Framus 5/198 King, 1971

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Instrument: The massive King was Framus' top-of-the-line acoustic guitar and a direct... more
Product information Framus 5/198 King, 1971

The massive King was Framus' top-of-the-line acoustic guitar and a direct competitor to the Höfner 496. It was beyond the means of most guitarists. In 1971, it cost 495 German Marks, almost an average monthly salary. Correspondingly few were sold and are thus sought-after rarities today. Especially in this immaculate condition. Our model bears the stamp I 71 and thus dates from September 1971.

Everything here is massive and solid! The top is made of very fine-grained Kollitz Alpine spruce, sides and back of subtly flamed maple. The body was finished with a beautiful honey-coloured transparent varnish.The neck is made of the indestructible and very elaborately produced multi-laminated beech wood, it has an ebony fingerboard with genuine bow tie mother-of-pearl inlays in nine frets.  The decorative inlay in the headstock is also genuine mother-of-pearl, as is the soundhole decoration. The beautifully grained rosewood bridge comes from the Framus modular system. Open and high-quality Schaller single tuners and a transparent plexiglass fingerboard complete the high-quality construction.

Instruments history:
Unknown until 1990. Since then, it has stood untouched and unplayed in a collection. Judging by its condition, it was not used before that time either. We were able to take over parts of the collection in 2021. The sound hole label is puzzling: one can see from the contours that another one was originally glued in. It also does not match the year of manufacture, this design was actually only used between 1955 and 1958, but we have seen it more often on younger guitars. The collector assured us that he had not changed anything here. Once again, one of those many Framus inconsistencies that can never be solved...

Restoration work:
Thorough cleaning and polishing, body blown out. Fingerboard oiled, frets polished, tuners oiled. New strings mounted and setup done.

Current condition:
This honey-blond Framus looks, above all, strikingly beautiful! It really is in immaculate mint condition, free of any playing marks, damage or faults. It must have hung in the music shop in this condition 50 years ago - a real time traveller. Fingerboard and frets are untouched, the neck is straight, the string spacing is very low. The varnish shines perfectly and with great depth, the nickel-plated metal parts are untouched. On the headstock there are a few tiny varnish spots, but these are already from the production, which is not quite perfect in this point. The sound is wonderfully warm, loud and harmonic with lots of wood and fast, differentiated response, especially for a Jumbo. The guitar is immediately playable and resilient without restrictions. If you are looking for a beautiful vintage guitar full of character with a wonderful sound and modern handling, this is the one for you! And of course it would also be a highlight in any collection.

Overall length 42.1”/107 cm, body length 20.5”/52 cm, lower bout width 17.3”/44 cm, waist width 10”/25,5 cm, upper bout width 12.2”/31 cm; body depth 3.9”/10 cm, scale length 24.8”/63 cm (zero fret to saddle), fingerboard width 1.7”/4,2 cm at nut, 2”/5,2 cm at 12th fret; overall weight 2.570 g, string action on 12th fret 0.04-0.08”/1-2 mm.

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