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Rating and Reviews: Fender Duo-Sonic HS

A vintage-spec humbucker in the bridge makes this Duo-Sonic something special. The shorter 24" scale makes bends a breeze and is perfect for smaller players.

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"Excellent buy" submitted January 30, 2017

By a customer from gmail.com in DFW, TX
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Musical Background: over 20 years playing guitar, songwriter, in a band
Music Style: 80s alt rock
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Overall: I'm impressed. Nicely dressed & level frets. Fit & finish are impeccable at this price point. Fender just gets it right on their MIM models. I've owned many US made guitars & honestly, unless you're willing to invest 2 grand or more, you're not getting anything less where it really counts with a Mexican Fender. Neck has a fantastic feeling smooth satin finish. I have big hands & I prefer smaller scale guitars. I feel like I can cover more territory with less effort & the 24" scale doesn't feel cramped at all. If you're used to the standard 25.5" Fender scale it'll take some getting used to but it's absolutely worth it. It's very light. The bridge pickup is very clear & articulate. It's bright but not harsh. I'm assuming it's an alnico V pup. Coil tap is surprisingly useful, though it doesn't exactly nail the true single coil sound which is fine as I've never been a big fan of a single coil in the bridge anyway. The neck pup sounds great. It's spanky & slightly warm & the combination of the 2 pups essentially gives you a boosted version of the neck which I find very appealing. The tuners, bridge & saddles all do their job, no complaints there. It's a simple, yet versatile guitar that's a joy to play. I'd recommend it to anyone at any playing level.
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"Fun Players Guitar Suited for All Skill Levels" submitted January 6, 2017

By Joaquin S
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Sound: I wouldn't consider the humbucker the most inspiring pickup I've ever heard but it is definitely better than what I had anticipated. If you are looking for something that provides a mid-level crunch or are a fuzz advocate you are looking at the right guitar. Although I purchased this guitar fully intending on replacing the humbucker with something that is larger sounding, I wouldn't be terribly disappointed if I were to keep the stock pickup in place. The single coil neck pickup is where you will find this guitars Fender vibe. It is very reminiscent of a MIM Strat's neck pickup, warm and smooth sounding. Both Seymour Duncan and Lindy Fralin make a "vintage" sounding Duo-Sonic pickup that would likely be worth the upgrade. It should be noted however that the neck pickup provides a very noticeable buzz (the buzz is prevalent when in the middle position as well). Again, if you've played a MIM Strat or Tele you probably already know what to expect in regards to the buzz sound from the single coils. Of course with any written review it is impossible to really dictate the sound of the guitar, especially when taking gear variances into consideration. For reference I'm running this through an Orange CR120 and a Marshall 1960A 4x12. Feature: The HS model does feature a coil splitting pot for the humbucker, which to no surprise works as intended. The guitar has a Telecaster style single tone and single volume knob that have solid craftsmanship and don't feel loose or cheap (although I suppose this could very from guitar to guitar). Nothing else is included in the box other than some reading material, unfortunately this does not come with a case or even a gig bag. Ease of Use: Ease of use is what I would consider the highlight of this product. Playing this guitar is just flat out fun due to the scale length and body style. Being a 24" scale the tension on this guitar is vastly different from a standard sized neck, bend techniques are easier and the fret board feels very fluid due to the satin style neck. Quality: Quality is up to par with the rest of the MIM Fender guitars. No surprising blemishes and the factory set-up is competent. Value: Being at the $500 price point (at the time of writing) I can say that this guitar is maybe a tad over-priced when you consider it does not come with a case or bag and you will likely want to upgrade a few parts if you're a playing guitarist and are looking for a new number one. The Wow Factor: I purchased the Daphne Blue color, the finish is very loud of such a mellow hue (if that makes any sense at all). Take it or leave it, it's not a vintage looking Daphne Blue as it is a high gloss poly finish.. To my knowledge the Surf Green model features a bit of a sparkle to the finish. Black is Black. Overall: I made the highly frowned upon "blind" purchase on the Duo Sonic HS model (I was only able to play the Mustang at my local shop as that is all they carry at the moment) with the intent of making it a project guitar. After playing it for several hours out of the box I must say I am impressed by how genuinely fun this guitar is to play. Sound wise it is certainly adequate for the price you are paying. It provides a tone that, while definitely "Fender-ish", is unique to what you would expect from a MIM Tele or Strat. With some key upgrades this guitar has great potential to be a road warrior for playing guitarists who aren't going to shell out several thousand dollars for a top shelf instrument.
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