1960s Framus 5/296 Texan 12-String Dreadnought Guitar

I've worked on a lot of old Framus guitars. I used to find them all the time at flea markets 10-15 years ago. They've been absent from them for a long time as all instruments that used to sell locally seem to have moved into the online sphere. They're one of those brands that -- despite how beat the instrument looks -- you know it will shape-up and become a player with relative ease. I've seen Framus multi-ply necks (like the type on this one) that have been run-over by cars and they're still as straight and functional as they were before thousands of pounds crushed them.

That said, they don't sound awesome. I mean, this one does in its own way. When you strum on it hard and with a thinner, floppier pick, it sounds like a ton of old '60s records with 12-strings on them. Or even... Tom Petty? Traveling Wilburys? It has an all-mids-and-highs, clean, jangly, thinnish (but not really... thin?) tone that suits rock-style strumming perfectly. Crosspicking? Eh, it's ok. Melodic passages? Hrm, maybe, but pretty boring. Big open chords strummed like you've only been playing 9 months and are still on a crazy sugar rush of guitar-intrigue? Yeah, yeah, yeah! Pound it!

It's perfect in that capacity and it also, ya know, plays crazy-fast, too. That's a win. Once you get the bolt-on necks solid in their joints, too, these things are stable-stable. The factory made construction choices which mean that the "as-original" setups on these left a bit to be desired, but all the parts are there to make them great players when they're dialed-in.

The body shape is interesting in that it looks like a dreadnought but handles more like a 000 -- it has a shallow, 4" body depth.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, bridge glue-down (these were only bolted-on at the factory!), replacement pickguard (cut to the same shape as a missing original), extra compensation and replacement adjuster screws at the adjustable saddle, cleaning, and a glorified setup.

Made by: Framus

Model: 5/296 Texan

Made in: West Germany

Serial number: 14953

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: ply figured maple

Bracing type: heavy x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: super-multi-ply maple

Tone: clean, jangly, bright, chimey

Suitable for: folk, country, rock, folk-rock, traditional

Action height at 12th fret: hair above 1/16" bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: custom extra light: 22w/46w, 17/36w, 11/26w, 8/18w, 13/13, 10/10

Neck shape: slim-medium C

Board radius: essentially flat

Truss rod: adjustable (works)

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-small

Scale length: 24 3/4"

Nut width: 1 3/4"

String spacing at nut: 1 5/8"

String spacing at bridge: 2 3/16"

Body length: 20"

Body width: 15 3/4"

Body depth: 4"

Weight: 5 lb 4 oz

Condition notes: there's an old repair on the lower-bout-top that's stable but a little ugly. The pickguard is replaced, two neck bolts are replacements, the adjuster screws for the saddle are replaced, and I recut a few of the nut slots, the truss rod cover is a replacement, and some of the tuner ferrules are replacements, too. There was an old sticker/vine-like overlay on the headstock that was damaged and so I simply removed it. The tuners work fine. There's a lot of pickwear near the pickguard and general use-wear throughout -- scratches, scuffs, and small dings here and there all over.