Another 52 Guitars, week 37—EVH Striped Series

This guitar was always going to be in this series. I never thought it would be in the series as this kind of tribute article though. I also never thought it would follow my other favourite signature style guitar—the model used by Randy Rhoads—the Sandoval Dot V.

Tragically, this is where we find ourselves. The man who was the most influential guitarist of the era I find myself in, has passed away. We will however always have the memories and the awe inspiring EVH Striped Series.

Before I get into what I consider to be the most obvious reasons why I’d desire this week’s guitar, I want to share why Eddie Van Halen’s passing meant so much to me.

I discovered Van Halen at the age of 14. That was the year that the album 1984 was released. Up until then, I’d been a guitar fan for a few years, but never found the kind of inspiration that folks older than me found in the likes of Jimi Hendrix.

Upon hearing tracks like Jump and Panama, I wanted to know more about this Van Halen band. Luckily for me—keep in mind there was no Internet yet—I had a friend who already owned Van Halen‘s first two albums on vinyl.

I heard Eruption and my life changed.

For the first time, I discovered that the guitar was capable of so much more than I’d ever considered. That was one of the reasons that Eddie Van Halen became my first genuine guitar hero. The main reason however was that he brought passion, fun and enjoyment to what I know the guitar as today. Eddie didn’t always need to shred. It was obvious when you watched Eddie play. It was about the joy that music brings your life. This is the reason I’ll always consider Eddie Van Halen to be the most influential guitar player I’ve ever seen.

Of course another reason Eddie Van Halen was so influential—the reason for this week’s article—was his striped series of guitars. From the moment I saw the striped black and white guitar on the front cover of Van Halen‘s first album, I was in love.

Luckily for us all, you’ve been able to purchase an official replica of Eddie’s original masterpiece—the white with black striped version of the EVH Striped Series—for several years now. I mentioned it in my 2016 article on five signature guitars I wished I owned. The desire to own one of these guitars is more important to me now than ever.

Other than the tribute connection, there are specifics to this guitar that always meant it would be in this article series I’ve been working on. Those specifics are:

  • Bar string retainer
  • Floyd Rose locking tremolo with D-tuna
  • Truss rod access at the body end of the neck
  • Single volume control (labelled as Tone)
  • That iconic paint job

The maple necks on these guitars look beautiful. They match the overall design of the mostly white guitar finish perfectly. The all-chrome hardware is an equally perfectly matched style choice.

Of course, with every guitar comes playability and tone. As these guitars are all a result of a collaboration with Eddie Van Halen, I feel like that’s all as guaranteed as any guitar is ever going to get. Still, it can’t hurt to have some video evidence.

As there are multiple finishes for this guitar model, it would be wrong to share just the one video. Also, it’s simply awesome to watch talented people play such an iconic guitar.

Although neither of those videos showed the white with black stripes model, you hopefully get the appeal—if you hadn’t been convinced already. These guitars look amazing and clearly sound amazing.

I’d have preferred it if I could have continued to watch Eddie Van Halen play these guitars himself for many years to come, but knowing this guitar and the decades of previous influence will be with us all for a long time to come is a something I’ll cherish in an otherwise sad time.

RIP EVH.

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