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Here's What's Inside a 2016 Duo Sonic
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Ctemple100
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Joined: 28 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:44 pm    Post subject: Here's What's Inside a 2016 Duo Sonic Reply with quote

I just got my 2016 orange Duo Sonic from a major online vendor. Nice guitar, plays just fine, neck is pretty good, set-up was good. No buzzing. Neck looks straight, no twists. Guitar sets up generally to Fender Strat standards: string height, neck relief etc, all ok.

I believe the bridge is a Mexi Vintage bridge, not the all-steel 57/62 Vintage hardtail bridge. The bridge, however, works and intonates fine.

Pickups sound ok...they are very "neutral" to my ears, not super chimey or twangy...right in between a Strat and Tele. They are not "hot" (more below) but not thin either. Bottom Line: they make guitar noise. BTW, I play through a 2014 Deluxe Reverb Reissue with the bright cap clipped with a Weber ceramic speaker. I either play clean or use a RC Booster with the gain control turned all the way up for a bit of additional gain.

Finally, the toggle switch is solid and pots are smooth.

I opened it up today to look inside and here's what I found.

Pots are stamped in English "Made in Korea."
Output jack looks fine but I don't think it's a Switchcraft.
Wiring in general is low-priced PVC insulated, probably 26 gauge. Some of the wiring is doubled...in other words two wires (one insulated) are wrapped in one larger PVC sleeve.
Surprisingly, the toggle switch is all metal with decent lugs and looks pretty durable.
The tone cap is a no-name, (at least not Fender USA standard) and I couldn't tell if it's a .022 or .047....I think it's the later but not sure.
The pickups seem ok, the coils are wrapped in thick protective tape but I think I saw some bright copper Formvar peaking out. i de-soldered them from the switch lugs and they measured 6.35K ohms for the bridge and 6.1K for the neck.
There's some shielding paint in the cavity, but it's uneven, thin or even missing in spots...not a good thick coating. In general the pickup/controls rout in the body is big, but it's not a bathtub.
Overall, the interior workmanship, soldering, neatness, and quality is pretty good...not great or elegant, but definitely competent and sufficient.

So: I've loaded up on some Stewmac stuff, to include: two CTS 250K solid shaft pots, a Switchcraft jack. some cloth and shielded 22 gauge wire, a .022 orange drop cap. I've got some leftover shielding paint in the garage from another project. I also am considering a set of CBS-era pickups from The Pickup Wizard on eBay (I have a soft spot for plain enamel wire, under-wound pickups; ever since I got some Custom Shop 69 pickups for my American Strat years ago). However, I think the OEM pickups are ok and frankly, how much money do I really want to dump into this little guitar...

Anyway, thought it would be interesting to post my quick observations. Not sure if others have observed the same....

Am I happy I bought it? Yes. A decent guitar for $500 in my opinion. And those colors are irresistible.

BTW, this is my first post. Hope it is informative for the group.

Cheers.
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robert(original)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that was a really good breakdown of the guitar. i would love to see some pics of this beast!
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Grant
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Joined: 11 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Here's What's Inside a 2016 Duo Sonic Reply with quote

Ctemple100 wrote:

BTW, this is my first post. Hope it is informative for the group.


welcome! excellent first post.
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speedfish
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review!

Thanks,
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StevePirates
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great review. Thanks for the info!
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BoringPostcards
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the review!
Welcome to Shortscale.org!
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! And thanks for pointing out a lot of what's inside one.

I've also started to look at this guitar more since my bandmate just got one. It's a really nice guitar.

One of the interesting quirks about this guitar's wiring is that it has Gibson 50s wiring, where the tone knob is attached to the output and not the input of the volume knob. This means the guitar stays bright as you turn the volume down, but it also loses volume as you turn the tone down. On standard Fenders and modern Gibsons, the guitar gets darker as you turn the volume down, but stays the same volume as you turn the tone down. Passive guitars being what they are, you have to choose one or the other, and it's interesting that they used wiring more associated with a vintage Gibson than a Fender. Either way, it can be changed in seconds with a soldering iron, but I thought it interesting enough to point out.

I think the only thing I don't like about this guitar is that stupid string tree that's jammed up right against the headstock. Replace it as soon as you can. I actually think that's a glaring enough issue that it's worth changing right away. I think the wiring is pretty good. I'd probably change it in time, but it's certainly not something that needs to happen right away, it's more of something you do at the 2nd string change after the return period is over and you know you're keeping it. You could definitely buy the guitar and gig with it right away.
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The jack failed in practice yesterday. Took the thingy home and changed her out, and while I was at it, I decided to just look at a few other things. Anyway, the bridge humbucker in the HS measures in the low 8k range, and is 3-conductor with shield and goes from red to white to green to shield. So it is possible to change the push-pull to do parallel/series pretty easily:

1 2
3 4
5 6
---
Pot

Now, disconnect the bridge humbucker and free up the white and green wires from each other and the heat shrink. There should be a long wire that is performing coil split, we can repurpose this wire as the output from the push-pull. Make it so that 6 is ground + humbucker ground (was already grounded in this guitar, so made use of existing wiring), 4 is white, 2 and 1 are connected, 3 is humbucker green, and 5 is humbucker red + output wire. Now connect that long output wire where the bridge goes on the 3-way switch, and you've made a parallel-series option for the humbucker. Useful if you're installing a noise-free neck pickup and you don't want the split to mess that up. Also, I found that the humbucker was out of phase with a DiMarzio pickup in default form, which I kind of expected since most Fender pickups are out of phase with most aftermarket pickups in my experience.
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brainfur
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I played a pearly green HS one in guitarcenter last nite and god damn it was a really good feeling guitar-- the bridge looks cheap but the action was spot on

it had been dropped and a huge chunk of finish was missing, so I can say with certainty that its a nice thick 3 mm of poly on that bad boy

Would have bought it if the sales man would have given me more than $50 bucks off for the battle damage

now I want the orange one with the maple neck instead. fuck i have to many guitars
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



This finish is super cool. It photographs really well because it has a little more depth than the usual surf green. It doesn't just become white under bright lights.
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brainfur
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

honeyiscool wrote:


This finish is super cool. It photographs really well because it has a little more depth than the usual surf green. It doesn't just become white under bright lights.


yeah its gorgeous! and felt so good
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theshadowofseattle wrote:
TYPICAL AMERICAN BAND LIKE JAY Z, AXE BODY SPRAY, AND THE VENTURES.
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

love the simple setup there
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jcyphe wrote:
But the people need that wiggle stick.
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vojtasTS29
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love those geetars, but ffs why did they do that to the pickguard shape. I can't stand how it goes back under the bridge.
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SAVEStheDAY
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The color selection bugs me a little. Well, more specifically the fact that they have completely different colors for the SS and HS Duo-Sonics. I like the Capri Orange a lot, and would love it on the HS guitar. It's hard for me to justify another black, green, or blue guitar. But orange? I don't have any orange guitars.
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PV-1955
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SAVEStheDAY wrote:
The color selection bugs me a little. Well, more specifically the fact that they have completely different colors for the SS and HS Duo-Sonics. I like the Capri Orange a lot, and would love it on the HS guitar. It's hard for me to justify another black, green, or blue guitar. But orange? I don't have any orange guitars.

The routing will accommodate a humbucker at the bridge. I have an orange one and I am about to put a Bluesbucker in the bridge of mine.
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SAVEStheDAY
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PV-1955 wrote:
SAVEStheDAY wrote:
The color selection bugs me a little. Well, more specifically the fact that they have completely different colors for the SS and HS Duo-Sonics. I like the Capri Orange a lot, and would love it on the HS guitar. It's hard for me to justify another black, green, or blue guitar. But orange? I don't have any orange guitars.

The routing will accommodate a humbucker at the bridge. I have an orange one and I am about to put a Bluesbucker in the bridge of mine.


I'm ok with that, and might still get one and swap out the guard later, but I'd probably already have one if they just sold all the colors on all of them. I don't get why they'd do it this way.
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

economics, supply/demand

sadly.
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robroe wrote:
I'm fuckin old dudes

jcyphe wrote:
But the people need that wiggle stick.
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honeyiscool
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PV-1955 wrote:
SAVEStheDAY wrote:
The color selection bugs me a little. Well, more specifically the fact that they have completely different colors for the SS and HS Duo-Sonics. I like the Capri Orange a lot, and would love it on the HS guitar. It's hard for me to justify another black, green, or blue guitar. But orange? I don't have any orange guitars.

The routing will accommodate a humbucker at the bridge. I have an orange one and I am about to put a Bluesbucker in the bridge of mine.
I put one in there. Then I took it out.

The stock humbucker is really good. With the Princeton Reverb anyway. The Bluesbucker is too much for that amp. But an amp that has a little more tonal control at a given volume level might be able to handle it better. It sounded good on my Yamaha THR at home and I like the basic tone of it, but I think the Princeton is too simple of an amp to get the best out of the Bluesbucker, which sounded a bit too hot without the warmth and muted highs of a hot pickup.

My bandmate's Duo HS (the one pictured above) now has a DiMarzio Area 58 and a stock humbucker wired in the series/parallel fashion as detailed above. This combination is perfect.
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BobArsecake
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's lovely, my only reservation is the choice of tuner.
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BADmin


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SLOTTED FOR LYPHE
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