Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
User avatar
Jimjam
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:03 am

Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Jimjam » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:11 pm

Any fellow first generation re-issue MIM Duo-sonic owners out there?

I've just picked one up, always wanted one, and i love so many things about it. But there are a few issues:

The tuning is impossible. Can this be resolved simply by using thicker strings? say 12-52?

Intonation is so-so, i'm surprised to see that it is still impossible to buy a six-saddle, top-loader bridge with a duo-sonic footprint. Has anyone had any success with other options? or, compensated saddles?

Finally, if i decide to go down the path of a neck-swap, what works and what doesn't?

I know what bolts on directly but what is your experience? does a 25.5" neck look weird? or incredibly cool?

Thanks everyone!

User avatar
MKR
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by MKR » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:59 pm

i have one and i love it (almost) as is. I say almost because the stock tuners are terrible. Once i replaced those, tuning was spot on and never an issue. I use 11s on mine but i am sure 12s would feel pretty natural on account of the extra short neck.

I personally find the stock neck part of the guitar's charm and it makes it more fun to play. I have heard that 24" necks will work fine (something about the number of frets on the stock neck make the 24" neck compatible). No idea about a 25.5 neck, but i wouldn't count on it. just seems too much of a stretch in my opinion (but i really don't know).

I'm happy enough with the intonation on mine. compensated saddles work fine. I had some on there before i put them on a tele and put the stock ones back on. That would be the easiest option to try if you're not totally happy with what you have.

Here's my duo sonic. i'll never get rid of it.
Image

Image

User avatar
Jimjam
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:03 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Jimjam » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:05 pm

Awesome! Thanks MKR.

You're basically speaking my language. I think 11s should be fine, and great to know once better tuners are installed it is pretty bulletproof.

May i ask what tuners you used? klusons?

I agree the super short scale is part of the awesomeness, also the weight, it feels effortless strapped on.

Looks like you might have changed your guard to a 3-ply too? Mine is 1-ply but starting to warp.

Will try and post a photo later.

User avatar
MKR
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by MKR » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:20 pm

i just got some inexpensive "vintage kluson style" ones off ebay. Think they were around $20 CDN. They are more than adequate and a huge improvement over the stock ones.

I got the pickguard off WD a couple years ago, but i just checked now out of curiousity and they are available on ebay. same price and variety. i'm sort of tempted to buy a 3 ply black one and swap pickup covers to white.

User avatar
Jimjam
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:03 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Jimjam » Wed Apr 29, 2020 5:50 pm

Good one, will track down some tuners now.

The black pick guard was also a path i've considered. I've seen a photo with one and it looks great. To be honest though, it just looks so cool as is.

I'm really curious to try a vintage duo-sonic now. I've played a few of the later 60s ones, but i think the early ones with the 22.5" would have the same awesome-factor as these, but vintage!

User avatar
timtam
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1904
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by timtam » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:32 pm

Always check the nut for binding first with tuning issues, as it is the common culprit. Always worth checking your tuner string winding technique / string stretching too.
Last edited by timtam on Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Danley
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2104
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:46 am
Location: California Republic

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Danley » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 pm

I’ve played vintage short/22.5” duos, and the MIM reissue. For what it’s worth the vintage necks feel like a ‘real’ neck but cut short; the MIM neck just felt too dinky for me. MIM bodies are MUCH smaller too, as there’s less pace between the strap button and bridge.

I’d look at the nut first for tuning problems. The stock cheap tuners can actually work fine even if they feel kind of sticky and shitty.
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

User avatar
Jimjam
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:03 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Jimjam » Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:03 pm

Cheers timtam and Danley.

I've given the strings a good solid tug and stretch and they actually seem pretty stable now. The shop i bought it from had restrung before sending, so maybe it just needed a good stretch and a settling-in period. The nut surprisingly seems perfect with zero catch on the strings.

Could be down to just new strings and a slightly heavier hand coming from a larger scale. There is a bit more finesse required with a short scale i guess.

I'll definitely give it some more time, as i'm happier not changing anything if i don't need to.

This guitar is insane, you just cannot put it down, its so light and fun to play. It seems to suit more quirky, scratchier, bonkier sort of stuff.

Completely happy with this, but am curious to try out a vintage one, especially if the neck is a tad chunkier.

Thanks everyone.

User avatar
MKR
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by MKR » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:44 am

Danley wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 pm
I’ve played vintage short/22.5” duos, and the MIM reissue. For what it’s worth the vintage necks feel like a ‘real’ neck but cut short; the MIM neck just felt too dinky for me. MIM bodies are MUCH smaller too, as there’s less pace between the strap button and bridge.

I’d look at the nut first for tuning problems. The stock cheap tuners can actually work fine even if they feel kind of sticky and shitty.
the bodies are not smaller at all. They're basically identical. There's a comparison video on youtube involving the 90s Mexican reissue and the more recent Mexican ones and side by side they're pretty much a perfect fit. Even bridge placement is remarkably close. I think the reason why it looks different is because the bridge on the 90s one is physically bigger.

User avatar
Danley
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2104
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:46 am
Location: California Republic

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Danley » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:18 am

MKR wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:44 am
Danley wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 pm
I’ve played vintage short/22.5” duos, and the MIM reissue. For what it’s worth the vintage necks feel like a ‘real’ neck but cut short; the MIM neck just felt too dinky for me. MIM bodies are MUCH smaller too, as there’s less pace between the strap button and bridge.

I’d look at the nut first for tuning problems. The stock cheap tuners can actually work fine even if they feel kind of sticky and shitty.
the bodies are not smaller at all. They're basically identical. There's a comparison video on youtube involving the 90s Mexican reissue and the more recent Mexican ones and side by side they're pretty much a perfect fit.
I've spent minimal time with the newer MIM series, so can't comment on them. But here's a crude comparison that illustrates the body size differences between the early MIM Fender/Squier Affinity Duo Sonic, alongside Vintage. I made the comment about the body size after someone brought up wanting to try a vintage Duo as a result of liking the MIM/Affinity style guitar, but my point is they feel like totally different guitars to me.

Because these images are equal sized vertically, the body size difference translates to one of proportioning; look how much less room there is on the MIM body between both the bridge and strap button, or between the strap button and input jack. I do concede I don't have both guitars to measure, but through the pic it is at least visible that the MIM is packaged in a more compact way; the MIM body looks shortened in a similar way to the later Mustang Special bodies, which had an inch or more of the lower bout chopped off as well:

ImageImage
King Buzzo: I love when people come up to me and say “Your guitar sound was better on Stoner Witch, when you used a Les Paul. “...I used a Fender Mustang reissue on that, dumbass!

User avatar
MKR
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by MKR » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:24 am

yeah I have no experience with the vintage ones. Those are way out of my budget unfortunately. But I can confirm that the 90s ones are very close to the newer ones.

User avatar
Spellcaster
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:44 pm
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Spellcaster » Mon May 04, 2020 8:22 pm

I've owned a couple of Duosonics. One was a Classic Vibe with upgrade six-saddle Strat bridge. I swapped the maple neck which I didn't like initially for a 65 Musicmaster 22.5" rosewood neck and then for a 71 Musicmaster 24" rosewood neck with Steinberger tuners. The other one's an Affinity heavily modified. It has a custom pickguard, built-in rechargeable overdrive pedal, thumb-wheel master volume and tone pots, three-way pickup switch that selects single coil/coils in series/coils in parallel, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickup, passive-pedal bypass/charge mode toggle switch, Custom Shop Parts six-saddle bridge, flush-mounted Dunlop Straploks, and reshaped-to-offset body. Original 22.5" scale maple neck with locking Sperzel tuners Fun guitars to play, but having tried it both ways, the 24" scale's a lot easier to play.
Image
"I know just enough to be dangerous..."

Con-Tiki!
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3099
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:00 am
Location: Pgh, where the zombies come from

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by Con-Tiki! » Tue May 05, 2020 4:24 am

Danley wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:18 am
MKR wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:44 am
Danley wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 pm
I’ve played vintage short/22.5” duos, and the MIM reissue. For what it’s worth the vintage necks feel like a ‘real’ neck but cut short; the MIM neck just felt too dinky for me. MIM bodies are MUCH smaller too, as there’s less pace between the strap button and bridge.

I’d look at the nut first for tuning problems. The stock cheap tuners can actually work fine even if they feel kind of sticky and shitty.
the bodies are not smaller at all. They're basically identical. There's a comparison video on youtube involving the 90s Mexican reissue and the more recent Mexican ones and side by side they're pretty much a perfect fit.
I've spent minimal time with the newer MIM series, so can't comment on them. But here's a crude comparison that illustrates the body size differences between the early MIM Fender/Squier Affinity Duo Sonic, alongside Vintage. I made the comment about the body size after someone brought up wanting to try a vintage Duo as a result of liking the MIM/Affinity style guitar, but my point is they feel like totally different guitars to me.

Because these images are equal sized vertically, the body size difference translates to one of proportioning; look how much less room there is on the MIM body between both the bridge and strap button, or between the strap button and input jack. I do concede I don't have both guitars to measure, but through the pic it is at least visible that the MIM is packaged in a more compact way; the MIM body looks shortened in a similar way to the later Mustang Special bodies, which had an inch or more of the lower bout chopped off as well:

ImageImage
if you look at the neck, where it joins the body, and the number of frets, there's your difference.
The vintage guitars are 22-whatever scale, the reissue looks like it might be a conversion neck. Anyway, the bridge placement is different, no idea about the overall size/shape of the slab.
(Christopher, also)
I've been to one World's Fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing i ever heard come out a pair of headphones.

User avatar
rexter
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1644
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:44 am
Location: Norwich, East of England

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by rexter » Thu May 14, 2020 10:43 am

A 25.5" scale neck will indeed work on one of these. Had a strat neck on mine for a while :)

User avatar
MKR
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1488
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:06 am

Re: Fender Duo-sonic MIM 93-97 Owners. HELP!

Post by MKR » Fri May 15, 2020 4:40 am

rexter wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 10:43 am
A 25.5" scale neck will indeed work on one of these. Had a strat neck on mine for a while :)
really?! It seems impossible, but I totally believe you.

Post Reply