Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central Coast California
Help me with a Project (EVH Ibanez tribute)
As you may know (or not) I am a huge EVH fan. In bands and with friends I play a lot of different 80's music, but most of the music I play for fun is EVH stuff. I am constantly working on his techniques to achieve is style and tone. But I am not a Fender or Kramer guy, I am an Ibanez guy!
I have always wanted to make and EVH guitar. I have many guitars as a hobby and several for friends and forum members. Most of the guitars are scratch build Les Paul Replica (59 spec), but have also made V's, Explorers and other unique custom designs. My first though on this was to make a Wolfgang style guitar with Frankie graphics, but with modification that suit me better. But after purchasing several Sabers I realize that this is the ultimate Floyd equipped guitar design for me.
So the Ibanez Frankie concept was born. I was planning on making my own body out of a solid one piece mahogany, but really did not want to risk damaging one of my Sabers to make necessary templates. I looked for cheap bodies and found a few suitable candidates with various levels of damage. But then started thinking about just using the body, it would be cheaper and I could make all the templates I need for the future. So I ended up purchasing an old S470 body with no significant damage and no neck pocket stress fractures. It cost a bit more but it is a usable base. I would not use a body that has stress fractures even though it could be repaired; it is just not worth it in the long run. I want to do this fairly cheap but without compromise and end up with a great sounding and playing instrument with the EVH Frankie look.
So here is the current parts list.
S470 AANJ HSH body designed for 22 Fret neck
S570 24 fret AANJ Indo maple neck
Gotoh Chrome Bridge
Ibanez nut (Cosmo)
Ibanez tuners (Cosmo)
Ibanez electronics and misc. hardware
1 EVH Frankenstein 2 conductor pickup.
The plan is to rework the body and/or neck to fit. I will also fill the neck humbucker route and may replace route with a single coil route. I will most likely fill the middle pickup route. I will use the stock tremolo and bridge pickup location and route. Most like it guitar will end up with a volume and pickup selector. The pickup selector will be used as a kill switch, but may also be used for other pickups as needed. I would not mind having a neck single, but it will be a stacked design. I will fill the tone pot hole.
Decision 1 (neck mounting):
Go 24 fret. Requires extending neck into neck pickup cavity a bit. Possibly changing neck pickup location a bit, and works for me.
Go 22 fret. Requires removing 2 frets from the neck and I typically like the feel better.
I will most like go with the 24 fret plan.
Decision 2 (paint).
1. Relic or not. Doubtful
2. Replica paint exactly
3. Clean up the replica paint lines. Remove all jagged lines and "mistakes".
4. Somewhat change the design adding more balance to the colors, a bit more black, design would be clean. Kind of a cross between the Frankie and the 5150.
5. Reverse black and red to give.
This is a difficult decision for me. The original Frankie in red was obviously not painted very well, and I tend to be in the camp of nice clean well painted guitars. I do not like damaged guitars, so relic-ing is low on the list, but to some extend does help the original design. I really, really like the contrast when the design is reversed using black for the red. This is probably my personal favorite, but then again it is not a replica and may leave me wanting, which means another build and the ensuing argument with the misses.
All this being said this is obviously not intended to be an exact replica; it is an Ibanez S so really the design is wide open while maintaining the identity of the EVH Frankie.
Last edited by fly_with_v; 11-30-2012 at 02:55 PM.