On the cover of Van Halen’s 1978 eponymous debut album, Eddie Van Halen thrusts his black-and-white striped Strat-style guitar towards the camera as if he’s showing you the future. He played this guitar on his unprecedented and mind-blowing “Eruption” guitar solo, thus its nickname, and almost immediately, this monumental instrument became a timeless icon, symbolic of a paradigm shift in guitar-driven rock and roll.
Back when this trailblazing album first appeared, nobody had ever seen or heard a guitar like that because no such guitar ever existed. What was this? You couldn’t buy one.
That’s because he made it himself. The 22-year-old Eddie Van Halen had the mind of not only a great musician, but also of an innovative inventor—a constant tinkerer who was always messing with his gear. Eddie would say it was out of necessity as no off-the-shelf guitar had the features he needed to really do his job and realize his full potential. So, he took matters into his own capable hands — refretting the neck, installing a humbucking pickup which he potted in paraffin wax, as well a single master volume knob (famously labeled as “Tone”), brass nut and tailpiece from a ’58 Strat, cutting out and mounting his own homemade black and of course, coming up with iconic striped motif.
The EVH Striped Series ’78 Eruption guitar combines many of those famed mods along with modernized features and a relic treatment as if it too had gone out for the first Van Halen world tour – from the paint job to the neck, fingerboard, pickup, bridge and hardware.
Its basswood Stratocaster-style body sports Eddie’s famed white-and-black-striped paint job and has been paired to a quartersawn maple neck with a hand-rubbed satin urethane back finish. The 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets was designed for fast and furious playing styles with maximum comfort, while a heel-mount truss rod wheel makes for time-saving neck adjustments.
A single EVH Wolfgang humbucking bridge pickup provides classic Eddie Van Halen guitar tone – from crystal cleans to fat and rich mids and lows, while the brass nut and six-saddle vintage Fender Stratocaster synchronized tremolo bridge with a 43mm brass block for authentic EVH tone.
Other features include a skirted white Strat-style volume control knob (labeled “tone”) with 500K EVH Bourns low friction pot and treble bleed circuit, black pickguard, chrome hardware, oversized strap buttons, EVH neck plate and larger, ‘70s-style licensed Fender Strat headstock with gold EVH logo.