The Edward Van Halen (EVH) Prototype PRS; 1 of 2


Zombie Zero, DFZ
Aug 1, 1985
Like most hard-core PRS guys, I saw photos of this guitar many years ago. Painful as the price tag turned out to be, I wasn't prepared to let it get away when it popped-up for sale.

The previous owner stopped in at the factory to verify it's authenticity (which I already knew) and I bought it shortly thereafter.

Confessing my purchase to Mama Bear at the dinner table that night was NOT fun. I had to part with one of the crown-jewels of my collection to cover the cost of this bad-boy (and stay on her good side) but, in the end, the guitar I sold went to a good home so all is well.

When this 1-off PRS was built, in 1997, Eddie was several years into his relationship with Peavey. While it's clear that he never played this PRS in any public way (so far as my research has uncovered) it illustrates the lengths PRS went through to try and bring him on board. So it may not be a significant part of Eddie's history but it's certainly a part of PRS history.

Love him or hate him, Eddie's impact on rock-n-roll music has been significant. For me and for hundreds of thousands of guitar players around the world, the same can be said of PRS Guitars. Having those two worlds together, right here in my hands, is unspeakably cool.

A very special thanks goes out to my brothers at PRS (Shawn & Skitchy) who helped assemble what few scraps of the guitar's history we could find. Also a big thanks to Matt King who helped me get this EVH PRS into the PTC for some TLC while keeping it all on the DL.

Without further delay, I'd like to present the PRS EVH prototype; one of two electric guitars that were hand-carved by Joe Knaggs, formerly of PRS Guitars, for Eddie Van Halen.

This one has a Swamp Ash body. The other, wherever it is, has an Alder body. If it ever hits the market, please let me know. I'd like to reunite both guitars.

Quick Specs:
- 25.5" scale length
- Custom-carved, bolt-on, flame maple neck & fretboard (check out the rounded corners at the 22nd fret)
- 1-piece Swamp Ash Body with deep "Dragon Carve" top that was hand-carved by Joe Knaggs
- Peavey-license FR Tremolo with D-Tuna (there is some speculation as to why; originally had a genuine FR)
- Very unusual (and thick) neck heel
- EVH-style pickup cavity with hard-mounted, custom-wound, McCarty humbucker (8.8k, Alnico II)
- No neck pickup, no tone pot, & no pickup selector switch
- Relocated output jack (moved down a few inches to the bottom of the body)
- 12" fretboard radius



  • IMG_0013b.jpg
    906.4 KB · Views: 14,853
  • IMG_0014.jpg
    617.7 KB · Views: 8,987
  • IMG_0020.jpg
    424.5 KB · Views: 10,113
  • IMG_0023d.jpg
    864.3 KB · Views: 7,412
  • IMG_0026.jpg
    624 KB · Views: 8,502
  • IMG_0030.jpg
    473.1 KB · Views: 7,522
  • IMG_0032.jpg
    447.2 KB · Views: 7,079
  • IMG_0033.jpg
    349.8 KB · Views: 7,200
  • IMG_0037.jpg
    404.2 KB · Views: 6,726
  • ToneKnob.jpg
    77.3 KB · Views: 8,609
Last edited:
Before anyone else says it...... DIBS!!!

Awesome guitar there my man.... Awesome!!!
Man, I hate to be a party pooper, but I'm not sure how legit that is (despite the letter). I'd have to see a more detailed picture, but that sure looks like a volume speed knob instead of EVH's preferred tone speed knob. :eek:

Congrats, Hans! Very cool to have a piece like that and to have the gonies to move a piece you valued to get it done. I salute you!

Super cool guitar! I never knew anything about that. I hope in some small way I helped you with this purchase. ;)
Wow, quite cool. The neck looks like it may be pretty chunky, too.
Congrats! Awesome score. Just out of curiosity, do you know who possess 2 of 2? Do you plan to collect them both?