The Eddie Van Halen striped guitar is one of the best sounding guitar I have although it’s one of the cheapest. After building the guitar and recognizing the fab sound it had, I became more interested in upgrading cheap guitars. Sadly up till now I have no clue why a guitar is more lively than another but I keep on searching.
Anyway, this guitar was bought as an assembled kit, so I received the guitar completely assembled but without being painted or properly set-up. The kit itself was cheap, around 100 euro’s. I bought it from a (french-speaking) guy in Belgium. Since the Ebay ad was in French I guess not many people reacted to it, anyway I got it dead cheap.
The guitar itself is (as far as I could check) an exact copy of the original Music Man Eddie van Halen. I have been trying to find out what the origin of this kit was, but I never found something similar. By the way, the guitar didn’t have a (flamed) maple top but it had white binding.
This is one of the first guitars I painted myself and I can tell you it was hell. I had to do two attempts to get it right. I followed mainly the ‘Factory finish’ instructions but had to find out some issues the hard way. Since the guitar came to me unpainted (although the neck was painted), I didn’t have to remove any paint, I immediately could begin with a thinh layer of primer.
Then the guitar was painted white all over.
Next step was to apply the paint masking tape to get the white stripe effect. So I applied the tape (difficult around the edges of the body) and painted the whole guitar red. When removing the tape I got the beautiful red body with white stripes. Sadly at some points it had gone wrong so I had to apply some white paint with a little brush here and there.
When it was all dry, I was about to paint the black stripes. For this I reversely masked the parts where no black should come and sprayed the whole body black. When removing the masking material I saw that black paint had gone under the masking tape. Since there is a height difference between the white and red parts, black paint went under it. I sanded all the paint off and did the whole procedure again now only with applying a transparent layer before doing the black stripes. The transparent layer evens out the height difference.
This procedure worked out fine. Next was to apply a transparent layer over the finished body, do the sanding and buffing et voila.
I installed a DiMarzio Tone-zone at the bridge and a GFS standard humbucker at the neck. Electronics are dead simple, only one volume knob.
This guitar has the vibe, bot bass, mid and treble and all are very well balanced. I have been thinking about upgrading the tremolo but why…it sounds great…..the guitar stays perfectly in tune. The only drawback is that the fretboard is not that wide (also a complaint on the original Music Man versions) so once in a while you skip off the fretboard when playing the high e-string.
And the guitar in action: