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Eddie Van Halen's Guitar Rig - Instruments, Amps & Pedals

Eddie Van Halen's legendary "brown sound" is one of the most sought after guitar tones in history. We have assembled a list of the gear Eddie used over his career including some cheaper alternatives. Check it out here!

Eddie Van Halen's Guitar Rig - Instruments, Amps & Pedals

Few guitarists have left such a mark on the electric guitar landscape as Eddie Van Halen. His instantly recognisable tone and playing style continues to inspire guitarists the world over, more than forty years since Van Halen's debut album was released. A self confessed tone chaser, Eddie's sound was constantly evolving, right up to his passing in 2020. From his iconic "Brown Sound" of the late '70s to his heavily modulated, high gain tone of the '80s and 90's, Eddie always sounded like Eddie, regardless of the gear he used! He was always quick to point out that "tone is in the fingers" and never was a truer word spoken!

Eddie Van Halen's Guitars

Eddie was arguably the first player to use a "Super Strat" guitar, which was essentially a Stratocaster body loaded with a humbucker in the bridge position. In the late 1970s, such a guitar didn't exist so Eddie set about building his own as it was the only way he could create the sound he was hearing in his head! Ever the mad scientist, Eddie removed a PAF humbucker from his '50s Gibson ES-335, dipped it in paraffin wax and mounted it directly into a "factory second" Strat body he bought for $50 from Boogie Bodies. He bought a Birdseye Maple neck for $80 and then all that was left was to paint it in the iconic black and white stripes and the Frankenstein was born!

Eddie Van Halen's Amplifiers and Effects

A large part of Eddie's early tone was a mid-60s 100w Marshall Super Lead, or "Plexi" as they were commonly referred to. Eddie attenuated the amp using a Variac which essentially starved the amp of power, resulting in a "squishy" sound with lots of sag. He would then kick in an MXR Phase 90 or Flanger to make his solos pop. Eddie was a long term user of MXR pedals and he worked closely with them for many years, releasing a number of signature models in that time.

Over the years, Eddie had endorsement deals with Music Man and Peavey, with whom he released a number of signature guitars and amps, including the legendary 5150 amplifiers. In 2005, Eddie teamed up with Fender to form the EVH brand, which is responsible for the current line up of Wolfgang guitars and 5150III amplifiers, among others.

So, if you're crazy about Eddie Van Halen and want a piece of his iconic sound, you'll find a fantastic range of products to get you close, here at Andertons! We can't promise you'll play like Eddie, but its a step in the right direction!