Up for sale, a 1964 Fender Duo Sonic II with the original Dakota Red nitro lacquer finish and hardshell case, 100% original save for a replacement pair of pickup covers. Essentially a hardtail version of the Mustang and a first year iteration of the Duo Sonic's "II" redesign, this Fender is a true short scale instrument, measuring 22 1/2" from nut to saddle. Early features on this example unique to the Duo Sonic II's first year include clay dot inlay, single line Kluson Deluxe tuners, and an L-prefix neck plate.
The guitar has a prominent acoustic voice that translates well through the original gray bobbin pickups with great jangle and clarity. Since the pickups are in essence flat pole Stratocaster pickups with covers concealing the pole pieces, the tones are surprisingly similar, although the Duo Sonic II has the added benefit of a pair of phase switches for a very cool hollow tone when both pickups are engaged and out of phase. Featherweight at 6lbs 6oz, the poplar body balances well on a strap too. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with a fresh set of 11-49 strings and low action, this Duo Sonic II is an absolutely killer vintage Fender.
The maple neck has a slender, fast-feeling C profile carve at the nut with appreciable shoulder and heft as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .805" deep at the 1st fret and .985" at the 12th. The dark Brazilian rosewood fretboard features clay dot inlay, and the original frets are remarkably clean, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4. The truss rod is responsive and optimally adjusted, and the guitar plays cleanly in all registers up the straight neck. The scale length is 22 1/2" (the shorter of the two scale lengths offered on the Duo Sonic II), and the nut measures a slender 1 1/2" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines are intact, and the headstock face retains the original "Fender Duo Sonic II" decal. The October, 1964 date stamp is very bold and clean on the neck heel, and the neck pocket reveals the "paint stick" markings of the original nitro lacquer finish.
The electronics all work as intended with untouched solder joints, Stackpole pots which date to the 40th week of '64, and hand-dated gray bobbin pickups marked 12-2-64. The original bridge is present, along with the stock chrome control plate. Plastics include the stock white pearloid pickguard and original pair of knobs along with a pair of modern pickup covers.
The guitar retains its original nitro lacquer Dakota Red finish which exhibits prominent vertical lacquer checking and some finish chips on the body parameter, most concentrated on the lower bout body edge. There are some scattered small dings on top, a couple spots of concentrated buckle rash on the back, and various small marks consistent with honest use on the body as a whole. The nitro gloss on the neck profile is extremely smooth, with light palm wear primarily on the treble-side shoulder.
The original hardshell case is included with its gray speckled exterior, faux black leather ends, trio of functional latches, and the stock handle.