Black Gold ML Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 12/18/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Black Gold ML
Already a hit with the V, the Black Gold series now includes an ML! The stylistic impressions of the figured flamed maple top and the gleaming gold-toned hardware perfectly complement one of Dean's most sought-after body styles.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 8.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.4 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 38 
reviews (4) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Black Gold ML Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 24, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Japan

Features: Made 2007 in Korea. It has 22 frets and a thin nice neck. Flame maple top and mahogany body/neck. It has a nice transparent black kinda finish. It's a Z body. It's Tune-O-Matic bridge and passive electronics, 3-way selector amd 3 volume knobs. The pickup's are Dean stock gold pickup and the tuners are Grover. No incleded accessories. // 10

Sound: I recently changed the pickups to a Seymour Duncan 59(n) and a DiMarzio X2N(b) and I use it through a Line 6 spider 3 150 watts amp. I occasionally use a Boss Metal Zone pedal for jamming when there is a mixer present and with the new modifications it sounds exactly like chuck schuldiner. And when you Switch to the neck pickup you instantly have a beautiful Gus G solo, shred, and sweep sound. With a fixed bridge it doesn't make as many sounds as I want it to but after the mods it is by far one of the best guitars I've ever played. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it from the factory it was ready to pickup and play perfect settings on it but I adjusted the action very slightly to suit my prefference but over all it was very well set up. The guitar had no flaws what so ever but the gold volume and tone knobs loose their color after a while due to sweaty palms. Excellent wood quality, no flaws whatsoever. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Yes this guitar willwhitstand live playing for all of eternity, I have banged it here and there and to my surprise I never found a single dent, scratch, or bump in it. The hardware I'm not too sure of but I can tell you that it takes around only $100 at the most to replace the electronics to DiMarzio like I did (pickup selector, volume pots, and knobs). And if you do that then it's perfect. Yes I would use this guitar to pick fights without any backup, and even if I did need a backup guitar I would buy the same thing. No the finish hasn't changed a bit even according to the amount of abuse I give it. // 10

Overall Impression: Made 2006 in Korea. It has 22 frets and a thin nice neck. Flame maple top and mahogany body/neck. It has a nice transparent black kinda finish. It's a ML body, not a dime sign though but he uses the ML's. It's Tun-O-Matic bridge and passive electronics, 3-way selector amd 3 volume knobs. The pickup's are Dean stock gold pickup and the tuners are Grover. No incleded accessories. I've been playing for around 5 years now and I already own a Jackson custom dinky, an ESP EX400bd, a B.C. Rich Warlock Platinum Pro, Razorback Explosion, and an Ibanez RG2507 Prestige. This guitar kicks the crap out of all of them with the mods I made to it. Yes I would buy it and work on it all over again if it got stolen I would castrate the person who stole it with a wooden cooking spoon. I chose it because it looked absolutely spectacular with the matching headstock and the shape. I love everything about it except the crappy stock pickups. This guitar is a dream to customize. I've replaced the pickups to Seymour Duncan 59(n) DiMarzio X$2N(b), Sprezel tuners, Gotoh bridge, DiMarzio electronics and knobs and added a coil tap on it. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Black Gold ML Reviewed by: killingmoon45, on april 05, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 823.5

Purchased from: Dolphin music

Features: Transparent black over flamed maple, gold hardware, grover tuners, string through body, block fret board inlays with black gold in block letters at 12th fret. Pretty flat fretboard radius. I give it a nine because I like to split humbuckers, no coil tap. // 9

Sound: Incredible sound! I have to disagree with the other reviewer. I think the stock pickups in mine sound fantastic. I played it side by side with my PRS guitar and would say the pickups have a McCarty like tone with similar gain to the Dragon II pickups in the Custom 22s. The tone compares very favorably with the PRS guitars. Vintage tone with high gain, what more can you ask? Sounds great for metal or classic rock, anything with distortion. The tone is thick on the bottom with a sweet, ringing high end. Good distortion tone with definition. As to the pick ups not having enough gain, that is subjective it's true, but I am a gainiac and I'm quite happy. I use a Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster when I want more. This is an amazing! device that I recoment to anyone Who uses distortion. I set mine between 12 and 1 O'clock and it really does what it claims. Boosts the gain without changing the tone.. Incredible. It makes a huge differnce and at $79 is cheaper then putting hot, tone depleted pick ups in all your guitars, plus you can switch it off! // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Off the rack this guitar had lower action than any guitar I have ever owned, without a buzz anywhere. The fret ends are smooth. Everything is tight, finish is beautiful. Flawless guitar. Not a single less than positive item. The finish is beautiful, as far as set up goes, I always take my guitars to my guitar guy who sets em just the way I like. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have no doubt this guitar could handle whatever. Very, very solid. I know nothing about Dean support, but the owner of the store where I bought this guitar speaks highly of them. It looks solid, would gig for sure, always use a backup, the input jack on mine fell out a few times but I was able to fix it. // 10

Overall Impression: have been playing for over 20 years. I play through 2 Traynor YCV 50 Blues w/matching extension cabs, I have a stereo chorus which is rarely on (one song right now! ) so the amps are basically run parallel. Boss Super Overdrive. Ibanez Weeping Demon Wah, Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster. DigiTech RP300 (only use for tuner and chorus). I am a guitar wh*re, or so my bass player tells me! I have 7 Paul Reed Smiths (3 Custom 22s, 2 Custom 24s, 2 McCartys, one with rosewood neck), 3 Gretsch hollowbodies (Anniversary, Tennessee Rose HT, Country Club), 2 Les Pauls (1 Deluxe, 1 Special), an SG 90s, a Fender American Deluxe Ash, an Epiphone Korina V, Epiphone Double Neck, 2 Ibanex acoustics. This Black Gold V is better than anything I have ever owned short of my Paul Reed Smiths. It plays great, sounds amazing, no set up was required, and I can say that of only one other guitar I have ever bought. High praise! At $725 with case this guitar is a steal! I am in awe of how good this guitar is. To make a direct comparison between a $700 guitar sn a $3000 guitar is tough, but I can say that it does compare favorably with my PRS guitars and is without a doubt the best value I have ever gotten out of a guitar I've bought. I would have to have another one if anything happend to this one.. might in fact have to get another one anyway! I love it so much. I traded a B.C. Rich NJ, neck through Mockingbird for the Black Gold, and I am completely happy! For basically the same $$$ the Dean makes the B.C. Rich look pathetic. Other than the lack of coil tap, I have nothing but praise for this guitar. // 9

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overall: 6.6
Black Gold ML Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 16, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 863.1

Purchased from: thomann

Features: Made 2006 in Korea. It has 22 frets and a thin nice neck. Flame maple top and mahogany body/neck. It has a nice transparent black kinda finish. It's a ML body, not a dime sign though but he uses the ML's. It's Tuno-Matic bridge and passive electronics, 3-way selector amd 3 volume knobs. The pickup's are Dean stock gold pickup and the tuners are Grover. No incleded accessories. // 8

Sound: It doesn't suit my music at all with the Dean stock pickups. I mean when you see this guitar you think; hard rock/metal. But it's not that at all, the pickups are very hard to get distortion from, I have to use full distortion on the amp and my distortion pedal. I'm using a DigiTech Distortion Factory, nothing more. It's very noisy becuse I must use all the distortion I can. It has a really rich and full sound thought, very good for solo's when get a good distortion. But if you play blues or something like that this is the sound for you, if you play metal you have to get some EMG's or Seymour Duncan on this baby fast! // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was pretty well set-up when it came, the pickup's was exactly the hight I wanted them to be soo it was good. It had one flaw when it came, it had a big scratch at the lower wing but nothing you can see soo well but that was a little disepointment. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It wil probably withstand Live playing, but like I said if you play metal change the pickups or otherwise you will get a lot of noise from this guitar becuse you got to use so much distortion. The hardware seems pretty good, no compains about that. The strapbutton seems pretty solid, little small though. I can depend on it when I've changed the pickups, it has a really thin and fast neck soo it will be perfect then. I would use it on a gig without backup becuse I don't have a backup, but this guitars neck was soo nice so I'm probably going to buy another Dean ML or Razorback, soo then I will use a backup. I think the finish are going to last pretty long on the front, but the black finish on the back of the guitar I'm pretty unsure about. // 8

Overall Impression: I most of all metal, and this guitar is a good match to play fast on becuse of the thin and fast neck. But the pickup's are a really bad match, doesnt't fit my style at all. I've been playing for almost 5 years now and I own a Line 6 Spider 2 65w amp, and I didn't use any distortion pedal before but I had to use my old DigiTech Distortion Factory becuse these pickups couldnt get any distortion. I wished I had asked about the pickup's and if they could handle much distortion, that was a big disepointment to me. If it were stolen I would save the money for the guitar and save a little more to buy some new pickup's. I love the thin and fast neck on this guitar it's awesome. I have had a lot of guitars; Jackson RR3, LTD Alexi, Gibson Les Paul, Gibson Explorer, Jackson DKMG, Ibanez RG, Ibanez VBT700 and Epiphone SG, and of all these guitars this neck has been the best soo that's why I am buying another Dean. I hate the pickups just simply, and I've said enough about them. I compared it to a LTD EX-400, I never tested any of them becuse I Live in sweden and I bought it from Germany but I made the right choice I think becuse this neck is the greatest. I like I said, I wished it had EMG pickup's that's the only fault on this guitar if you play metal. // 6

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overall: 7.8
Black Gold ML Reviewed by: Hobo69, on december 18, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: Made in 2006 in Korea, I had been wanting an ML for quite some time, and couldent wait any longer. This guitar features 22 frets, a good solid feeling neck with a rosewood fingerboard. It has a "flamed" maple top, which I find hard to believe, it looks VERY cheap. Obviously its black with gold hardware, string thru, 2 humbuckers, 2 vol 1 tone, with Grover tuners, pretty Standard stuff. // 8

Sound: Like about everyone else in the world, I play Metal primarily and yes, surprise, it does metal great. The shape was really what turned me on to it, its EXTREMELY comfortable standing up, seeing as I sing and play guitar, that was a big selling point for me. I'm using it with a Crate Blue Voodoo 60 head, and as I said, it does metal well. The pickups could be better however, they sound really "muffled" if you know what I mean. I have to turn the tone up on my amp almost all the way to really clear up the rhythm stuff, consequently making all the higher notes trebbly and awful. To be honest, if you are using a tube amp, I would definitely Switch out the pickups. Through a Solid State amp, (Peavey Bandit 112) it sounded, you guessed it, brutal, no problems with tone what so ever. Shockingly, this guitar is pretty versatile. You can get a pretty good hard rock/blues tone out of it, the cleans are great, really can't complain about the rest of its tonal possibilities. Again however, if you really wanna play metal and you're using a tube, Switch the pups out, you wont regret it. Overall, its good, not perfect. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar was fantastic after I fixed it, plays really fast, and everything seems right under you, if you know what I mean. I had a problem with a pickup ring busting, but that was an easy fix. My pickup selector shorts out every now and then, easy fix when I get to it... Again talking about the cheapness of the finish... It really really dissapointed me how cheap it looked when I got it. I expected a lot more as far as looks go, just really let down. I cannot possibly stress how CHEAP the top looks. That being said, the finish holds up well at least, the Dean logo always looks cool, however overall really let down by the finish, the whole action thing doenst factor into this decision seeing as if you want any guitar to play well, you'll take care of that yourself. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has done great Live, and is my main ax. I replaced the strap buttons the day I got it, so I can't really vouch for those. Everything as far as Reliability goes is fine, I have to fix the usual crap, but for being used, it was, and is fine. Highly recommended for Live playing, feels great standing up. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall this guitar does what I need it to without complaining or giving me problems. I've been playing for 2 and a half years, and gig a lot, and I must say even without a case, this things held up great. I have a Jackson Dinky Reverse with EMGs as my second guitar, and I do tend to favor my Dean over it Live even with the whole shorting out problem. Its all about playability and this guitar is just great as far as that goes, I don't think I've touched on that as much as I should have. Honestly the only thing I wish it had was a pair of new pups, which, surprise, I am in the process of obtaining. If it got stolen, I'd just buy a 79 ML in black. To wrap up, if you want a solid guitar to play Live, and you play metal (and love GOOLLLDDDDD) then this is the guitar for you. // 8

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