Eddie Van Halen’s Steinberger GL-2T 5150
Eddie started using this guitar around 1986. It was built by Jeff Babicz, who at the time worked with Ned Steinberger. The guitar was custom painted with the “Frankenstein” graphics, and it had two EMG pickups in it.
A large part of why Eddie liked using this guitar was because of the TransTrem system. This is a special type of tremolo, that allows the player to change tunings in real-time. Simplified, you’re able to do this by locking the tremolo in different positions, going two full steps up, or three steps down from standard tuning.
If you’re interested in a really in-depth history and analysis of this guitar, the Rob5150 EVH YouTube channel is a great place to go (see video below).
The Steinberger GL-2T was used by Eddie on Get Up and Summer Nights from the 5150 album released in 1986, Pleasure Dome from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), and Fire in the Hole from Van Halen III (1996). The guitar was also used on the song Me Wise Magic, that the band recorded upon David Lee Roth’s return.
The Guitar Re-built
In 2016, Eddie asked Jeff Babicz whether he could restore the guitar, so Eddie could once again use it. Jeff of course accepted, and according to him, fully restored the guitar, with “new” EMG vintage pickups, new frets, and fully re-build TransTrem.
So I get a call from Eddie Van Halen, who asked me if i’m interested in restoring some of his guitars (of course I said yes!). Here is one of the guitars he sent me: His iconic Steinberger 5150 striped GL2T, serial #3340. I built this guitar for him in November 1985…almost 30 years ago to the day!.Eddie Van Halen’s 5150 Steinberger Guitar Restored!
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