This is an interesting piece. It was sold to us by a well known International dealer as a factory refin and it could well be, however there are a few little oddities...
The colour, hue, paint and method of spraying is bang on for a factory finish circa late 1964 or 1965/6 however the headstock face has also been bursted which is unusual to say the least but looks very nice, especially over the ferrules!
There are no numbers like you would normally expect see on a more expensive Fender guitar during a factory refin but the style of the refin is without a doubt late 64-66 factory Fender so our hypothesis is this may have been some kind of employee project. Whatever the origins of the finish is, it is very old and blacklights like an original and is a super cool looking guitar to say the least.
From the very beginning, Leo had seen student models as a way to keep his instruments in players’ hands as they progressed. Released in June of 1956, the Duo Sonic went through a few changes alongside its stable mates and found favour with players as diverse as John McLaughlin, David Byrne, Patti Smith and of course Jimi Hendrix when he was backing the Isley Brothers.
This guitar is in nice condition. The three tone sunburst is almost entirely free of any damage. There are a few knocks and scuffs but nothing too substantial.
The neck too has been refinished at the same time. Interestingly the tuner ferrules have been painted over. The new decal looks correct under black light, matching the finish. The fretboard and frets are in fantastic shape, the neck date reads December 1958.
The plastics must have been changed when the guitar was refinished for what would have been the currently available items. They're in good condition. The hardware hardly shows the passing of time.
Electrically everything is correct. Pots are dated week 25 of 1958.
The guitar comes with its correct hardshell case.
Even though this is a short scale guitar (22.5”) and aimed at students, there is no doubt that these are well made instruments . The neck feels comfortable and easy to play, the no-frills nature of the electronics yields a classy tone. This guitar certainly punches above its weight.
Definitely a one off, this surely is a must have for any collection. Grab it before it gets away…