6/27/2015

1981 Daion Mugen Mark I Dreadnought Guitar




I worked on a 1980 Mugen back in 2011 and later traded-on that one to a friend of mine who's a Daion fiend. He's been using that guitar a lot ever since and found the Mugen in this post shortly after getting that one from me. This second Mugen has been kicking around his collection and finally made its way over here for a K&K pickup install and a good setup.

It's a good guitar! Of course, I expected as much, but couldn't quite tell when it had a leaned-over saddle, spotty setup, and dead strings. Daions were made in Japan (via Yamaki) and after they've been setup decently, I've liked every one I've handled. They're simply well-made, practical guitars, and tend to not have wear-and-tear issues. They're stable. The Mugen Mark Is were sort-of their entry dreadnought acoustic but are quite above-average for an entry guitar. They're every bit as good as entry-level American makes from the time, or better.



This guitar has a solid cedar top with laminate (rosewood?) back and sides. The neck is mahogany and it has a bound rosewood fretboard and rosewood bridge. Everything on this is original save some new bridge pins and a replacement older saddle.

The 1980 Daion had a bigger, warmer sound than this one but I also think that's because it had been played a lot more which tends to do that. The sound is good on this guy but it's certainly more crisp and clear... like a fresh D-18 but with maybe a bit less tub on the bass.




The rosewood pickguard is cute, huh?


The old bridge pins needed serious replacement: two snapped when I put new strings on! Simple cream plastic ones looked right...

I also notched the B-string slot for better intonation and extended the worn-in string ramps for better back-angle on the saddle.




I'm not fond of sealed tuners (heavy!), but these original ones work just fine so I left them in place.



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