Duo Sonic review by Fender

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 6.6 (49 votes)
Fender: Duo Sonic

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
This guitar is amazing for virtually any style of music, which is exactly how I play. I've played some sweet, warm blues/jazz, some really bright funk, some muted metal and hard rock and some twangy southern rock along with some punk (not Blink though, Ramones and Misfits). It sounded great with all of them and this is just playing it through my Fender Champion (30 watts) with a little of the built in reverb. It can either be incredibly loud and buzzy or muted and dull. As I said, it can acess a number of sounds just by messing with the selectors a few times. The only thing I don't like is the fact that the volume and tone pots are a little loose. But nothing else.

Overall Impression — 10
I gotta say, out of all the guitars I've ever played (including my Strat, a Les Paul, SG and more) it's the nicest, smoothest, most lovely guitar I've ever played. It was amazing deal for $349 and I would go absolutely crazy if it was ever stolen. I would try to replace it but I don't think I could. It's a very one of a kind guitar and it's near perfect.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar probably has and will continue to face the rigor of gigs. The hardware and the finish are going to be around forever, and the strap buttons work very well. I'm sure I'll be able to depend on it, but I'd never play without a backup.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
From what I can tell this guitar was put together very well and retains those qualities almost 40 years later. The action's high and the pickups are set up incredibly well. The bridge, top and everything else is great. Only a few dents, nicks, and scratches. It looks like it wore very well even after 40 years of use. The finish is thick, no rusting although the tuners are a little oxidized. The volume and tone pots are a little loose and the tuners tend to be a little loose every once in awhile when I bend too hard but no other real flaws.

Features — 10
A Vintage 1965 Duo Sonic, made right here in the United States. 21 frets with a laminated top. One volume and one tone pot with a small two way selector between the volume and tone pots. Also featured with "Jaguar-like" three way switchers (two of them). Two single coil pickups, the bridge pickup featuring a nifty black cover. Most likely stock Mustang pickups, both of them passive. Maple neck and body with a big 70s style headstock and a rosewood fretboard. A really really cool dark blue sparkle finish. The body is exactly like a Fender Mustang, including the pickguard. Non-locking tuners from Kluson, which tend to be sporadic, the only downfall. A rather fat neck with really small frets. It came with a beautiful Vintage 65 case.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought mine in 1973 for $175 brand new. The music store had ten in storage that they were trying to get rid of. Mine is just as you described yours and I love it. It fits my hands perfectly. The only difference is that I put a Dimarzio "Fat Strat" pickup in the bridge position back in 74. Did wonders for the sound. Otherwise there is not a mark on the guitar. It still looks brand new. The color is white. I understand they made them in red, white, and blue that year. I understand how you would feel if yours was stolen...me too!