The X Factor

Framus, that funky brand from the 60s, produces modern German-made guitars that use innovative high-tech production methods – and should be on your radar

- Words Dave Burrluck Photograph­y Neil Godwin

You don’t need us to tell you that there’s a rich seam of very highqualit­y guitar makers throughout Europe that, if we’re honest, we often overlook. Framus, owned by Warwick, certainly falls into that category – and visiting its factory a few years ago was like dropping into an otherworld­ly futuristic dream. Nobody that we’re aware of makes guitars (or world-class basses) quite like Warwick.

That said, the modern Framus instrument­s that we’ve played over the past few years have an almost organic quality – obviously imbued by the spirit of Warwick – and from the moment we pull it out of its sturdy Rockbag gigbag, our Idolmaker sample feels very luthier-made. Exactly the origin of the Idomaker design we’re not sure, but we’d wager the good old reverse Firebird was there in the inspiratio­n. One of the many clever things about this design, however, is that it doesn’t feel huge – like Gibson’s big ol’ ’bird – and it’s no boat anchor, either.

The mahogany body is actually quite sculptural. Both top and back are curved, while the centre maple section is raised approximat­ely 4.5mm above the mahogany – at its thickest point by the neck join it’s actually 20mm thick dropping slightly by the base, closer to 18mm. The body is also a lot thinner by the bass-side lower bout,

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