Framus Guitars....Yay or Nay???

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MaidenNH, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. MaidenNH

    MaidenNH Member

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    The Diablo Custom is a sweet-lookin guitar, and I like their amps, but does anyone have any experience with these guitars? Thanks for the help.
     
  2. MaidenNH

    MaidenNH Member

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  3. Berlin Chris

    Berlin Chris Member

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    Here in Germany you´ll find Framus guitars everywhere. A lot of pro-/semipro-players have them over here and Framus has a strong following.

    I used to have a Hollywood Custom (it actually was the first prototype) and I liked it quite a bit. All Framus are very well-build quality instruments, have relatively beefy necks, big frets and feel like the guitar-version of ...uhm.... a Warwick bass.

    In case you like that, you just found the right guitar for you....
     
  4. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    I've always had interest in the Jan Akkerman model, now called the AK 1974:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. VegasGreg

    VegasGreg Member

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    I'd love to get one of these. Rik Emmett was one of my all time favorite guitarists growing up. I got a chance to play these at the 2005 NAMM (didn't have time to check them out this year) and loved them.
     
  6. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    You mean one of these?

    ;)

    This one used to be mine, but a very stoked TGP forum member owns it now.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Agree. Really cool designs. Music 123 Custom Shop has a selection of a few nice models. But I feel the same...not enough critique out there to give me the confidence to try one.
     
  8. george4908

    george4908 Member

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    I haven't found any of the new Framus guitars to play yet, but a friend of mine, whose tastes I trust, has the somewhat Tele-ish Diablo Pro and says it's a hell of a good guitar.

    I had three of the older Framus: an Akkerman like the one pictured above, a Nashville, and a BL-10 solidbody. The Akkerman was offbeat and cool. Very wide flat neck, and tiny frets (remember, this was from the time when Akkerman was playing a Fretless Wonder), so I never really got comfortable playing it, but it was very well built and sounded good. The Nashville was homely in a way that only a mother could love, but it had essentially the same electronics as the Akkerman and also sounded good; Peter Green played one for a while and has spoken fondly of it. The BL-10 was named for Bill Lawrence, who was involved in many Framus designs from the time when he was known as Billy Lorento; this one looked cheap and spacey, but was actually quite warm and full, and for a solid body guitar it made for a fine jazz guitar. The thing is, even during the early goofy years, most Framus guitars still sounded good, mostly due to the pickups.
     
  9. Rob Keeler

    Rob Keeler Member

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    I'm a Framus endorsee and I play the new Spitfire model. It has a 1 piece flame maple neck, swamp ash body, Wilkinson trem, and Seymour Duncan pickups. It plays and sounds amazing. The craftmanship is outstanding: tightest neck joint I've seen on a bolt on, really, really good fret job, nice flame maple and swamp ash. I would definately reconmend this guitar.
     
  10. MaidenNH

    MaidenNH Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys. There's a Framus dealer about an hour from where I live, so maybe I'll check that out and see what they have.
     
  11. Hammertone

    Hammertone Member

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    Yeah, It's an older Renegade Pro -swamp ash tele shape, USA Wilkinson trem. The tele shape is slightly non-Fender. Ugliest shape pickguard ever. Some kind of semi-gloss "oiled" finish on the body - mine is almost translucent black. The maple/rosewood neck is oiled as well, and supremely comfortable. Very clever angled neck joint that provides better access than usual and makes Tom Anderson's latest neck joint look just plain stupid.

    Three SD strat "vaguely vintage" pups, plus an SD lil 59 jr humbucking thingy as well. The swamp ash on mine is mid-weight, not light, although they claim to use light-weight swamp ash. Middle strat pup is RW/RP. Switching is strangely useful - the middle position on the 5-way Schaller switch doesn't give you the middle pup but rather the two outside strat pups. The volume has a push-pull that kills the single coils gives you only the humbucker - presumably for hot leads. It actually makes a lot of sense while playing. The pots and switches on mine are all German.

    I picked it up used just because I was curious about its intense ugliness and fairly high price tag as a new guitar/incredibly low price as a used guitar. It had been gathering dust at a local shop for a couple of years. I tried hard to not like it, but it is unfortunately the best sounding fenderoid I've played in years, so I'm stuck with it. I've gigged with it twice at the Black Swan - the noisiest room in Toronto, and the RW/RP thing REALLY works well. Once through an old Uni Ampeg G-12 (sort of like a Deluxe Reverb, but better, of course), and once through my old, heavily-goosed Traynor Guitarmate Reverb III (1x12", sealed cab). In both cases it was noticeably "sweeter" and "boingier" than the several other Fenders also in evidence. Maybe it's the swamp ash.

    In North America, my guess is that you can't give these away as used guitars, because no one knows them and they look too different, so I'd try before buying new. My suggestion is to find a store with these in stock and do some serious A/B instore testing against some more conventional fenderoid guitars.

    I checked out the current lineup at NAMM, and they felt really good, but I couldn't really plug anything in because it's too damned noisy at the show. I guess the most similar current Framus is the stratoid Diablo Pro, but it looks like Framus is using ovankol instead of maple for their necks these days, and has simplified some of the detailing on the guitars (for instance, the Schaller straplocks on mine are actually slightly set into the body - nice!).

    Big thumbs up from here.
     
  12. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I've still got a Framus acoustic that I bought from Sound City in about 1975, maybe earlier. Nice neck (heelless) but the body is/was overbuilt rather like Gibsons of that period - i.e. strong at the expense of tone.

    Best, Pete.
     
  13. terrasbeest

    terrasbeest Member

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    35 years ago I had a Framus.
    Everybody was telling me I was going to be a rock star, and 35 years ago there were no rock stars playing a Framus.I should get myself a Gibson or a Fender .
    I bought a second hand Gibson ES-330 no one else wanted, because it wasn't a Rock Star guitar, but that was I all I could afford ( well, not really, but with a little help from my friends...).I gave the Framus away.
    I still have the ES-330, and since it is now worth a lot of money, I don't want to take it out anymore : I just play it at home.
    3 months ago, I decided that I should get myself a new guitar, that I could take out to gig and so, without having to worry all the time something might happen to that wonderful, very expensive Gibson, so I bought mystelf a Strat Highway, you see I'm an older man now, and since I never became that rock star, I still worry about pennys and cents.
    I regret my decision to buy the Strat, I should have spent a few hundred more and get myself a Framus : they are much better guitars, and since at my age I no longer have the ambition to be a rock star, nor do I have to worry about my image, it was just the same plain stupidity that influenced my judgement 35 years ago.
    I bet the young people, influenced by the fact that today's stars are playing Ibanez, will be buying Ibanez for the rest of their lives.
    It is all marketing, guys.
    Believe me : a Framus is a better guitar than what comes out of the Fender or Gibson factories these days.
    It's the same as with cars 25 years ago : no one in N-America knew what a BMW or a Mercedes or a Porsche stood for . No need to comment there I trust.
     
  14. FiveG

    FiveG Gold Supporting Member

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    Reviving thread: does anyone know where one can find vintage Framuses (Frami?) and/or places that have the Akkerman (AK1974) that you can try out? I know I saw the Akkerman at Music123, but I haven't seen any used ones, or bricks and mortar stores that carry them. I am especially interested in older ones, too.

    FiveG
     
  15. Radagacuca

    Radagacuca Member

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    i was interested in the new version of the ak1974 some time ago, so i checked one at the nearest store (i am from germany, so a framus is no problem to come by). compared to a gibson les paul the ak1974 sounded sterile and lifeless. it had a bunch of different tones available but none that i really liked. the guitar was very heavy as well, it must have been around 10lbs (my favourite lp felt light in comparison with it´s 9.3lbs..). the neck was pretty fat and the overall workmanship very good, nothing to complain about. due to it´s unique tone make sure you play one by yourself before buying.
    i would like to play one of the vintage ones. they are totally different guitars in terms of construction. so they might fit my boat...
     
  16. BrandonT

    BrandonT Member

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    I met a guy that seems to like them, but he sucked at playing.
    like to try one....
     
  17. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    It's not going to help you much, but I used to have an F hole acoustic from the 60s that was a really good guitar.
     
  18. FiveG

    FiveG Gold Supporting Member

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    Gee, I wonder if a German store would send one to me for a try it before you buy it.

    Naah.
     
  19. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I've got a Framus acoustic from the late sixties which I like playing, it's got a very small body and a bolt on neck!
    Can't check on the model as it is in England.

    Best, Pete.
     
  20. FiveG

    FiveG Gold Supporting Member

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    It's funny: I haven't seen a single AK1974 for sale on ebay, gbase, or any of the usual suspects for used gear. Even on the Gearpage, come to think of it.

    FiveG
     

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