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Thread: Pawnshop find: Framus Texan 12-string

  1. #1
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    Pawnshop find: Framus Texan 12-string

    Just picked this up at the store where I manage the guitar parts concession. The guy who sold it brought in a ton of other stuff, most of it priced top-of-market (e.g. a heavily-scuffed early Boss analog delay for $250); this was the only thing he wasn't sure how to price. It appears from what I can learn from Framus' vintage archive to be a Texan 12-string, circa. 1972. It features an adjustable steel saddle, "fret nut", rounded back, and someone has added a self-sticking left-hand pickguard to the screwed-on right-hand pickguard, and what appears to be aftermarket open-gear tuners. The neck is one of Framus' "multi-ply" necks, same neck style as on my very first bass...a Framus short-scale. These necks are like concrete! Fret wear looks minimal, action is amazingly good! The construction of this is unusual in another way: the neck is probably the same paddle used for their electrics...it has a heel on it such that if the body was ever destroyed, the neck would probably transplant VERY easily into a bolt-neck Strat body. There's a big 12" crack along the middle of bottom side starting about 2" below the strap pin, but it looks like it's been carefully mended. Fair bit of wear, of course.

    The tone is...well...interesting. It's thinnish, and lacks body in the bottom end, and you can definitely hear the steel at the saddle and nut...but it's also very mellow as you'd expect from 40-year-old wood. Not sure if it stands up well as a solo instrument, but I played this this afternoon beside a friend's 6-string Takamine dreadnought and it made for a nice complement...it seems to have something of cowboy-slash-jazz tone to it...not my favorite tone for a dreadnought.

    BUT...

    The guy who consigned it wasn't sure what to ask for it; he put it on the floor two hours before I got to the store at $100, I might have been the second person to even see it on sale. I think I stole it...I'll bet the neck and bridge alone could fetch at least that much. Might be a keeper (that neck would look good on a Jazzmaster body if the body ever lets go), but if I can double my money on this fairly quick, I'm not sure it'll be around for very long! Fun stuff.



    I posted a closeup of the headstock as well...Framus used these string guides on nearly all of their instruments, and you can clearly see how their multi-ply neck construction works.


  2. #2
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    Very cool! I'd like to see some more pics. With a good set up, and the right strings, it just might be a killer! I have a Dynacord with the same neck construction. I once tried to count how many laminations there were, and kept getting lost around 30. You could drive a truck over the neck, and not warp it! Neat guitar! I'd keep it!
    Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end

  3. #3
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hu Duck Xing View Post
    Neat guitar! I'd keep it!
    Agreed--and you could always try replacing the bridge saddle for something a little warmer...

    Enjoy!
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  4. #4
    Axeaholic YeahDoIt's Avatar
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    Looks like a nice 12 string guitar. Does it have a pickup or microphone in it?
    Video playing acoustic guitar at the beach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4OTqDn0JqE
    Music video - Maersk rescue from pirates, original pictures, NAVY SEAL museum www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fJQ8t8ZY8

  5. #5
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    It very well *could* be a killer. Just spent the last couple of hours pulling 'er together. I wasn't sure if I should post that pic since it kind of makes the finish look a bit TOO rich, and I didn't know how much of that dark-honey color was tobacco cloudburst.

    Or worse: Lemon Pledge. (And that's what it was.) Turns out it has a VERY rich finish! The nice thing about these Framus bolt-neck acoustics is that you can always shim the neck if the bridge starts to pull up over time, but I learned the hard way with my Framus bass that the nut is pretty soft steel. Luckily this one had never been turned...it was spinning loosely on the rod. All this needed was a truss rod adjustment. (In case anyone's wondering, YES I remembered to stress the peghead 5 kg before turning the nut! I stripped the bolt on my Framus bass.) The top's finish has developed craquelure, but unfortunately, I think it needs another decade or two of crackle before it looks good.

    This might be a keeper for the time being, since I'm between acoustics at the moment. And there's a gap between the fretboard and the top right at the heel of the neck wide enough to wedge a cheapo Chinese piezo saddle pickup into after I removed the heatshrink, and it produces a rather warmer tone than I expected...I really don't care for the natural tone of this thing. Alas...every time I've electrified one of my acoustics this year, I've been offered more money for it than I can refuse. And as this is a job for me as much as a pastime, so I can't afford to get too attached to it!

    Especially since there is also a rather nice 40+-year-old Kay jumbo with very fancy bindings sitting on silent auction this month at the local Salvation Army store. (Doubt I'll get it for the $100 I bid...a tobacco-burst Mann Les Paul copy with crappy hardware and not the best of necks closed for nearly $200 a couple of months ago, more than double my top bid.)

    Couple of questions for you, Hu.

    First, PlastX brought the finish back as far as I could take it (it's good for taking off sticker gum too), but there's still a cloudiness to it. I was once told that Framus used urethane clearcoat. Can you suggest something to reduce the surface cloudiness when plastic lens restorer doesn't do the trick? PlastX does have a sort of micro-filler formulation, but it does have a mild clouding effect on some plastics.

    Second question, two parts...: strings. I'm just about ready to place an order with JustStrings, so the timing is perfect. All I have to replace these is a set of Martin 80/20's. This is definitely not getting Tomastik's...what would you recommend for a thinnish dreadnought with steel saddle and nut and not a lot of bottom?

    And what string type do you recommend as the best compromise solution for getting reasonable acoustic tone AND soundhole-humbucker tone? I'm guessing that pure nickel might be the ticket, but it's only a guess.

    TIA.

    Here's the rest of the pics I took this aft.









    Here's another chance! You can even mark the plies you've counted with your mouse cursor!


  6. #6
    Axetastic etechstan's Avatar
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    You should be guilt ridden and ashamed of yourself. The only was to make yourself feel better is to get it off your hands. I will PM you my address and you must ship it immediately to alleviate yourself from the guilt of stealing that guitar.
    I ran with scissors this morning. I never felt so free.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    very cool- nice deal!

  8. #8
    Axellent Member Braindancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etechstan View Post
    You should be guilt ridden and ashamed of yourself. The only was to make yourself feel better is to get it off your hands. I will PM you my address and you must ship it immediately to alleviate yourself from the guilt of stealing that guitar.
    *sniff* you're right, of course...*sob* I'll do as you suggest. I'm so glad you recognized the correct course of action, and I'll be so grateful when I receive the $300 I'll need for a guitar box, postage, and a flagellant's whip that I know you'll be happy to assist me with.

    (It might have been less, but if I'm going to do penance, I want to do it right. The really nice whips with the wolf's-teeth tails and genuine crone's-hair handle bindings haven't been cheap since that outbreak of ergotism last year turned most of the crones into cougars.)

  9. #9
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    back atcha Stan........

  10. #10
    Axeaholic Hu Duck Xing's Avatar
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    Nickel strings. I don't use bronze wounds on any guitars. I kill the wound strings too quickly. And the soundhole hum-pup might pick them up better. Not sure, as the pup is probably sensing the steel core.

    The best thing you could do for the sound, would be to get rid of the adjustable bridge. There's one model Gibson that a lot a people make that mod to. Keep the same bridge surround, but install a solid bridge that sits tight in the bottom of the slot for the adjustable bridge. Lot of work if you're just going to sell the guitar though.

    I'd try the Meguiare's Swirl Remover 2.0, on a small spot on that side that is messed up. Just a little spot, to see if it helps. It should. When I did that old ShoBud, which has age cracks in the finish, some cloudiness showed up under the finish around the cracks. Two days later, it had completely dried out, and the cloudiness had completely disappeared. No problem. And it looks awesome!

    BTW, my email is messed up again. Can be reached here though.
    Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end

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