Cool Electric Guitars

Here are some cool electric guitars that helped define the standard of coolness and establish the iconic status of our beloved instrument.

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I shied away from ridiculous looking oddballs and unplayable guitars which others seem to think as cool. Instead I featured cool guitars that have historic significance, awesome looks and hit where it matters most - making great guitar music.

Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie did not believe that you need tons of cash to get a cool instrument, and he proved this principle with the coolest electric guitar in rock history - EVH's iconic DIY instrument aptly dubbed - the Frankenstrat. This cool looking hybrid DIY guitar mixed the physical shape of a Fender Strat with Gibson electronics and bears the now famous finish combination of black, red and white stripes. It was the first guitar that popularized the original Floyd rose locking tremolo system - which revolutionized modern guitars as we know it, and is now a staple in many rock guitars.

Instead of going for known brand names, Eddie opted to build a guitar himself - he bought an ash body and maple neck for a total of $130 from Wayne Charvel. The body of the guitar was even labeled as "second" because it bore a wood knot which quality control deemed cosmetically unpleasant. Van Halen however believed that these parts would work fine and so the $80 maple neck along with the $50 body went down in history as the core parts of the Frankenstrat.

EVH Frankenstein Replica
EVH Frankenstein Replica

Eddie has since teamed up with various guitar companies that made multiple copies of the Frankenstat. In 2006 Fender Custom Shop worked with Eddie's own EVH gear brand to create 300 relic'ed replicas of the then retired Frankenstrat. These Frankenstrat replicas were faithful to the original in painstaking detail that includes the smallest scratches and burns. It even features the decorative and deceptive, non functional single coil neck pickup and the unused three way switch in the middle pickup rout. From the humble investment of just a little over $150, Eddie's Frankenstein Replica's now sell for a cool 25 grand. What's really cool about the guitar is that many players were inspired by its success and have since followed the DIY route. The humble Frankenstrat redefined rock music, rock guitar design and it rewrote the definition of what a cool electric guitar is.

Jimmy Page's Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck

Jimmy Page

If you are talking about popular and cool electric guitars, it will be absurd to miss out on Jimmy Page's Gibson EDS-1275 double-neck guitar. This jaw dropping guitar was popularized by Page when he used it for his live performance of the phenomenal Led Zeppelin song - "Stair Way to Heaven". The EDS-1275 offers a 6 string and 12 string neck in one guitar body which removed the need for switching between guitars for some of Led Zeppelin's songs.

This double neck guitar breathe new life to live guitar performance in the hands of Jimmy Page, as he effortlessly switches between necks to deliver intricate arrangements of their classic songs. Thanks largely to Jimmy Page's picture perfect performances, this guitar became the epitome of coolness, dominating the day dreams of generations of aspiring rock stars.

Jimmy Page's Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck
Gibson EDS-1275 Double Neck

Page's EDS-1275 has a slightly different body shape and has one piece mahogany necks. His Gibson EDS-1275 feature unique tailpieces which are positioned near the bottom of the body to increase sustain. The guitar also features Patent No. and T-Top humbucking pickups. In 2007, Gibson released a limited edition VOS (Vintage Original Spec) Jimmy Page Signature EDS-1275 model. Only 250 guitars were made, of which Page kept serial number one for himself. If you want to make your rock star dream a reality, be prepared to shell out around $3,799 to $4000 for a standard built to order model - Gibson Custom EDS-1275 double-neck.

SRV's Number One Stratocaster

SRV

Stevie Ray Vaughan's Number One is, as its name implies, the numero uno coolest traditional Fender Stratocaster. It was a '62/'63 Fender Stratocaster that Stevie used for most of his career, featuring various battle scars and scratches that soon became the symbol of guitar coolness. The guitar is built of parts from various years, with pickups coming from 1959, neck from 1962 and the body from 1963. Stevie bought this guitar in 1973 and have since been his number one go to instrument. The Number One guitar was so road worn by SRV's aggressive playing, that it was "rebuilt more times than a custom Chevy."

SRV's Number One
Fender Custom Shop Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Stratocaster

Generations of guitar players have since been inspired by SRV's playing, and his legacy continues to thrive to this day. The same can be said of his Number One guitar, it continues to inspire players and guitar enthusiasts. It added its worn out look and the "vintage" big sound into the definition of coolness. Back in 2004, Fender Custom Shop built 100 limited edition replicas of the Number One which was called the Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Stratocaster. These replicas closely copied the details of the original Number One guitar, down to the smallest wear. The limited production and staggering price proved to be a challenge to many SRV fans but that did not stop them from owning their own Number One. Many relic'ed their precious Strats to mimic SRV's Number One, and understandably so - because the Number One is one cool electric guitar. A standard production model Stevie Ray Vaughan Stratocaster is available from Fender and it retails for $1,699.99

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Jimi Hendrix's White Strat

I think Jimi Hendrix's White Stratocaster should be added to this list of iconic guitars!

I second the motion - either

I second the motion - either that or the one he set on fire at Monterey!

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