Framus 5/155-52 Strato S, 1963

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Instrument: After the Hollywood model, which was based on a semi-solid construction, the... more
Framus 5/155-52 Strato S, 1963

After the Hollywood model, which was based on a semi-solid construction, the Strato models were the first solid-body guitars from Framus to be developed for this purpose from scratch. The first ones were still called Apollo, but they were quickly changed to the name Strato, which was then used for many years - and which of course comes from the Stratocaster, which was predominant at the time. Among other things, the Framus has the contour body and the initial three single coils in common with the Stratocaster. Our model has the punch C 63, which means it dates back to March 1963 and is therefore one of the very first Strato S guitars ever built. We don't know of any earlier ones.

The body is made of maple, the neck is made of beech multi-layer wood, which is complex to produce but indestructible. It has a truss rod and a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays in six frets. The 100% original red finish is very rare, most models were delivered in beige (butterscotch blonde). The beautifully marbled pearloid pickguard and the nickel-plated control plate are a perfect match. Massive, nickel-plated hardware, open tuners and the classic, early Framus vibrato unit.

It is based on two of the early Schaller P90 pickups. In addition, one pickup on/off switch, one volume and tone control each, all connected via a standard jack socket. Simple, intuitive and still up to date today.

Instruments history:
The guitar has an exciting history. It was originally sold new in the Netherlands and played intensively. About 30 years later, it was traded in at the same shop and stood there for many months. The second owner - a left-handed player - bought it there around 1995 very cheaply and made massive changes to it: first of all, it was given new frets, which was unfortunately the only thing that was done professionally by a luthier. Everything else was done by the new owner in a rather amateurish way at home. The nut notches were filed up for left-handed use and the bridge was turned round and moved. The vibrato unit was decommissioned, the top screwed down and the lever removed. The original third pickup was defective at the time and was not repaired but removed. The original pickguard was replaced by an extremely shoddy self-made part made of simple and ugly white plastic. The small metal plate for the three pickup switches was drilled out for the installation of two toggle switches. The original bakelite control knobs were replaced by very flat accessory parts, the original strap holders by new strap clicks. Unfortunately, the pickguard, strap holders, vibrato lever and control knobs were disposed of... The upper strap button was moved to the lower body horn. The headstock logo was completely missing. We don't understand why this asymmetrical guitar was used for such a conversion - there were more suitable models at the time... But the Dutchman played the guitar for many years until the second pickup broke - and so we were offered the Strato as a parts carrier and took it over in 2021.

Restoration work:
Of course, we saw the great base of the Framus and consequently did not use it as a parts carrier. The guitar was completely dismantled and carefully refurbished from scratch. The body was retouched, unsuitable drill holes closed and the varnish cleaned, polished and sealed. The frets and fingerboard were sanded and oiled or polished. The broken nut was replaced with a new one made from cow bone. The headstock was given a new logo and new clear varnish. We cleaned, polished and re-oiled the partially rusty and resinified tuners, polished the bushings and cleaned the blackened brass cover of the truss rod. Two matching pickups came from our stock, unfortunately we only had these two, so we decided not to rebuild the guitar with three pickups. All the controls were rewired and the two unsuitable toggle switches were replaced with the original small slide switches. We made a new pickguard from beautiful mottled brown pearloid. The control knobs are now original Framus knobs made of chrome-coloured plastic. We refurbished and polished the vibrato unit and fitted an original lever from our stock. Of course, the bridge is also mounted the right way round again. We also replaced all of the completely rusty screws with matching, new ones. Finally, the Strato was fitted with a new set of 010” Pyramid pure nickel strings and a setup was carried out. A lot of work, but it was worth it!

Current condition:
This Strato is once again an absolute eye candy: the spirit of the early sixties and German electric guitar pioneer times. No longer quite original but completely authentic. The extravagant design combined with the beautiful materials and the bright red colour is something very special. The model is already rare, but practically impossible to find in this condition. There is no more damage, everything is stable, solid and works perfectly - from the tuners to the electrics to the vibrato. The original red varnish has various beautiful craquelures and fine cracks, but the surface is still closed, it is not deep and nothing is flaking off. The bright red colour shines like new. You can guess the third pickup compartment through the semi-transparent pickguard. There are practically no traces of play or wear, and the fingerboard and frets are good for the next few decades. The guitar is child's play, everything works perfectly. The sound options are surprisingly versatile and it's a real pleasure to turn the knobs. From beat to Shadows, rock to funk, blues and metal, the guitar can do it all - single coils at their best! A great player, but also a collector's item that is hard to find in this condition. Anyone looking for a piece of eventful history from the early days of German electric guitars should not wait, because a better Strato S would be hard to find. And it is definitely a visual highlight for the band and stage.

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, 4,9 cm/1.9” at 12th fret; overall weight 3.390 g; string action on 12th fret 1-2 mm/0.04-0.08” (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
Send us an e-mail to and you will receive your invoice immediately. Or simply order here through the shop. We are happy about a direct bank transfer (SWIFT/BIC), because this is free of charge, in contrast to the PayPal payment with its service fees.

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