Guitar Gear Review: The Guitar Fetish VEH “Brown Sound” Pickup

When you think of the plethora of products that are EVH branded and EVH “suggested” it is mind boggling. Eddie does a great job of sharing his tips, tricks and gear with his fanboys. Alas, chasing the elusive VanHalen “Brown Sound” can be pricey.

The “Frankenstein” pickup on the EVH gear page retails for $199. There are also other options from every other major pickup winder that retail in the same neighborhood. That was until now. has begun producing their VEH Vintage Extra Hot pickup. They market this pickup as having the “Brown Sound”. What makes the VEH stand out from its contemporaries is it costs $34.94.

The EVH branded Frankenstein pickup boast a face melting DC Resistance 14.4K while the VEH comes in at 11.2K. I would not worry too much about this gap in resistance seeing some of the boutique Van Halen pickups I looked at came in at 8.9K –  9.0K. The big question is how does this sub $40 “Brown Sound” pickup sound?

I installed the VEH for a friend into a low-end Washburn – Oscar Schmidt guitar. The VEH was an instant upgrade over the stock pickups that were muddy at best. The guitar sounded as if the amplifier was covered with moving blankets.

With the VEH the guitar began to sing. I will admit it was a bit difficult to pull off EVH riffs on that horrid little guitar but when I did it sound great. I plugged the Washburn into my Marshall JCM 2000 DSL and took a trip through the early VH catalog. “Somebody Get Me a Doctor”, “Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love” and every other little VanHalen riff I could remember sounded spot on. I was amazed how good the VEH made this horrible little guitar sound. The tone was clear, articulate and very “brown” sounding. It made me wonder how it would sound in a medium to high-end axe.

I must say knocked it out of the park this time. The VEH is a great sounding pickup for short money. Seeing how great this pickup sounded in the Washburn – Oscar Schmidt I would have no problem giving this pickup a try in one of my prized guitars.

Here are some clips from 

VEH Bridge – Crisp, Clear high end with the round, vintage bottom end! MP3: VEH bridge
VEH Bridge Blues – Warm and crisp yet lots of girth! MP3: VEH Bridge Blues
VEH Neck Blues – A neck pickup that exactly compliments the bridge- notice the extended high end! MP3: VEH Neck Blues
VEH Clean – We start with the bridge and then switch to the neck pickup. MP3: VEH Clean