Framus 5/117 Caravelle, 1970

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Instrument: The Caravelle offered here has an extremely rare paint finish. The black and... more
Framus 5/117 Caravelle, 1970

The Caravelle offered here has an extremely rare paint finish. The black and yellow design never appeared in a catalogue, it has no official name and we only know of less than a handful of examples of the 6- and 12-string Texan in this colour besides our Caravelle - all built in early 1970. Allegedly, this colour was produced in a small series for a (house) fair, but this cannot be proven and photos do not exist. In the scene, people often talk about "Antigua", but this is a Fender colour, the name does not exist for Framus models. Whether New Sound, Fret Jet, Caravelle, Sorento or Atlantik - all these models competed against the legendary Gibson ES at that time. More or less independently and with more or less success. But there are quite a few musicians who prefer a Framus to a Gibson. It is still inferior in terms of image, but in terms of quality and sound it is at least equal, as we can confirm from direct comparisons. An important argument for many musicians is, of course, the cost: a Caravelle in this condition is no longer cheap, especially not in this special colour, but it is still much cheaper than the 70s Gibson ES, which is three to four times as expensive. Our Framus has the punch 70 B, so it dates from February 1970.

The body is made entirely of maple and has a fully covering high gloss varnish. The guitar has no sound hole and no open resonance chambers, but is not massive for weight reasons. Everything is made of laminated wood for the sake of stability and to avoid feedback. For stabilisation, there is a central sustain block made of mahogany inside. The well-proven and at that time very complex to manufacture multi-ply neck is made of beech strips. All in all, the guitar is almost indestructible and stable to this day. It also has an ebony fingerboard with real mother-of-pearl dots in five frets, plus side dots. The hardware is massive and nickel-plated. Open tuners, six-ply pickguard with Framus lettering. The tailpiece with extremely tuning-stable vibrato unit is a Bigsby replica by ABM-Müller and was also called a "Bigsby-style vibrato" in the Caravelle catalogues at the time.

The equipment is proven standard many times over. Pickups are two classic Framus P90 single coils. They are not controlled by contemporary seventies circuit experiments, but by volume, bass and treble controls, plus a three-way switch for the use of the pickups. Simple, intuitive and fully adequate.

Instruments history:
Unknown. However, the guitar has certainly not had a very eventful life, which is confirmed by its excellent state of preservation. However, it has been tinkered with a bit - when we got it, cheap Chinese tuners without bushings were mounted and the original vibrato lever and spring were missing. In addition, the guitar was unspeakably dirty, as if it had not been cleaned once in 53 years...

Restoration work:
Complete cleaning, fretboard and frets sanded and oiled or polished. Lacquer surfaces elaborately bale-polished, hardware high-gloss polished. Electrical system checked and measured. Wrong tuners and missing bushings replaced with matching originals from the period. Vibrato spring and lever also replaced, the lever had to be slightly adjusted. New strings fitted and setup done.

Current condition:
Framus ES descendants are not that rare, but in this colour there is most likely only this one. Add to that the excellent condition, you will only find something like this once in a lifetime. The authentic vintage look impresses with its reduced elegance, the combination of black-yellow-nickel looks noble, clear and extraordinary. There are practically no faults. A few minor scratches on the body, plus an approximately 1 x 2 cm paint mark next to the jack socket - that's about it. Nothing for a 53-year-old rock guitar. Which brings us to the sound - and it is sensational and unusual! The Caravelle is one of the hardest and most brachial rock guitars we have ever had. The pickups were somehow made "hot", probably already in the factory, which speaks for the story of a fair guitar. Shadows sounds and soft jazz don't work here, the Framus rocks and shreds that it's a joy. If you still don't know why single coils are needed, you can experience it here. Chuck Berry and Alvin Lee would have loved this black and yellow monster! At the same time, it is child's play to play, thanks to its low string action, thick jumbo frets and modern neck profile. Everything works, is stable and immediately fully stressable. And of course the guitar is spotlessly clean and completely odourless again. Extremely rare collector's item and investment? Rock monster in the band and eye-catcher on stage? This Caravelle can do everything - except be mellow.

Overall length 104,5 cm/41.1”; body length 47 cm/18.5”; lower bout width 40,5 cm/15.9”; waist width 23,5 cm/9.3”; upper bout width 29 cm/11.4”; body depth 3,8 cm/1.5”; scale length 63 cm/24.8” (zero fret to saddle); fingerboard width 4,1 cm/1.6” at zero fret, 5,1 cm/2” at 12th fret; overall weight 3.470 g; string action on 12th fret 1-2 mm/0.04-0.08”.

Purchase and payment:
Just send us an email to and you will receive your invoice immediately. Or simply order here through the shop.

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