Fender DuoSonic ID & help

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Fender DuoSonic ID & help

Post by DirtMetazenn » Fri Mar 12, 2021 7:24 pm

Hey ya’ll, I was referred to this community to find out some more info about a vintage Duo-Sonic. So I’ve got this guitar that was bought new(maybe custom) by my grandfather that’s now mine. My dad’s had it in his possession for over 35yrs and around the same time he got it he did loan it out to a family member for a few years that ended up putting a shitty paint job on it & got a little knocked around. Since way back then, it’s just been in the original hardcase(that’s falling apart) basically sitting & collecting dust. My dad’s never known too much about guitars or about this one—and his mind now isn’t as good as it used to be either—but we have always known in the family that it should be a late 50s or 60-something Fender Duo-Sonic. It’s only been in my own family since it was bought new and it’s had nothing really done to it that we know of(especially not in the last 30+yrs).

I sent photos to Fender by email as suggested by someone else & they recently sent me back a ‘spec sheet’ that’s included below & are getting back to me with help on how to “decode” what they provided me(lol) and also a list of authorized dealers that would specialize in vintage instruments per their recommendation. I also asked for some clarification about the headstock logo that has been pointed out to me as being off.

So having recently decided to try to learn to play... it only makes sense that I should take this guitar along for the ride with me and get it looking nice. I originally wanted to fix it up to learn/play on but now am thinking that buying a new one to learn on, and just restoring/cleaning up this one for the meantime, might be a better bet. Can anyone provide any better details or any info from the spec sheet or the Imgur album? I’m not looking to sell or trade since it’s sentimental & I’m a total guitar noob... but this is just what I have & I’m curious of what steps others might would take in this situation? I’m trying do right by this guitar & taking it in to just any random shop to mess with without me knowing more about it first is just out of the question. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can provide!

Imgur Album:

Spec Sheet

Model Name: Duo-Sonic
Model Number:
Series: Electric Spanish Guitars
Body: Ash
Neck: Maple
Fingerboard: Maple, (1956 to 1960),...Rosewood introduced in 1960, (7.25” Radius/184 mm)
Frets: 21
Scale Length: 22.5” (57.1 cm)
Nut: 1.635” (41.5 mm)
Hardware: Nickel Chrome
Machine Heads: White Button Kluson
Bridge: Non Tremolo Bridge with Three Steel Saddles
Pickguard: 1-Ply Gold Anodized Aluminum
Pickups: 2 Single-Coils (Neck & Bridge)
Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle
Controls: Volume, Tone
Colors: Blonde (Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish)
Other Features: Black Dot Position Inlays
Source: Fullerton
U.S. MSRP: $149.50

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Re: Fender DuoSonic ID & help

Post by Ceylon » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:57 pm

Nice! Shame about the paint job though.

It has the original layout. Duo-Sonics changed to look more like Fender Mustangs after 1964, and rosewood fingerboards were introduced in 1960, so that puts it somewhere in between there. There might be a serial number either on the headstock or neck plate which can give you some further information.

EDIT: I looked further into the Imgur album and saw there was indeed one on the neckplate. Yours is a 1963 model, so pre-CBS, and looks very much complete what with the bridge cover still being on there and all. You can check it yourself on this website here and if you take the neck off, there might also be a stamp on the neck heel which tells you which month it was made.

These were originally made as cheaper student guitars, and this one has the shorter 22,5" neck, so if you're looking to learn to play I'd say it doesn't get much better than this for a first guitar :)

With the paint job on there I'd say sadly a lot of the value has gone out of it. These aren't massively expensive guitars either way, but well loved around here, so if I were you I'd definitely hang on to it and maybe put the money you'd have spent on another guitar to try and find a shop or luthier who could help you try and restore it. Most likely the original finish is still on there and people who know what they're doing might well be able to strip the new paint and save a lot if not all of what's under there. The pickguard should be anodized aluminum and might also come out OK.
Science Friction burns my fingers
Electricity still lingers

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