1966 Framus 5/150 Star Bass Hollowbody Electric Bass Guitar

This model is known as the "Bill Wyman" bass because he was using one in the '60s. His is a slightly different version than this one, though -- it's still this exact same body shape and neck style but the controls and wiring are all mounted in a floating pickguard instead. This version has the controls mounted in the body which -- yes -- is a bit more practical.

The stamp on the label inside suggests a '66 build and it sure looks it. Unfortunately, the bass had been a bit "gone-through" when it arrived here via consignment (wiring mucked-up, control holes on upper panel were removed, etc.), but I patched it all up and got it rolling again. It has a lot of original features but it's also been streamlined in a sense. It has a wide range of tones available and is lightweight, has a lot of stage presence (it's a wide body but thin in depth), and plays quick.

The bridge pickup's coil was damaged so I swapped it out for an Artec-made Gibson EB-style bass mini-humbucker. I also made a new bridge base for the original adjustable bridge. Controls are now a simple 3-way switch on the upper bout and master volume/tone.

Its neck joint had been shimmed-up a bunch when it arrived and the action was still high so I installed a 1/2" dowel through the body secured at the neckblock and endblock internally (you can't see it outside). This made the neck/body joint more rigid and so now there's no play in that joint and it's remained stable since. There are shims in the pocket, though, because the joint had drifted in the past.

The end result is that it's a lighter-weight, great-sounding, cool-looking bass with a slim (side to side) neck and fast feel. It's short scale and so folks wanting less of a stretch between frets will enjoy it, though the center-mount bridge means that it still feels like a big instrument because it is. If it were my instrument, I'd probably swap the strings for something lighter and bouncier like Thomastik or LaBella "Hofner bass" flatwounds or something like the D'Addario XL set that runs 95w-39w or so.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, replacement wiring harness, replacement bridge pickup, added internal support rod, replacement knobs and 3-way switch, new bridge base, setup...

Body wood: ply maple

Bridge: adjustable with ebony base

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: super-multi-ply maple

Pickups: 1x Framus single coil original, 1x modern EB-style mini-humbucker

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32" overall, hair under treble side
String gauges: roughly 105w-45w

Neck shape: medium-deeper C

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium-wide

Scale length: 30 1/8"

Nut width: 1 3/8" (it's narrow!)

Body width: 17 1/4"

Body depth: 1 7/8" + arching

Weight: 6 lbs 7 oz

Condition notes: while there's a stash of removed original parts in the case pocket, the bass itself has replacement parts on it by way of a brand-new wiring harness and recently-made Gibson-style mini-bass-humbucker at the bridge. There's a filled control hole on the lower-bout-top and another on the control plate on the upper-bout. The truss rod cover is missing. I added (a hidden) internal support rod through the body connecting the neckblock to the endblock for added stability. While the neck is straight through most of its length, the extension over the body has mild "ski-jump." I've leveled the frets there with the rest of the neck and it plays properly on the D&G strings, but the low E&A strings begin to fret-out a little when played with vigor from the 15th fret-on-up. I don't know who's reaching for E&A-string notes up there, but, hey...! This type of thing is very common on any bolt-on neck and doesn't really pose a playability problem. The body itself shows plenty of mild-medium usewear via light scratching and scuffing throughout.

It comes with: an original hard case. Warning: it had some mildew in areas when it arrived. I've wiped it down but it could use a good week in the sun to let UV light take care of it.