There is an EVH 5150 striped series at the Vancouver Long & McQuade, Centre 368 Terminal Ave, which I played for a bit last week.
Thought that is was surprisingly light in body weight say when compared to other basswood only guitars in the EVH line up, but then my main guitar is a 1985 Kramer Pacer Imperial that is heavy as gravity itself, thanks to its solid maple body.
They neck is well crafted, very smooth and has a comfortable feel to it. I suspect the Modified "C“ shape that the listed specs outline is because it appears to have a slight asymmetrical shape to it. Could be wrong, but when comparing its feel and shape to my Musikraft EVH asymmetrical neck the handling is similar, just not as pronounced as the Musikraft EVH or EBMM EVH series neck which as most know is a direct digital copy of the original Kramer 5150 neck.
Also to add is that the EVH 5150 neck feels nothing like what the Kramer 84 neck feels like. The two are very different beasts in that one is very club like (The 84) while the other allows into one’s palm to find its own comfortable grip (EVH 5150). Maybe I am being a bit biased but I did not get a sense that the EVH 5150 neck would be something I would be fighting to control.
The jumbo frets are well filed with no sharp edges and the neck is firmly seated in the neck pocket with no gaps.
The graphic paint job is a solid reverse engineered application that pays homage to the original 5150 in regard to where the stipe patterns should be, it is a factory finish so some of the odd nuances are pretty much smoothed over (ie: the lower horn stripe is a bit goofy compared to the original lower horn stripe). It's not a direct relic replica so one cannot be overly critical with the graphics.
The satin finish is pretty sweet looking and I prefer it over the glossy EVH Frankenstrats to be honest. Just gives the EVH 5150 a slightly more worn in look. The reflective 5150 stickers and star shapes are a nice detail and kudos to EVH gear to go forth to source the correct reflective pattern. Hopefully the glue on the stickers is something of an industrial grade so they do not start to peel off in a years time, as they are not clear coated over.
The pickup is an EVH Wolfgang and has all the power and grit as it ever had. Tone is bright and authoritative and cleans up nicely when dialling back the MXR volume (tone) knob. But without pulling the pickup out I would suspect it might be an overseas build, but to EVH gear specs. I read somewhere online (VH Links?) The Mexico EVH Wolfgang Specials do not have USA made Wolfgang pickups in them.
The Floyd Rose trem is the usual EVH branded version (FRT1000, Korean made) but holds up fine to incessant wankery along with the D-tuna in tow.
Have nothing to say about the tuners as the nut had the strings locked down. They are chrome, shiny and nicely accent the red, white and black graphics as does the EVH FRT1000 trem.
Headstock shape… meh… the neck looks wise is just not the same without the banana curvature of the original. The headstock on the EVH 5150 resembles the shape of the smaller Beretta/Pacer Imperial headstock even though it’s a knock off of the Hamer headstock.
IMO, it just looks wrong, but throughout my youth I was exposed to the original 5150 (photographs and live performances) so this is the one detail that I am a bit put off on (same goes for Gibson’s Kramer 84 headstock). Then again one isn’t normally looking up at the headstock when playing so whatever, to each their own on this detail.
EVH gear may have done a boat load of investigative reporting to see if they could gain the rights to use the original Kramer headstock shape or something similar, so I guess final shape is a best effort comprise. That being said if one saw/played this guitar without knowing its origins and history they would be none the wiser and wouldn't care for the most part.
The price tag of $1899.99 CDN is just too costly for a single pick up, one trick pony of a guitar. Sure it is a custom hand painted graphic, but so are the Frankenstrats (R/B/W: $1,349.99 CDN) and does a matte finish really illicit the up charge? Also I do not think it comes with a case either, could be mistaken on that though.
In summary, it was fun to demo and to visually review a guitar that pays homage to the original Kramer parts-caster. Love it or hate at least EVH gear is giving the fanboys and gals a 5150 to add to their collection. Just knock off say… $800 CDN from the asking price.
On a side note, If I had to choose I would rather pull the trigger and purchase the Musikraft parts and assorted hardware and build my own 5150… including taking a stab at painting and light relicing. But time is money so those with money may just want bypass the hassle of a BYO project and buy a straight out of the box gunslinger.
My 5,150.00 cents worth.
PS: Please excuse all unchecked grammatical and heinous spelling errors. I shot this reply off straight from the hip.
– C F –
Oh and a big shout out to the L&McQ sales rep who pulled the EVH 5150 out of it's shipping box and warehouse storage so that I could play it. That was pretty nice customer service. https://www.long-mcquade.com/82294/Guit ... -R-B-W.htm