Picture credit: 

Photos from online auction April /May 2010


Vintage Guitar Collection, Berlin

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This vintage Framus Strato's body shape works really well, with its rounded contours, narrow waist and short cutaways. This example is a 1962 Framus Strato, with white body and contrasting black metal pickguard and neck. This one is a set-neck - but later Strato's were typically bolt on necks with four screws.

The Strato's angled black headstock was available in different shapes but typically had the six in a row machinehead configuration and a thin brass Framus logo. This example has what the seller describes as a hockey stick headstock - I think the shape doesn't quite fit with the overall design. Other Stratos had more Fenderish headstocks.

The Strato came with one, two  or three pickup configuration with selections made using two cool rotary lever switches. The rotary tone control had 4 positions with “tenor” and “bass” settings allowing for quick tone changes. Despite all these tonal options the sound of these old Stratos is said to lack high frequency "bite" - perhaps a bit muddy for today's players?

Framus still make a Strato model today with the same basic body shape.


Framus strat 62

I bought one in a pawn shop some GI had brought back from Germany.  The body and neck had been power sanded way down, and the person never botherd to seal the wood, and just slapped some black paint on it. It looked simply awful, but since I have small fingers, it played like a dream for me.

Later I upgraded to a expensive Yamaha Strat, but eventually found that too heavy and to big for more my small hands. 

I still rue the day I got rid of the Framus.  It would have been worth it to get a professional paint job.  Live and learn.