EVH Striped Series Shark review

A spot-on replica of Eddie Van Halen's most aggressive electric with super-hot tones and a shreddable neck

(Image: © EVH)

Guitar World Verdict

An absolute must-have for vintage Van Halen fans, the EVH Striped Series Shark is also a great choice for players seeking a comfortable, aggressive-sounding axe with full-bodied tone as distinctive as its looks.


  • +

    Essential for Van Halen fans.

  • +

    Rich, full-bodied tone.

  • +

    Hot, hot Alnico II pickups.

  • +

    Well-balanced and very playable.


  • -

    Well, it's not subtle.

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Thanks to its appearance on the front and rear cover of Van Halen’s 1980 album Women and Children First, the guitar that Eddie Van Halen called the “Shark” ranks as one of his top five iconic early instruments along with his homemade Frankenstein, black and yellow “bumblebee” Charvel and “5150” Kramer. 

The Shark started life as an Ibanez Destroyer with an ash body finished to look like korina, but Ed made several modifications such as painting it white before using it to record several songs on Van Halen’s debut album. 

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Chris Gill

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.