Framus 5/119-S-54 Television, 1970

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  • MK39
Instrument: The Television, Atlantik and New Sound TV-type models represent perhaps the most... more
Framus 5/119-S-54 Television, 1970

The Television, Atlantik and New Sound TV-type models represent perhaps the most beautiful, independent Framus design, perfectly balanced and simply well done. The Television models are always the highest quality in the range. This model in the configuration with three Shadow pickups, as used on the Framus Junior, is a hand-built one-off. At the beginning of the seventies, a number of guitars that deviated significantly from the series were created from existing individual parts in the Framus factory - this is one of them. And one of the last Televisions, as series production ended in 1968 and no more one-offs were built after 1971. The body and many of the hardware parts on this guitar are probably from the late 1960s, while the neck with the slim Stratocaster headstock and the pickups are from other 1970s models, such as Junior or S-355.

The heavy quality from the best Framus era reigns here! The guitar has a spruce top and maple sides and back. The body has a transparent high-gloss dark red finish. It is hollow without a centre block, so the Television is a genuine thinline. The neck is made of indestructible beech multi layer wood, stained light brown and has the beautiful, slim headstock shape, an exact copy of the Fender Stratocaster. It has a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays and side dots in six frets. Naturally, it also has a truss rod. Thick, creamy white, up to four-ply bindings around the body and sound holes, massive and nickel-plated hardware and open tuners. The old style shaped pickguard made of mottled brown pearloid "floats" above the top.

The guitar is equipped with the moulded Shadow pickups familiar from the Junior, and the controls are probably unique. The three pickups each have their own on/off switch and their own volume control. There is also a master tone control, a rhythm solo switch and a bass cut. Connection is via a standard jack socket. The three separate volume controls allow the pickups to be mixed linearly, which opens up practically unlimited variation possibilities.

Instruments history:
Unknown. The guitar came to us as part of a larger Framus collection and had probably stood there unplayed for decades. However, it must have seen a lot of use, as the body has several traces of playing wear and the pickguard was missing. But the guitar had a very nice sound even with old strings and was otherwise in very good condition and complete except for the pickguard. At first we thought the pickups were a later modification, but after unscrewing them we realised that there were no other screw holes or pressure marks - so they are definitely factory fittings, which matches their availability at the time.

Restoration work:
We have completely cleaned the Framus and blown out the body. The lacquer surfaces were carefully retouched and then extensively buffed. The perfectly preserved original frets were polished, the fingerboard sanded and oiled. The tuners were dismantled, cleaned and re-oiled, and the bushings polished. All the hardware was also refurbished and polished. We reworked the pickguard from old material to fit the drill holes and mounted it. All controls were cleaned, de-resinated and made smooth. Finally, the Television was given a new set of 010" Pyramid pure nickel strings and a basic setup.

Current condition:
This late Television, which is already 54 years old, breathes vintage flair without end. The body shows a number of tiny scratches and dents - making it look fantastically "relic", but all authentic and honestly deserved. The neck, fingerboard and hardware, on the other hand, are almost flawless. It goes without saying that the guitar is structurally and technically in top condition, completely odourless and all glue joints are bombproof. The beautiful patina of the body matches the sixties style perfectly. The connoisseur will immediately recognise that this must be a very late and unusual Television - we only know of one later and only this one in this configuration. The electrics work perfectly, all three pickups have full power and offer different soundscapes. The range extends from soft, woody jazz to reverberant Shadows sounds, from a blaring sixties beat to the harder rock styles. Country fans get cleanly differentiated chicken picking with the bridge pickup and slightly overdriven rockabilly is also at its best. An extremely versatile guitar, three pickups are not one too many here. Thanks to the low string action and the modern slim contoured neck, the Television is child's play and handles like a new electric guitar. It is a rare collector's item and unique piece, but also an impressive player for band and stage.

Overall length 103 cm/40.6”; 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 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 2.740 g; string action on 12th fret 2 mm/0.08” (adjustable).

Purchase and payment:
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