'79 Bumblebee

Eddie Van Halen's wildly iconic black-with-yellow stripes Strat®-style guitar made its official debut on the cover of the 1979 album Van Halen II. “Bumblebee,” as it would affectionately come to be known by fans, was heavily played by Eddie throughout Van Halen's 1979 world tour.

40 years later, EVH® has meticulously recreated this world famous instrument in the form of the ’79 Bumblebee. Limited to only a 50-piece worldwide run, this tribute model features all of the original specs including an ash Strat® body, bolt-on birdseye maple neck with oiled back finish, straight 12” radius birdseye maple fingerboard with 21 jumbo frets, katalox dots and black side dots, and skirted Strat-style “Tone” volume knob.

True to Eddie’s pickup recipe, the instrument has been outfitted with an EVH ’79 Bumblebee humbucking bridge pickup. EVH also matched the Bumblebee’s six screw holes, which are hidden under the original prototype non-fine tuner locking tremolo bridge that EVH recreated just for this project, along with the original proto locking nut. All hardware has been reliced, including the custom brass string retainer, screw-eye strap hooks, original period-correct Schaller® tuning machines and side output jack.

Its black-with-yellow-stripes paint job has also been reliced to match the wear and tear from his year of touring, and is stylishly finished off with chrome hardware.

Adding to the value and the once-in-a lifetime collector’s nature of this instrument, Eddie Van Halen signed the back of each headstock.

Arriving in a custom-made Anvil® hardshell case, the package will also include '70s-era Fender Super Bullets strings, Van Halen '70s tortoiseshell picks, exclusive collector’s Bumblebee booklet, Young Guitar book Van Halen Live Tour in Japan 1978 & 1979 and several autographed items including a certificate of authenticity, 8”x10” 1979 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen and vinyl copy of Van Halen II.

  • Color Black with Yellow Stripes
  • Model 5101079000
  • Series Limited Edition
  • Street Price $19,799.99

Features

Bolt-On Birdseye Maple Neck

Bolt-on is a type of neck construction that joins the maple neck to the body of the guitar with screws or bolts, resulting in a pronounced tone with more control. Graphite-reinforcement rods flank the truss rod for even more increased neck stability. Highly prized, birdseye maple is extremely hard, very dense and makes for a fast-feeling fingerboard.

12" Radius Maple Fingerboard with 21 Jumbo Frets

The higher the radius, the flatter the fretboard. At 12”, this flat maple fingerboard allows for easier chording and feels great for rhythm playing, but can also still handle bends during lead playing. Maple is a dense wood that produces bright, snappy tones, articulate notes with bite and a tight low end. Like most vintage guitars at the time, this Eruption tribute features a 21-fret design. The jumbo fret wire slightly increases the distance between string and fingerboard for seamless and comfortable bends.

Custom '79 Bumblebee

Eddie swapped out the Bumblebee’s original Mighty Mite bridge pickups with a DiMarzio® Super Distortion humbucking pickup. But first he exchanged its ceramic magnet for an alnico 2 magnet from a Gibson® PAF, rewound the pickup by hand, dipped it in paraffin wax and put copper tape around the windings. Unique to this tribute model, EVH created a custom-voiced ’79 Bumblebee humbucking bridge pickup to capture Eddie’s preferred sound, and it roars with distinct note articulation and wicked cut.

Period-Correct Prototype Non-Fine Tuner Locking Tremolo and Prototype Locking Nut

Staying true to the original, EVH recreated a period-correct prototype non-fine locking bridge system and locking nut for this tribute model. Back in the day, Eddie was happy to try out an original prototype from Floyd Rose on his Bumblebee and provide valuable feedback on how to improve the bridge so as to keep the guitar in better tune. That early version appears here.

Unique Appointments

Other distinguished details include a Strat-style skirted and numbered volume control knob that reads "Tone," period-correct Schaller® “S” engraved tuners, custom brass string retainer for improved tension, eye-bolt guitar strap clasps and licensed Fender Stratocaster headstock.

Specs

General
Model Number 5101079000
Est. U.S. Street $19,799.99
Series Limited Edition
Color Black with Yellow Stripes
Number of Strings 6
Orientation Right-Hand
Body
Body Finish Gloss Urethane
Body Shape Stratocaster®
Body Material Ash
Electronics
Bridge Pickup EVH® '79 Bumblebee
Pickup Color Parchment
Controls Volume
Pickup Switching None
Auxiliary Switching Tone Pot in Control Cavity
Pickup Configuration H
Neck
Neck Material Birdseye Maple
Neck Construction Bolt-On with Graphite Reinforcement
Neck Finish Oiled
Neck Shape Custom '79 Bumblebee
Scale Length 25.5" (648 mm)
Fingerboard Radius 12" (305 mm)
Fingerboard Material Birdseye Maple
Number of Frets 21
Fret Size Jumbo
Nut Material Prototype Locking
Nut Width 1 11/16" (43 mm)
Position Inlays Katalox Dot
Truss Rod Nut Vintage-Style Butt Adjust
Truss Rod Wrench 2.5 mm Hex
String Trees Custom Brass Retainer Bar
Headstock Licensed Fender® Stratocaster®
Neck Plate 4-Bolt Standard
Hardware
Bridge Period-Correct Prototype Non-Fine Tuner Locking Tremolo
Hardware Finish Chrome Relic (Unplated Tremolo)
Tremolo Block Steel
Tuning Machines Period-Correct Schaller® with "S" Engraved
Control Knobs White Stratocaster®-Style Skirt (Labeled "Tone")
Miscellaneous
Strings '70s-Era Fender® Super Bullets (.009-.040 Gauges)
Strap Buttons Screw-Eye Hook
Accessories
Case/Gig Bag Custom Anvil® Hardshell with "Edward Van Halen" in Stenciled Lettering
Included Accessories '70s-era Fender Super Bullets strings, Van Halen '70s tortoiseshell picks, an exclusive Bumblebee collector’s booklet, Young Guitar book "Van Halen Live Tour in Japan 1978 & 1979" and several autographed items including a certificate of authenticity, 8”x10” 1979 concert photo of Eddie Van Halen and vinyl copy of "Van Halen II."