Good enough for Paul McCartney, probably good enough for the rest of us! Although Macca’s guitar was the straight acoustic model, and carried the Zenith model No. 17 designation, other than the headstock shape, the two guitars are almost identical. (Model 5/52 Framus Atlantis vs Model 5/52 Zenith 17) The Zenith name was applied to guitars that Framus built for the UK market, sold there by the long established Boosey & Hawkes music publishing and distribution company. McCartney traded a trumpet for the Zenith when he was 14, and the guitar remains in his home studio to this day, still getting an outing every now and then. (It features in the ‘Early Days’ video, from 2013’s NEW album)
Dating older Framus guitars can be something of a detective job, as the company changed their numbering system several times, but as the Atlantis was only in production from 1958 – 1964, we’re confident that the ‘1’ at the front of the serial number, (pic # 6), indicates our example here was completed in 1961.
With an all Spruce body and one-piece Mahogany neck, the Atlantis is comprehensively about tone, and although 65 years ago the guitar was designed for the jazz music that was so big then in Germany, the Atlantis can swing many other ways! This is the guitar Lanie Lane used on numerous songs, including ‘Betty Baby’, from her debut album, To The Horses – here she is playing an acoustic version of the number on the Atlantis: LINK. It’s possibly no great surprise to learn that Lanie named the guitar Betty.
A fabulous machine!
You can tell a truly great guitar by the playwear – just look at Willie Nelson’s Trigger! The Atlantis has been played and played and played. And then played some more. It’s seen some changes. It’s seen some repairs. But, wow, what a fabulous machine!
The original single coil pickup has been replaced with an early Shadow Zoller, co-designed by Framus and jazz legend Attila Zoller, (Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix, Shirley Scott, Stan Getz, Benny Goodman…) The Zoller pickup is essentially a “jazz humbucker”, with an overly wide string sampling area, which delivers those lush, overtone-rich jazz vibes.
The original single coil pickup slotted into a dedicated pickguard, which was removed to accommodate the Zoller, with the original Bakelite knob and wiring retained. Mini Gotohs replace the original strip tuners, and lastly, as shown in pic # 6, there is obviously a headstock repair. This was done many years ago – long before Lanie’s ownership – and is absolutely rock solid.
Neck profile is a rounded-C, the Rosewood fingerboard may be Brazilian, and is in near perfect shape, with no wear marks or divots. The frets are in likewise near perfect shape, and despite the guitar’s overall well-played condition, appear to be original.
Gorgeous, shimmering music
All up, an amazing piece of guitar history, with at least one famous owner, and many more songs waiting to be released from her beautifully aged timbers. Freshly fitted with a set of Thomastik-Infeld ‘Jazz Swing’ 11s, Betty comes in the later period case which was with her when Lanie purchased her. Tune up, plug in, (or not), and she’s 100% ready to bring a smile to your face, while filling the room with gorgeous, shimmering music.
Free courier delivery
Our famous FREE COURIER DELIVERY is included to any address in Australia. ($100 airfreight to New Zealand, and $175 to the US, Canada, UK and mainstream European countries)
Weight: 4lb 14oz / 2.2kg