Framus 10201 Strato 6, 1970

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Instrument: The Strato 6 has nothing to do with the old Framus Strato models. Only an... more
Framus 10201 Strato 6, 1970

The Strato 6 has nothing to do with the old Framus Strato models. Only an established model name was continued to be used. It is astonishing that the five-digit model numbers, which were not used for the entire range until 1972, were used here as early as 1970. The Strato 6 was built from 1970 until the bankruptcy in 1975/76 and was of course one of the attempts to save the business with copies of well-known US models. That it did not succeed is history. Nevertheless, wonderful and high-quality instruments were created, also due to a comprehensive quality offensive. The Strato 6 is of course based on the Fender Jazzmaster and Jaguar, but is more an interpretation than a copy. Economically, the Strato 6 was - unreasonably - not successful anymore, but this was due to the fact that German instruments of all brands were no longer in demand at the beginning of the seventies. Surprising, because in parallel, the quality of Fender guitars in particular was extremely declining at that time. We would prefer a Framus from the early seventies to a Fender of the same age any day - not to mention the price. Our Strato has the date stamp 70 K on the back of the headstock, so it dates from October 1970 and is probably one of the very first Strato 6s.

The body was built from several pieces of massive and really dramatically beautifully grained American larch wood, at the time traded as pitch or Oregon pine and not quite correctly translated as pine. A dense wood with very good sound characteristics, but not a lightweight. The neck is made of beech multilaminate plywood, as is usually the case with Framus, which is costly to manufacture and indestructible. It has a fingerboard made of bright, high-gloss varnished maple. The colour difference in the first fret is in the wood and not UV damage. The fingerboard has black dot inlays as well as side markers at five frets. The massive, very tuning stable vibrato unit is a German Bixby replica by ABM-Müller, plus a fully compensatable roller bridge. Three-layer pickguard, open tuners.

The basis are two humbuckers made by Schaller, which are operated by a three-way toggle switch according to the standard of the time and are each controlled by a separate tone control and a master volume. Simple, contemporary and sufficient for a variety of sound variations. The jack socket is the current standard.

Instruments history:
Unknown. The guitar was certainly played a lot, when we got it, the frets had severe marks and were much too flat. Accordingly, the fingerboard had many grey, worn spots. The Strato has been with us for a number of months, however, we no longer know exactly where it came from, and no history has been passed down to us.

Restoration work:
Of course, the first thing to do was to remove the old frets, sand the fretboard cleanly, give it a high-gloss varnish and mount new, higher frets. This ensures that in the future it will no longer be necessary to press all the way down on the wood and that the guitar is much easier to play. All the lacquer surfaces were cleaned and polished, there was really nothing to retouch. The hardware was disassembled, cleaned and polished, and the tuners were re-oiled. Nothing had to be done to the electrics, they work perfectly as on the first day. In order to thoroughly refurbish and polish the pickguard and the chrome-plated regulator plate, we of course completely disassembled everything. Finally, the Strato got a new set of Pyramid pure nickel roundwounds in 010 gauge and a complete setup.

Current condition:
First of all, the 100% original Framus is visually enchanting. The harmonious triad of natural wood, nickel-chrome and white pickguard looks noble and of high quality. The appearance of the guitar, which is 53 years old, is like falling out of a time machine. There is no damage, on the back there are a few discreet belt buckle marks that are barely visible in the wood, plus a few tiny scratches. All completely harmless and not really worth mentioning. With the new frets, the slim, modern neck and the very low string action, the guitar is really easy to play up to the highest frets - like a modern electric guitar. Wonderful for beginners as well as for advanced fast-fingered players. The sound is fantastic and extremely versatile, any style from heavy to jazz, from punk to Shadows is possible. The German Jaguar-Jazzmaster actually costs only a third of a seventies US guitar and is otherwise superior in all respects. No longer cheap, but a stable investment with potential, a showcase piece and a killer player for every day. What more could you want? If you're looking for something like this, think no further, because you won't find a better one.

Overall length 100 cm/39.4”; body length 47 cm/18.5”; lower bout width 35 cm/13.8”; waist width 24 cm/9.4”; upper bout width 29 cm/11.4”; 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 4.060 g; string action on 12th fret 1 mm/0.04” (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
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