Framus 5/155-52 Strato S, 1963
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- Order number: 674
After the Hollywood model, which was based on a semi-solid construction, the Strato guitars were the first solid-body guitars from Framus, developed from the outset for this purpose. The first models were still called Apollo, but quickly changed to the then many years used name Strato. Our model has the punch C 63, so it dates from March 1963 and is one of the very first Strato S ever made. We know of no earlier ones.
The body is made of maple, the neck is made of beech multilayer wood, which is complex to produce and indestructible. It has a truss rod and rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays in six frets. The 100% original red finish is very rare, most models were shipped in beige at the time. It is excellently matched by the beautifully marbled pearloid pickguard and the nickel-plated electrics plates. Solid nickel-plated hardware, open tuners and the classic early Framus vibrato unit.
The basis are two of the early Schaller P90 pickups. In addition, a pickup on and off switch, a volume and tone control each, all connected via a standard jack socket. Thick, beautiful bakelite knobs.
The guitar was originally sold in Belgium and remained there with the first owner for well over 50 years until he sold it on to another Belgian guitarist. He was not happy with the now barely playable guitar and offered it for sale via facebook. The beautiful original condition appealed to us and we gladly took the Strato S over. When we got it, practically all the electrics were out of order, mismatched replacement tuners were installed, the nickel finishes were dull and tarnished, one corner of the pickguard was broken off, and practically all the screws were rusted.
Actually, there was nothing to be done on the immaculate instrument. We cleaned it completely, polished all the lacquer surfaces, oiled the fingerboard and polished the frets. The slightly resinated controls were cleaned and are now working properly again. We also disassembled, cleaned, re-oiled and reassembled the tuners, which were also gummed up. We replaced the foam inlay of the string damper, which was crumbling badly after 56 years, with a matching original part from our inventory. Instead of the completely black tarnished 56 year old original strings, new Pyramid roundwounds were mounted.
The guitar was completely disassembled and all parts were carefully refurbished. The electrical solder joints were reset, brittle cables were repaired or replaced, the consistently scratchy, resinous and non-functional controls were repaired and a defective switch was replaced with a matching original part. We also repaired the broken pearloid corner of the pickguard. All nickel surfaces were extensively cleaned and polished. We replaced the mismatched tuners with originals from the early sixties from our Kirschnek stock, the completely rusted tuner bushings as well. Also, without exception, all the screws were replaced with matching nos ones. The lacquer surfaces were carefully polished and sealed after the extensive cleaning. The frets are now dressed and polished again, the fingerboard is sanded and oiled. Finally, the Strato got a new set of 10 Pyramid pure nickel strings and a basic setup was done.
Overall length 102 cm/40.2”; body length 46 cm/18.1”; lower bout width 33 cm/13”; waist width 18,5 cm/7.3”; upper bout width 25 cm/9.8”; body depth 3,5 cm/1.4”; scale length 63 cm/24.8” (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 4 cm/1.6” at zero fret, 5 cm/2” at 12th fret; overall weight 3.490 g; string action on 12th fret 1-2 mm/0.04-0.08” (adjustable).
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