Caparison Guitars

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Caparison Guitars
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1995; 24 years ago (1995)
FounderItaru Kanno
Area served
Europe, Japan, North America, Russia, Australia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia
Key people
Itaru Kanno, Gabriel Ösztreicher
ProductsElectric guitars
OwnerGeorge and Gabriel Ösztreicher[1]
ParentCaparison Guitar Company Ltd.

Caparison Guitars is a Japan-based manufacturer of high end, hand made, boutique electric guitars.


The Caparison Guitar company was established in 1995 with the former Jackson/Charvel Japan design division, the designers at Charvel created the CDS Series, CDS II Series and Questar Series and the designers at Jackson created the Doug Aldrich Model, Soloist Special, Dinky AXE and Falcon. Caparison was owned by Kyowa Shokai Ltd, a company that made contracts with factories to produce guitars for them (like Hoshino Gakki).

In May 2011 Kyowa Shokai was declared bankrupt, however Caparison resumed production in September 2011 under the ownership of Caparison Guitar Company Ltd., a limited company in the UK. The company retained Itaru Kanno (菅野到) as lead designer and the instruments continue to manufactured together with Iida Corporation in Nagoya, Japan.


Chris Ammot and his signature Dellinger

One of the company's best selling guitars is their "Horus" model. This guitar features a 27-fret neck with unique clock inlays that shows a different time for each fret position (1 o'clock on the first fret, 3 o'clock on the third, 5 o'clock on the fifth fret, etc.). TAT Special (Through and Through), Brocken FX and Orbit models also feature 27-fret necks.

Their Dellinger models also feature these clock inlays on the fretboard, however, these guitars feature 24-fret necks. Other Caparison Guitar models are the Angelus (including the ACE signature models), Susanoh, Michael Romeo Signature Dellinger-M3 MJR, Joel Stroetzel Signature JSM and Mattias IA Elkundh Signature Apple Horn. The Orbit is also a notable guitar due to its unusual take on the standard 'Flying V' shape; the Orbit has an added a curve at the left of the neck joint and an elongated upper 'horn'.

Caparison had a line of guitars intended to perform better with low tunings, as well as with standard tunings, called the "HGS" (Heavy Gauge Strings) series. The bridge of these guitars was mounted 3 mm farther back on the face in order to provide better intonation when using heavier gauge strings for lower tunings. This feature later evolved into the composite M3, WM, AM and M3B bodies which feature in the Dellinger, Angelus, Horus and JSM models, and provide excellent tuning stability, even at very low tunings.

Caparison design their own humbucking, single coil, and dual-rail humbucking pickups, which are produced by Gotoh Pick Ups located in Nagano, Japan (not to be confused with Gotoh Gut Co.,ltd. the guitar machine head & bridge manufacturer located in Gunma, Japan). The dual-rail humbucking pickup fits into the footprint of standard single coil pickup. As of 2012, factory fitted active EMG pickups were introduced as optional extra, denoted by the +EMG in the model name. Caparison also design their own fixed bridge (produced by Gotoh Gut Co., ltd.) which feature on the Dellinger FX and Dellinger7 FX models.

Another common feature on Caparison Guitars has been the use of "Push/Push" volume and tone potentiometers. These special "pots" are used to activate coil splitting and pickup selecting functions on certain models.

Caparison is considered by several influential metal guitarists to be an up-and-coming guitar company, and the best known one besides the other big Japanese makes. Since 2006, Caparison has updated the build quality of their instruments, using the same high standard of components in their regular series guitars that were previously only found in their artists models. They are generally considered to be one of the highest quality instruments on the market.

The regular Caparison models (Regular, Signature & Custom Line Series) are hand crafted in very small batches and in limited numbers. Each one passes though the designer, Itaru Kanno’s hands and he personally sets each guitar up and even applies some of the custom finish options himself. These guitars are truly “master built” to the highest possible quality, and professional standards. Caparison produces only about forty guitars per month. For years, Caparison Guitars were only available in Japan. However, Caparison now has dealers in a growing number of countries worldwide.

Caparison released the C2 Series in 2014, which is a second series that are manufactured in larger volumes and without some of the more refined features to keep the costs down. The Caparison C2 Series are also made in Japan and each shipment is inspected and overseen by Caparison's lead designer.

Signature Series[edit]

  • Apple Horn 8 [Mattias "IA" Eklundh]
  • Apple Horn Yellow TT [Mattias "IA" Eklundh]
  • Dellinger-M3 MJR [Michael Romeo]
  • JSM [Joel Stroetzel]
  • Angelus-ACE SE (Japan Only)
  • 素戔鳴 Susanoh [Ace] (Japan Only)

Custom Line[edit]

  • Angelus Custom Line 2015 (Limited Edition)

Regular Series[edit]

Dellinger Horus Angelus TAT Orbit Brocken
Dellinger Prominence Horus-M3 EF/MF Angelus-M3B TAT Special Orbit FX Brocken 8 FX
Dellinger7 Prominence Horus FX-AM Angelus7-M3B TAT Special FX
Dellinger II FX-WM TAT Special 7
Dellinger7 FX-WM TAT-FX Ltd.
Dellinger II FX-AM TAT II-FX Ltd.
Dellinger7 FX-AM

C2 Series[edit]

  • ANG-E (Angelus type)
  • ANG-QE (Angelus type)
  • HRG-QD (Horus type)
  • DEG-E (Dellinger type)
  • DEG-QD (Dellinger type)
  • DEB-E (Dellinger Bass type)

Notable users[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Musical Instrument Professional "New UK owners for Caparison"". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2013-03-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)