Framus Triumph

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by bassaussie, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    I'd really appreciate some advice from you guys. I've got an opportunity to pick up an old Framus Triumph bass. I'd just like to get some opinions on what you guys think of these. I have tried one in past, many years ago, and I vaguely remember thinking that it was quite nice, but, as I said, it was a long time ago, and I really don't know that much about upright to feel that I could give a fair evaluation of the bass.

    For what it's worth, I'm an electric bassist - I've played for over 20 years, but have absolutely bugger all experience on the upright!! I've always been tempted to venture into the world of upright, and the Framus on offer seems to be a good compromise. I'm not expecting it to be exactly like the real thing, but more that it might give me an idea of whether I want to take the upright more seriously at some time in the future.

    Also, I'd really like to know what sort of strings these basses take?!

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
  2. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    My apologies, I don't have personal experience with the Triumph. I've only seen pics of old ones and read press releases about the reissues...

    That aside, why not skip the compromise off the bat and go for the "real thing," as you put it? If you have your sights set on being an electric upright bassist, then maybe the Triumph is for you. But if you want to try your hand as a double bassist, skip the 'transitional' instrument and look for an actual double bass. IMO, the only way you'll really know if you want to immerse yourself in serious double bass playing and study is to play the double bass, not an electric upright. As for experience, each and every member on this board at one point had the same amount of experience playing the big bass as you - nil! But we gave it a shot and look - we turned out alright :meh: :meh: :meh:

    Good luck!
  3. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Probably the main reason I'm attracted to the Triumph (or any electric upright, generally) is due to it's size - or lack of, to be more accurate!! I live in an apartment in the centre of Lisbon, and have two small kids. All my musical gear is assigned to a dedicated room, and that room isn't big enough to accomodate an upright!! So an electric upright would make for a decent experiment/compromise. I don't doubt your wisdom in the matter, in fact, I'd be giving similar advice if the roles were reversed, but I do have to take the size of the instrument into consideration at this point.
  4. The Framus uses standard steel strings, such as Thomastik Spirocore Weich, because it uses a magnetic pickup. Guts or nylons wont work. It is a very "thuddy" bass, and is pretty primitive by todays standards, but it should be fine for you as a way to get playing upright. The most famous user of a Framus Triumph was Stanley Clarke.
  5. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Thanks Marty. I suspected it was going to be just the magnetic pickup.
  6. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Did you mean Eberhard Weber?
    I've never seen Stanley Clarke playing anything else than regular upright or electric bass. (of course I may be wrong!)
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Yup. Saw Stanley play it in Berkeley back in the dark ages. There's a pic somewhere.
  8. mikjans


    Dec 17, 2003
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Stan the Man played a modified Framus Triumph briefly many moons ago, like in the late 70s. I think it´s even shown on the cover of that double album from ca 1980 where he displays his bass collection (forgot the name but I have it somewhere). Weber played a Grazioso Arco which was a Czech look-alike EUB.

    As a "fun bass" for a doubler being basically a bass guitarist - heck, why not? For a more woody sound one could add a "hot spot" type contact mike to the body of the bass. The trick is to find the right spot!

  9. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Just clean one corner out, leaving about two feet on each side. That is now your URB home.

    Now just get the URB.

    Good Luck
  10. go for it . . . If you want something to gig with, switching back and forth with your slab, it will work. BUT . . . If it's your intent to really try DB, like Matt said, clean out a corner 'cause there's nothing like the real thing. ;)
  11. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Is this the thing you're looking at?

    The real reward for the big effort you have to put in up front to learn the upright bass, is the feel of the huge resonating box ... and the sound you can get. If it wasn't for that beautiful sound, I don't think I would have persevered with it. When people ask me how come I can be bothered to lug the thing around with me ... its the sound. I don't know what the framus sounds like, but unless you love cramps, blisters and backache I doubt whether the framus will give you that reward.

    Attached Files:

  12. bassbo


    Jan 27, 2005
    It's interesting that you found a Framus EUB. I have one that I am currently using. It's a 1956 model and playes like a dream. Feels very close to my carved bass. I don't play as much as I used to and have considered selling it from time to time. I have a nice pickup on my wood bass, and I tend to play it more than the Frqmus. I use a bass guitar for those "special" times. I stripped off the old green glittery finish down to the natural maple so it wouldn't look so 50'ish.

    Any good steel string should be fine. I use Tomastic spirocore. If you experiment with the adjustable screw pickups, you should be able to find the sound that you like. If you raise the action, raise the pickups. You can shim the chrome mounting plate if you need to.

    Check the neck for warpage. Mine was badly warped and I had to have a new ebony fingerboard installed. Like I said, it plays like a dream now.

    Hope this helps.

  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Very true. When I don't practice, my DB stands facing one corner of the music room which is too small now with that "$@#]! drum set of my younger kid (only joking, but now him and his elder brother want to jam a piano in there!). The DB needs to be layed down on its side from time to time, mostly once the gigbag has been put on to replace the endpin with the wheel.

    Anyway, the bulkyness of DB is a fact that we're ready to ignore, but when it come to traveling, it hits us big time in the face.
  14. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Thanks for the info.

    I actually received the bass last week - there were some major transportation screw ups that saw it get delayed for some time.

    Unfortunately, once I received it, I discovered it had been damaged in transit. It looks like it took a nasty hit on the headstock, and that's made the fingerboard start to come away from the neck. It's not a major gap (yet), but it's certainly there.

    Having said that, the bass is still quite playable, and I'm really enjoying it. The sound is the biggest surprise - it's far closer to an upright sound than I'd expected. Sure, it's not 100% legitimate, but it's got a nice tone, quite beefy with a good amount of "thud", so, for my purposes, I'm quite pleased.

    I will admit one thing - 25 years of playing electric bass count for nothing when it comes to upright! :D I'm so lost on it, and am a bit scared to venture passed the 5th position!! However, I can't stop playing it, so I think it won't be long before I start to get the hang of it.
  15. bassbo


    Jan 27, 2005
    hand position hand position. Don't squeeze the neck like you're milking a cow. Fingers perpendicular with the strings. Thumb opposit middle finger. Elbow up. Wrist straight. Nut even with eyball. No third finger till you get way up the neck. Relax. Enjoy the heck out of it.

    MaddAnthony_59 likes this.
  16. bassaussie


    Oct 6, 2001

    Cool, thanks!

    I'm already doing some of those things, but a few are good tips I didn't know about.
  17. Don't know if you noticed, the Framus Triumph has been reissued as the Warwick Triumph. I played one last week - lovely action, very easy even for a BG player like me. The new ones have a piezo as well as the magnetic pickup, with a blend control. The best sound was with both pu's - not a totally convincing URB sound, but very useable.
    I'd like to buy it but I think the price ($5000 Australian) is unrealistic for a fairly simple instrument.
  18. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Agree completely, I am interested in an EUB as a spare and more transportable instrument, but for me the market is somewhere between 1 and 2kUS$ (or €). I agree that without the big hollow body, there's far less issues to be solved than with a legit DB, the main ones being that of a good fingerboard and the overall rigidity for a tall instrument.
  19. Trickydickie


    Jun 9, 2011
    I play an old Framus Triumph regulary in gigs with my band Dishking, so if any questions; shoot...!

    Attached Files:

  20. Thaos627


    Jan 10, 2011
    i believe framus became warwick so thats a go for me. ive seen a few live and they sound good but i fell in love with the paint job (cherry red on ebony {color not wood}). im thinking bout givin my bass those colors