Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars


FRAMUS - Royal (Red Sunbrst)

FRAMUS (Franconian Musical instruments Co.) is well-known to the old guitar fans in the world. Now they're releasing the new project that distributed by WARWICK. The company was established in 1946 by Frederick Wilfer. At first, They released the instruments kind of Violin, cello etc with Frederick's design. Later building a new factory in Bubenreuth in 1955, they become to release the pop music instruments like electric guitar and so on. When Frederick's son, Hans-Peter Wilfer glow, Hans-Peter established the his-own company WARWICK in 1982. Current Framus instruments (including the electric guitars, acoustics, and hand wired tube guitar amps) are produced at the Warwick facility. Currently, Framus instruments are available in England, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, and the United States by Dana B. Goods.

This is one of the top-of-the-line Archtop model in their early (50s era) years called ROYAL. Hard to find. It has very thick (7mm) solid spruce top with the sexy carving and sickle-shaped soundhols. Deep Cutaway body. Sides and back was made with solid flamy maple. Neck was maple with ebony fongerboard. Body width 400mm, depth 85mm, Scale length 630mm, Nut width 43mm. The Tailpiece with engraving the script logo of ROYAL. All parts are original except the bridge was replaced the newer Tune-o-Matic one for playing with the electric sound. Keeping very good condition and sounds deep.

FRAMUS - Black Rose DeLuxe (Red Sunbrst)

Black rose Deluxe, also the top-of-the-line archtop model manufactured by Framus company in the late 50s - early 60s era. As the model name shows, only the Black and red sunburst model was available. As the pictures tells, this guitar has the 3 single coil pickup plate, colored by Black, engraved the Framus script logo on the front. probably this PU plate added in the middle of 60s by someone. Specs of the guitar are just as similer as above ROYAL. In the different point with the Royal, This guitar has the Rosewood Fingerboard, and binding of the neck is RED one (also the binding of headstock). Headstock was decorated with the white perloid plastic material. But Black Rose DeLuxe also has the sickle-shaped hole model. But this was the normal (but large!) f-hole model. Bridge is the original parts, made by Ebony buit the suddle parts made by white plastic that could move for its octave tunings.

The Pickup plate would be made by Schaller company (the Framus logo would be added by offering of Framus company). Very Nice warm at the mid-range. Old and vintage single-coiled sound. The end of the plate connected to the bridge parts. To be free from the topboard, The Plate never born the bad steel resonance. The select switch can select the Neck/Center/Bridge/Front+bridge pu sounds. Neck Scale 630mm, Body width 400mm, width at the nut 43mm. just a little bit wider than the neck of above Royal.

FRAMUS - SL600 (Brown Sunburst) The Norbert Schnepel Collection

This guitar is from the Norbert Schnepel Photo-CD collection. Very Rare and strange model made by Framus in 70s era. The Model SL-600 made in 1976. Only few were made. (There's also the similer model called SL1200 that was deluxe edition of this one having more sharp shape cutaway). not the 335-copy guitar, but I guess the ES-150D copy. Has a bolt-on neck (short scale length : 580mm!!). The single-coiled Pickup are the same with AZ10 (the Attila Zoller signature model made by FRAMUS). Not Semi-hollow, just thefull-hollowed JAZZ-Guitar. Highly framed maple woods used on the sides and back. Top seems to be spruce.

FRAMUS - Triumph (Electric Upright Bass - Gold Finish)

The Electric Upright Bass made by FRAMUS in the late 50s era (from 1956 to 60?). Made with solid maple. The scale length of the string is 1060mm (known as 4/4 full scale). This model TRIUMPH has the other nickname "Bohnenstange" that means "Bean Pole" in German. The bridge (covered with metal engraving the FRAMUS logo) has adjustable pieces (every strings height can adjust each other with it). The single coiled magnetic pickup mounted on the end edge of the neck (covered the metal, too). The Electric circuit is in through the body, and only volume-knob (passive) and output jack was available from outseeing. Originaly, the Frams logo painting must have been on the headstock, but this missed it. The fingerboard is painted with black but I'm not sure is it original or not. There's also black finished model, and the "Original" Triumph had been made in few years with minor spec-changing. In 1990, The Warwick Brand reissue the Triumph with same shape (retail price is 2990 British pounds). It has the semi-hollowed body (Top was spruce, Others are Maple), and the newer active electric circuit. This "original" Triumph is the one of the most monumental production in the early history of Electric upright bass.

-related items- FRAMUS / Triumph booklet

The Catalogue introducing the electric upright bass with futuristic design, issued by Framus for English marcket in 60's era. Written in English. The catalogue says the original (at the age) retail price was GBP299. There's a recommended comments by Jimmy Bond (Bassist for the George Shearing Quintet). He says, " The Framus Triumph unveils an exciting new world to the modern player. The first Electric double bass with full resonant tone beauty, it affords developmental opportunities heretofore unexplored"

-related items (from left to right)- Framus / Triumph (late model), Warwick / Triumph (1990), Warwick / Triumph (2004)

In the 60s era, Framus changes some specs of the Triumph upright bass. The magnet pick ups become bigger (one fabrication with electric circuit box). The bridge-box become small, and simply (the string height can not be adjustable). Added the tone control pot.

The Warwick (as mentioned above, the company of the son of the Framus founder) reissue the Triumph bass in 1990. At this time, Body design was same with old one but changed to the laminate hollow manufacturing. The body is comprised of a maple back with a spruce top, and the neck is made of handpicked maple, with an ebony fingerboard. Onboard you will find a custom MEC alnico magnetic pickup (active PU) installed directry to the body, metal-bridge-box was disappeared.

Recentry Warwick reissue the Triumph again (2004). at this time, bassicaly same specs with the 1990 issue. But MEC Magnet pickups (passive) installed to the neck-end again. Added the piezo-pickup at the bridge, balancing pos was added. 4 and 5 string version available. Some other coloring was offered (with request).

FRAMUS - 60s catalogue photo courtesy of Guenther Vogt

Mr. Guenther Vogt (from Germany) sent me some pictures of old FRAMUS guitar catalogue (probably in 60s). Please clik the pics to enlarge. The Fromt and back was printed in full color with Electric guitars (2 archtop guitars : MISSOURI, SORELLA, 2 bass guitars : STAR-BASS, STRATO-STAR-BASS, 1 Solid guitars : STRATO-MODELLE and 2 semi-hollow 3PU electric guitars : NEW SOUND, FRET-JET). The Sky-and-Jetplane! Wow Real 60S DESIGN!!

The Inside printed with 2 colors and showing the acoustic guitars. You'll see the pictures of children with guitars at the school, so we could imagine that the FRAMUS company would be release these acoustic instruments for EDUCATIONAL using.

Mr. Vogt also did send me the picture of FRAMUS Billy Lorento Guitar String package (Framus steel strings foruse of Electric guitar). It would be kind of RARE to see the face of Billy Lorento (Bill Laurence) in his German Era, Right?


The BRAND-NEW book. The all about the history of legendary FRAMUS company written by Dr. Christian Hoyer: who runs the great FRAMUS' archive website www.framus-vintage.de. Everybody knows that, in 60s golden age of Rock'n'roll era, Many British young musicians had use the FRAMUS instrument through their visiting German club circuit. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman, Russ Ballard, jack, Bruce etc... Not only the Rock legends, but also the Jazz legends -- on this book there's a lot of pictures of such a Jazz legends, Tal Farlowe, Attila Zoller, Charles Mingus, Volker Kriegel, Grant Green, Jim Hall, Jimmy Raney etc... WOW.

As you (and me, too) know that details of history about Framus company was a kind of mystery - although most of contemporaly bassists know the WARWICK name! - This book covers all through their history - its born (1946) and end (1977).

Also features much of the historical catalogue pictures, advertising pictures, and pictures of the Framus Factory (see right)... For the old German instrument lovers, this book must be a good reference to know about that area and spirit - THE HEART OF BAVARIA.

225mm x 297mm, hardcover, original German language version and English version available. 292 pages (more than a half was printed in full color). More than 500 pictures that previously never published. Please check and contact warwick webshop if you want to get this book.

At the end of this text, I'd like to say to Christian, CONGRATS for success of your great job! As a point of an editor and graphic designer in Japan (yeah that's my job), I have to say this book was really GORGEOUS! Really appreciate your energy of seaching and beauty of this book.... This must be the real Masterpiece for the old Framus collectors.

Christian Hoyer - Born in 1976 in Erlangen, arthor Dr. Christian hoyer studied history and political science in Erlangen and in Marburg, Germany and Keele, England, and has worked as a historian for several years. (www.hoyer-history.de)

photos by coutesy of the Framus Museum Markneukirchen/ Germany, www.framus-vintage.de


Jazzgitarren - vintage German made archtop guitars

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