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.
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:
- One side taps the humbucker such that the bridge-most coil remains.
Since these coils are oppositely wound, they are hum canceling.
- At the same time, the single coil in the neck position is turned on which combines it in parallel with the remaining coil from the humbucker.
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!
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.
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.