Home New Wolfgang Van Halen Launches Long-Awaited EVH SA-126 Signature Guitar on Late Father’s Birthday

Wolfgang Van Halen Launches Long-Awaited EVH SA-126 Signature Guitar on Late Father’s Birthday

by Madonna

“If Ed were here today, he would not stop talking about this guitar. He would love this guitar,” said Wolfgang Van Halen at the official launch of his long-awaited EVH SA-126 signature model, which has been three years in the making.

In January, EVH announced the SA-126 Special, Wolfgang Van Halen’s flagship signature guitar. This model was developed in collaboration with brand managing director Matt Bruck, Masterbuilder Chip Ellis, and pickup expert Tim Shaw.

The eagerly anticipated electric guitar was unveiled on what would have been Eddie Van Halen’s birthday, with its name paying tribute to this date, following multiple sightings of Wolfgang playing it live.

Nearly four months later, the SA-126 has officially been released to the public.

To celebrate the launch, EVH released a video featuring Wolfgang, Bruck, and Ellis discussing the development of the innovative semi-hollow guitar. The video traces its evolution from the second prototype—a relic’d white model inspired by Eddie’s 2015 tour guitar—to the final product.

Wolfgang explained that the SA-126 emerged from a desire to create a classic semi-hollow guitar that could handle the versatile, heavy tones of Mammoth WVH. He wanted a unique sound distinct from his father’s, which led him to semi-hollow guitars, becoming the core sound for his project.

“The SA was born out of a necessity for finding my own sound for Mammoth,” Wolfgang said. “I knew that I didn’t want to do what my dad did, and I wanted to try and have my own sound. That’s how I gravitated towards semi-hollow guitars. That became the core sound for my project.”

He added, “The aim was to create an instrument that merged the warm tones of a classic semi-hollow guitar with the performance style and neck that EVH Gear is known for. It’s everything I could have ever wanted. I wanted a guitar that didn’t exist, and then Matt, Chip, and I put our heads together, and here it is.”

The SA-126 features a mahogany body with a basswood centerblock, a bolt-on mahogany neck inspired by EVH’s Bumblebee, and a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fretboard. Additional specs include 22 jumbo frets, a 24.75” scale length, a Harmonica bridge with a Stopbar tailpiece, and Mammoth-style inlays, along with two Shaw-wound humbuckers.

Wolfgang’s favorite feature is “The E-hole,” he said. “Most semi-hollows have an f-hole. For Dad, SA-126—that’s my father’s birthday—and an ‘E’ for Ed.”

Wolfgang designed the SA-126 to elevate the semi-hollow guitar template into heavier territory. He believes the project was a success, stating, “I really think this could change the misconceptions of classic semi-hollows not being able to rock hard enough, because this one certainly does.”

Another crucial aspect of the SA-126 design was to remain faithful to the EVH DNA and honor its roots tied to Eddie Van Halen and the culture he established with EVH.

Bruck confirmed this, saying, “This guitar can take you from the most articulate and beautiful cleans, to the most crushing, chugging, heavy, de-tuned, brutal riffage. If Ed were here today, he would not stop talking about this guitar. He would love this guitar.”

The SA-126 is now available in two versions: a quilted maple top listed at $1,899, and a standard plain top model priced at $1,799.

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