In 1955, Fender Sales decided the company needed to add inexpensive student electric guitar models to the existing lineup, which included the Esquire, the Telecaster, the Stratocaster, and the Precision bass.

In 1955, Fender Sales decided the company needed to add inexpensive student electric guitar models to the existing lineup, which included the Esquire, the Telecaster, the Stratocaster, and the Precision bass. These new beginner electrics were introduced by 1956. They were called the Musicmaster (one pickup) and the Duo-Sonic (two pickups). These short-scale guitars were designed for young beginners with small fingers.


The Musicmaster and Duo-Sonic shared the same double-cutaway Desert Sand colored bodies, and 22-½" scale, one-piece maple necks. The Musicmaster had Telecaster-style volume and tone knobs for its neck-position single-coil pickup. The Duo-Sonic boasted an added bridge pickup and a 3-way selector switch. By 1959, Fender added rosewood fretboards to the maple necks, matching the change to the rest of the Fender line. Thick, single-ply white pickguards replaced the original gold anodized guards, and sunburst finish became an option. The models received makeovers in 1964 to coincide with the introduction of the Mustang. The short scale Duo-Sonics and Musicmasters were offered through 1969.

Both Michael Bloomfield and Jimi Hendrix played Duo-Sonics in their early careers before working their way up to the "big boy" Fenders and Gibsons.

More information on these Fender guitars can be found in Fender: The Sound Heard ’Round the World by Richard R. Smith, and in The Fender Book by Tony Bacon and Paul Day.


Dave's Guitar Shop
Daves Rogers’ collection is tended to by
Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally
Photos and words by Tim Mullally
Dave’s collection is on display at:
Dave's Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
davesguitar.com

Made in Canada, this two-voice guitar features a chambered Mahogany body, carved Swamp Ash top, 25.5” scale Mahogany neck and Rosewood Fingerboard.

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Gain is fun in all its forms, from overdrive to fuzz, but let’s talk about a great clean tone.


We’re all here for one thing. It’s the singular sound and magic of the stringed instrument called the guitar—and its various offshoots, including the bass. Okay, so maybe it’s more than one thing, but the sentiment remains. Even as I write this, my thoughts fan out and recognize how many incarnations of “guitar” there must be. It’s almost incomprehensible. Gut-string, nylon-string, steel-string, 12-string, 8-string, 10-string, flatwound, brown sound, fuzztone…. It’s almost impossible to catalog completely, so I’ll stop here and let you add your favorites. Still, there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: clean tone.

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

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$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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