The early catalogues from Framus of Germany in 1949 already used the terminology of Gibson guitars of that time to describe their instruments as archtop acoustic guitars with f-holes. The prototype of the Framus design was the Black Rose. Many of the early Framus archtops listed then were originally presented as pure acoustic guitars, but Framus also supplied accessories like pickups and so-called “mixing boards” early on – synthetic pickguards or polished metal plates with pickups and volume controls already installed.
In 1958 a new archtop model was unveiled by Framus in Bubenreuth, Bavaria. Named the Framus De Luxe 60, it became the guitar most associated with the famous Hungarian jazz guitarist Attila Zoller, who eventually had a Framus model named after him, based on the De Luxe 60.
This legendary high end Framus archtop is one of the most sought-after guitars from the golden age of European jazz. Apart from Zoller, the Framus 5/160 De Luxe 60 was played by popular American guitarist Jim Hall.
Solid European Spruce hand carved arched top
Solid maple back and sides
Autumn Sunburst nitrocellulose finish
Single sharp cutaway
Rosewood fingerboard with intricate hand carved inlays
Single ply binding
Carved rosewood bridge and saddle with height & intonation adjustment
2 x Framus single coil pickups mounted on floating metal pickguard with volume & tone controls
This is a full size 16” hollowbody archtop with fabulous curly maple sides and back. It is an excellent acoustic instrument, but it really shines when plugged in. The floating pickups are clean and clear, with complex tonality and lots of volume. It’s great as a typical jazz guitar with only the neck pickup in use, but the bridge pickup certainly has some bite, and a nice tonal mix is delivered with both pickups engaged.
This Framus has had a recent neck reset, and it’s a great job. Everything lines up perfectly, delivering a nice low / medium action which is comfortable all the way up the neck. The original frets show some very light wear down in the lower positions, but there’s plenty of life left in them with no buzz or flat spots. Truss rod works perfectly.
There is some beautiful natural crazing in the original lacquer which can only be the result of years of honest exposure to light and air. It actually deepens the glow of the rich Autumn Sunburst finish, which is in spectacular condition.
Every detail of vintage pedigree checks out on this guitar. The original tuners are present and accounted for and working well – tuning is accurate and stable. The rosewood bridge with hand carved height adjustable saddle block is in place. Perfect intonation is achieved via the six moveable individual saddles.
The dark rosewood fingerboard sports 8 sets of inlaid “triple diamond” position markers which add a wonderfully classy touch. The headstock also features some lovely inlay work, with one piece missing.
But the piece-de-resistance is the fabulous floating pickup and control system. Two punchy single coil pickups, two switches and the volume control are all housed within a stainless steel pickguard which is attached via the base of the neck and three support clips which screw to the side of the body. It is a superbly engineered module that floats above the body, so not compromising the acoustic vibrations of the soundboard. And the whole rig is completely removable should you wish to play this fabulous archtop as a totally acoustic instrument.
Some of our photos have the pickguard showing up as a dark colour, but it’s actually a reflection of a coloured studio backdrop in the polished, mirror-like stainless steel.
And these are great sounding pickups – rich, complex and loud. They are channelled through a clever tone circuit that delivers 4 very rich pickup tones, very different from each other, and all very useable. The second switch delivers each pickup separately and together.
This is a beautifully made, hand carved archtop made without compromise, and built to last. It features superb materials and build quality consistent with its place at the top of the Framus model hierarchy. And it comes from an era when craftsmanship took precedence over cost.
Vintage Framus guitars of this quality are very rare, especially in this condition, and especially in Australia. It is a fine example of innovative German design and build quality. It plays beautifully, delivering big tone, both acoustically and when plugged in. A classic Euro jazzbox with big personality that will bring joy to your ears and a smile to your face.
Comes with its original form fitting hard case in very good condition.