Eddie Van Halen’s Kramer 5150

Eddie started using this guitar as his main after retiring the Frankenstrat, sometime in late 1983.

It’s a workhorse. It served me for a very long time. When I retired my Frankenstein, that became my main guitar. I played it in a lot of videos – ‘Panama’ and ‘When It’s Love’ – and in the studio. I used that guitar up until I started using my Music Man EVH guitar. It still sounds great

Eddie Van Halen Shares the Guitars Behind His Quest for Tone
Eddie playing the guitar in the famous “Eruption Solo” video.


There’s a lot of debate on the exact specs of Eddie’s Kramer 5150, mainly because it was a one-off, a custom-made guitar, and the official specs have never been revealed.

The body was probably made from ash, but some people are guessing it might’ve been basswood as well. But, ash seems way more likely, because it’s way more common and Kramer would probably use ash than basswood in the early 80s. The reality is, no one knows for sure, and it’s all just guesswork.

The neck was likely maple, as there’s a skunk stripe on the back.

The pickup in the guitar was allegedly a Seymour Duncan ’59 that was custom wound for Eddie. This, however, also seems to be based on speculation, as there are no quotes (to our knowledge) from Eddie or Seymour confirming this.

The finish of the guitar was heavily based on the Frankenstrat and featured the same red finish with black and white stripes.


As noted in the opening paragraph, Eddie used this Kramer from around 1983 as his main guitar. That changed around 1991, when he started using Music Man guitars.

Eddie with the Kramer 5150 in the Panama music video.
Eddie with the Kramer 5150 in the Panama music video.

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21 days ago

I really think this was one of his best guitars eddie has ever had