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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Classic Vibe Duo-Sonic review

Modal Magic
Contributing Member

MBJ, Highway Hound.

You Can't Bend It Aussie!
Dec 20th, 2011 11:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recently played a Squire Classic Vibe Duo-Sonic at a local guitar store. I was that impressed I ordered one from Amazon due to the saving I would make. The local one was priced at Aus$650 and the one I ordered cost Aus$460 including expedited shipping. This is a review of the one I purchased.

Noticeable Problems- Straight from the box it was rather grubby with fingers smears over it. It seemed like it had being handled a fair bit. The 3-position toggle switch was loose and physically moving in the scratch plate when used. On top of this, the switch itself has very dodgy operation because it is difficult to engage the middle selection, and the bit you grip can be rotated within the housing with no positive “click” at each position. It is useable, but requires some finesse to get it to work. There is noticeable fret buzz when the A string fifth fret is fretted. It seems that the sixth fret only at this string is a little high. The high E string chokes out with partial bending at the 14th fret. It seems that the 15th fret at this string is high. There is no other choking or buzzing problems at any other neck positions.

Fit and Finish- The overall fit and finish is to a high standard. The fret ends are well dressed with no protrusions over the edge of the neck. The neck pocket is tight, but there is a small noticeable gap between the pocket and the flat of the neck where the screws go in. No big deal because the neck is very stable. The neck has a very nice, tight grain pattern, which in some areas looks flamed and has a subtle tint. The tuners are very solid with a positive movement and no play or slap back and are fairly sensitive.

The finish is good except for around the radius of the pickguard on the bass side of the bridge pickup. It looks like the guard may have being fitted before the paint had cured but is very minor and difficult to notice unless you look closely.

The bridge seems solid enough but time will tell if it is durable or not. Tuning is very stable with no “plinking” at the nut when rotating the tuners.

I took the pickguard of to tighten the switch and was impressed by the attention to detail. It is very tidy with the whole cavity painted in anti static paint. The guard is completely shielded over its entire area. The pots are small and the switch is very flimsy. The pups look very well made and tidy. The wiring is very tidy. The sticker was very hard to peel of the pickguard, needing WD40 to assist the removal.

Playability and Sound- The guitar felt well set up to my hands straight out of the box. Other than the annoying fret buzz and choking problem (which reminds me constantly how much I bend at that fret and string!) as described above, it is a comfortable neck that is slick and plays fast. An intonation check at the twelfth fret told my ears that the high E is slightly out, but a chromatic tuner confirmed it is extremely close. Overall, intonation is surprisingly good given the nature of the three-barrel bridge assembly. The guitar sits very comfortably and is very light. The whole thing is reminiscent of a baby Strat.

The pickups are awesome! They are very sweet and full sounding with nice complexity and character. The bridge pup fat sounding (as far as bridge single coil pups go) due to its position being fairly distant from the bridge. It has none of the thinness or spikiness that is associated with Strat bridge pups. . The neck pup is ever so sweet but the high E seems a bit thin in relation to the rest of the strings possibly because the pup is angled or the treble side needs adjustment. The middle position sounds like a not-so-nasally Tele middle position that is slightly fatter in sound. The low E tends to get muddy with overdrive at all pup selections. I think this may be due to the new strings I fitted because of the rich vibrations. String to string volume is balanced as well as the volumes between pup selections.

The tone pot works very well keeping the tone crisp until at '0' where it becomes muffled. Although the tone and volume pots are small, the movement is very smooth with no slop.

Summary- Overall, a classy looking guitar with the Desert Sand finish and gold pickguard. It sounds incredible, plays extremely well and is very comfortable. I was a little disappointed with some of the issues because the one I played in the shop had no problems, other than the action being to high. For it’s price point it is extremely good value, especially if you live in the states. It is a great compliment to a Strat with very sweet vintage tones that are a variation of classic Fender single coil tones.


The Netherlands

Happiness is a hot tube
Dec 23rd, 2011 12:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 2008 Duo Sonic Classic Vibe. The only flaw on mine is the switch, but it does the job. I put on an extra string retainer and three Allparts brass compensated Tele bridge saddles. Together with the 0.11 TightFit D&R strings it makes this guitar a real player. I love the looks, I love the sound; the medium scale neck is great to play.

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Classic Vibe Duo-Sonic review

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