Fender Duo-Sonic II Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Fender  Duo-Sonic II Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 9301
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Fender Duo-Sonic II Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 146297, red laquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original grey hard shell case.

This Fender Duo-Sonic II was assembled about two years after the model was redesigned in mid-1964 with components interchangeable with the new Mustang. THAT guitar took off to become one of the most popular electrics of the 1960's, possibly the most successful student solidbody ever made. By contrast the Duo-Sonic seemed to fade away, even though it was at that point the same instrument without a vibrato. It just goes to show how much a snazzy name and a whammy bar mattered in the mid-60's!

This red-finished 1965 example has a pearl celluloid pickguard with black pickup covers and switches that was the most popular color scheme. The neck is dated to March 1966, just over a year into the CBS era. This has the longer of two scale lengths offered, 24" (shared with most examples of the Mustang) which most players find friendlier than the very short 22 1/2" scale the Duo-sonic started out with in 1957. The two single-coil pickups are hand-dated 8-9 and 9-4 '66 and the pots are marked to the 12th week of that year. The switches for the two pickups offer interesting in/out of phase sonic options, identical to the Mustang.

Something of a forgotten model in the mid-'60's, the Duo-Sonic was eclipsed in the mid-'60s by the Mustang which sold over 16,000 units in 1966 alone. With its string-through body-mounted bridge, the Duo-Sonic II is a more solid-feeling instrument than the tremolo-equipped Mustang it shares all other features with and is often found to hold tuning more steadfastly. This is a very nicely preserved example and a fine-playing, light, handy little guitar.
 
Overall length is 39 7/8 in. (101.3 cm.), 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 in. (610 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a very nice example overall, showing some general wear but remaining all original and unaltered. The fairly thick lacquer finish shows a lot of scuffing on the back, some wear through the overcoat and small dings and dents but no major wear areas. The back of the neck has some spots worn down to the wood on the spine and in the lower positions. The original frets have been crowned down a bit but are still quite playable, with some light divoting in the lower positions. The rosewood fingerboard has some light wear and a small but noticeable dink above the 6th fret. This is a fine sounding and playing Duo-Sonic, a guitar one writer once described as "the .22 Magnum Derringer of the Fender line" complete in its original HSC. Excellent - Condition.