Up Close and Personal with EVH

Eddie Van Halen announces a new limited edition EVH 5150 IIIS Stealth head and 4×12 cabinet.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (March 18, 2015) – EVH is proud to announce the release of a brand new exclusive video of Eddie Van Halen personally demonstrating the new limited edition EVH Brand 5150 IIIS “Stealth” amplifier.

Filmed at 5150 studio exclusively with GoPro video cameras, fans will for the first time be able to see what Eddie sees when he’s playing and experience Eddie’s own perspective through the eyes of multiple GoPro cameras.

In addition, Eddie explains the inspiration of how the specially modified circuit originated and personally walks viewers through his amplifier rig showcasing its exclusive features and settings while playing some of his signature riffs and displaying some of his groundbreaking playing techniques. All from a perspective no one has ever seen before.

To view the video, go to www.evhgear.com or watch below.

The limited edition hand-modified EVH 5150 IIIS Stealth head and 4×12 cabinet combination is identical to the most recent rig Eddie has toured with and features the exact same custom modifications. The head and cabinet are available individually, or together as a complete half stack.

The 120-watt head features a single input and three channels (clean, crunch, lead), each with versatile controls (volume, gain, presence, low, mid, high). Channel two features increased gain for greater sustain and is re-voiced for improved low-mid frequency definition; channel three also features increased gain and improved range for the “low” control. Further, each channel has a rear-panel resonance control knob that dials in fine-tuned low-end response. The amp boasts eight JJ ECC83 preamp tubes, four hand selected high performance 6L6 power tubes, switchable output impedance (4, 8 and 16 ohms) and rear-panel “outboard accessible” bias probe ports as well as an outboard accessible and adjustable bias control. Other features include vintage-style “chicken head” control knobs, red jewel pilot light, dual speaker jacks, all tube effects loop, direct out and 3 super durable molded plastic handles.

The speaker cabinet features rock-solid birch construction, four Celestion® EVH G-12 speakers, EVH casters and recessed metal handles. Head and cabinet come in a special black “Stealth” aesthetic; and a seven-pin, four-button footswitch is included (controls each channel and the effects loop). Optional EVH fitted cover also available.

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EVH 5150 III 1 x 12 Combo

Photo Credit: Evhgear.com

Photo Credit: Evhgear.com

Eddie Van Halen is as meticulous with his tone as he is with his playing. While a considerable part of his tone lies within his fingers, his guitars and amps also factor greatly into the equation. Eddie played Marshall amps during the first few Van Halen albums and later went on to use Peavey amps. During the past few years, Eddie has developed his own line of amps that are manufactured by Fender. The EVH series of amps come in 50 and 100watt options for the head and 50watt for the combos. I read that during the testing phase of these amps, Eddie and Fender put these amps through rigorous trials including leaving it on and letting it feedback for a month to see how it held up. I appreciate the type of quality control that has gone into the production of this amp. I am reviewing the EVH 5150 III Combo that features one Celestion speaker and comes in a great ivory color. A four-button footswitch and casters are also included with the amp.

For this demo, I played a Jackson Dominion and a Gibson Dave Grohl 335 plugged straight into the amp. Channel One is the clean channel and while it sounded decent, I feel like it lacked some of the warmth that I prefer in an amp. Don’t get me wrong, the clean channel still sounds good, but just doesn’t have those pristine cleans that other amps may have. That being said, I think if you’re playing an EVH amp it’s for what the other two channels have to offer. My reason for wanting to try out this amp was for its overdriven and distorted options. There is also a switchable reverb that is very natural and sounds great in all channels

Channel Two is great for all around rock and metal playing. You can dial in a number of suitable tones that sound amazing. For this review, I kept all of the Low, Mid, and High settings between 11 and 1 o’ clock. I wanted to get a consistent tone throughout all of the channels for comparison. I also kept the Presence at noon for all channels during this demo. I think if this amp only came with the option for the first two channels it would be great and be better than most on the market. You can easily dial in the classic brown sound in the second channel and that alone would be enough for people.

The third channel of the EVH 5150 III is a beast. It takes all of the elements of the second channel and then adds copious amounts of gain. This is the channel for the modern metal player looking to sonically annihilate and stand out in the mix. I dialed the mids down a bit and got a good, scooped crunch in this setting that didn’t muddy up the sound of my playing. I was able to get note definition without sacrificing any tone.

To anyone looking for a high quality amp for rock or metal, look no further than the EVH 5150 III Combo. This amp also comes in a 2×12 version for those who want that additional Celestion.

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Day 2: The AfterNAMMth

Friday was another good day at NAMM. There seemed to be fewer people than Thursday which made it a little easier to get from booth to booth. The layout at the Convention Center is so spread out that it’s not uncommon to walk 4 to 5 miles a day.

I started at the Dean booth and was very excited to see they had Dimebag Darrell’s original Dean from Hell ML guitar. The guitar, housed in a thick glass case, showed every bit of road use and it was an honor to see such a historic instrument up close. Dean also had some impressive Dave Mustaine models, including the new Trans Blue Limited V.

The next stop was the Gretsch booth. They make some very iconic guitars like the White Falcon, Duo Jet, and Penguin. I was delighted to see an update to the Brian Setzer series of guitars. Gretsch has updated the Hot Rod series of his guitar to include a flame maple body, new colors like Harbor Blue, and his signature TV Jones pickups.

I then made my way to the EVH booth to see what goods Eddie and the EVH team had on display. The Wolfgang Customs look phenomenal, as did the famous Circles guitar. I was able to speak with one of their reps and learned that Eddie signs each prototype in gold or silver Sharpie. He showed me the latest Star guitar with Eddie’s approval on the back. As an owner of an EVH 5150 III combo amp, it was nice to hear how meticulous his approval process is across the full line of EVH products. I guess when your initials are the brand’s name, you want to make sure everything’s right.

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Daily Gear Obsession: EVH Wolfgang Stealth USA

Photo Credit: evhgear.com

Photo Credit: evhgear.com

How great does this one look?

I’m currently evaluating my existing gear and plotting…this must be mine.




Guitar World’s Paul Riario has done a great job describing the general features of this guitar and demonstrating its awesomeness.

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