to EVH.

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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.