ERNIE BALL/MUSIC MAN made the EDWARD VAN HALEN between 1991 and 1995 with approximately 6000 made in total. They have a beautiful bookmatched figured maple top on a basswood body. The top were hand stained (usually red, amber blue or purple with a few greens) - but this stain often fades to a much lighter color . A very small number were made with solid black or gold finishes. The bridge was a choice between a strings through the body hardened steel bridge or a Music Man licensed Floyd Rose tremolo.
Pickups are two zebra bobbin DiMarzio custom humbuckers controlled by a 500K volume pot and 3-way selector switch. The volume control is labelled "Tone" - a sort of EVH joke.
Sterling Ball first collaborated with Van Halen on 5150 branded electric strings then Music Man began making Van Halen's signature guitar in 1991 after EVH severed his relationship with Kramer. In 1991 Van Halen talked to Guitar Player Magazine about his new signature model:
"I was not looking for a company that would pay me a bunch of money and just put my name on a guitar. I was real concerned about quality. I told Music Man we couldn’t sell any of them — we won’t even have a deal to make them - unless I was happy enough with the guitar to use it on our new album an play it live. So, I was blown away by the fact that I’m actually using this guitar on the record, because for years I just used that one guitar and hated everything else. But we topped it. I haven’t even touched the striped one. A yellow Music Man; that’s my main guitar now. Feels like I’ve played it for years.”
According to Sterling Ball however, Ernie Ball / Music Man were unable to manucture a sufficient number of guitars to satisfy EVH's accountants and the signature model was withdrawn in 1995 to be replaced by the Music Man Axis model.