IMS-Framus Caravelle, 1969

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Instrument: Under the IMS GmbH brand, Framus supplied the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany for a... more
Product information IMS-Framus Caravelle, 1969

Under the IMS GmbH brand, Framus supplied the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany for a good 10 years from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. IMS stands for International Music Supply - these instruments were sold exclusively in the American PX stores. The brand was founded especially for this purpose, accordingly the importance of the supply contract at that time can be classified as high. Quite normal Framus series instruments were simply provided with an IMS logo, but also Framus models were modified or special models were developed only for the US Army market. Our model is actually a Framus Caravelle, as it was in the range exactly the same at the end of the sixties. Only the bindings and tailpiece were slightly modified for IMS purposes. It bears the date stamp 69I, so it dates from September 1969.

The guitar is a true thinline and largely hollow inside. It is laminated, the visible veneer layers are all made of beautiful mahogany. The neck is made of the indestructible multi-laminated beech wood, which has been tried and proven thousands of times. It has a truss rod and rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays in five frets and side dots. The soundhole is not real, but a painted-in sticker. The open tuners as well as the tailpiece are of heavy, solid quality and elaborately chrome plated (not nickel!). The six-ply pickguard is also from the Framus shelf, of course, but bears an IMS logo, as do the tailpiece and headstock. The fully adjustable bridge is Framus standard.

The basis are two of the proven Framus P-90 single-coil pickups. They are switched via a three-way switch and controlled with a volume, treble and bass control. This is simple, intuitive and a guarantee for very versatile sound options. The standard jack socket is located in the lower bout.

Instruments history:
Unknown. We took it as one of several pieces from a southern German collector who could not remember where he got it. Considering the unique top condition, it is probably a living room guitar that has never been in rehearsal rooms or on tour and has always been treated with care.

Restoration work:
Completely disassembled and cleaned, the original nitro lacquer of all lacquer surfaces with bale polish in several passes refurbished - it shines fantastically beautiful and like new. The tuners were polished and re-oiled. Fingerboard and frets were slightly sanded and oiled/polished. Finally, we installed new strings and did a basic setup.

Current condition:
A real eye-catcher! The combination of the noble mahogany with the black and chrome highlights looks high quality, tasteful and modern to this day. The guitar is probably one of the highest quality that Framus has produced at the time. Fine woods, quality technical features, solid hardware, not much more was possible back then. The condition is really fantastic, because wear and traces of playing are practically nonexistent, of course also no serious damage. The guitar is spotlessly clean and odorless, all glue joints are bombproof. Fingerboard and frets are flawless. This is how the guitar appeared hanging in an Army PX store 63 years ago. Playability is excellent, the neck plays like a breeze with no restrictions thanks to the modern profile and extremely low string action. The sound is very versatile, but it is always a typical ES-style thinline. B.B. King and Alvin Lee would have had their joy. In general, we would prefer this 1969 Framus to any original ES from that era! The guitar is ready to go and fully actionable, a rare opportunity for collectors or "the" workhorse for all days.

Overall length 40.9”/104 cm, body length 18.9”/48 cm, lower bout width 16.1”/41 cm, waist width 9.1”/23 cm, upper bout width 11.4”/29 cm; body depth 1.6”/4 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 2.920 g, string action on 12th fret 0.04-0.08”/1-2 mm (adjustable!).

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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