An extremely limited 20 piece run of Eddie Van Halen’s Wolfgang USA Tour Relic Replica is being unveiled at NAMM this week:
For the legion of fans who attended the 2015 Van Halen Tour, it’s unlikely they failed to notice the striking, aged-looking Ivory Wolfgang USA guitar that Eddie Van Halen played onstage.
In exciting news, EVH Gear has announced that it will make available an exact replica of this very instrument for consumers with the release of a limited 20-piece run of custom-built EVH Wolfgang USA Tour Relic Replica guitars.
Van Halen originally planned on using the same Wolfgang USA in Stealth Black that he played during the band’s 2012 tour, but he also asked Master Builder Chip Ellis to build him this guitar with a detailed relic treatment so that the original coat of black paint showed through the Ivory top coat.
“Chip built that for me and did a wonderful job,” Van Halen said in a recent interview. “I compared it to my trusty old Stealth, and the white guitar sounded better, so it immediately became my main guitar for rehearsals and the tour.”
Famous for tinkering with his guitars, Van Halen decided to sand down the back of the neck since he felt it was a little thicker than what he typically prefers from his neck profiles.
“It’s still a little fatter than the Stealth’s neck, but I’m happy with it, so it stuck,” he said.
The custom-built instrument also features an ebony fingerboard, block fretboard inlays, custom kill switch, EVH Custom High Friction (Tone) Pot and an EVH “HPU” or High Performance Upgrade, custom-made Low Friction (Volume) Pot.
“It’s the only volume pot I’ve found where I can play ‘Cathedral’ without any crackle or pop,” he said.
All of these features will be found on the EVH Wolfgang USA Tour Relic Replica, which also comes with a Custom Anvil white case (with black interior) featuring the Van Halen logo, Certificate of Authenticity autographed by Eddie Van Halen, EVH instrument cable, EVH strings .009-.042 and an EVH leather strap with dog leash clasps.
From Eddie Van Halen comes the Wolfgang®, representing over 35 years of cumulative EVH® experience and expertise in guitar design. The process undertaken to develop the Wolfgang® took over two years of intense trial-and-error research. The formidable task yielded a series of prototypes that endured a full year of brutal in-concert road testing by Eddie on Van Halen’s triumphant 2007-2008 world tour. The result is a bulletproof and beautiful tonal giant of a guitar that takes whatever you can dish out and then asks for more.
As the VH tour kicked off in the fall 2007, Eddie pushed every aspect of the Wolfgang’s performance capabilities to the absolute limit, playing various Wolfgang prototypes every night on virtually every song. As the tour roared along, Eddie changed and adjusted components and specs until he was satisfied with the Wolfgang’s sound, feel and looks. To prove that it was battle-worthy and could survive the road, performance data was collected from every gig for months and months to establish and confirm consistency and durability.
This is what makes the Wolfgang the culmination of Eddie Van Halen’s endless pursuit of outstanding tone, durability and consistency. Available to the public beginning in January 2009, the EVH® Wolfgang guitar is built to his exact specs and has every single feature of the Wolfgang guitars he himself plays onstage and in the studio. It’s exactly what he uses. “Everything that I’ve built, destroyed, stumbled onto, learned and experienced is in this guitar,” Eddie Van Halen said. “Every aspect and component of this guitar has been examined and upgraded to the highest standards possible: stainless steel frets, double-potted custom-wound pickups, fivepiece binding on the matching body and headstock, custom-made signature tuning machines and Floyd Rose® bridge, new low-friction pots, and the list keeps going. We left no stone unturned.”
-Series: Wolfgang® Limited
-Body Material: Basswood with Maple Top
-Neck Finish: Oiled Relic
-Body Finish: Lacquer Relic
-Neck: Quartersawn Maple
-Fingerboard: Ebony, 12″ to 16″ (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm) Compound Radius
-Frets: 22, Vintage Stainless Steel
-Scale Length: 25.5″ (64.8 cm)
-Nut: R2, 1.625″ (41.3 mm)
-Position Inlays: Mother-Of-Pearl Blocks
-Pickups: Direct Mounted EVH Wolfgang® Zebra Humbucking (Bridge and Neck)
-Pickup Configuration: HH
-Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®
-Hardware: Chrome Relic
-Pickup Switching: EVH Reverse-Style 3-Position Toggle: Position 1.
Neck Pickup, Position 2. Neck and Bridge Pickups, Position 3. Bridge Pickup
-Controls: Volume (500K EVH Bourns Low Friction Pot), Tone (250K EVH
Bourns High Friction Pot)
-Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded Gotoh® High Ratio (14 to 1) Die-Cast
Tuners with White Pearloid Buttons
-Other Features: Red Momentary Kill Switch, Eye-Bolt Strap Holders,
Non-Matching Black Headstock, Cream Binding on Relic Ivory Finish, Black
Undercoat with Ivory Top Coat, Relic’d and Replicated to Exact Specs of
EVH Tour Guitar 2015 Direct-Mount Pickups, Magna Coatings Paint, 2
Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods, EVH® D-Tuna
List price: $13,888.88
Here’s some photos from NAMM today of the guitar and it’s case by VHND’s Scott Smith: