Duo-Sonics and Mustangs
To get my web pages loading a little faster, I've now devoted a separate section to Dou-Sonics and Mustangs. Although closely related to their "little brother" Musicmasters, These shortscales were a step up the Fender food chain, and featured 2 pickups with selector switches that allow the player to choose between each pickup alone, or in sequence. The Duo-Sonic was updated in 1964/65 to match the newly introduced Mustang and aside from the Mustang's "Dynamic Vibrato" bridge, the 2 models are very similar.
1966 Fender Duo-Sonic II
1966 'Olympic White' Slab-Board Duo-Sonic II
This is the first and only Duo-Sonic in my collection to date. As with so many other guitars in my collection, this one came along almost accidentally. I was actually looking for a 69/70 "Competition" Mustang when I stumbled on this little gem being sold for what I felt was a very good price considering it's amazing condition. It's a one owner, totally original 1966 Duo-Sonic II, with a somewhat rare "slab-board" Indian Rosewood fretboard. Many Fender enthusiasts believe that 1962 was the last year a slab fretboard was produced, but that belief is untrue. While Fender did indeed switch over to a "veneer" style laminated fretboard after 1962 on all of their guitars, the slab style fretboard was briefly re-introduced late in 1965 and into 1966 on some (but not all) short scale model guitars, including the Mustang, Musicmaster II, and Duo-Sonic II. It was during this time that demand was great for these shorter scale guitars, and because it was faster and easier to produce/finish a neck with a slab style fretboard, Fender reverted back to this time-tested process for a short time until production demands were met. I own several Fender shortscale offsets from this time period, but only this one has this type of fretboard configuration. Tone gurus often claim a "warmer" tone is achieved with this type of fingerboard construction, and demand for pre-1963 Fenders seem to confirm that many players and collectors prefer them. These 65/66 "slab-board" offsets are a cool footnote in Fender history, and are not widely known. This one is a great player, and has very little playwear. The switches work perfectly, no scratchy pots, no issues at all...heck, even the case is in excellent condition, and has served it's duty to protect this gem from harm for over 44 years.
1970 Fender "Competition" Mustang
1970 'Competition Red' Mustang with matching headstock
This one has been the result of a relentless search for a clean and original early Competition Mustang. After owning several 60's Musicmasters and a Duo-Sonic, I was determined to add a Mustang to my collection of vintage Fenders. While there were quite a few of these produced between 1969-1972, finding one to meet my criteria was quite a task. The credentials I was looking for included a matching headstock (which was only offered on early models), a clean, totally original and unmolested example, and lastly....I preferred a "Competition Red" version, as it's my personal favorite of the 3 colors these were offered in. The color was the easy part, as I discovered that my color preference is the most common... but condition and originality were the stumbling blocks, as was finding an early matching headstock model. In any case, after about a month or calls, e-mails, and relentless searching, comparing, and debating I finally struck a deal on the guitar shown here... I believe it's a good one! The guitar is a 1970 made during the second full year of production of the Competition Mustang, and the final year a matching headstock was available. It is a true one-owner guitar, complete with the original Fender instruction manual with the serial number hand written inside, as well as an inspection stamp showing the name of the Fender employee who assembled it and another stamp showing the employee who did the final tune-up and test on it before sending it off into the world. The original bridge cover, tremolo arm, strap and case are all there too. It's 100% original, and aside from 3 very small chips on the front, it's an beautiful condition. The color has faded to a slightly "copper" hue, which is quite appealing to me. It's quite a player too... and has a very unique feel in comparison to my Musicmasters or even my Duo-Sonic... due mostly to it's "Dynamic Tremolo" bridge. I personally believe these are some of the most interesting, best looking, and coolest sounding vintage Fenders there are, and are very under-appriciated instruments. Much more information on Competition Mustangs (and Fender Swinger) can be found here: http://competitionmustang.blogspot.com Enjoy the photos below!
1965 Fender Mustang & 1966 "blackface" Bassman
- Both of these pieces came from the daughter of the original owner. About a month ago she contacted me through this site to ask where she might be able to find a buyer. I gave her some information but originally wasn't interested in buying them myself... but when I actually saw the condition of this stuff I simply couldn't resist asking if we might be able to come to an agreement to purchase both the Mustang AND the Bassman amp. I'm happy to say we were able to put together a deal that we were both satisfied with.
- The guitar is a 1965 Fender Mustang in its original red finish. Aside from a couple very tiny nicks and some very light checking the finish is near flawless. Even the original bridge cover and trem arm are intact. I haven't taken the neck off, and don't believe a screw has ever been removed from this guitar since new... but based on my experience with these Fender offsets, I am confident it's a B width neck and probably built in about July of '65. Its a veneer rosewood board, very dark and likely Brazilian. It is also the longer 24" scale length, which makes it very easy to play. The neck has some nice thickness to it, more than you'd expect actually... and it feels amazing in my hands. I have not cleaned it up at all, and the frets are a little green, but have nearly zero wear. I think the strings must be about 20 years old and will be replaced before night fall! The original "sharkskin" case is also nearly perfect, with just a tiny nick in the tolex covering. The interior is as bright and plush as new, and all the latches are perfect.. which is a rarity in itself on these.
The amp is a 1966 Bassman, and like the guitar... it looks to have never been messed with at all. Still retains its original hangtag, 2 prong cord and most likely all tubes, transformer, caps, etc... and yes I know... I should have had it serviced before playing it...but I couldn't resist. I plugged it in, and it sounds perfect. No hiss, no hum, no anything but sweet blackface goodness! I do plan to have it looked over just to be safe, and will have a 3 prong grounded cord added... even though I really hate to mess with the originality of it. I do not believe the back has ever been off the 2x12 cab. Aside from one little 1/2" tear in the grill cloth, It is pretty much spotless. Not a single nick or tear in the 51 year old tolex, and the faceplate, knobs, etc. look like new. I plan to have a closer look at everything in the upcoming weeks... but couldn't resist taking some photos and showing this rig off a little. I'm very pleased to be able to keep these 2 together, and welcome them into my collection!