The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌ SOLD ❌ Fender Duo-Sonic II Solidbody Electric Guitar Dakota Red, 1965


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Fender introduced the Duo-Sonic in 1956 as a short scale, budget guitar, and with the company’s sale to CBS in 1965, a longer scale version named the Duo-Sonic II appeared.

The Duo-Sonic II was available in 22.5 inch and 24 inch scale lengths. It uses a fairly thin double cutaway, offset waist Alder body. As usual on post-1960 Fender models, it has a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. For electronics, there are two angled single coil pickups controlled by three-position slider switches, and master volume and tone controls. As stock, the slider switches turn a pickup off (center position) or on, in or out of phase, in the outer positions. The bridge is a stamped plate with three threaded rod saddles (the threads providing easy string spacing), and Kluson Deluxe tuners with white plastic buttons were used at the head.

This example is a largely original condition Fender Duo-Sonic II in Dakota Red finish and 24 inch scale length, dating to 1965 and built at the Fullerton, California plant. At this point the sale to CBS had been completed and differences start to appear, notably the F stamp on the neck plate. The headstock decal is another CBS-era item, and it is remarkably complete; many have dried out and chipped away over the decades.

The distinctive Dakota Red finish is original and in good condition. This shade of red is fairly dark and is quite different from the much brighter Fiesta Red on some Teles and Strats. On this model, the coloured finishes tended to be thin and so they haven’t endured well. This one shows a number of chips but is largely intact. The neck finish shows that the guitar was used in the presence of cigarette smokers, with a fair amount of amber buildup. The pickguard is a pearlescent plastic, though the full depth of the pearlescence doesn’t show well in the photographs.

This guitar plays well and all the controls function. If you are used to a full scale guitar, it feels very slinky with regular gauge strings (10-46).

An interesting side piece to this instrument is the oval sticker on the rear of the head, from a store where it was previously sold. It identifies the shop as Musical Strings ‘N’ Things in Chatham, Ontario, which opened in 1972 and still operates. The telephone number on the sticker is only seven digits, no listed area code, which I haven’t seen for at least a couple of decades.

This instrument is sold without case but would easily fit into an ordinary gig bag.

Price: $1,750.00 CAD
View Spec Sheet (PDF)
  • Model: Duo-Sonic II
  • Year: 1965
  • Finish Dakota Red
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 102778
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 25/01/2018

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Scale Length: 24in
Fender Website View Spec Sheet (PDF)

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