|Body And Neck:|
There are few more iconic guitarists than Eddie Van Halen, and there are few more iconic guitars than his famous striped Frankenstrat. While EVH Guitars offer some very expensive high-end Eddie Van Halen custom models (we’re talking $13,000+), this version of his striking striped Frankenstrat seems very affordable for a guitar under $1000. Let’s take a closer look at this bad boy…
Firstly, the EVH Striped Series Stratocaster is available in the iconic finish of red with black and white stripes, as well as two other very familiar color combos inspired by Eddie’s career: white with black stripes, and black with yellow stripes. Such a unique and exciting palette, and perfect for the extroverted shredder as much as the Van Halen enthusiast.
The body these striking colors are painted onto is a Strat style double-cutaway made from solid basswood, with the glossy finishes applied perfectly – not a flaw on them. With such a cool design, one of the highlights of this model is actually the neck, which is just sensational. Made with reinforced quatersawn maple, it’s very slim and just as fast, with a silky hand-rubbed finish and compound radius that flattens as you get to the highest of the 22 jumbo frets, meaning it’s as easy to shred as it is to chord. Brilliant.
As you’d probably expect from a EVH guitar, there is no big selection of pickups or myriad controls – it’s all stripped down, just the way Eddie likes. This Strat features just one pickup – a Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucker at the bridge. As all the focus falls on it, EVH certainly makes sure it’s a good one! Sticking with the minimalist theme, this is controlled by a single rotary knob for the master volume (although it’s labeled ‘Tone’ – an inside EVH joke there…). And that’s it.
The rest of the hardware impresses, especially the Floyd Rose Locking Tremolo bridge with the EVH D-Tuna device, allowing you to instantly drop the low E to D, and back again. Very smart. There’s also decent die-cast chrome tuners and a Floyd Rose locking nut for solid tuning stability – a must with this style of guitar. The only slight disappointment was the lack of a case or gig bag, which we’d expect at this price.
Yes – it’s huge. That single humbucker is all you need to recreate some of the most famous EVH tones, from thick rhythmic powerchords to screaming hot lead. They are very high-output and quite unrefined, giving you huge aggression and plenty of feedback. Perhaps you can’t exactly recreate the famous Brown Sound with this humbucker, but it’s hard to be disappointed with the overall tone of this beast.
We love it. This Strat isn’t the best platform on which to replicate Eddie – there are more expensive models from EVH which offer more appropriate pickups – but for the style, playability and overall tone, there’s little to complain about for the sub-$1000 price tag.