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Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen American, born the Netherlands

Not on view

Eddie Van Halen, a self-taught guitarist, created a new vocabulary on his instrument through an array of jaw-dropping techniques and electronic effects. Two-handed tapping, in which both hands sound the strings from the fingerboard, allowed him to produce fluid phrases at dizzying speeds. Van Halen’s use of “dive bombing,” depressing and releasing the vibrato bar to create dramatic descents and ascents in pitch, drove innovations in guitar design such as the locking vibrato system and ushered in new standards in virtuosic hard- rock and metal performance.
Displayed here is a reconstruction of his rig as it appeared onstage in 1978, the year the band Van Halen released their eponymous debut album. It includes amplifier speaker cabinets and tube-powered amplifiers (heads), effects units, and a reconstructed pedalboard featuring effect pedals identical to the originals, alongside a replica of the 1978 version of the “Frankenstein” guitar. Most dramatically, Van Halen’s rig included the casing of a World War II–era practice bomb that was repurposed as a rack for housing his Univox tape echo units.

Rig Includes:
EVH "Super 78 Eruption" guitar replica, white with black stripes
Two Marshall 412 Slanted cabinets, late 1960s
Two Marshall 412 Straight cabinets, late 1960s
Marshall 412 Slanted cabinet, 1978
Marshall 412 Straight cabinet, 1978
Two Marshall 1959 SLP Super Lead 100W heads, late 1960s
Two Univox EC-80A Echo effect units, Mid 1970s
US Air Force MK 22 Practice Bomb rack (replica)
Ohmite Variable Voltage Controller

Pedalboard: 1970s MXR Flanger & MXR Phase 90, Two remote footswitches for EC-80A tape echo units

Rig, Edward Lodewijk "Eddie" Van Halen (American, born Nijmegen, Netherlands, 1955), Wood, metal, plastic

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