Hi, I'm new to the group and glad I found you. I have enjoyed reading the past posts as I get familiar with my newly aquired Framus 5/296 12-string, born in February 1971.
This sounds like a strange question, however I am wondering if the flattop is actually flat on the 5/296. The bellied back is so cool and I had a passing thought that maybe the belly south of the bridge on mine is intentional. I assume not, but since I have no sunken areas noth of the bridge, I thought it worth an inquiry. Before I jump in and bring the top back to flat(ish), knowledge from other Texan owners would be appreciated.
Thanks - Jim
Hi Jim, I have two Framus Texan with exactly the same body: a six and a twelve strings (you can see both in my picture gallery). I can see that the top on the 6 is perfectly flat, so I assume the top on the 12 should also.
Actually, my (1970) 12 strings has two problems. I would say minor problems for me, that I'll explain: the first it that it has a slight "belly" - the second is probably due to the placement of a sound pickup under the bone on the bridge, that results on the bone being slightly higher than it should be. That is, because the groove in the bridge is in the metal part, and therefore can not be deepened. Some of these days, I'll try to fix it by removing some 0.5 mm from the bone height .. but I don't need it for the moment.
The result of the two combined "problems" is that the action is some 1 mm too high at the 14 th fret, which means, for a 12 strings, that the guitar is (rather) unplayable so high on the fretboard (excepted for harmonics or "special sounds").
I should have this fixed by removing the sound pickup, and maybe let a skilled repairman modify the angle between the neck and the body. I would rather let a professional do it than try to do it myself: I have already successfully repaired three guitars, and I know it takes much time, you have to be very very patient and careful, have the appropriate tools, and never quit the job until it is finished.
That is the reason why I don't begin with this job now, and I don't care, I am only playing on the 10 first frets on my 12 string, and i have enough to make some good music.
The most important thing for me is that I don't use regular tuning, to avoid the guitar becoming more "pregnant". Instead, I am playing in open D (DADF#AD) which is lower, causes less tension and gives the guitar a soft, low sound with easy chord and melody fingerings on the four middle strings: they are the same fingerings as on a 5 string banjo. And last but not least, I guess Leo Kottke uses the same tuninig for some of his tunes.
Thanks Allen. The guitar is currently in pieces, as the neck needs to be reset, and I wanted to investigate the leaning bridge/ belly issue on the top. The only missing piece is the truss rod cover (which I may have to make, as I didn't see any for same on e-bay US, UK or Germany). Someone obviously thought they could change the high action with a truss rod adjustment. Luckily the neck has just a perfect amount of relief and was not cranked out of whack.
I have to say though, despite these couple of issues, the guitar is quite beautiful and in great shape for 40 years old. I bought it to have a project and am excited about working on it. Before I bought this, I had never even heard of Framus guitars. Now I am looking for my next one already.
Thanks - Jim