Eddie’s Megazone (incorrectly called the “Hydra” – see explanation below) was designed by Jerry Sewell and later built by Karl Sandoval while he was still employed at Charvel guitars sometime in 1978. Wayne Charvel painted the guitar and named the paint job “Banana Burst.”
The guitar was estimated to be 12 pounds and made of ash. Karl Sandoval used a 1960s Danelectro neck with a reshaped headstock on the guitar which featured two non-adjustable rods through the neck. It had some version of a Mighty Mite bridge, a Dimarzio humbucker, and aluminum nut. Sandoval commonly used Danelectro necks during this era on most of his builds, including the famous Randy Roads polka-dot V.
The neck on Ed’s Megazone was a Danelectro neck with dual steel rods instead of a single adjustable truss rod (example shown above). Sandoval modified and reshaped the original headstock. Although the neck was technically from a bolt-on Danelectro, he glued it in the Megazone body (set-neck). This was a common technique Sandoval used with his builds during this era.
He used the same method when building Randy Road’s polka dot Flying V.
Above is the original headstock design, which Eddie did not like and told Karl Sandoval to reshape it to a straight six design.
The Megazone is most well known for being in the “pick axe” photoshoot, as seen above. Here, you see the new headstock design.
Above is Ed’s original Megazone which recently was up for sale and sold.
Megazone vs Hydra name confusion
The Megazone has historically, and incorrectly, also been called the Hydra. This name confusion starts with Jerry Sewell defecting to Mighty Mite to make “Megazone” bodies. Jerry may have invented the “Hydra” body. Later, Sandoval made revisions and later called it the “Megazone.” In any case, the Hydra is an entirely different guitar body (see pics below).
Jerry and Grover Jackson were childhood friends. Grover brought Jerry into Charvel after he started working there. After Grover bought Charvel from Wayne and was making bodies for Mighty Mite, Jerry defected to Mighty Mite. Jerry copied the templates and was given a wood shop to run at Mighty Mite and cut Grover out.
Above you see a Mighty Mite Megazone body with two humbuckers. They were bolt-on and not set-neck like Sandoval’s versions.
Above you see the Mighty Mite “Hydra” body from the same catalog. Notice the horn has similarities to the Megazone but of course is a different body all together. People have been confusing the Megazone with the Hydra for the last 40+ years. Now you see the difference.
Mighty Mite guitar body price list from circa 1979/1980.
Above is Jerry Sewell, the original designer of the Megazone, working a pin router.
Karl Sandoval himself retelling the history of the Megazone.
Here are magazine photos from a 1980s Japanese magazine features the Sandoval Megazone, this time seemingly with a non-Danelectro neck (as seen by truss rod cover on body) and normal headstock shape. This may possibly be 1983.
Above is an early Sandoval Megazone from approximately 1983.