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View Full Version : Simon's Frankenstrat EVH tribute guitar



SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 07:54 AM
Hi guys! I've been wanting to do this project for years and finally decided to do it! EVH has been one of the greatest influential guitar players in my life and I adore his brown sound and the famous frankenstrat. I know Trevor made a build from a pitbull kit last time but I bought a standard SSS body from realparts.com.au because that would save me a lot of effort trying to fill the cavities.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 08:09 AM
The neck is from Pitbull. I removed the nut and installed a locking nut. Dirtied up the fretboard with a combination of ebony wood stain and graphite powder from a pencil.

Also, smoking kills so I used a soldering iron instead.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 08:31 AM
This is the 2 piece alder body with the standard SSS configuration. I routed it to frankie's shape.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 08:50 AM
Body is striped and painted.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 09:02 AM
Black and white plus some relicing.

gavinturner
25-04-2015, 09:18 AM
Looking great Simon!! Will you put clear coats over the relicing?

cheers,
Gav.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 09:18 AM
Striped and painted red.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 09:33 AM
More pics.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 09:58 AM
1971 quarter.
Mystery goop.
Blue paint.
Reflectors.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 10:01 AM
Finally completed.

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 10:02 AM
Looking great Simon!! Will you put clear coats over the relicing?

cheers,
Gav.

Hey Gavin. Yes I put a single layer of clear coat just to seal the wood that's all. Didn't want it to be shiny.

wokkaboy
25-04-2015, 11:07 AM
looks wicked Simon, great job, how does it sound and play ? got a video demo ?

SIMpleONe89
25-04-2015, 01:04 PM
looks wicked Simon, great job, how does it sound and play ? got a video demo ?

Thanks wokka! I'm using a cheap Wilkinson humbucker which was spare. It's high output so still sounds pretty decent. It plays well because I set it up for low action with 9s and drop E tuning. Will do a demo soon!

stan
25-04-2015, 02:39 PM
wow Simon, amazing attention to detail, looks the goods mate

Fretworn
27-04-2015, 06:34 PM
That's dedication!

Nickosaurus
27-04-2015, 06:45 PM
Cool stuff man :D

SIMpleONe89
28-04-2015, 06:54 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys. Will try to get a video demo soon!

SIMpleONe89
16-05-2015, 08:34 PM
Video link here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lJ062jfK14

Nickosaurus
16-05-2015, 09:33 PM
You can rip man! Great demo

wokkaboy
17-05-2015, 02:02 AM
holy crap Simon that playing was outstanding and very much like Eddys playing, you must have practiced so many hours.
I'm a massive Eddy fan and you pulled off an amazing demo and the build looks fantastic.
And must be most best dressed video player on the forum !
www.blownaway.com

andrewdosborne
17-05-2015, 06:50 AM
Excellent stuff Simon, awesome EVH Strat and you can also play like him!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

stan
17-05-2015, 09:27 AM
Awesome video demo Simon.
What gear are you using, and what is that nice looking powder blue axe in the background?

keloooe
17-05-2015, 12:20 PM
Wow Simon wicked playing!

SIMpleONe89
18-05-2015, 06:13 PM
Thanks for the comments guys!

@stan that is my recently refinished first guitar kit I ever made. If you go to my youtube channel (don't forget to subscribe!) you can see a short process of how I redid the guitar. Here's a demo of the blue PRS copy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gVWNQxSrSg

wokkaboy
18-05-2015, 07:34 PM
Simon the PRS sounds great too, good work

gavinturner
18-05-2015, 08:32 PM
Wow Simon! Just wow. Amazing playing - completely blown away. Great stuff!!

cheers,
Gav.

stan
19-05-2015, 05:30 PM
PRS looks good and sounds great Simon

jarrod
15-11-2015, 08:05 PM
Bro some people can play hard well and there's the catorgory I put you in ,it's called top shelf. Fricken awsome.

Andyxlh
19-12-2016, 08:28 AM
I love this guitar, and Simon's playing too!
Now, I'm a bassist so my guitar playing is pretty dopey. But I love the frankenstrat so I'm going have a go at making my own over the next 6 months or so. An early Xmas prezzy of a strat kit with 2 piece ash body and maple neck has set me on the way. I don't think it is a pit bull kit as it doesn't have the sticker or decal.
Things to do first...
1. Convert the h s h body into the correct pickup holes
2. Pull the 22nd fret, fill the hole and reshape the base of the neck to a Tele shape to make sure that it doesn't fit correctly like the real one!
3. Fit locking nut to neck.... this is the bit I'm worried about!

FrankenWashie
19-12-2016, 09:37 AM
I love this guitar, and Simon's playing too!
Now, I'm a bassist so my guitar plying is pretty dopey. But I love the frankenstrat so I'm going have a go at making my own over the next 6 months or so. An early Xmas prezzy of a strat kit with 2 piece ash body and maple neck has set me on the way. I don't think it is a pit bull kit as it doesn't have the sticker or decal.
Things to do first...
1. Convert the h s h body into the correct pickup holes
2. Pull the 22nd fret, fill the hole and reshape the base of the neck to a Tele shape to make sure that it doesn't fit correctly like the real one!
3. Fit locking nut to neck.... this is the bit I'm worried about!


Looking forward to that Build diary Andy!

Andyxlh
19-12-2016, 11:42 AM
Thanks mate!
I have a floyd as well, and have ordered a black 3 ply scratch plate to hack up. Need to find a 1971 quarter, I have a stack in my toolbox so I'll see if I have the right one, might get close, and I have a cheaply bridge humbucker and single coil to put in it. I'd expect to replace the humbucker with something better down the road.....
Need to source the hooks eyes and the reflectors as well as a correct metal 3 way switch for the middle pickup position.
Will use the Schaller knockoff tuners which come with the kit, unless I can get the correct ones at the right money.
Have had a long thought about getting the aging and wear right. Simon did a good job with his build, I'd like to get this close.
I'll take a pic of all the bits in a pile when I have them all in one place.

FrankenWashie
19-12-2016, 01:05 PM
You could always ask him for a look, he's Sydney based as well. Inner Westie like me from memory.

Andyxlh
19-12-2016, 06:17 PM
Really? I could use him in my band!

DrNomis_44
20-12-2016, 07:42 PM
Hey Simon, I just checked out your demo video of your EVH Frankenstrat, it looks and sounds awesome, and you're getting all those EVH sounds and nuances too, have you checked out my HotRod Strat thread?, feel free to do so if you haven't already done so.

Andyxlh
13-03-2017, 07:52 PM
Well I have done a bit more on my evh Frankenstein...
Here's the body I modified from hsh before paint...
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And here's the body after paint. I used a Bunnings epoxy enamel for the white and black and a straight enamel for the red so it did not cover as well which was what I wanted. There's no primer as it would show through in the wearing process, so I used a lot of coats of sanding sealer to get the ash body smooth first.
18064

Andyxlh
13-03-2017, 08:00 PM
Here it is today. The front is close now, most of the markings and lines are in the correctish places!
The pickup is a real cheapy, as is the floyd. I replaced all the Allen bolts with USA ones so it holds together ok and stays in tune.
Unfortunately I can't play it like Simon so I'm not going to embarrass myself with an audio demo 😊
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Andyxlh
13-03-2017, 08:01 PM
And another...
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wokkaboy
13-03-2017, 08:03 PM
looking good Andy. Is there supposed to be anything on the headstock any logos or the same paint theme as the body ?

Andyxlh
13-03-2017, 08:12 PM
Thanks mate! Not in this guise. This guitar had all sorts of stuff bolted to it over the years, but originally it had a plain neck with a Tele style heel and a strat headstock. For a while v h had a Gibson sticker on the end of it too!
In the 80s he had a Kramer hockey stick headstock model, not sure if it was the same body, don't think so, which might be what you are thinking of
Here's the man himself holding the real thing...
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Here is the guitar with the Kramer neck
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Andyxlh
14-03-2017, 07:19 PM
Here's that neck joint, with a .96mm pick for neck tilt and a few layers of al foil in there to get the angle right. It is a Tele style neck in a strat body cavity so it is not supposed to fit right.......!
18096

Andyxlh
22-03-2017, 11:28 AM
Last one. The headstock was the wrong shape, here's the fixed shape.
I have also replaced the cheap floyd with a fr special and got the reflectors.
All finished.
Thank you to Simon for letting me piggyback on his thread.
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wokkaboy
22-03-2017, 11:31 AM
good one Andy looks great and authentic

Simon Barden
24-03-2017, 11:24 PM
I hope the trem is set up for downbends only. VH doesn't like floating trems (or at least he didn't in a 1991 interview I've just read) as he rests his picking hand hard on the trem and if it floats, he's always out of tune.

Andyxlh
27-03-2017, 07:58 PM
Yes indeed! Flat all the way across the back. Funnily enough, if I have it totally square and flat it goes out of tune when depressed, as the front of the trem plate sticks forward of the posts, so as it levers forward the trem rides up the posts as well as rotating and doesn't sit quite perfect when it goes back, can't see why, other than I guess the tiniest positional difference result in tuning alterations. I put a tiny lift on the front edge only, less than half a mm, which seems to largely fix the problem. I guess grinding a little off the trem plate or rounding the edge on it might fix that, but I'm not sure how else it can be done, unless some f r trems have a shorter bottom plate?

Simon Barden
28-03-2017, 08:52 PM
I'm no expert on FR trems - only got one guitar with a locking trem and that an Ibanez version of one. But any instability is normally to do with the pivot blades not being sharp enough or notches occurring in the pivot screw edges. You said that you bought a cheap FR style trem, and these are the areas where the cheap ones suffer as they often use non-hardened steel for these parts. If you want a good FR trem, unfortunately you have to spend the money either for an original or else a very good licensed copy.

Andyxlh
29-03-2017, 07:54 AM
Hi Simon,
Yes I replaced the trem with a Floyd Rose Special model, so that should be ok, it is their licenced one made in Korea to FR specs. Hardened steel base plate. Decent bolts and hardware too.

stan
29-03-2017, 08:09 AM
ripper work Andy, this is a very nice job, well done

Andyxlh
29-03-2017, 06:19 PM
Thanks Stan! This guitar actually isn't for me, it's a gift for a guitarist I used to play with 20 years ago. We used to do loads of van halen, he has loads of expensive guitars but has always wanted one of these.
I have a second set, so now I'm going to build a second one for me 😊

Andyxlh
17-04-2018, 01:50 PM
just a little update on this one - I did build a second one, here it is! Same kit, ash body, FR Special trem, Artist BullBucker pickup. Made a couple of mods on the one I made for my friend, this one has a coil tap in the volume and a functional Alnico front pickup on a mini switch on the scratch plate. Makes this guitar way more useful if you play in a covers band as I do - it stops it being a one-trick pony so to speak!
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Zandit75
18-04-2018, 03:45 PM
So what's the go with the reflectors? I've never heard why they are on there.

Andyxlh
18-04-2018, 07:40 PM
So what's the go with the reflectors? I've never heard why they are on there.

Apparently Eddie bought them at a truck stop on tour around 1980, he would flip the guitar around on stage and the stage lights would reflect off of them into the audience. Then he broke a couple before the guitar was retired. It was really hard to find the correct ones, and unfortunately the two orange ones are slightly different oranges... they shouldn't be!

Matt Pike's Shirt
05-08-2018, 04:21 AM
Great build man. Also, you ripped Eruption pretty hard. Good job on both fronts.