Framus is a German manufacturer of guitars, basses and amplifiers, which was founded in 1946 in Erlangen.
The company's founder Fred Wilfer was born in 1917 near the city of music Schönenbach. Wilfer heard after the Second World War by the settlement plans of the Allies, after which he made contact with the Bavarian state government and negotiated the settlement of the Schönbacher instrument makers in the Erlangen.
Wilfer founded the " Franconian Musical Instruments generation Fred A. Wilfer " on 1 January 1946. And in March 1948, he established the first workshop in carrots village, a few kilometers north of Erlangen. The end of 1948 had to stop production already move for lack of space, and again in 1954. The new factory in Bubenreuth, which was inaugurated in 1954 and henceforth renamed as " Framus -Werke ", was one of the most modern of its time. At over 2200 m² area produced 170 instrument makers around 200 instruments per month. The initial dominance of violin production was quickly followed by the guitar production. From 1967 to 1977 there was a branch in Pretzfeld so that Framus was promoted with 300 employees to the largest guitar manufacturer in Europe. A less well-known product was the concert zither, which were partially (especially as air resonance zither) made into something unusual designs: The sound box, normally about 3cm deep, extended to the rear to 5cm. Thus, the instruments were given a very sonorous, dominated from the depths of sound.
Framus filed for bankruptcy in the late 1970s. The reasons are not clear about supplies, because the entire corporate archive has been lost then. We only know of internal and financial difficulties that probably had something to do with the increased competition from Japan. During the boom period of Framus have it, inter alia, given a tour of a Japanese group of visitors in the Framus factory. During the factory tour was photographed eagerly, with the photographed while working Framus officials had wondered that were exclusively target the Japanese photographed their hands and work processes. Since the phenomenon of industrial espionage and the production of brand copies in the Far East was largely unknown at the time, did not notice the former management, which target the group of visitors from distant Japan probably actually pursued. This visit should have had, among other things means that later the first Far Eastern copies German Guitars and Basses urged the instrument market, a fact that the later bankruptcy of Framus with brought about. Historian from the University of Erlangen -Nuremberg try to time about witnesses and old documents to complete the story and reconstruct.
Even with the construction of the plant in Bubenreuth was planned with an early musical education. So taught Gertrude Fischer of 1954 children aged three and over a wide range of instruments.
Wilfer was of the opinion, it is not sufficient to produce instruments. One must also have the customers who want to buy these products. Therefore, Framus engaged in various projects until the cessation of production in 1981.
Framus was revived in 1995 and is now part of Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG in Mark Neukirchen. Today's production consists of several series guitar, a bass and an amplifier series production. In addition Framus guitar strings produced. The wood for the instruments (flamed maple, sycamore, mahogany, ebony, etc. ) can be imported directly from the USA, Europe and Africa by Framus. The wood is stored for some months prior to entry into production in special climate chambers, in order to " calm down " to.
The company has been trying since 2005 to play a leading role in environmental and climate protection. It works carbon neutral. Electricity and heat come from the company's own renewable energy sources (photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, wood waste heating, air heating) and also proprietary, natural gas-fired cogeneration plant. The wood for the instruments is sourced from sustainable forests. A specially developed, based on waterborne paint paint method replaces the usual instrument, the environment and harmful processes such as nitrocellulose or polyurethane finishes. Since 2011, the company is working according to the specifications of the Eco Management and Audit Scheme, a rigorous and voluntary environmental management and audit system of the European Union, which aims at the continuous improvement of environmental performance. Since 2012, the company is a member of the Environmental Alliance of Saxony.
Framus has a custom shop, where customers can choose their desired instruments.
In July 2007, the Framus museum was opened in Mark Neukirchen. Housed in a renovated and remodeled century villa are presented between 1946 and today on three floors 200 instruments from the period.
Framus worked over the years with many musicians, and was played by many famous musicians. The first supported artists ( endorser ) Framus was in the late 50s Billy Lorento (now known as Bill Lawrence). Among the most famous artists who made music with a Framus instrument, John Lennon was one who owned a Framus Hootenanny 1965. Even the then very famous Attila Zoller, a jazz guitarist who collaborated with Framus. Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones was from 1964 to Framus under contract and played for more than three years on the Framus Star Bass. Together with Jan Akkerman developed a Framus guitar played by him. For Peter Kraus, the " German Elvis Presley ," was a 4-string " Peter Kraus pop guitar " built; a tenor guitar, which was very easy to play. Very Framus is present also in the Oberkrainerbesetzung genre, a model owned and played the guitarist of the original Oberkrainerbesetzung, Leo Ponikvar. Currently called Phil Campbell, the guitarist of Motorhead, the model Panthera his own. Wolf Hoffmann (Accept ) and Earl Slick (David Bowie ) playing with them developed and named after them Framus models.