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  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    08.06.14 @ 09:56 AM
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    Default The Franky, what is it REALLY made of??

    ok, so I posted a thread on another forum about this but they arent as crazy/dedicated as the folks here. lol

    my question is that I have played two of the fender replicas BOTH were very light guitars..
    Now Eddie said and says his was made of a Northern Hard Ash body.
    How on earth is that possible when Fender and Chip Ellis said that they made the body of the 300 replicas appx half a pound in proximity to the ORIGINAL

    now someone is bullshitting us on this.
    because either Ed is BSing us and did NOT use hard heavy ash or Fender is BSing us making the guitars lighter than the original and not out of the same body wood.

    Suhr has made a copy for Al Estrada out of Hard Ash and it is both heavy and sounds very accurate tone wise to the original

    this is burning me.

    does anyone know the truth to what the original was made out of??

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Top Of The World AtomicPunk91's Avatar
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    Well, Fender did screw up a lot of details on their replicas, so...

    I have to go with Northern Ash as the body wood strictly from a tone perspective. It's a very dense wood (hence the weight) and just like Ed's preference of using Birdseye maple necks (which supposedly is denser than other maple grains) I have to think by deduction the wood is Northern Ash. The tone is more concentrated and doesn't have that bright open tone that Swamp Ash has. Plus, no other wood quite has the grain as Ash (and which is seen on Franky) My money is on Northern Ash. I built my replica from it and it sounds pretty damn close to Ed's early live tones.

    But like all things concerning this guitar, it's anyone's guess...
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  3. #3
    Romeo Delight
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    I would say Northern Ash as well from people that built replicas out of it and it sounds like Eds

    BUT
    and this is a big BUT
    lol
    The replicas are feather light!!!!

    and they say they were very close to the original as Chip weighed it

    Plus I got through the thread on Franky in the sticky and yes you CANNOT see good grain marks.
    his 5150 has TONS of grain marks

    no way he put filler on the Franky and stopped years later on the Kramer 5150???

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    THAT is Ash

    are you telling me he used a better paint job on the first guitar of his??

  5. #5
    Romeo Delight
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    Default



    cool shots eh?

    one piece ash as well

  6. #6
    Good Enough
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    Default

    I'm still not 100% convinced the Kramer 5150 is Ash. I've got a basswood guitar with grain EXACTLY like the pics you just posted.

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    Default

    DEEP grain like that???

  8. #8
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    Default

    i think he used a dining room table and cant recall what the hell it was....made of !

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tone? View Post
    DEEP grain like that???
    i once spoke to Paul "Unk" Unkert, the Godfather of Eddies guitars at Kramer, and he swears that the 5150 was in fact basswood, but it wasn't sealed...just painted with acrylic lacquer. (NOTE: Kramer were just beginning experimenting with basswood as a budget wood at this point as Ibanez were using the wood successfully on their instruments once the use of pivot post anchors were employed because of it's softness. Till that point, Kramer were resorting to the use of Nato, and the old standby plywood for their low priced entry level models. ) That's why the pronounced grain. It's sunken.
    It's even rumored that the EBMM EVH's were built with basswood because of Ed's fondness for it's sound and weight, but was initially objected to by Sterling. Supposedly they compromised by putting the beautiful maple caps on...and it actually improved the sound, so win/win.

    As far as the Franky....Pretty sure it's northern ash.
    The weight, or lack of it on the replicas is probably a result of an aging process devised a few years ago which mimics the natural process of moisture loss which apparently the Franky has in spades. Looking at it in person, it supposedly has grain showing all over the place, as well as small cracks around screw, and post holes.
    I'm not 100% certain, but there are some very expensive 50's Gibson replicas that underwent this process as well. They were noticeably lighter, and the tone was far crisper and and defined compared to very conventionally kiln dried cuts of mahogany.
    Last edited by we die young; 09.08.11 at 09:10 AM.

  10. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    Spoke to Unk myself and he thought it was basswood as well but he was not the one that built the 5150 for Ed
    It was Billy Conolly who has since passed away

    I would say that the Franky was built out of Northerm Ash
    BUT it is too light

    You lost me there on the EBMM EVH
    Of course it was made of basswood

    I also spoke with Mike Elred of the Fender custom shop and he said he would ask Chip what the original was made out of

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tone? View Post
    Spoke to Unk myself and he thought it was basswood as well but he was not the one that built the 5150 for Ed
    It was Billy Conolly who has since passed away

    I would say that the Franky was built out of Northerm Ash
    BUT it is too light

    You lost me there on the EBMM EVH
    Of course it was made of basswood


    I also spoke with Mike Elred of the Fender custom shop and he said he would ask Chip what the original was made out of
    Steve Z was pretty sure too though. He had some remarks on Kramer Forum a while back about that and with those pics posted. They've been around for quite a while now.
    About the EBMM....Yeah....You missed what I was saying.
    It's legendary that the EBMM was basswood...Up to that point they prided themselves on using only the most select traditional tonewoods.
    It was rumored that the reason basswood was used on the EBMM was because Ed liked it's sound, and that is because that was what the 5150 was made off, though he told everyone it was poplar or alder...The typical woods used on those Kramers.
    It was simply further to the conversation and more possible evidence as to the wood used in the 5150 guitar.

    Northern ash on the real Franky is as almost an absolute certainty from what I've heard and read from countless folks.
    Not all northern ash is exclusively heavy....I've owned two 70's Strats that were both Northern, and they were a total contrast in weight and sustain. One weighed a ton, and didn't sustain great, and the other was like half the weight and sustained like a mother.
    With that wood, the moisture content is key in weight.
    I'm not saying personally that it is 100% Northern, but just about everyone up until Fender got their hands on it claim it to be.
    That'll be cool what they come back with. Like you said, most of the stuff Ed said was just deceptive BS to keep people off his trail.
    Last edited by we die young; 09.08.11 at 11:10 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tone? View Post
    I would say Northern Ash as well from people that built replicas out of it and it sounds like Eds

    BUT
    and this is a big BUT
    lol
    The replicas are feather light!!!!

    and they say they were very close to the original as Chip weighed it

    Plus I got through the thread on Franky in the sticky and yes you CANNOT see good grain marks.
    his 5150 has TONS of grain marks

    no way he put filler on the Franky and stopped years later on the Kramer 5150???
    I wouldn't be so sure about how that came about. Remember Eddie claimed that he got the Franky body from a pile of seconds, or in other words ones that had imperfections like knots or streaks, and those bodies were destined for solid color as opposed to a burst finish, so it could very well have been grain filled and sealed prior to purchase. There is some grain showing on the Frank, but you're right...not near as much on the 5150.
    As time went on Eddie did start to go in the direction that less finish is better, so that very well could have been part of his decision making process by the time of the 5150. No sealer, just light thin coats of paint. The red sure didn't last very long! At the beginning of the 84 tour it was bright red, and by the end it was faded, with a lot of the paint worn off and the grain starting to show even then on the arm relief. it's said Eddie didn't paint the 5150 though...but it's never been proven one way or the other entirely.

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    As far as the Franky....Pretty sure it's northern ash.
    The weight, or lack of it on the replicas is probably a result of an aging process devised a few years ago which mimics the natural process of moisture loss which apparently the Franky has in spades.
    I have to agree, J.

    Quote Originally Posted by we die young View Post
    Northern ash on the real Franky is as almost an absolute certainty from what I've heard and read from countless folks.
    Not all northern ash is exclusively heavy....I've owned two 70's Strats that were both Northern, and they were a total contrast in weight and sustain. One weighed a ton, and didn't sustain great, and the other was like half the weight and sustained like a mother.
    With that wood, the moisture content is key in weight.
    Excellent points.

    In the final analysis, though, using the Fender Replica as the standard by which to establish and compare the physical characteristics of the Original Franky is really not the best approach. Why? Because the more you compare the Replica to the Original, the more you see the actual differences in terms of hardware and paint... Fender had to make some compromises, some deliberate, some accidental...
    Having said that, I firmly believe that Chip and his team did an amazing job while working within the constraints of "cloning" such a crappy piece of crappy crap guitar.
    WGAF?!!

  14. #14
    Romeo Delight
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    Ok with the ash but guitars do not loose THAT much moisture or weight after years

    Impossible and has been discussed by well known luthiers

  15. #15
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    Exactly Jimi.
    There's no way to gain any real info about the Franky by using the replica as a bench mark. Especially one as intricate as the Franky. It's like an archeological
    dig! it's been through so many incarnations and had so many revisions it would be impossible for anyone to get it 100% accurate.
    Even Chip said they had gotten through several tries at getting the paint right, and then he noticed that there was actually a piece of tape that had still remained on the original after all these years that Eddie forgot to pull.
    This coming from the guy who is a real stickler for detail.

    I totally get the desire to know exactly what wood was in which guitar....but honestly, sound and response can be so different from one piece of wood to the next....Hell, even from the same batch. It's just not a huge deal to me any more.
    Pickups have come such a long way in terms of how they can be designed and tweaked to overcome the shortcomings of a particular body wood.
    It's not 1977 any more, where readily available aftermarket parts were pretty much non existent to the general public.
    Now...guitar sounds thin? slap in a new pickup. Trem not to your liking....Slap in a Floyd, or a Wilkinson, Or Schaller.......

    I guess we're all just curious naturally because there is so much folklore about Ed's rig and guitars......
    They are such pieces of shit too! That must be part of the fascination. How can something so crappy sound so good?
    Last edited by we die young; 09.08.11 at 02:22 PM.

 

 

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