11/03/2018

1960s Framus 5/196 Texan Dreadnought Guitar




I actually sold this guitar some 8 years ago, but the owner recently traded/sold it back to me. I also bought one of this very same model for my Dad to use out in dry-as-heck New Mexico (where the ply materials on this guitar come in handy) and it's been serving him well ever since.

Framus (of Germany) products are no-frills, practical workhorses and once they're done-up they're extremely stable and functional. This one has a super-multi-ply maple neck (basically Stratabond of the '60s) with a truss rod (though the rod is almost made redundant as the necks are so stable) and an all-ply body with fan-style bracing on the top.

This is an early version of this guitar model and this type was built from the late '50s into the early '60s. Beyond that, the design changed to a bolt-on neck and a much-heavier build with a bolted-on, hardware-intensive bridge. This one has a standard dovetailed, set-neck design and a lighter, louder, more folksy sound to it. The fan bracing gives it a crisp, forward, ka-chunky sound that's great for heavy chord-banging as it leaps right into a mix and doesn't cover-up vocals or other instruments. It's very mids-focused, though the body size and shape gives it some decent depth, too.

It's short scale and has a tobacco-sunburst finish and giant, country-style pickguard, so Framus was clearly ripping-off vibes from Gibson's then-new square-shouldered dreadnoughts of the time.

Specs are: 24 5/8" scale length, 1 5/8" nut width, 1 7/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 3/16" spacing at the bridge, 15 3/4" lower bout, 11 1/2" upper bout, and 4 1/2" side depth at the endblock. Action is  bang-on 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret and it's wearing 54w-12 gauges. The neck is straight, the truss rod works, and it has a nice, tall saddle. The neck has a medium-depth (think '50s Gibson) C-profile to the rear and a 12" radius to the board.

Materials are: ply spruce top, ply maple back and sides, multi-ply maple neck, rosewood fretboard and bridge, new bone saddle and nut, and otherwise-original hardware throughout.

Condition issues: the frets are the quite-low, smaller stock that all of these old guys came with and it gives the same feel as the old "fretless wonder" Gibson necks. There are a few scratches, marks, nicks, and dings throughout as well as plenty of light finish weather-check/crackle, but it's otherwise in great shape. The bridge was also reglued in the past and shows a little bit of muck-up around its edges.

Work included: a light fret level/dress, neck reset, reglue of the pickguard, replacement of the zero fret setup to a normal bone nut setup, a new compensated bone saddle, and a good setup. I also swapped an ugly strap button at the heel for a nicer-looking, vintage-style one.

It comes with: an older good-for-storage case.



I love the brass truss cover! My new bone nut is oversized to cover-up where the old zero-fret setup used to be.












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