EVH Gear launches the Frankenstein Relic Series – three heavily aged takes on the Frankenstrat in solid red, black and white colour finishes

EVH Gear Frankenstein Relic Series
(Image credit: EVH Gear)

EVH Gear has officially launched the Frankenstein Relic Series offering three heavily aged versions of the Frankenstrat that breaks down the red, black and white striped finish of Eddie Van Halen’s original into its constituent parts – and aesthetically this range is a home run.

Looking very much like a work-in-progress that had been dug out and salvaged from a broom closet at 5150 Studios, these high-performance electric guitars are very much built in Eddie’s vision, with many of the specs you would hope to see on one of the late rock guitar icon’s signature guitars.

Everything is geared towards performance. Well, except perhaps the skirted Strat “Tone” knob that serves as the guitar’s volume pot – and the dummy single-coil at the neck position is just for show. 

But wait. Are they just for show? Yes, the pickup has the phenolic red bobbin, it is disarmed as shipped, and just there to fill the space as per the original, but if you so desire, you can wire this up to the circuit; it is a fully functional pickup.

And that ‘Tone’ volume knob? It’s a 500k Low Friction EVH/Bourns pot to execute those Cathedral-style swells a little easier.

It was often said that the ‘80s arms race for guitar technique became like the Olympics, and if so, it is entirely plausible that the IOC would ban the Frankenstein from competition – everything else on the guitar is explicitly performance-enhancing. There are a lot of specs here to support playing styles that err on the side of the spectacular.

There’s the D-Tuna for drop-D on the fly. There’s a Floyd 1000 Series double-locking vibrato for divebombs and making giving those harmonics some place to go once you’ve made them squeal. There’s a direct-mount EVH Wolfgang Alnico II bridge humbucker to complement the overdriven tube amp you’re playing this thing through.

It’s also so very practical, with the heel-mounted wheel for making quick adjustments to the truss rod. And then there are the fundamentals, like the EVH Modified C profile maple neck, quartersawn and finished in a tactile heavy relic lacquer, and the 12” to 16” compound radius maple fingerboard and 22 jumbo frets that will give this a state-of-the-art feel. 

EVH Frankenstein Series

(Image credit: EVH Gear)

As for other features, well, it’s a 25.5” scale, it has a licensed Stratocaster headstock, the body is basswood, and there are over-sized strap-locks, too. The Frankenstrat Relic series is priced £1,299 / $1,699, and ships in a Striped Series gig bag to keep that finish… 

Well, that’s the beauty of a finish like this. You don’t need to baby this guitar for fear of a ding. Play it hard as soon as it’s out the box. For more details, see EVH Gear.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.