HardTail Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 10/14/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: HardTail
Only hand selected pieces of mahogany, with the highest quality of figured maple are chosen for the tops of the Dean HardTail.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.3
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.4 
 Users rating:
 7.4 
 Votes:
 68 
reviews (4) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
HardTail Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 16, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1800

Features: - Maple carved - Mahogany body - 24 3/4" scale 1 11/16" nut - Ebony fingerboard - Abalone HardTail 12th fret inlay - Grover tuners - Nickel hardware - Seymour Duncans - TonePros bridge - Set mahogany neck - Quarter sawn - Wood binding - Custom abalone inlays - 22 jumbo frets Dean Guitars introduces the Dean HardTail -- the first guitar designed by Dean Zelinsky since his return last year. This guitar was 3 years in the making utilizing Dean's 20 plus years in the industry and all of the progress that had been made by others during his 12 year hiatus. The new guitar design was debuted at the Summer 2001 NAMM show. Only hand selected pieces of mahogany, with the highest quality of figured maple are chosen for the tops of the Dean HardTail. // 10

Sound: The Dean HardTail covers styles from country to blues, and jazz to rock with ease. The clean sound is very nice as well, very fat and bluesy. This guitar sounds great. Electronically it is quiet no hums, buzzes, or feedback issues. The bridge position is plenty bright with lots of clarity. When overdriven there is massive amounts of crunch and sustain making it a great guitar for covering rock, rythm and lead. The pickups on the HardTail gave me harmonics and overtones. Chords sound good up and down the neck. The TonePros bridge is great! No more parts falling off when changing strings. A very well balanced and full sounding guitar and every position sounds very musical. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action, fit, and finish of this guitar is amazing. The flame maple top is flawless, all of the hardware is nickle, and it complements the flame top nicely. Another cool thing is the Sterling Silver inlay at the 12th fret. The craftsmanship on this guitar is excellent! There are no flaws in the construction or finish of this guitar. Inlays, frets, alighment, set-up action, finish, all premium craftsmanship. There is a small knot about the size of a pea that was strategically placed behind and adjacent to the lower volume knob. The grain was to deep and wonderful to waste so they really worked hard to hide this small "character" mark. Very tight quality control and hope Dean keeps it up. Every part of this guitar is the best. The HardTail was crafted perfectly. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's built to last no less than a life time, and it will withstand live playing with ease. Once that laquer starts to age, this guitar will have an even warmer and Vintage appearance to it than it does now. The tone will warm up a bit, too. Strap buttons are solid. It's always wise to have your back up but hardly ever bring it. The guitar was handmade and is solidly built. Everything will last. Rock solid perfectly made guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: No guitar can truly do everything perfectly but this Dean is an awesome alternative to an expensive (2000 and up) PRS or Gibson. If you wanted a comparable quality PRS or Gibson, you are going to pay quite a bit more and the quality of components aren't quite as good in my opinion. The HardTail is a guitar that impresses and amazes on first sight and gets better the more you play it. The beauty, quality, tone and playability of the Dean HardTail cannot be beat. // 10

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overall: 8.2
HardTail Reviewed by: aj kerner, on july 21, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Spots Music World

Features: 2000, 22 fret set neck with molded heel. Carved flame maple over mahogony. Rose wood fret board. Strat style body with passive electronics. Dual humbuckers with two volume and two splittable tone pots. Grover tuners. Mother of pearl neck and headstock inlays. Chrome hardware, transparent wine. // 8

Sound: With the splittable humbuckers, you can make just about any sound configuration you need, from metal c southern rock. Very easy to get a single coil tone. Three way Les Paul type toggle switch. I did reverse the action of the switch, made more sence to me. Toggle Switch location is good. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: It was set up from the factory pretty well but required some personal tweeking. I raised the pickups and lowered the action a couple of milimeters. The intonation was spot on from the factory. Large speed knobs for volume and tone. Natural unfinished simulated binding on body. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar live for 7 years and only general maintenance and adjustments have been required. Stays in tune all night. Finish has held up very nicely and has no blemishes from the long nghts of abuse. Saddles and picups seem to tarnish from hand sweat. The tunamatic bridge stays in perfect intonation and tuning all night. // 9

Overall Impression: I play in a cover band for 25 years and play a wide variety of music types and this guitar can do it all. I would buy another one if this one needed to be replaced. I love the finish, the durability and reliablility of this guitar. This is my go to guitar, the one probably use the most besides my Les Paul. I find they are very close to each other in playability. // 8

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overall: 9.6
HardTail Reviewed by: tsmilliner, on december 21, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Music City Clearwater

Features: Modeled after the $3300 USA beauty, the new HardTail Standard and Selects have a 'set' neck with molded heel, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, Grover tuners, nickel hardware and two coil tappable humbuckers. The HardTail Select has a solid flame maple top and is available in Trans Amber, Tiger Eye, Trans Red, Trans Blue and Trans Braziliaburst while the more affordable Standards come in Flip Pearl, Classic Black and Copper Orange. // 10

Sound: This guitar has a nice blues sound in the neck pickup, and when the bridge is selected it is a nice crunchy rock machine. Add to that coil tap ability and you can sound like a Strat. Using with Behringer GMX 212 and several different pedals. This thing has a nice full sound very impressive. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought this as a Blem model so it had one or two dents on bottom of body in back. Probably less than most new guitars get in first six months and saved a lot on purchase. Other than that, this is a truly beautiful guitar, well made, set neck, grover tuners, really nice flame maple top, wow is all I can say. Knobs are nice and sturdy, no compaints, really impressive. All in all well put together. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would take this guitar anywhere and be proud to have it shown against any other guitar any time any place. We all know that guitars are dependable, so that is not a good question, but this is one you won't be embarrassed to be seen playng Live in any forum. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly blues and rock, this is a perfect match. I have been seeking my tone and I have found it in this baby. Benn playing on and off for 20 years just screwing around, but solid for last 2 to try to get good. I wish I bought this instead of the Deluxe Strat I bought before it. I would definitely replace this if it were lost or stolen. I love the whole thing, looks and sound. I will eventually trade up for an american HardTail, but this is next best option. // 10

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overall: 9.6
HardTail Reviewed by: ViolentlyHappy, on october 14, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 12000

Purchased from: Royce Music House

Features: Not sure what year it was made, but this Korean guitar kicks similarly priced guitars in the balls and makes them beg for mercy. Loaded with 22 Frets, a beautiful red finish, split coil pickups, and probably the most comfortable neck in the world, I have never been more impressed by the sound, look or feel of another guitar. This version is the HardTail Select Trem, with non-locking tuning. // 10

Sound: My music style generally jumps from a Jazz Rock sound to a rather Heavy Metal style, and this guitar keeps up without tinkering, unlike any of my others. Kept with it's stock pickups, I only ever receive feedback when I really crank up my amp. The splitable coils provide a lot of versatility when in clean, but when you go to a high gain distortion, you need the bridge pickup to really pull the balls into line. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I first picked it up, I was a little concerned about the top horn, as I was used to playing things like my Rhoads and my Explorer. Needless to say, that concern went away as soon as I touched it. Everything was set up just the way I like it, and I've not modified a single thing since then. // 10

Reliability & Durability: If I play this thing for 30 years, on stage, with heavy duty lighting, it might begin to waver, but I would expect that from any guitar. For $1200, you won't find a more sturdy guitar. // 9

Overall Impression: Playing this guitar for Metal, Jazz, Blues, Rock, or anything, it never misses a beat. I often look at my collection, an Explorer, a V, a Rhoads, Les Paul, a PRS, and a few others, and wonder why I bought them when I have such a magnificent instrument like this Hardtail. I can't think of anything I'd rather own...maybe a 7-string version, but that might change it's playability...nah, I'll stick with this one. If you ever see one of these in a store, pick it up and play it, you'll be impressed. // 10

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