Framus 5/119-54 Golden Television, 1965

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  • MK21
Instrument: The Television, New Sound and Atlantik models represent perhaps the finest... more
Framus 5/119-54 Golden Television, 1965

The Television, New Sound and Atlantik models represent perhaps the finest independent Framus design, perfectly balanced and simply well done. They are true, lightweight thinlines without a center block. The top end of the model range and desirable collector's item is the Golden Television, which is richly equipped and features gold-plated hardware. By the way, Framus never made gold-plated bridges, so even on the Golden models, a nickel-plated bridge is the correct original condition and standard. This Television comes in the classic sunburst finish. According to the soundhole stamp 65C, it dates from March 1965, making it one of the earlier Televisions.

The guitar has a beautifully grained top made of Kollitz Alpine spruce and maple sides and back. The back is beautifully flamed and bookmatched. The three-tone finish is perfectly executed and there are thick, creamy white bindings around the body, soundholes and neck, five-ply around the top. The neck is made of beech multi-laminated wood, which is complex to manufacture and indestructible. Here, it has four additional mahogany strips, is stained medium brown and has a black lacquered headstock. It has an ebony fingerboard with genuine bow-tie pearl inlays and side markers in eight frets, with truss rod of course. The beautiful hardware is solid and gold plated, the single tuners are closed and have creamy white pearloid tulip handles. Tuning stable vibrato unit, also fully solid, fully compensated bridge with damper.

At first perhaps confusing, but the equipment is simple, logical and intuitively understandable. Three P90 single-coil pickups are switched on or off via their own slide switches. This gives a total of seven options. Each pickup has its own tone control, plus there is a master volume control. A slide switch turns on what was then called the "organ effect" lever, which is a 90° volume control with return spring that allows for swelling and decaying sounds. Most guitarists operate it with their pinky finger. Finally, there is a switch for lowering the bass. Connection is made via a standard jack socket. In this configuration, practically infinite sound settings are indeed feasible.

Instruments history:
Unknown. The guitar was certainly played a lot in the beginning, the gorgeous patina proves it. When we got it, the frets were worn down almost to the wood. But since about 1980 it stood unused in a large Framus collection for about 40 years, until we were offered it two years ago and gladly took it over. Important: This Television has never been modified, it is still in original condition.

Restoration work:
We completely cleaned the guitar, blew out the body, and carefully retouched and elaborately polished all the lacquer surfaces. We removed the old, much too flat frets, straightened the fingerboard and mounted new jumbo frets. Of course, without sawing the binding on the sides! Finally, the fingerboard was re-oiled. We disassembled the tuners, cleaned and re-oiled them as well, and carefully polished the bushings. You have to be extremely careful when polishing the gold-plated parts, because the thin layer is quickly polished away. Pickups with frames, tailpiece, vibrato lever and bridge were also polished. We replaced the rusty tuner screws with matching originals. After their overhaul, even the initially hooky, scratchy and humming electric works perfectly again. Unfortunately, the jack socket, which was completely bent on the inside, could not be repaired and we had to install a new one. Finally, a new set of Pyramid 10" pure nickel strings was put on the Television, the final setup ensured the perfect adjustment and playability.

Current condition:
Golden Televisions are a collector's dream and the most precious thing you can buy in Television. Back then, they were expensive gems that only well-heeled players or collectors could afford. Accordingly, the remaining selection is rare today. With the gold-plated parts and the elaborate fingerboard inlays, the look is very opulent, even if the gold plating is already a bit worn in a few places, e.g. the pickups. The top and back have a few micro-scratches, but for a veteran that is after all almost sixty years old, this is practically nothing. Playability is new-age perfect after the neck overhaul with the new fretsticks. A slim neck profile and 1 mm string action at the 12th fret can't be beat. Of course, there is no serious damage, everything is stable and solid and works as it should. The sound is massive, the three pickups appearing powerful. From soft jazz to classic rock to sassy beat or surf sounds, anything really goes with this Framus. A unique opportunity for ambitious collectors, but also a guitar that should be played. Of course, one should preserve the magnificent condition if possible. And finally in these times certainly a safe investment. Who is seriously looking for a Golden, should not hesitate here!

Overall length 104 cm/40.9”; body length 50 cm/19.7”; lower bout width 38 cm/15”; waist width 24 cm/9.4”; upper bout width 32 cm/12.6”; body depth 5 cm/2”; scale length 62,5 cm/24.6” (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 4,2 cm/1.7” at zero fret, 5,2 cm/2” at 12th fret; overall weight 3.010 g; string action on 12th fret 1 mm/0.04” (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
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