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THOUGH SOMETIMES OVERLOOKED, THE SEMI-HOLLOW GUITAR SHOULD FEATURE

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					 GBREVIEW ELECTRIC GUITAR                                                                                                             FRAMUS MAYFIELD PRO



                                                                                                                                                                     GBINFO




SEMI TONE
                                                                                                                                                      FRAMUS
                                                                                                                                                      MAYFIELD PRO
                                                                                                                                                      PRICE:               £1,069
                                                                                                                                                      BUILT IN:           Germany
                                                                                                                                                      SCALE LENGTH:        629mm
                                                                                                                                                                   (24.75 inches)
                                                                                                                                                      NUT WIDTH: 42mm (1.65
                                                                                                                                                                           inches)
                                                                                                                                                      STRING SPACING AT NUT:
                                                                                                                                                              35mm (1.38 inches)
                                                                                                                                                      BODY:            Semi-solid,
THOUGH SOMETIMES OVERLOOKED, THE SEMI-HOLLOW GUITAR                                                                                                   laminated maple with solid
                                                                                                                                                                maple centre block

SHOULD FEATURE ON EVERY PLAYER’S WISH-LIST. TIM SLATER                                                                                                NECK:        Maple, glued-in
                                                                                                                                                      FINGERBOARD: Rosewood,
GREETS A NEW MODEL THAT HANDLES LIKE A SEASONED PRO                                                                                                    305mm radius (12 inches)
                                                                                                                                                      FRETS:             22 jumbo
                                                                                                                                                      PICKUPS:        1 x Seymour
                                                                                                                                                        Duncan SH-4 humbucker,
       Framus was one of Europe’s            understated in the face of flashier              Semis aren’t for everybody –
 ...   leading electric guitar               competition, and the classic double-         strapping on an ES-335 makes shorter
                                                                                                                                                       1 x Seymour Duncan SH-2
                                                                                                                                                                       humbucker
brands during the 1950s and                  cutaway semi-solid electric guitar is        guitarists look like they’re playing a                      CONTROLS:        2 x volume,
                                                                                                                                                         2 x tone, 3-way selector
early ’60s, providing a viable               without doubt the most                       coffee table, but the Mayfield Pro’s
                                                                                                                                                      BRIDGE:Tune-o-matic-style
alternative to expensive and                 misunderstood and criminally under-          trim lines and easy dimensions can                           bridge & stopbar tailpiece
difficult-to-obtain Fenders and               rated of all the classic electric guitar     help overcome this. In traditional                          STRING SPACING AT
                                                                                                                                                      BRIDGE: 52mm (2 inches)
Gibsons. Unfortunately, later                designs. At first glance it’s easy to         fashion, the body is constructed from
                                                                                                                                                      MACHINEHEADS: Framus-
years weren’t so kind when, like             appreciate why: the conservative shape       laminated maple with a solid maple                                 branded Schaller M6
many of its contemporaries,                  and anachronistic f-holes don’t              centre block, and it’s trimmed with                         WEIGHT:         3kg (6.6lbs)
Framus was eventually swept                  automatically suggest high-energy            cream and black pinstripe edge                              FINISHES: Natural satin
aside by the first wave of                    rock ’n’ roll, but consider the great        binding and finished in a very                                        (shown), numerous
                                                                                                                                                              coloured oil finishes
low-priced imports from the                  rock records made using semi-solid           attractive natural satin. The quality                                           available
Far East.                                    guitars:                 ,                   of the workmanship is excellent – so                        CASE: Rockbag Premium
                                                                                                                                                        Line Plus gigbag included
   The original Framus company was           and                       are but three of   good in fact that it almost looks like
                                                                                                                                                      LEFT-HANDERS:         Yes, no
founded using highly skilled artisans        many hundreds of great LPs built             a Japanese guitar. But this Framus                                         extra charge
(including traditional violin makers         around the unique power and                  doesn’t feel like an Oriental
                                                                                                                                                      CONTACT:
who were smuggled out of the                 flexibility of the semi-solid tone.           instrument – or an American one,                            WARWICK UK
soon-to-be Russian-controlled East                                                        come to that.                                               PHONE: 0161 839 0666
Germany amid the chaos that                  BODY & NECK                                     The glued-in, satin-finish maple                          WEB: www.framus.de
followed the end of World War II) and        While the Mayfield Pro obviously              neck feels slicker than the neck on our
the fully rejuvenated Framus company         carries the Gibson ES-335 as it’s            old ES-335, but it nevertheless feels a
of today still maintains a proud             dominant gene, its small pointy ’ears’       bit agricultural. This probably owes a
European guitar-building tradition,          are more akin to Aria’s TA Series            lot to the rosewood fingerboard’s lack
despite having to contend with               semi-solid models. If this comparison        of edge binding (which feels oddly
modern market forces.                        causes a faint shudder of dismay don’t       crude after playing a bound-neck
   Framus is still based in Germany,         worry because, despite appearances,          Gibson), but the Mayfield Pro’s
but while some of the current range          the Framus feels and sounds like a           chunky C-profile neck still feels eerily
definitely tip a subtle nod towards           different animal from Aria’s reedy-          familiar, especially when you find
their distinctly European heritage, the      voiced underachiever.                        yourself wishing that it was a bit
Framus Mayfield Pro unashamedly                  The Mayfield Pro shares the same           slimmer while playing beyond the
takes its primary influence from across       basic construction details as the            12th fret.
the other side of the Atlantic.              ES-335, including the all-important             Players with smaller hands will still
   Individuality is fine for people who       solid internal sustain block running         be able to negotiate their way to the
build guitars in their garage as a hobby     the whole length of the guitar from          upper reaches thanks to the body’s
but if you        want an instrument         the strap button at the guitar’s tail to     generous cutaways, and the jumbo
that can effortlessly cut it on all levels   the neck joint. Imagine a solid core         frets and wide 12-inch-radius
you only have to look at the four            flanked by a large pair of acoustic           fingerboard guarantee that wide,
cornerstones of electric guitar design:      chambers and that’s pretty much what         lugubrious bends are no problem.
the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster,      lies at the heart of the classic                Another reason that the Mayfield
and Gibson’s Les Paul and semi-hollow        semi-solid design. In real terms, this       Pro feels faintly workmanlike is the
ES guitars. These are simple templates,      setup delivers a much brighter and           rosewood fingerboard, which feels a
and yet they all feature prolifically in      more resonant sound than a heavy             bit new and dry – a dab of lemon
every style and era of rock music from       all-solid guitar such as a Les Paul,         oil would be welcome here – and
Carl Perkins to the Arctic Monkeys.          while it offers more sustain and             the fret markers include Framus’
   Our point? Well, sometimes it’s easy      resistantance to feedback than a             typically quirky single dot marker at
to overlook something pure and               completely hollow guitar.                    the first fret.                          ➔




50        GUITARBUYER JUNE 2007                                                                                                         JUNE 2007   GUITARBUYER               51
GBREVIEW ELECTRIC GUITAR                                                                                     FRAMUS MAYFIELD PRO




                    ■ The 12-inch fretboard                       ■ The pickups on the
                    radius and jumbo frets                        Mayfield Pro are the
                    mean that even shredders                      personal favourites of
                    should feel at home                           one Seymour Duncan




                  “THE MAYFIELD PRO WILL HANDLE
                                                                                                               enjoy the well-deserved reputation of
                                                                                                               being a bit of a beast. Surely it would


                  ANYTHING FROM JAZZ TO HARD ROCK”
                                                                                                               be a wee bit over the top for a
                                                                                                               semi-solid guitar?

                                                                                                               SOUNDS
                  HARDWARE & PARTS                              definite advantage in being able to set         One of the real pleasures of playing a
                  There is absolutely nothing                   one pickup at a lower level for general        semi-solid axe is blowing away the
                  superfluous about the Mayfield Pro’s            rhythm work, with the second                   misconception that these are somehow
                  hardware – everything is there for a          (usually the bridge pickup) set full for       underpowered, unstable jazzboxes that
                  reason and does the job with a                soloing. It’s widely known that this           shake themselves to pieces at the merest
                  minimum of fuss. The chrome-plated            particular pickup combo is Seymour             hint of anything above bedroom
                  Tune-o-matic-style bridge and tailpiece       Duncan’s own personal favourite due            volume. The acoustic chambers allow
                  are both top-notch, and are most              to the extra versatility afforded by the       the guitar more room to breathe and a
                  probably sourced from German                  combination of a very mellow neck              good semi-solid can really sing – the
                  aftermarket parts specialists Schaller,       pickup with a considerably more                awesome overdriven tones and
                  judging by the presence of the Framus-        muscular bridge ‘bucker, but it’s not          amazingly strident clean sounds can
                  branded Schaller M6 tuners.                   necessarily everyone’s idea of an              often rival a Les Paul for sustain and
                     The bridge and tailpiece are both          perfect match. The inclusion of an             presence, and even give the Fender
                  mounted on the internal sustain block,        SH-4 did cause a few raised eyebrows           Telecaster a good run for its money in
                           a firm foundation that helps to       at Guitar Buyer HQ – after all, it does        terms of funky, honest versatility.    ➔

                             transmit string vibration from
                              the metal parts into the           SATIN DOLL
                              guitar’s body for maximum
                              sustain and resonance.              THE PROS AND CONS OF
                                                                  THE MAYFIELD’S FINISH
                             Framus hasn’t skimped on the
                                                                  ■ The thin satin finish on this
                            pickups either, and the
                                                                  guitar gives it a beautifully naked
                          Mayfield Pro comes fitted with
                                                                  and natural look.
                             a pair of chrome-covered                 However, this type of coating does
                              Seymour Duncan                      mark very easily, and it’ll have
                                humbuckers – an SH-2 Jazz         mushrooms growing on it in six
                                  at the neck and an              months unless you clean it
                                                                  thoroughly after every gig. The
                                   SH-4 JB at the bridge –
                                                                  upside is that the finish will acquire a
                                    linked to a standard
                                                                  suitably aged and played-in look in no
                                     three-way pickup             time, and that can only be a good
                                     selector switch and two      thing. Many would also argue that a
                                     sets of rotary tone and      thin finish has some tonal benefits,
                                    volume controls.              allowing the wood to vibrate more
                                                                  freely. If you prefer something a little
                                      If you are more used
                                                                  more ‘finished’, you might want to
                                  to a single master volume
                                                                  upgrade to the Mayfield Custom,
                                à la Strat or Tele, balancing     which features a AAA flame maple
                              the Mayfield Pro’s twin              top and a glossy, hard-wearing
                          volume controls will take some          ‘high-polish’ finish.
                       getting used to, but there is a


52   GUITARBUYER JUNE 2007
 GBREVIEW ELECTRIC GUITAR                                                                                                     FRAMUS MAYFIELD PRO



 ...   DETAILS
SEXY LOOKS, GREAT
FEEL AND A WIDE
RANGE OF TONES




                                 ■ The Tune-o-matic-style bridge and tailpiece   ■ Framus-branded Schaller tuners keep the      ■ A volume and tone pot for each pickup give
                                 are bolted into the solid maple centre block    tuning stable without any unnecessary fuss     you plenty of scope for tone tweaking




                                    The Mayfield Pro fulfils its sonic             could have graduated from a posh
                                                                                                                                                  GBCONCLUSION
           GBOPINION             brief perfectly and while the SH-4              Swiss finishing school, its manners are
                                                                                                                                  A PROFESSIONAL INSTRUMENT
 FRAMUS                          wouldn’t be our automatic first choice           that good. Turn and face the amp with
 MAYFIELD PRO
                                                                                                                                  FOR JUST ABOUT ANY STYLE
                                 if we were selecting the ideal bridge           a touch of overdrive and yes, the
 GOLD STARS                      pickup for a semi-solid guitar, we              guitar will feedback until doomsday,             ■ Playing this guitar
       Broad range of            nevertheless have to admit that in this         but it’s a controllable, harmonically            brought back a lot of very
       convincing tones
       Top-notch pickups &       context it performs admirably. The              sympathetic feedback that can be                 happy memories of semi-
       hardware                  contrast between the fire-breathing              coaxed into endless sustain.                     solid guitars we have known
       Faultless workmanship
                                 SH-4 and its softer, sweeter-sounding              Still not convinced? Consider then            and loved. We’d almost
 BLACK MARKS                     counterpart at the neck makes a very            that Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest often          forgotten how great they can
       Though attractive, that
       satin finish will mark     versatile and convincing combination.           uses a semi-solid guitar when                    sound, feel and look, and the
       easily                       On other guitars, the SH-4’s                 recording lead and rhythm parts in               Mayfield Pro is a perfect
 IDEAL FOR...                    sledgehammer blow can seem way too              the studio (he’d never be seen dead              example of the breed.
 Anyone looking for a
 supremely versatile,            heavy-duty for anything but full-on             with one live, sadly, but that’s                    In terms of construction, parts
 pro-quality semi-solid          metal, but mating the SH-4 with the             showbiz!). Contrast this with the                and performance, it’s difficult to
                                 semi-solid Mayfield Pro seems to calm            lyrical jazz-fusion guitar work of               fault. There are few humbucker-
                                 this fearsome pickup’s more aggressive          “Mr 335” Larry Carlton and you’ll                equipped solidbody guitars that
                                 side without diminishing or neutering           hopefully begin to appreciate exactly            can match a semi-solid for
                                 its natural power – it’s like an iron fist       what sonic extremes this type of                 versatility, and, with its
                                 in a velvet glove. By contrast the SH-2         guitar is capable of.                            combination of mellow and
                                 neck pickup sounds appropriately                                                                 high-powered Seymour Duncan
                                 warm and flutey, like a classic PAF                                       GBRATINGS               pickups, the Mayfield Pro will
                                 humbucker with some of the                                                                       comfortably handle anything
                                                                                  FRAMUS MAYFIELD PRO
                                 plumminess trimmed off. It’s a nice                                                              from jazz to hard rock. If you’re in
                                                                                  BODY & NECK
                                 mellow tone that purrs like a                                                                    the market for a pro-quality semi
                                                                                  HARDWARE & PARTS
                                 contended kitten or growls like a tiger                                                          we would be hard-pressed to come
                                                                                  PLAYABILITY
                                 with just the twist of a volume knob.                                                            up with a legitimate reason for
                                                                                  SOUNDS
                                    Unwanted feedback should never be                                                             choosing something else over
                                                                                  VALUE FOR MONEY
                                 an issue with a good-quality                                                                     this guitar. GB
                                                                                  GBVERDICT
                                 semi-solid axe and the Mayfield Pro


54            GUITARBUYER JUNE 2007

				
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Description: THOUGH SOMETIMES OVERLOOKED, THE SEMI-HOLLOW GUITAR SHOULD FEATURE