The Fender Duo Sonic HS is one of those guitars that is lightweight, compatible with all styles of music, and easy to rock with. In my early years of playing guitar, I was not a major fan of Fender. I always felt like they sounded good with one style of music or styles particular to the design of the guitar. I always strayed away from Fender guitars, but never strayed too far, as I am a major fan of Fender amps.
Every now and then, I would go into a music store and pick up a Jaguar modeled after one of my favorite people in the music industry, Kurt Cobain. Years later, I had the pleasure of playing Fender’s newest reissue of their Duo-Sonic model which was originally released in 1956- the Duo-Sonic HS electric guitar in Canary Diamond with a pau ferro fretboard.
When first plugging it in to play, I was not sure what to expect. But upon playing it at home, in band rehearsals and even for a few shows, I was pleased to experience this product and what it gives off.
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By nature, I am a rocker. My band is a rock band, so I have always played guitars that are built for rock. The main thing I love about this guitar is how lightweight it is. Originally designed by Fender as a student guitar thanks to its shorter 24″ scale length, it has been a guitar of choice among beginner guitar players and players with smaller hands.
When you are wearing it on stage or even sitting with it on your lap, it does not feel like you are even holding anything. These Duo Sonics were built to not feel like a burden; instead, they were designed with players like me in mind.
The versatility of the sound is in the body build and the evenness and smooth playability of the neck. The humbucker and single coil pickups allow for the player to switch to a solid guitar foundation that allows playing with pedals and sounds to not be muddy, but creates a smooth and exciting time when playing.
I used this guitar in three different atmospheres to test its ability to deliver evenly in every arena. When I played this guitar at home on my Facebook live (Gabby Logan or Guitar Gabby), I loved the guitar’s fresh and clean sound even with light distortion. I played out of my mini Line 6 amp with a little reverb and it sounded heavenly!
When I was in rehearsal, I used this guitar in drop D tuning for one of my songs to test the flexibility of the guitar’s sound put up against an entire four-piece band. I loved the brightness the guitar gave me, which allowed me to still stand out when it was time for my solos. In my rehearsal hall, I play out of a Vox half stack and I always play clean out of this amp and run my other sounds from my pedal board.
Last but not least, I played this guitar at one show in downtown Atlanta out of my Crate 50 amp and this guitar provided me with the perfect agility when in the midst of songs being played back to back. I did not feel the need to change guitars during my set as I sometimes will do for certain gigs.
All in all, this guitar has won me over with the ability to be everything a musician may need all in one. Would I play this guitar again or add it to my family of guitars? Absolutely! I love it and would not mind having it as part of my guitar family.
Female guitar players that play a Fender Duo-Sonic:
- Warpaint – Warpaint Talks Music, Inspiration, Fender Offsest Guitars, and Quirky Style
- Liz Phair – one of her main guitars is a now-faded white ’60s Duo-Sonic. (Source: Wikipedia)
- Patti Smith – plays a Duo-Sonic and has featured her guitar in song lyrics, for example in “Radio Ethiopia/Abyssinia” from the Radio Ethiopia LP. (Source: Wikipedia)
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- 24” scale length; “C”-shaped maple neck
- One Duo-Sonic single-coil neck pickup; one Duo-Sonic humbucking bridge pickup with coil-split capability
- 9.5”-radius maple fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets
- Six-saddle string-through-body hardtail Strat® bridge with bent steel saddles
- Master Volume and Tone controls; three-way pickup switch
- Body Type: Solidbody
- Body Shape: Duo-Sonic
- Body Material: Alder
- Body Finish: Polyester Gloss
- Neck Material: Maple
- Neck Shape: C profile
- Radius: 9.5″
- Fingerboard Material: Pau Ferro
- Fingerboard Inlay: Dots
- Number of Frets: 22, Medium Jumbo
- Scale Length: 24″
- Nut Width: 1.650″
- Nut Material: Synthetic bone
- Bridge/Tailpiece: 6-saddle string thru strat hardtail with bent steel saddles
- Tuners: Standard cast/sealed
- Neck Pickup: Duo-Sonic Single-coil
- Bridge Pickup: Duo-Sonic Vintage Humbucker
- Controls: 1 x volume, 1 x tone (push/pull coil-split), 3-way toggle pickup switch
- Strings: 10-46
Priced online from $524.99.