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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Took my first bass (52 years ago) to rehearsal last night

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 13th, 2017 11:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I got it for Christmas 1965, it’s a Framus Atlantik, man that was good day.

Ran it through the SWR Studio 220 with the Goliath 4 X10 purchased in 1985. It was surprising how good it sounded. The bass had been a problem since I owned it. It took a few years before I started figuring out what was wrong with it and even longer to learn how to correct it. I played it regularly until I purchased the Fender Special in 1981.

The two Framus pickups work perfectly each has it’s own/off switch, a volume and tone controls. I can dial in so many different tones. Going from “St. James Infirmary”, to “Time is Tight” to “She’s Not Their” I was dialing some pretty cool tones.

I use the same gig bag for most of my basses, the guys at rehearsal never know what I’ll pull out of the bag. I expected grief when they saw it, but I was disappointed. Both of them thought it was very cool. The guitar player started talking about the old Framus line.

The tuners still suck but the action and intonation are great. It’s crazy that I still have this instrument. For 16 years I played it with the bridge in the wrong position, I even took it to a repair shop in Pittsburgh due to intonation problems and after a week the guy told me nothing could be done about it. When I adjusted for intonation, recently, the bridge was moved 3/4” further back, than the original factory setup. I used to bend the strings to get intonation, it was a pain.

It’s kind of cool to have this old classic and having it playing better than ever before.

A photo is in my profile.


themaestro
Contributing Member
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******

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Dec 13th, 2017 12:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sometimes that old stuff can be resurrected. Earlier this year I picked up a 25 inch scale Kent (Tiesco) bass that was languishing in a western Kansas antique shop. Terrible intonation. It had a single-bar bridge. After moving the bridge back about 3/4 inches and angling it a bit, I had a player!

It's amazing how poor some of the asian stuff was back in the 60's and 70's. I can also be amazing that just a couple of tweaks can fix them. Why wasn't that fixed at the factory.

Edited to add the obligatory pic

Kent short scale bass

(This message was last edited by themaestro at 03:32 PM, Dec 13th, 2017)

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 13th, 2017 02:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don’t get the lousy setups. Particularly at a German Instrument company. But the floating bridge could have been moved if the strings had been put on after the factory.


edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Dec 14th, 2017 04:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

Great story.

Every time I see "Framus" I think of Bill Wyman.

It's folks like you who remind me of all the basses I worked with so many years ago I wish I still had around to work with.

I've never been able to hold on to much of anything except for a 58 I have in the closet that doesn't get as much love as it should.

George



hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 14th, 2017 07:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

I’m pretty much the same way George, I’ve had my house broken into twice, back in the early days. Somehow the Framus survived both times.

Instruments seem to hang on. I’ve gotten rid of amps along the way, my first 68 bassman was stollen, I replaced it with a Bassman 410, I sold, when I purchased the SWR220.

The Framus is back in rotation, I still have a Warmoth 5 string, I just never took to the 5 string. At the moment the 5 is the only one I don’t use. The Guild B-50 doesn’t get a lot of love either. I may sell it off one day, if I find something I feel I need more than this acoustic, it’s a great bass and a factory fretless. It’s just a bit unwieldy. My right arm is about 50% paralyzed, the body of the Guild is huge it causes my arm to go numb at the fingers when I play it.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 15th, 2017 06:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hushnel have you considered changing the tuners to something better that is a drop fit? If so take a photo of the back of the headstock and maybe I can help find some. If you want to keep it original disregard then

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 15th, 2017 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks brother, I’ll do it, and take a measument of the posts too. It would be cool to find a set of good tuner that didn’t have the mounting holes drilled.

They may benefit from a good cleaning, this bass is of an age where all the components were most likely made in house. The German madhinery and production has always been highly rated. Though everybody likes to cut costs from time to time.

tuners

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 01:38 PM, Dec 15th, 2017)

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Dec 15th, 2017 07:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

hushnel, I am still looking. Those are a tough act to follow, however here is a set that might work. Check the dimensions below the photo and compare to yours.

M-F 8:30am-5:30pm CST
Phone: (713) 466-6414

Allparts tuner link

(This message was last edited by Bubbalou at 09:56 PM, Dec 15th, 2017)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 15th, 2017 08:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Those are the ones to use!

Notice that laminated neck? Martin stole that from Framus :o)

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Dec 16th, 2017 11:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah I did, I have a LX1 Martin, somthing like 40 laminations.

I’ll order a set or two of those tuners, thanks for the link. I should check my parts bin I may already have a set.

The only problem I see is the current ones use 6 freaking screws per tuner. Tooth picks and glue could take care of that problem though.

Check my post over in the acoustic forum. I may have found a honey hole of 50s and 60s, generally sub brand, guitars.

Gato
Contributing Member
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Southern Calif

Jun 5th, 2018 11:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Showed up at practice a few months ago, with my 1964 Hagstrom bass, treated the guys and gals to the sounds from all the cool switches on its plastic topped body.

Played my first gig with that little guy in December of 1964. Fast neck!

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 5th, 2018 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

That’s cool, I enjoy using the old stuff.

I was speaking with Chuck Rainey at Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature camp last month. He told me to hang on to it, that my model was one sought after back in the day, he thought it could be worth a lot of money in a few more years.

It’s a blast playing these old instruments. I may take it out if the venue is appropriate.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jun 5th, 2018 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

hushnel, that's a cool old bass! :)

Say, how does the Ibanez AFB 200 compare to the Guild Starfire?

digiboy

New York City

Jun 5th, 2018 04:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Casey McDonough of NRBQ has been playing an old Kay/Teisco bass at some of their gigs and the things sounds great. Funny to think of how brands like that were looked on as junk and as far as I can recollect, at the time, they were. I would imagine Casey's bass has had some work done on it, but I don't know that for a fact.

Early on I had a Teisco bass or guitar, can't recall which, but I know it was terrible to play. Was glad to be rid of it. I still have (and play on occasion) my 50 year old Precision which was the first bass I got once I began to understand what to look for in a quality instrument.

I did have a Hagstrom guitar with those switches but they didn't work very well. The neck was incredibly easy to play with amazing action. Wish I had kept it. If the equivalent bass feels that good, I'd love to find one in a lefty.

hushnel
Contributing Member
**********
**********
*

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Jun 6th, 2018 07:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

“Say, how does the Ibanez AFB 200 compare to the Guild Starfire?”

No comparison, the Guild is one great bass. The ibanez has it’s charm, I’m not crazy about the distressed application but it’s not horrible, it looks more like wormwood. If I don’t find more time for it I may let the Ibanez go. It has a decent look to it and in some cases, like the Bluegrass and Old time music guys can tolerate it more than a traditional electric, in this case even the Guild is a bit modern.

The Guild articulates better, the tone range is impressive and it has a dynamic sound that really cuts through the mix, it does this better than any of my other basses. I’ve put a Darkstar pick up on the Squire Affinity Bronco, it has similar range and dynamics but the solid body of the Bisonic Bronco has less shimmer than the Guild. The old Precision “81” and the Guild are the best fretted basses I have and sit at the opposite poles of great bass tone. I use the Bisonic Bronco a lot, the short scale and that pickup give me a lot of what I’m looking for in a player.

digiboy, I think the the early cheep basses suffer from some of the same things new starter basses suffer from. The set up sucks. Neck, bridge, strings, tuners and setup are basically all thats going on in a bass, the old 50s and 60s pickups kick ass, it’s a plus, the necks are OK, intonation is good, action needs work, the rest is old school electronics before they went super cheap crap on everything. Some of the materials used in the old bargain basement instument were cheap but hey, if they lasted 50 years and still are hanging in their, they’re survivors and most likely worthy. Probably the biggest factor is they are nostalgic and irreplaceable,

The old Framus is far from the top of my bass hierarchy, but with all the years I played it and memories of my first rock bands it would be the one I’d suffer the loss of the most. Everything else can be replaced, your first bass, you only get one of those.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 9th, 2018 04:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great story about an old friend.

George

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Took my first bass (52 years ago) to rehearsal last night




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