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MIM Duo Sonic project

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Joined: 07 Jul 2014
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: MIM Duo Sonic project Reply with quote

Hi there,

Been enjoying browsing the project threads on here over the last few weeks and thought I'd introduce myself with a project of my own...

I bought this guitar new in 1998 and it was always a guitar I kind of liked, but due to the very short scale I didn't play it that often, and consequently it became my 'learn how to do mods' guitar, subjected to numerous indignities over the years - first gold, then a kind of dung brown (blame Elvis Costello for that one), humbuckers, a Bigsby and tunomatic, one of those Fernandes sustainer pickups. This year I decided it deserved a new lease of life, and came up with a plan for a more dignified makeover, so here it is:

The most recent changes: refinished in coral pink nitro, and gently reliced - the body would have required a lot of material removing to get out the various dings it sustained whilst in the dung brown phase not to mention trying to finish seamlessly over dozens of plugged holes and a patch I had to make to fill in the Sustainer battery compartment, so I worked around the scratches that were too deep to get out and added a little work with a file to expose the undercoat in a few places. The neck pickup is original and sounds great, but the bridge pickup was dead so I went with a Seymour Duncan Lipstick - haven't decided whether to keep that or have the original rewound. The pickguard and bridge are Squier Classic Vibe Duo parts as the original guard was ruined and I love the look of anodised guards, and I swapped out the original tuners for CV versions. The neck finish is original but I polished it up with miromesh so it has a glossier, less anemic look than the standard Mexican finish. I have a bit of a weird tuning that is perfect for Duo Sonics, being derived from my experiences with tenor guitar, so it's currently strung up as FCGDGA low to high, and it sounds great - far better than it ever did in concert pitch.

I didn't document the process as well as I should have, but this photo caught it in the sanded and ready to finish stage. The other Duo is a '58 neck with an early '60s refinished body that I stripped and refinished, but I've since sourced a more appropriate '50s body with the original finish and anodised guard, so the '60s body is now awaiting an appropriate neck to show up on Ebay. More to follow with those two...

I'll try to document those two a bit better!

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Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 539
Location: Middle England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok pal, welcome to the forum...youll find plenty of Duo lovers on here, and enough info to keep you hooked on shortscales...
Love the coral pink duo...and the much??
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Joined: 07 Jul 2014
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


The lipstick was something I had hanging around from another project, and the bridge pickup that belonged to the Duo originally turned out to be dead so I went with the lipstick. It sounds ok but very twangy to the point of being unusable for anything other than crazy psychobilly , so I think in the long run I'll swap it for something a bit darker. On the other hand I just strung up my '58 as well, currently with a set of MIJ Mustang pickups while I wait for some better ones to arrive, and I'm finding I only really want to use the neck pickup on that as well, so maybe I'm just a Musicmaster kind of guy and I should leave the lipstick in as an occasional special effect sound.

The neck pickup sounds awesome which is a surprise as it looks very cheap and nasty - I'm tempted to get the bridge one rewound to see how good it sounds .
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