“The Franken V is literally a dream come true”: Anthrax’s Scott Ian on the beast of a guitar Jackson and EVH built him
“It’s the best guitar I’ve ever had.”
Image: futone via Instagram
As its name and red-black-and-white striped colourway clearly suggests, the Franken V is a nod to late rock legend Eddie Van Halen and his iconic Frankenstrat. First appearing on the FU-Tone Instagram account a few weeks ago, the guitar was birthed via a super lowkey, one-off collaboration between Jackson and EVH as a special tribute to the original instrument.
Notably, the Franken V has the body of a standard Jackson King V — the shape Ian used for his recent signature guitar, and as Guitar World reveals, was assembled by Mike Shannon, the Custom Shop Master Builder who built Ian his first-ever Jackson back in 1983.
The change in body shape aside, the Franken V retains much of the original Frankie’s aesthetic (and spirit), from its striped colourway and maple fretboard all the way down to its sawn-off scratchplate, body relicing and plastic reflectors on the guitar’s rear.
The guitar’s electronics and hardware are also perfectly reminiscent of the original — featuring a top-mounted Floyd Rose tremolo, a dummy single-coil in the neck, along with a functioning Seymour Duncan JB bridge humbucker, wired to a volume control labelled ‘Tone’. The six-string also comes with its pickup cavity and wiring on full display.
And just like the Frankie, Ian’s custom build sports a 12”-16” compound radius maple fingerboard, 22 jumbo frets, and an oil-finished maple neck.
Of his new prized possession, Ian tells Guitar World, “The Franken V is literally a dream come true. It’s a design I’ve always wanted and I’m so grateful to [EVH brand leaders] Matt Bruck, Wolfgang Van Halen and the EVH family for making it happen.”
The guitarist adds: “It was built by Mike Shannon, the man that built my first ever Jackson back in 1983 and it feels, sounds, and plays incredibly. It’s the best guitar I’ve ever had.”