Doyle W. Von Frankenstein unpicks his insane Dean Annihilator signature guitar

Back in December, Dean unveiled arguably its most eye-catching electric guitar in recent years: Doyle W. Von Frankenstein’s insane Annihilator signature guitar.

In a conversation with Guitar World’s Paul Riario at Dean Guitars in Tampa, Florida, the Misfits man gave us a closer look at his all-new axe, and dissected the spooky six-string’s origins and features.

As it turns out, the design of the all-mahogany instrument itself was first conceived by Doyle when he was in high school. It was a body shape that stuck with him, and one he revisited when he made the original Annihilator in his own machine shop.

“We bought a bunch of wood from Paul Reed Smith,” recalled Doyle, “and I had drawn this shape on a book in school, and I was like, ‘I’m going to save this, it’s fucking cool.’

“I was playing an [Ibanez] Iceman at the time,” he continued, “and I was like, ‘[This design] lines up exactly to scale. So I just made it.’”

Citing his passion for DC Comics’ Batman as the main inspiration for the body’s wacky design – as well as his veganism for the stone bat inlays – Doyle then went on to explain the guitar’s second most notable feature: the side inlays.

As opposed to having regular white or Luminlay dot inlays, the horror metal maestro opted for something a bit more visual: literal fingerboard markers that highlight the actual notes of the frets.

“It’s fucking genius,” Doyle said of the appointment. “You don’t have to think. When you’re playing a show and it’s just a little white dot there that says nothing on it? It’s genius.”

The pair also took a look at the axe’s relatively streamlined hardware, including the titanium saddles of the tremolo system and the single chrome volume control knob that Doyle had made in his shop.

He also highlighted the guitar's sole humbucker – again, a feature he made himself – of which he said, "It's just the way I want it to sound." 

Doyle W. Von Frankenstein is set to hit the road next month with his eponymous band. Head over to Doyle’s official website for a full list of tour dates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.