10/03/2015

1982 Daion Caribou


The short-lived Japanese-made Daion brand came up with all sorts of great guitars. I actually worked on a Caribou a few years ago and wasn't expecting to be working on one anytime soon (they're rather rare). I was pleased, then, when my buddy Rick (he's a huge Daion fiend) came in with this guy. These are interesting guitars that have that "mini jumbo" sound to start-off with but have a snap, zing, and bite that's also sort of jazzy or archtop-y in flavor as well. Part of it is the maple back and sides, I'm guessing, and the contorted shape.

In addition to cleating a crack, work on this included a fret level/dress and swapping the original (junk) undersaddle pickup for a K&K Big Twin. At the same time I wired a volume control for the K&K that utilized the original control housing (though a tone control was nixed as K&Ks are not happy with them).



The body shape of these grows on me more over time. My friend is thinking on putting some sort of electric pickup on the guitar. I told him we can make an L-bracket off of the neck block to float whatever he wants in the oversized soundhole. Isn't that a neat idea?



Rosewood boards, multi-bound, and toting brass fret dots. Love that last bit especially...



I'm a fan of oval soundholes. If Guild had made their FF5CE without a cutaway I probably would own one.


New ebony pins, original brass saddle. The bridge got a very light shave and polish to get the action lower. I string-ramped it as well.



The back is press-arched laminate flamed maple while the sides are solid flamed maple from what I can tell.


All the hardware is gold-plated... and it looks good with the brass bits.






It took me a bit to get the jack operating correctly in the Tele-style cup. I finally needed to wrap the whole jack (I had to reuse the original due to the way this was made) with duct tape before putting it in because Daion (from the factory) shot some metal-impregnated paint in the hole (for grounding purposes?) but it shorted-out the lead from the pickup to ground. That took a while to figure out, sheesh...!

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