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musical instrument details

1960 Fender Duo Sonic Desert Tan

Estimated price for orientation: 1 250 $

Category: Electric Guitar

Brand: Fender Dexterity: Right-Handed
Model: Duo Sonic String Configuration: 6 String
MPN: Does Not Apply Exact Year: 1960
Body Type: Solid Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
Series: Student

     Here is a very special guitar that was just recently restored. It is a 1959/60 Fender Duo Sonic. When I first acquired this axe there was a sticker on the case that said 1957. I knew right away after seeing the pickup routes what it was. The original finish was left untouched in the control cavities and neck pocket. Desert Sand was a color that debuted in 1959 and that is also the year when they stopped writing pencil dates on the butt of the neck. The only way to date them was by the electronics.
     This guitar does retain it's original frets but the body and neck have been refinished. The routes were taped off and it was painted back to it's stock 1959 Desert Tan color. Fender did have a Desert Tan/Sand color on the first Duo Sonics in 1956 but it was more of a white color. You have to remember that most of these student model guitars were painted using the same stuff they used on Stratocasters but with a much thinner finish and sometimes no clear coat. This guitar was redone like a more expensive model would have been painted, and it was subsequently relic'd afterwords. I posted a good photo so you can see the finish checking. This happens naturally overtime to vintage guitars because of the expansion of the paint during seasonal changes. A new logo was also fitted to the headstock.
     The electronics of this guitar are very interesting. The pots are 1 Meg Centralab as found in  Telecasters. They date to 1962 and 1964. It even has an original Astron capacitor that is identical to what the first Duo Sonics had back in 1956. The switch is original as well as is the bridge. The bridge is in amazing shape. The pickups are replacements from Only Music. They are Duo Sonic II pickups that have been relic'd by the manufacturer. They put out 6.5-7K Ohms and sound great with the 1 Meg pots. The brown covers are original to 1959/60. One original wire remains on the switch and the rest is all new.
     This guitar has reissue tuners from Kluson and a reissue neckplate as well. The number was randomly generated but I think it dates to about 1961. The knobs are reissues as well and a new bone nut was also made for this guitar. One of the most amazing things is the condition the original case was in. A replacement handle was fitted which is much more durable than the original, plastic, handle that it came with. All the latches work perfectly. Most importantly of all, the neck on this guitar is in very good shape even with the original frets. I have a set of 10-52 on it right now and you can play it all the way up the fretboard without a problem. Buzzing is down to a minimum and that is with the action only a hair above 1/16" at the octave. The new owner can always raise it up a bit. This guitar makes for a great collector's piece and a fine playing instrument.