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Collection in person only
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Collection in person only

Details about  Vintage 1959 Fender Duo-Sonic - like a small 50s Stratocaster - but way LESS£££!

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Vintage 1959 Fender Duo-Sonic - like a small 50s Stratocaster - but way LESS£££!
Item Ended
Item condition:

Mostly original but with some changes detailed in the text.

14 Jul, 2014 10:28:27 BST
Free collection in person | See details
Item location:
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.

Item specifics

Condition: Used : Split the cost with friends
An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller notes: Mostly original but with some changes detailed in the text.

Electric Guitar

No. of Strings:

6 string


Steel-string Guitar







Right-/ Left-Handed:


                                                               1959 FENDER DUO-SONIC
                                                 including original case & bridge cover
              A great way to own a Fender guitar from Leo's 'Golden Age' - without spending a fortune.
              This guitar is not a museum piece, it's been played and wants to be played more ... there's
TWO of Eric Johnson's favourite pickups on 56-year-old wood just waiting to be fired up! 

      N.B.  If you've been previously watching, please note the three new pics of  original paint in photo 12

1959 ... it has a certain ring to it doesn't it?! Often referred to as a hallowed year for both Fender and Gibson, a '59 axe normally comes with
a whopping price tag. If it was a Strat you'd be looking at spending 15-20K. As for a Les Paul Standard? well ... it would be time to sell your
house! For a fraction of that you will get a gorgeous little cross between a Strat and a Tele, with it's original Desert Sand finish and desirable
late Fifties 'gold' anodised guard. The neck is pure Fifties maple Strat - just slightly shrunk down to a 22.5" scale. (Don't be put off by that - it's
not just for kids, Hendrix with his huge hands played one when he was refining his craft on the way to stardom: http://www.shortscale.
. Other players include Rory, David Byrne and SRV -
who used to warm up before gigs on the one pickup Musicmaster). Another wonderful thing about this guitar is it's feather weight of 6.5 lbs -
with less density and mass soaking up the vibrations, it really resonates! The icing on the cake is it's original beige case with gold lining and
there's even the original 'ash tray' bridge cover.

The cloth-wired old black bottom pickups sound great and have the correct blue/yellow (neck) and black/white (bridge) cloth wiring - please
check this schematic (I have a lovely old vintage hand-drawn schem. that was sent
to me by one of THE experts on short scale Fenders, but he couldn't get hold of the originator to get permission for me to reproduce it). Please
note that the bridge pickup has been rewound but that now gives it a respectable 6.7 reading; the neck is 5.68. There is also whole other nerdy
area I could get into about reverse polarities/winds - further complicated by the fact that 1959 was the year that Leo Fender started to switch
things around - but i'm selling a guitar, not delivering a lecture! Suffice to say that on THIS guitar in the middle position the pickups are out
of phase, not humbucking (Dave Gilmour has his strat wired up this way), and it sounds bloomin' great! The sound is quite unique for an old
Fender in my experience - it really honks, but not in a thin weak way ... think Albert 'Iceman' Collins! It came as no surprise to me, when
I read an article by Seymour Duncan, to hear that old Duo Sonic pickups are among Eric 'Golden Ears' Johnson's favourites!

Like most old guitars there were a few changes in it's history. On many Fifties Fender maple necks the lacquer wore off pretty quickly and indeed
many years ago this neck was re-finished, so the decal is replacement too, but the Feb 1959 date has survived! Fortunately it was done just before
Fender stopped date-marking necks during 1959 (due to an employee writing an obscenity on one!). This neck has nice figure in the headstock and
pretty birdseye on the back too. In my opinion, during the refin the frets were left on, as they look like the skinny originals. They are low in the old
style, but not badly pitted, so it has blazing-fast low action. There is evidence that the tuners were changed along the way (see pic), but all is good
now and those are the period-correct single line Klusons. There is one rather obvious hole still and a chip from the front of the headstock (see pix).
The neck plate serial is correct and it's underside matches the body patina; one of the screw heads is a bit knackered though.

The CTS volume pot with it's paper cap is correctly dated at 47th week of 1958. The tone pot is a Stackpole marked 32nd week of 1957; it could be
the factory using up old stock or is a replacement ... but a valuable one (Fifties parts prices are insane). But obviously any electronics which might
have been unsoldered and off the guitar cannot be guaranteed to be factory original (e.g. the '57 pot & that rewound pickup, whose South polarity
indicates it might be mid 1959 or later). But there's nothing fake on this guitar! There's a whole parts industry out there creating 'factory original
guitars' with old bits, but there's also the genuine ones like this that have had changes and maintenance along the way.

Although in the 'student range', these guitar were made to the same high standards as other Fenders, for instance, the neck is a nice snug fit in the
pocket and the paint is a 'waffer-thin' coating of cellulose that let's the guitar breathe.
In terms of it's price, I always do good research on this and,
based on a similar '58 with a few issues
I've seen on Gbase and a '57 on Ebay with quite a lot of changes, I am asking a similar sum. Those other
examples are in America where prices are nearly always cheaper than here anyway, so this a good UK price.
And looking on Ebay UK right now,
the only equivalent Fifties Fender thing you could get for the same price would be one Strat pickup or a scratchplate! Even more ironic is that the
pickups used on the Duo ARE 50s Strat pickups, but just not staggered pole.
And please note that is a space-saving sale and not money-motivated
(too many hobbies - too much stuff!), so no silly offers please.
If I can't sell it for this fair price then I'd rather hang on to it - at least it's not a big axe!

Thanks to a good question from one of the many who  are interested, I can confirm that I have big high res shots of the vital under pickguard area - I
just couldn't get them all in with the 12 photo limit! The neck pocket, neck plate, and routs all show that this is definitely an original finish guitar.
There are three obvious nail holes present and the paint is very thin and light in routs - absolutely typical of the Fifties. The patina and 'shadow' from
pickguard and plate are totally genuine. Please note: if you are expecting to see yellowing and checking of clear lacquer on a guitar this old, they did
not clear coat the 3/4 models in the 50s .... basically, removing one process saved them money!

Due to the case not being the strongest, I will not post it - i'm afraid you will have to come and see it first (the sensible thing to do anyway). Or, if you
are happy to bring cash, I might possibly meet you half way if my work takes me in your direction. I recently did this with a sale on the web and I'm
sure the guy would give me a good reference! I have a spotless record on Ebay and try to treat people the same as I would wish to be - sadly there
are lot of people out there in vintage guitar land who don't work this way and
I can say that based that on direct experience. I live in the South East
UK, not far from Reading, Oxford & London - easy for M40 and M4. Thanks for reading and I'll happily supply high res pictures to genuinely interested
people only.

To sum up:
a) Not for sale outside the UK.
b) Collection only or possible 'half way hand over'. Why take the risk of not seeing it first?
d) No trades/part ex ... I'm trying to get OUT of guitars, not INTO them!
e) Cash or bank transfer preferred please - Paypal is a good idea for sight unseen buys, but if you're collecting it I'd rather
    save that extra cost.

In terms of offers, I won't take any offer seriously unless you contact me first. I can't imagine buying a vintage guitar without
talking to the owner - let alone not having seen the guitar either! But despite all these 'rules', if I sense you are a sincere
interested buyer I will do my best to make the whole transaction as easy as possible.
Sorry to go on so long, but I'd prefer to
deal with well-informed buyers than dreamers (nothing wrong with dreaming though - we all do it!)
. Cheers.

PS. I had the chance to photo the guitar in the sun next to a local enthusiast's 1950s car, so er no ... I'm afraid the
car is not included in the sale! And yes, I already know it's not a 1959 model (in case any car buffs were going to
let me know)!

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