Guitarist

UNDER THE HOOD

A simple no-frills guitar with a modern twist

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The black plastic rear cavity cover sits slightly proud of the back, but it’s another unique Warwick ‘registered for patent’ design that just clips into the moulded top edge. Two little push clips allow you to remove it, rather like a battery compartmen­t fixture – no screwdrive­r needed. Inside the cavity it’s pretty modern and minimalist-looking with a rectangula­r volume pot (500k audio) from German audio electronic­s specialist MEC – used throughout the Warwick line, too, we believe. There’s no treble bleed on the volume, while the similarsha­ped tone control, again 500k audio, is a switched pot that attaches to a small PCB, although there’s no ID on the capacitor so we can’t describe a value.

and mixed with the JB’s split adds some welcome funk and bounce. Not for the first time, we spent a lot of time in this split mode.

The volume control is very well tapered and sweetens the high-end of that split JB very nicely. Conversely, in full coil mode we’d be tempted to add a treble bleed. The simple volume, tone and three-way selector means changes are fast, and it’s far from a one-trick pony.

That said, the pretty large jumbo frets (approximat­ely 2.9mm by 1.2mm) do suggest a more modern aim, but in combinatio­n with an excellent neck shape (20.5mm in depth at the 1st fret and filling out to 23.5mm by the 12th) it’s not dissimilar to Gibson’s ’60s profile , for example, and it feels a little rounder and fuller than previous modern Framus guitars we’ve had in our hands. It’s the sort of shape that ‘disappears’, likewise the classic 305mm (12-inch) radius fingerboar­d. For us, it’s the mark of a good guitar design: the features don’t get in the way.

As we said, the weight is good and, strapped on, the neck extends more than a Les Paul or Strat, but it doesn’t feel overlong like an SG. Unlike many ‘shapes’, the Idolmaker has very little to adjust to.

Verdict

Framus might have some way to go to build its brand, certainly here in the UK anyway, but you can’t knock the quality and the reassuring sense of a very well-built, stable guitar that’s a definite stage friend. The actual body and constructi­on with its sculptural style is unique, but unlike many other forward-looking designs it feels a lot more classic than its outline suggests. There’s no lack of rock power here if you want it, thanks to the bridge-placed Seymour Duncan JB – still so valid after all these years – yet there’s surprising­ly subtlety to the guitar in the split mode that extends its repertoire.

You could actually see the Idolmaker in a host of more retro-y finishes – even a non-reverse style – but as is it’s a welcome slice of unique style in an increasing­ly me-too market.

Unlike other forwardloo­king designs, the Framus feels a lot more classic than its outline suggests

 ??  ?? More quality comes from the TonePros duo here. Both pieces lock to their posts, and those slothead posts on the bridge mean height adjustment is dead easy
More quality comes from the TonePros duo here. Both pieces lock to their posts, and those slothead posts on the bridge mean height adjustment is dead easy
 ??  ?? These very modern-looking pots are made by MEC. Classy
These very modern-looking pots are made by MEC. Classy
 ??  ?? These Graph Tech Ratio tuners use different gear ratios to give a very smooth, balanced feel. They’re rear locking, too, and contribute to a very stable guitar in terms of tuning
These Graph Tech Ratio tuners use different gear ratios to give a very smooth, balanced feel. They’re rear locking, too, and contribute to a very stable guitar in terms of tuning

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