Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tech Tom Weber teaches how to setup an EVH Frankenstein
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    Default Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tech Tom Weber teaches how to setup an EVH Frankenstein

    Eddie Van Halen’s former guitar tech Tom Weber teaches you how to set up an EVH Frankenstein
    By Matt Owen

    First Published 1 day ago

    The six-string tech master, who worked as EVH’s principle guitar technician between 2007 and 2020, revealed his tricks of the trade in an in-depth, 43-minute setup video.


    Despite the abundance of tips and tricks that are currently available on the internet, when it comes to learning how to set up your own six-string along the lines of late electric guitar icon Eddie Van Halen, there really is no substitute for learning how to do it from the man who spent 13 years doing it as his job.

    Now you can do just that, thanks to a newly released video from FiveStarGuitars that sees Van Halen’s longtime guitar tech Tom Weber teach you his tricks of the trade, and that runs you through how he approaches setting up an EVH Frankenstein Custom guitar.

    Ever the philosopher of the instrument, Weber begins his deep-dive by musing, “A guitar is an instrument that is built and measured in thousands of inches.

    It’s a very accurate instrument, until you add the one inaccurate thing that they all end up with – us.

    “The frets are placed in exactly the right place, the strings are tuned to exactly the right pitch, then we put our mitts on them and pull everything all out of whack.”


    First up on the itinerary is a good-old-fashioned restring – a task that sounds easier than it is, says Weber, given the presence of the guitar’s Floyd Rose tremolo.

    According to Weber, a Bondhus T-Handle wrench is his best friend when it comes to changing electric guitar strings – in fact, he won’t work on a Floyd Rose without one – and says utilizing the multi-functional tool was one of the main things he learned from his days working with Van Halen.

    At the other end of the guitar, Weber reveals he isn’t a fan of tying the string round the peg post, going on to say that the practice poses a number of problems when rapid-fire, impromptu string changes are required.

    Instead, a simple two tuner-length worth of slack, with one loop over the top and the rest underneath, is Weber’s preferred approach.

    Some nifty housekeeping pointers are also dotted about the in-depth video, including how to maintain the longevity of your Floyd Rose, with Weber revealing that, before he and Van Halen switched over to titanium parts, they would have to replace the bridge clamping blocks, on average, every two shows.

    A handful of noteworthy intonation-related tips, truss rod tricks and tuning-based advice are also addressed in the 43-minute video, with Weber discussing all kinds of issues that guitar techs trouble themselves over, including the impact of heavy-handed fretters.

    To end, Weber offers up a final piece of wisdom: “It’s the little stuff that makes all the difference in the world, and I can’t stress that enough.

    Hopefully everybody’s learned a little something today – the day we stop learning is the day we start forgetting stuff.

    “Open your mind, open your eyes, pay attention,” he continues.

    “Everything does make sense on a guitar sooner or later.”

    Despite watching the video more times than we care to admit, we still have a funny feeling that it’s going to be easier said than done to conjure up Weber’s magic touch.

    Recently, Weber put his own personal EVH-signed Kramer Paul Dean signature guitar up for sale, which was gifted to him by Van Halen himself following a chance encounter between the pair in 1998, almost 20 years prior to the start of their professional relationship.


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    Where’s vid


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    Great stuff... I'm going to order a Bondhus wrench tomorrow. I feel stupid for using those little wrenches all these years.

    Also, as far as the Floyd, I was always taught to change out the strings 3 at a time (leave 3 on while you're replacing 3, then doing the next 3) to keep some tension on the unit. Was anyone else taught that? I almost gasped when let all six go. I guess he knows better than I do tho... LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs Meanie View Post
    Also, as far as the Floyd, I was always taught to change out the strings 3 at a time (leave 3 on while you're replacing 3, then doing the next 3) to keep some tension on the unit. Was anyone else taught that? I almost gasped when let all six go. I guess he knows better than I do tho... LOL
    What I do, if I need to take all 6 strings off, is gradually reduce spring tension as I am removing strings.

    So I'll do something roughly like the following:
    1. Remove two strings
    2. Partially unscrew the spring claw to reduce spring tension
    3. Remove two more strings
    4. Take off one of the springs and leave the other on (I always use 2 springs)
    5. Remove the 5th guitar string and detune the final string
    6. Take off the second spring
    7. Remove the final guitar string

    I never do it exactly the same way twice, but something generally in that ballpark.

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    Replace the bridge clamping blocks every two shows? WTF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jin-jin View Post
    Replace the bridge clamping blocks every two shows? WTF?
    Yeah, I said that out loud while watching. I've had the same clamping blocks in my Floyd since I got the guitar 27 years ago. Granted, I'm not EVH. But, every two shows?!

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    Default Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tech Tom Weber teaches how to setup an EVH Frankenstein

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs Meanie View Post
    Great stuff... I'm going to order a Bondhus wrench tomorrow. I feel stupid for using those little wrenches all these years.

    Also, as far as the Floyd, I was always taught to change out the strings 3 at a time (leave 3 on while you're replacing 3, then doing the next 3) to keep some tension on the unit. Was anyone else taught that? I almost gasped when let all six go. I guess he knows better than I do tho... LOL
    There’s nothing wrong with removing all strings at once when changing strings or doing some fretboard cleaning.

    As long as you’re not going to leave the strings off for a couple days, it’s fine.

    He also probably intonates and sets up each guitar after each restringing so that’s another thing to consider.

    But if you’re just doing a quick, yet full restring with the same gauge that was on it previously, there shouldn’t be any need to re-setup the guitar or re-intonate it.


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    Got my 3mm Bondhus from Amazon today - won’t miss the little wrenches!
    "We got the brand-new album, we got the brand-new songs, we got the brand-new equipment, we got the brand-new show... And we got the same ol' shitty attitude!" David Lee Roth, May 20, 1984 in San Diego

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtone View Post
    Got my 3mm Bondhus from Amazon today - won’t miss the little wrenches!
    LOL! Mine's set to arrive tomorrow, can't wait

 

 

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