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gitarzan
08-13-2012, 11:50 AM
My wife's aunt must like me. Last night she gave me a 1963 Framus Tenor.

It's in nice condition. My wife's late uncle used to play it all the time, and according to her aunt, he bought in Germany and wooed her with it (she's a German immigrant).

I was showing her a few pictures on my phone and she saw a picture of my new Lanikai LQA-C. "Oh! Is that a guitar" "No, it's my ukulele." "Steve had two, let me show you!" and she went to a closet and a pulled out two tenors. The Framus, and another possbily older Harmony. I played them both.

The Framus sounded beautiful. I tuned it about 2 tones low, I didn't feel like cranking up those old strings to GCEA. Also, back then, modern tuning wasn't always the norm. I also played the Harmony, Wow, it was bassy, but did not have the woody nuance of that old solid spruce top Framus.

Anyway, I listened to, and enjoyed her stories of Uncle Steve and the ukes, and offered to teach her a few chords so she could play. She said no, then said, "I want you to have one. Why don't you take the German one?" I was floored.

Here's some crappy cell phone pics:

http://gitarzan.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Front-Solid-Spruce.jpg

http://gitarzan.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Profile.jpg

http://gitarzan.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Sound-Hole-and-Bridge.jpg

http://gitarzan.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Label-Dec-1963.jpg

It has two wound strings and two clear nylon.

I'm looking around for the same. Aquila has them. I'll see who else makes them as well.

itsme
08-13-2012, 12:09 PM
What a neat gift! And what a nice aunt you have. She must have felt her late husband would have wanted it to go to someone who'd actually play it. :)


It has two wound strings and two clear nylon.

I'm looking around for the same. Aquila has them. I'll see who else makes them as well.
Southcoast has "linear" (they don't call them low G, as they are suited to various tunings on different ukes) sets with 2 wound/2 plain strings.

OldePhart
08-13-2012, 12:15 PM
Nice! It's always great to see an instrument pulled out of the closet for another few decades of love!

kvehe
08-13-2012, 12:35 PM
Great story!

Mim
08-13-2012, 12:53 PM
How sweet is that story! Awwwwww! Happy Old Meaningful Uke day!

marymac
08-13-2012, 01:22 PM
That's so funny - I had never seen a Framus uke until last week when one came up on eBay and I thought about bidding on it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-1964-FRAMUS-TENOR-UKULELE-UKE-VINTAGE-COLLECTIBLE-ESTATE-SALE-NO-RESERVE-/230827880480?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35be69f020#ht_949wt_961

That is a very nice gift from your wife's aunt, and even more so since you have a story to go with it!

ukuLily Mars
08-13-2012, 01:31 PM
Wow! What a special gift. I'll bet it makes her happy to hear it being played again, too.

mm stan
08-13-2012, 01:41 PM
Congratulations and what an awesome story and gift...I guess she wants to keep it in the family..that is soo cool..it looks well made and awesome...Happy Strummings..
TY4 sharing....

1931jim
08-13-2012, 01:47 PM
Hello gitarzan,
A wonderful story about Love. Can you tell I am a romantic. Perhaps your wife will translate this for you if you are not familiar....... Sie gehören zu meinem Herzen ....... I can relate in my own little way about yesteryears.
Regards
Jim

Trinimon
08-13-2012, 02:48 PM
Awesome! A little cleaning up and lemon oil on the fretboard and bridge and she'd be looking new again. :)

808boy
08-13-2012, 03:06 PM
Aloha gitarzan,
Congrats on that Heirloom, looks sweet.
The Southcoast strings "itsme" was referring to is a G-650 set. Have them on 2 tenors and love them. Oh, they are for low g tuning..................................BO........ ..................

gitarzan
08-13-2012, 07:20 PM
I've cleaned it up and have a couple sets of Southcoast strings on the way (one set is the 650s, if they are too high tension, I'll take them off and put them on my Lanakai LU21-T).

This thing has an 18.5" scale! Right between a Tenor and Baritone. It's so long it won't fit into a tenor case.

So I got the 650s to try, and if they seen to strain it, I'll use the light weights I also got. I could tune it lower, but I like to play with others and I really don't want to have to learn new names for the chords and I don't want to use a capo either.

It also needs a new saddle. The old one was either plastic or celluloid. It's bent in. I'll get a bone saddle from StewMac and shape it myself.

It has a zero fret. I like zero frets. They play well and sound good. Back in the day, a lot cheap guitars used them and they got an undeserved rep for being the sign of a cheap instrument.

The fret-board slurped up a couple applications of Lemon Oil and and some Lemon Pledge helped clean it up and gave it a little bit of a shine. The back and side appear to be Rosewood, I suspect Brazilian Rosewood. I have an old Brazilian made Craviola and it's got Brazilian Rosewood. The wood does look a lot like each other. A drop of Teflon oil on each tuner gear helped their feel and killed a squeak.

Thanks to all for the kind comments.

ukulelecowboy
08-14-2012, 12:36 AM
What a wonderful gift! Framus actually made a series of ukuleles and other folk instruments.

This is the link to the Framus Historical Archive Page listing the ukulele model numbers...

http://www.framus-vintage.de/modules/modells/modells.php?classID=4,10,12&typeID=12,26,43,44,57&katID=4676&cl=EN

Good luck with your fine tenor!