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Thread: Framus Body Type

  1. #1

    Default Framus Body Type

    Ok, so I've been messin' with this ol' mando since last night and can play Cluck Old Hen (slow). I didn't notice it until now but the body looks like uke body.

    Was this a normal body type for the German made mandos of the time? I really enjoy it so far, I frail on it without a pick and get a quiet sounds but at least I'm hitting the correct strings.

    Thanks.

    j
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    That guitar shaped Framus mandolin was just one model that they made. Here is a catalog page with different Framus mandolins on it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Wow ... I didn't know Framus made mandolins. All I knew was the Stones' Bill Wyman played a Framus bass in the `60's.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Any idea how much this "Texas" Framus is worth? It's a loaner so I'm not looking to make a buck on it, but it is a really solid mando, a lot better then the Asian mandos I see hanging on the walls in the local music stores.

    j
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  5. #5
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    All the Framus mandolins I found in a quick Google search were selling $250-350. These weren't the guitar-shaped ones, though. Not a major mandolin brand in the US (or in Canada, I'd guess).
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  6. #6
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    They might be selling for that much but I question if they sold for that much. There are some collectors that like these but I've never seen one that was exceptional.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    I will say this is a much better sounding mando then the Asian brands I've tried before. It's heavy wood, very loud and stays in tune.

    Not bad for a first mando.

    jm
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  8. #8
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Everything is relative.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Including your statement. ;-)
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  10. #10
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Look, let's put it this way. If you were to go out and actually try a new Eastman (any model), a new Kentucky KM-900 or (or old )KM-1000, a new J. Boviar or any number of the better made asian imports and still find that Framus to be the cats meow then you'd have something to go on. The truth is that the Framus instruments have been around for years. There really is a reason they don't demand high prices. You can like it all you want and that's really OK, it just doesn't elevate the quality or the sound of the instruments in relationship to everything else on the market. I'd say the same thing about a few dozen imported brands of instruments other than Framus. They are what they are.

  11. #11
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Jay Bird, don't confuse "appeal to my personal taste" with "market value." You asked what the Framus was "worth," and I guess that means, "what it would sell for in the marketplace?" Framus is an "off" brand in the current mandolin market; the German factory made quite a few of them, but they weren't particularly designed with the bluegrass or Celtic player in mind, and they're the biggest segments of today's mandolin community. The "heavy woods" that you like, are a turn-off to other players.

    You're probably right that it's "not bad for a first mando," considering the junky "student instruments" that are cranked out in Asia and sold to the unsuspecting on eBay et. al. Mike E's right in suggesting that after you learn the ropes on the Framus, you might want to stack it up against some other mandolins in the $500-1K range; they would be a step up, and you'd have a meaningful comparison.

    Don't know what the "Asian brands you've tried before" were, but there are a lot of pretty bad Asian-import instruments on the walls of music stores, and the Framus would sound and play better. But take it from us, Framus mandolins aren't in particularly high demand among those who post on the Cafe.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  12. #12

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    You folks are too serious for me. I was joking.
    "Blues are the songs of despair, but gospel songs are the songs of hope." - Mahalia Jackson

  13. #13
    Registered User Rick Crenshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    I've followed this thread with interest. I bought a blond Framus Graziella Teardrop model (tear drop sound holes as well) from a cafe member (you may recall J.Mark Lane). I bought it for a funky bluesy mandolin sound. It actually sounds better than many of the similarly priced mandolins. (between 250-300 dollars). The tone is quite pleasant. The deep body is funky and probably contributes to the tone considerably. I'd put it up against any mandolin in its price point.
    Rick in Memphis

  14. #14

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    I just bought a known Framus "wall hanger" online, knowingly, as I've seen these described, because it just makes me smile, knowing the pickguard flowers are Edelweiss, and it's got the gold Framus signature decal and the molded case. Near perfect, BUT (as I know you all know) the neck is separating from the body. So I haven't even tried re-stringing.
    I've got a Breedlove Quartz and another vintage bowlback for making music, but for the fun of the Framus hunt, I'm trying to identify the model name and number. The Framus site https://www.framus-vintage.de/UEber-Framus/Datierung/
    helped translate the "64L" of the serial number 49865-64L on the back of the headstock as being manufactured in December 1964.
    The site has a gallery but this model isn't pictured, though another flatback is shown with the same edelweiss pickguard.
    Curious if anyone here can identify the model name and/or number.
    I'd also be interested to know if any luthier seeing this thinks the neck detachment can be repaired for a less than astronomical investment.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Framus Body Type

    Update: I reached out to the Framus Vintage Archive ( https://www.framus-vintage.de/ ) via the contact link and received a most gracious and quick response from Hans-Peter Wilfer, son of founder Fred Wilfer, identifying my mandolin as Model 6/27 Manuela, November 1964! It's clearly been well cared for over the years. I'm inclined to re-string with ultra-lights, tensioning up only briefly, to not risk further neck strain, if only to let it sing once more.
    Still interested in luthier assessments about repairing the neck and restoring to playability...

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