Fender Duo-Sonic Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958)

Fender  Duo-Sonic Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1958)
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Item # 9669
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Fender Duo-Sonic Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 027381, desert sand lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck, original brown tolex hard shell case.

This is a very nice and fairly early example of Fender's first two pickup student guitar: the unjustly obscure Duo-Sonic. Christened with one of Fenders coolest names ever, this little package of electric goodness was designed to expand the company's position the teaching studio/young student market. By the late '50s interest in the Hawaiian steel guitar was on the wane, and the kids coming in for guitar lessons wanted to rock'n'roll. A two-pickup version of the very basic Musicmaster seemed like a good idea, and The Duo-Sonic was introduced in the second half of 1956.

The Duo-sonic is built from the same components as the Musicmaster but with a second pickup at the bridge, an attendant selector switch and single volume and tone controls. It features a short 22 1/2" scale maple neck and smaller alder body, finished in a tawny shade Fender called "Desert Sand". The three-saddle bridge uses the same components as the Telecaster with a smaller baseplate stringing from the back edge. The pickups are the same basic forms as Stratocaster units, in white plastic covers without exposed polepieces.

This guitar has beautiful undisturbed electronics featuring pots from the 7th week of 1958 and untouched wiring. The original anodized metal pickguard has some light wear but still looks sharp! It has survived in original condition without being stripped of its more valuable parts (knobs, neckplate, pots, and wiring) as so many have. The neat, comfortable little neck has the classic '58 Fender rounded profile. While we usually check the neck dates on Fenders, this neck has never been removed showed no inclination to move when unscrewed so we left it in place, but based on the components the guitar was assembled in early 1958.

These guitars were many 1950s and '60s players' first electric, far more playable than most and stylish in an understated way. They were designed to be good enough to get kids hooked on playing electric, but not so flashy as to stop them still lusting after a new Stratocaster down the road! This is neat package, including the original tan case. The short scale is not what many modern players are used to but nonetheless this is a very cool genuine 1950s Fender guitar that plays and sounds great.
Overall length is 37 5/8 in. (95.6 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 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).
Thus guitar remains in nicely original condition, played in with some general wear but not abused. The body finish has dings, dents and chips, most notably on the bottom edge. There are spots worn through the neck finish somewhat randomly but no heavy wear. It retains the original parts and hardware, including the Kluson tuners. Two of the tuner buttons appear replaced, there is a only a very subtle difference and this is not really noticeable.

The neck pickup cover has a small crack on the top near the lower end and some old strum wear but is still solid. Some of the lacquer has been strummed off the pickguard, but it mostly retains good color with only some very small spots down to the metal. The original small frets show some light wear but still play fine. The pickups are loud and strong, and this is a far better sounding guitar than many give these credit for. This is a super cool piece of Fender history and a fun guitar to play, still in its original tan '50s case. Excellent Condition.