EVH "Frankenstrat"
Pseudo-Kramer a la '80s Eddie Van Halen monster
This is a replica I made of Eddie Van Halen's "Frankenstat," sometimes referred to as "Frankenstein" also.  It is truly a guitar of the '80s.

There were actually several of these guitars in Eddie's posession.  While he made most of them, ironically the one he's most famous for (which he's holding in the picture, usually referred to as "the Kramer ad" guitar) was a gift to him from the Kramer guitar company.

The most notable difference is that his Frankenstrat had a Stratocaster headstock without any paint or logo of any sort (it also had a Floyd locking nut).

The headstock I went with on my replica is actually none of the above.  It is the "banana" or "hockey-stick" style which was distinctly Kramer's, but the paint job is actually based off of Eddie's "5150" guitars which were the single humbucker models without any routing for additional hardware.  I just liked that design better (The company logo threads through the horizontal white stripe better).  I also didn't paint the back of the headstock.  Eddie did on most of his homemade guitars, but I think it looks silly.  Whatever.

  • Strat-styled body spray painted solid red. then striped in black and white
  • Rear position routed for humbucker and expanded to accommodate offset placement
  • Floyd Rose routing




  • KWS (Warmoth's Kramer knockoff)
  • Klugson Tuners




  • Floyd Rose tremolo
  • Eye hook strap holders from local hardware store




  • One single coil pickup (not connected)
  • Seymour Duncan Custom Custom humbucker (Eddie had a '56 PAF Gibson)
  • 5-way selector (not connected; just stuck into the middle pickup routing).
  • 500k potentiometer for volume control with push-pull*

  • Modification(s): pickup add in and coil tap combo
    Control: Push-pull pot under the lone volume knob

    Function: Never being one to leave things well enough alone, I couldn't see getting by on a single humbucker guitar and letting that little single coil go to waste.  Sooooo, I used a push-pull pot for the volume knob.

    Each side of the DPDT switch performs a different function:

    Since these coils are oppositely wound, they are hum canceling.

    The result?  Two contrasting sounds: a thrash-ready "brown" sound to cut loose with, but with a Strat/Tele sound for the mellow passages.  Runnin' with the Devil indeed!

    The schematic
    Note: Different pickups will have different color codes for the wires.  Consult the manufacturer's website for which wires feed from which coils.

    In this diagram, the red wires from each pickup represent the "hot" feed.  The blue wires from each go to ground.  The purple and green wires on the humbucker are the pair that are usually wired together (in series) in the standard humbucking configuration.

    Components pictured:
    • Single coil pickup
    • 4-conductor humbucker
    • Push-pull pot (500k Ohms)
    • Output jack

    Is it the shoes?  I don't know if they'll make you play any better, but they look good.  While this pair was still in good shape, I decided to hang these up and complete the display of this guitar above one of the bookshelves in the guitar room.

    You can read more about the shoes on this page and about the wall hangers of this and other kinds on this page.

    Copyright Alexplorer.