Videos: Creation of the EVH Brand & EVH 5150 III Design

Guitar Player magazine meets with the EVH design and support team: Keith Chapman, Chip Ellis, Chris Cannella, Matt Bruck, and Mike Ulrich.

  • Crasher

    Cool videos

  • freddiegirl

    Channel 3 goes up to 11! I still think of Spinal Tap when I hear about what Ed does to his amps to test them. I would love to get one of his cabinets one day as well as a Wolfgang. Those striped models look so awesome! Here’s hoping we see them on the tour! As always, these vids are really interesting.

  • Doug

    Ever since my band opened for his band (Zen Boy) years ago at the Coconut Teaser in LA, I’ve always like Matt Bruck. He was a nice guy that night and seemed to have a solid head on his shoulders.

    His job can’t be easy, but he’s always (at least from what I’ve read/seen) put Ed’s interests first and made sure the final product was top notch. Ed’s lucky to have him on board.

  • BrianH

    All these guys sitting around talking about Ed’s gear.
    Where the fuck is HE?? Let’s have a vid with Ed playing 🙂

    Matt Bruck has been Ed’s top tech for how long, now?? At least 20 years.

    I see these vids ( I stilllike the shape of the EBMM the best) and then I wanna hear the shit on the record.

    It’s like they’re teasing us… lol

  • BrianH

    @freddie girl 🙂 This one goes up to eleven! It’s MORE then ten!

    “But….if you reduce the sound of all of them, doesn’t that make 11 the same as ten on a normal amp??”

    “But…this one is at eleven…” lol

  • euge

    love this stuff…

  • http://vhnd John

    Wasn’t matt used for the talk box solo on can’t get this stuff no more? I think Eddie said it sounded like a wah pedal when he did it, so i turned to Matt. I would love to get a wolfgang nd evh 3 amp

  • VH2012

    EVH does have some nice equipment but they are too damn expensive for the average joe. Then again if you are a talented guitarist equipment really doesn’t mean jack shit. It’s all in your fingers. Even Eddie admits that!


    I bet a million bucks he dosen’t even use the 5150iii on the new album. My guess is that he will employ his old plexi for the album. Remember he recently had it refurbished. If he does use the new 5150 amp, you will definetely be able to tell. His guitar tone will sound like shit. His live sound (to me) has sounded awful since the VH3 tour. All highs and mids, and no low end. If he sticks to the Marshall, this album will be golden. I guarantee it!

  • Atomic Pete

    Quality Gear! Thanks Eddie!
    I’m so getting the Wolfgang Special after the holidays.

    Yeah, I read it was Matt.
    I want to get the 50W.

  • MasVH

    Nice informative videos. I’m still amazed that Ed hasn’t gone to Marshall yet, since that where his BEST tone of all originated, and asked them to build him a signature amp. Eddie’s last great guitar tone, imo, was on the F.U.C.K. album…before that it was “1984” & every other album before that!!

    I’m more then ready to go into a room now & crash test this new Van Halen album to “11” for a month!!


  • Ed Dee

    Less talk, more rock !!!!

  • MasVH

    @Ed Dee


  • JNP

    I would really like to see Eddie get more involved in promoting this amp! A video of him demonstrating the amp and giving us his perspective would be great. Thanks for giving us these video’s…… How about a tour of the amp factory!

  • Ken A

    Ed will use his old Marshall on some stuff for sure. He always has, even in its worse-for-wear days. But he’ll most likely main the latest 5150, as he always has since he started it.

    I don’t mind that. The 5150III is a great-sounding amp. I think his tones since the last studio album have varied in quality, but that’s down to how Ed used his settings and effects, the acoustics of the rooms he’s been in, and other variables that aren’t inherent to the design of the amps themselves.

    I’ve noticed in a few live videos where his tone sounds extra “honky” that he’s clicking the wah on and off a lot, which I suspect is his way of compensating for a shitty-sounding room by boosting mids and highs. It doesn’t sound great, but the alternative was probably a bunch of inaudible buttmud.

    (I have no evidence to explain his crap tone on the 2004 studio songs, except that he was probably in no shape to judge how good his tone was. Hopefully that’s no longer a factor.)

  • MJ 5150

    I still can’t see how Ed thinks his new tones are better than the first few CVH records. Fair Warning, VH1, VH2, and WACF had crushing sound. How do you improve on that? I think he eventually moved away from that as others finally figured how to get that sound. Yes it’s in his hands technique wise but the sound, I don’t buy that it’s all in the fingers. There are a few people on YouTube such as David Bray amps, Rockstah mods, and many others that have nailed the early EVH tone. When you hear them, you say, THAT’S IT!

    Since he first did the 5150’s on Carnal Knowledge, it’s been a lot more saturated and small sounding. As if he now needs to rely more on insane amp gain. Then again, he’s the man and I’m not. But I know a good tone when I hear it and the live tones he had from around OU812 era on started to degrade…

  • 5150

    I really like their shirts. I like the EVH striped-oval encircling the EVH logo. How many guitarists have built their own guitar then sold it to this magnitude?

    Brian says…
    “Where the fuck is HE?? Let’s have a vid with Ed playing”

    I think 2012 will be filled with EVH giving us samples. I can’t wait. I respect that they show the “assistant coaches” rather than letting the head coach take all the glory. But, I agree with you, I would like to see EVH demonstrate.

  • hawk51

    Great stuff and very interesting! It kinda reminds me of this hot chick in high school that would do everything but put out. Lets hear it Ed!

  • Valen

    EVH Rocks!! Matt, Chip, Chris, Keith and Mike sure know how to keep it together for King Edward!!!

  • Rick Lee

    I’d love to see sales figures and profitability on the EVH stuff. I’ve never seen anyone use this stuff. I’ve seen most of those guys in the video at NAMM the last few years, but Ed only shows on the media-only day. If he really wanted to promote this stuff, he’d get a tour going and do a few demos at NAMM for the regular folks who aren’t media. At the EVH NAMM booth they have all these posters of total unknown death metal guitarists endorsing the EVH stuff. WTF? C’mon Ed. Let’s see YOU demo this stuff….early and often.

  • Icarewhatuthink

    So you guys are saying your best tone is better than Ed’s worst…hmmmm…..

  • Keith

    @MasVH … what I’ve been sayin for years. A signature amp from Marshall. I’m sure it was discussed but ???? Look how great their other sig heads are for Zakk, King, Slash, and Yngwie . It would have made more sense and would have been HUGE !

  • Ken A

    I’ve heard a lot of people come really close to the classic Van Halen sound, but never once have I heard someone NAIL the Van Halen sound. That’s because it’s actually not that hard to get “really close”. Just buy similar stuff to what Ed used.

    In this sense, the difference between “not even close” and “really close” is much smaller than the difference between “really close” and “nailed it”. Once you’re “really close”, you start running into the really specific problems: the grain of the swamp ash, the windings in the pickups, the types of materials in the batteries and cables…

    …and, of course, the nuances of Ed’s technique: the way he holds the guitar, the way his fingers strike the strings, how he angles the pick, how much of his picking thumb strikes the string when he’s really digging in, and so on. These might sound like little things that don’t really matter, but a lot of little things add up to a big thing that definitely matters.

    That’s the hump between “really close” and “nailed it”. It’s the difference between having what Eddie has and playing the way Eddie plays. Not just hitting the right notes at the right times, but really paying microscopic attention to the way you articulate notes on the instrument. That’s what Ed has that the vast majority of the “really close” guys don’t have.

  • RobCT

    A great set of vids! Lots of cool info here but like the rest of us, I would love to see Ed giving us a demo himself on all his stuff from the amp, the cables, the pedals to the guitars! That video from a few years ago, Fender Frontline when he was unveiling the Frankenstrat was very cool! Some very tasty playing on there! I’d have to say my fav tone of his is around the Live at Largo/US Festival tone. Very organic and thick!

  • Keith

    also wondering why Ed jumped ship with Kramer, then Ernie Ball Music Man, then Peavey, then USA Charvel ? They all had great products and I’m sure gave him 99.9% control so why leave when ya had a great thing going ?

  • Ed Dee


    I love Ed, he’s inspired me to play guitar 25 years ago but when you look at the rotation of singers in the band and his inability to stay with one company makes you wonder is Ed is the problem. Maybe he’s bipolar? Drugs and alcohol interfere with the neurotransmitters in your brain makes you act strange.

  • Mr. Mike

    sad. makes me realize there are cool jobs out there, and depresses me over my poor career choices…ha-ha!

  • derek

    @ Keith

    Kramer went out of business, Ernie Ball couldnt keep up with demand, Peavey wouldnt grow with Ed, (like changing the fretwire, reworking the pickups, better pots, etc.)and I think Charvel and Jackson are owned by Fender, so he never really left them. Fender gave Ed total control so there will be nobody to blame if he screws this up. Looks like hes got it all under control now…. (we hope)

  • Chris

    I purchased a tobacco sunburst EVH Wolfgang last year and it is the best musical purchase I have ever made. The sustain is the most glaring asset of the instrument. The tone and overtones that are created when sustaining notes is incredible. Best $3,300 I have spent on music gear. Love it!

  • Austin

    @ Derek

    Ed left Kramer before they went under. . . . . Ed leaving is the reason why they went under. and he left Ernie Ball because they couldn’t keep up with demand And they did alot of shady things being ed’s back like putting the EBMM logo over the kramer logo on his 5150.

  • F’nRockstar

    “So you guys are saying your best tone is better than Ed’s worst…hmmmm…”

    …better than on the last two tours, yes. Just about anybody’s is. He didn’t even sound like Ed on the last two tours.

  • Myron T. Philpot

    Funny how the first six albums were created using a 130 dollar homemade, piece-of-junk guitar and a beat up Marshall.

    Fast forward 28 years later when no new music (yet) was created with 3000 dollar guitars and amps from a personal brand.

  • Keith

    @Austin … the story about Ed leavin Erine Ball is not the real truth. The logo thing is a rumor. Got a picture ?
    The production issue is a non-issue as all quality guitars take months to build. Just ask Warrior, Jackson, or any custom shop. The demand for an EVH guitar at that time was simply sky high since it was the first real signature model by Ed.

  • Keith

    and … there,s pictures & video footage of him playing the Fender EVH 5150iii prototypes back in early 2004 so he knew he wasn’t planning to renew his contract w Peavey. Have a feeling that his “Dark Times” had alot to do with it. So sad. The new gear is nice, but way too expensive for most fans.