Eddie Van Halen’s Music Man EVH 5150

Anticipating Kramer’s bankruptcy, after the company lost a lawsuit brought by Floyd Rose, Eddie ended his deal with Kramer and switched to Ernie Ball Music Man guitars. The company already produced EVH signature strings for a good couple of years, so the new deal with Ernie Ball made sense for Eddie.

The new guitar was designed largely by Eddie, in order to incorporate everything he needed from a guitar at that time.

I really want a guitar that I can play on tour, and on the records – thats exactly what I want. Not what other companies think that I want.

It’s kind of a boring looking guitar, but at the same time, I didn’t want some like “V”, or “X” crazy looking thing. It’s really balanced, really comfortable to play, and basically what I wanted to do is build like twenty guitars just for myself.

Eddie Van Halen talks about his new ERNIE BALL GUITAR

The Music Man EVH featured a basswood body shaped very differently than anything Eddie played before. It held two DiMarzio humbuckers and a Floyd Rose tremolo system. The neck on it was maple, and it was electronically mapped in order to look and feel like the one he used on his Kramer 5150 guitar.

Eddie used the guitar for two VH albums, Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and Balance.

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Moving to Peavey

The deal between Earnie Ball and Eddie ended in 1995, the main reason supposedly being the fact that Music Man just wasn’t big enough of a company, and couldn’t produce enough of this guitar to meet the demand.

Post-1995, the guitar was kept in production under the name “Axis”, with few slight modifications. The switch was moved near the volume knob, the contour was added to the top and back of the body, and the neck was widened slightly.


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