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Newbie... First Duo Sonic Project, First Post here.
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JamGuy
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Joined: 19 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Newbie... First Duo Sonic Project, First Post here. Reply with quote

Hello folks, I'm new to the world of Fender short scale guitars in terms of building one. For the past month I've been hung up on building a hotrod Duo Sonic II, and yesterday I took the plunge. I found a '66 neck and what the seller was claiming to be an early 70's Musicmaster body. The body is white and it has the mid 60's Duo Sonic cutouts... like a Mustang w/o the trem rout. I ordered a cream pearl colored p/g from WD without the slider control holes... my plan is to install a right angle (SG style) toggle in approximately the same area that the original DS toggles were located. I know it will require some routing but I'm comfortable with the job.

I wanted to give this thing a different personality than the "standard" Duo Sonic and decided to go for a Dimarzio Fast Track 1 in the neck, and a Dimarzio Super Distortion S in the bridge. My plan is to add a small toggle between the two knobs for coil splitting the bridge... I have a two strats, both equipped with full size SDs and they sound great split... I'm hoping the little version does too. Basically I just need to wait for things to arrive, design a clean way to get the body routed and wired up and get to work. Here's a pick of the look I'm going for... the Mustang builder is fun, I just found it today! Anyhow, I'm sure I'll have some questions ... probably about how to successfully ground things properly to keep it quiet. Cheers, JG

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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum. Looks a cool project!
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iCEByTes wrote:
5 Most Jizz face maker Solo´s , classic Rock music i ever listened.


iCEByTes wrote:
Blunt a joint , Take the Touch , Listen this.
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daftsupernova
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, dude. That looks really great! Although I think this would have been better off in the project forum, but nonetheless, it's fantastic.
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JamGuy
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Joined: 19 May 2013
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Location: State of Jefferson

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daftsupernova wrote:
Welcome, dude. That looks really great! Although I think this would have been better off in the project forum, but nonetheless, it's fantastic.


I'd agree... I thought the same thing after I posted it here, my bad... leave it to the new guy!
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MMPicker
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have but two comments:

1) Make sure you locate the toggle far enough up the horn so that you never hit it when you strum;
2) On mine at least, the original 60s neck pickup sounds incredible, like a good 60s strat. I personally wouldn't give that tone up for any "Dimarzio" thing. But that's me.
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Concretebadger
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Joined: 14 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the ideas you have there. It looks a lot like my home-build Mustang, but without the annoying aspects of the Mustang that I personally don't use (namely the quirky trem design and the slide switches). A hardtail bridge and a three-way toggle make sense to me.

I'd also advise caution on where you put the toggle switch. I play sitting down usually, and find that the toggle of my Jazzmaster is so close to the edge of the guitar's body that I sometimes 'de-select' the bridge pickup setting with my leg by mistake. If you're going down the customising route anyway, you might as well taylor it to your personal playing style and technique, after all!
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll move this to the projects, JamGuy - no worries!
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iCEByTes wrote:
5 Most Jizz face maker Solo´s , classic Rock music i ever listened.


iCEByTes wrote:
Blunt a joint , Take the Touch , Listen this.
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JamGuy
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Joined: 19 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the bump to the correct place Dave....

Regarding the neck pickup, I've heard that the old Duo Sonic/Mustang/Musicmaster pickups do sound pretty sweet but I just don't need another Fendery sounding guitar ... for that matter, I really didn't another guitar at all, but we all know how that goes.

Interesting to see another guitar with the mods I had in mind. Ideally I would like to eventually use a Toronado bridge w/ the strings through the body and individual saddles. I was a little thrown by the fact that I saw a number of threads that said the saddles were too low or that the bridge needed to be raised somehow. I was thinking that I could just use longer saddle screws but perhaps that wouldn't solve the problem.
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JamGuy
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity, the body I purchased is said so be a 72,73, or 74 body... what distinguishing features would identify it as one of these years? I know the finish had changed to poly on strats but is that the case with the musicmaster/duo sonic bodies? It is said to have lots of finisg checking which I attribute to a nitro finish. Also, it seems possible that this could be a leftover duo sonic body because of the routing? Any thoughts? I'm chomping at the bit for parts to start arriving.

I also ordered some shielding paint from StewMac, something I've never tried before... any tips or suggestions?

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jamba72
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

please leave the body as it is. seriously..

nice one..
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Dillon
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JamGuy wrote:
Just out of curiosity, the body I purchased is said so be a 72,73, or 74 body... what distinguishing features would identify it as one of these years? I know the finish had changed to poly on strats but is that the case with the musicmaster/duo sonic bodies? It is said to have lots of finisg checking which I attribute to a nitro finish. Also, it seems possible that this could be a leftover duo sonic body because of the routing? Any thoughts? I'm chomping at the bit for parts to start arriving.

I also ordered some shielding paint from StewMac, something I've never tried before... any tips or suggestions?


Welcome! Looks like what you have there is a Duo Sonic II body. This was the final version of the original Duo, produced from '64 to '69, and basically the same as a Mustang body aside from the trem. Fender ended production after that, most likely because it was cutting into Mustang sales and/or wasn't selling as well as the Mustang.

It looks like poly to me. Poly does age, especially those early poly Fender guitars, which typically don't have as thick of a finish as a modern guitar. And it will check under the right conditions, though the body you posted doesn't appear to have any checking. If you want to know for sure, get some nail polish remover and put a very small dab of it on a rag. Then touch an inconspicuous area, like where the bridge would go. If it does nothing, then it's poly. If it starts to feel gooey or sticky then it's nitro. Just be careful.

IMO if you're going to do a mod as permanent as a string through bridge, don't do it to a vintage body. Get a Squier duo or an MIM Duo and put your vintage neck on it.
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Addam
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Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillon wrote:
IMO if you're going to do a mod as permanent as a string through bridge, don't do it to this body. Get a Squier duo and put your vintage neck on it.


The dude's gonna route it for a toggle on the lower horn, that's just as drastic!

JamGuy wrote:
my plan is to install a right angle (SG style) toggle in approximately the same area that the original DS toggles were located. I know it will require some routing but I'm comfortable with the job.


IMO, the (monetary) value of old stuff like this is in the paint, no matter how fucked up.
Refinish it and it could just be any $10 piece of wood.

Route or drill it and you've pretty much fucked the resale value though. Rolling Eyes
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Chris Fleming
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Joined: 08 May 2013
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really big on reliced guitars but I like a properly old one with natural aging. This one looks like a petty good colour and not overly banged up. I'd clean up any grime and leave it as is.
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sholkham
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could always place the pickup selector where the tone knob would usually be, like on some of the ltd edition Japanese mustangs
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JamGuy
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info and suggestions... for now, I'm just going to use the regular vintage Duo Sonic top load bridge. I want to see how I can get the thing playing and sounding before I consider going to the trouble of drilling for a string through bridge.

As far as not molesting an otherwise stock vintage body... I considered that, and actually looked for an already modded body but didn't see one to my liking. There's a part of me that can understand why the preservation of something like this is valid. There again, there's the Sarah Palin in me screaming, "drill baby drill." I can understand not parting out an all original 60's Fender but the damage has been done already IMO... even if I sourced out OEM parts and reconstructed a vintage clone it still wouldn't be a wise investment or worth very much. I guess I'm more interested in building a guitar to the specs that I want than preserving the stock vintage integrity of the guitar.

Thanks again for the info regarding the date of the body. I'm new to these guitars and admittedly not as familiar with their history as the strat or tele.
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Libtoem101
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also you could wire it so you have two master volumes.
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JamGuy
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Libtoem101 wrote:
Also you could wire it so you have two master volumes.


As opposed to a single tone and volume? Before I realized that the dimensions were different, I thought it would be cool to use a Jazz Bass control plate so I could run two volumes and a tone... personally I can imagine having no tone control on a guitar but that's just me.
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NickS
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dillon wrote:
It looks like poly to me. Poly does age, especially those early poly Fender guitars, which typically don't have as thick of a finish as a modern guitar. And it will check under the right conditions, though the body you posted doesn't appear to have any checking. If you want to know for sure, get some nail polish remover and put a very small dab of it on a rag. Then touch an inconspicuous area, like where the bridge would go. If it does nothing, then it's poly. If it starts to feel gooey or sticky then it's nitro. Just be careful.
Thread hijack:
I started to remove some sticker adhesive from my 3-colour sunburst '73 Strat with nail polish remover; the colour started coming off. Does that really mean it's nitro?

Quote:
IMO if you're going to do a mod as permanent as a string through bridge, don't do it to a vintage body. Get a Squier duo or an MIM Duo and put your vintage neck on it.
+111
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BobArsecake
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're not concerned with resale then I don't see a problem with modding it how you want it, depending on how confident/experienced you are with routing could be a deciding factor though. How much did you get the body for, if you don't mind my asking? Don't think it'd be my choice of pickups but I love the rest of the concept. Keep us updated with progress!
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cur
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty sure I know someone on this forum who could build you a body to whatever specifications you like and you could save the vintage body from modifications.
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