UG Team, on october 11, 2011 3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 899
Purchased from: Sarasota Guitar Company
What's more inspiring than the hairstyle and metal-riffing/sweeping/tapping/insanity of Michael Angelo Batio? The Dean signature guitar that bares his namesake, that's what! And is there anything more metal than designing the finish after Batio's infatuation with medieval armor? What if lasers were used to etch the armor pattern into a black piece of wood?! And then what if everything else on the guitar was black, too?! Don't pretend you're not interested.
What's not to like? Made in Korea 2009, 24 jumbo frets and abalone block inlays, 25-1/2" Scale Batio special Bolt-On Maple Neck, ebony fingerboard, carved access up to the 24th fret, alder body and top, grover tuners, a real Floyd Rose, EMG 81 in the bridge, EMG SA in the middle, and the great EMG 85 on the neck. Also comes with a Dean original hardcase, which is actually a lot nicer than I expected.
This thing specs out incredibly for being dropped to $899, I'm docking it a point, however, because originally it listed at like $1, 900 despite being made in Korea. // 9
Sound: As we've come to expect from any EMG 81/85 vehicle, it sounds fantastic. The active nature of the pickups will Drive anything, and you can get a really versatile set of sounds. If you're on the neck, or even the neck and middle, it'll give you a pretty unique, low mid-range growl. Flip it to the middle and you're on the EMG SA to get a tried and true single coil option. You'll lose a little bit of output here but the reward is a nice, bluesy change of pace. I found this interesting because Michael Angelo Batio has never once had the blues. If you were the greatest armor-wearing, double-neck-shredding thrasher of all-time, you wouldn't have time for the blues. Hit the bridge pickup and you'll get the clarity and top-end you'll need to attempt a solo worthy of the MAB1. The harmonics are all in working order and I've found that dive-bombing is a breeze here. Despite the versatility, it's clearly built to satisfy all things metal. The cleans still sound good but you can't Escape the crunch, which probably isn't the biggest deal in the world if this is what you're after. // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: It came setup by the guitar shop tech, although I heard then generally come a little buzzy straight from the factory. The action is perfect and it shreds like a breeze. Overall, it came in perfect condition. It was almost alarming how few parts of the guitar were dangerously pointy, as anyone who has ever played a Dean can attest. Sure enough, the headstock is absolutely hazardous and has already caused a couple drywall punctures, but it wouldn't be a Dean guitar if you it didn't double as a valuable weapon for thwarting home invasions.
I'm usually not a sucker for finishes, but the lazer madness is extremely metal. It'll turn heads, and the fact that it's a "lazer" and not a "laser" etching makes it all the more contemporary. // 9
Reliability & Durability: As mentioned before, it emerged victorious in the battle against the drywall and is as razor sharp as ever. The Original Floyd Rose does the trick and stays in tune perfectly. I haven't gigged it outside of the studio, but I do wear it around most of the time to look intimidating, and in that regard, it has lost none of its luster over time.
My biggest complaint is the input jack. I've had it for a few months now and still have trouble plugging in. In fact, some cables I have won't even fit because the 1/4 inch profile is too thin. Kind of bizarre if you ask me. // 8
Overall Impression: My impression on the MAB1 Lazer can be summed up with a simple, mathematical equation:
(Lazer-etching + EMG81/85/SA + everything is black +medieval armor+consistent Floyd Rose + (sweet hardshell case * super sharp headstock)) / Michael Angelo Batio and raised to the Metall power = I am not worthy. // 9
Metal bone, on november 23, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1199
Purchased from: gearhounds.com
Features: - Made in Korea 2009
- 24 jumbo frets and abalone block inlays
- 25-1/2" Scale Batio special Bolt-On Maple Neck
- ebony fingerboard
- Carved access up to the 24th fret
- Alder body and top
- grover tuners
- Floyd Rose Original tremolo (made by Ping as far as I`ve learned)
- All black hardware
- Volume, tone and 5-way pickup switch
- armorflame etched finish, matt paint.
- EMG 81 bridge, EMG SA middle, EMG 85 neck
- Dean original hardcase
- All needed wrenches
Great specs for this price-class! // 10
Sound: This guitar has a sound made for rock and metal, but the round, bassy sound would make this one a great allround guitar to. I have played this one almost daily for one year.
When flipping the 5way switch towards the neck, the tones get really buttery in the mids and perfect for shredsounding speedpicking, extreme bendvibratoes and so on. I think it`s here the EMG SA-pickup plays it`s role. When it comes to downpicking metalriffs on the 5th and 6th string the sound feels a little to bassy at times as what you play gets a little muddy and I feel I miss a little of the clear definition when mutepicking at higher speeds. This might be because of combining EMG 85 and Ping floyd that makes more bass. Otherwise the chord-sound is great!
The sustain is a little shorter than wanted for the real live feel which also might be a result of bassy sound and the Ping floyd having a normalsized nickeplated brassblock as any other stock OFR. The harmonics comes through, but also feels a little to bassy and misses some kind of sharpness, making them a little harder to feel and perform, and drowns a little in livesettings with the full band.
As for clean tones the sound is all I could ask for when playing heavy balads. Makes the typical little "after ring"-sound after totalmuting a palmmuted downpick. This is present at most guitars in this pricerange and is really a easy fix. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came straight from the factory without any professional setup which I had to do myself. As an experiensed floyd roseist this came out very well, but otherwise this would have been a more expensive purchase, taking it to a shop etc. The action has the ability to get very low and the neck feels again very fast. The neck is VERY thin and the fretboard is quite narrow (as an Ibanez JS model), making this a better fit for slimmer fingers.
Pickups where adjusted fine and the floyd is well routed for big pulls. The finish is great and came absolutely flawless. The back of the head was signed by MAB. Neck is straight on, as in elimnating fretbuzz when using low action. Very good access to 24th fret. Not needed any adjusting of knobs or tuners after 1 year playing and no noisy pots or controls what so ever.
This rate gets a little lower because of no pre-setup which this kind of guitar should have for it`s price. This will offcourse vary by shop and expertise. // 8
Reliability & Durability: This guitar has been played live several times and is absolutely fit for this kind of challenge. The floyd stays very well in tune as an OFR should, and dive bombs feels natural if you like a stiffer tremolo and it pops right back in tune again and again.
The matt finsih seems like making it more resistant to visable scratches.
The one thing pulling this rate a little down is the jack barrel output solution as the cable`s angle out of the jack makes it a little vulnerable when showing off a little ekstra with the guitar. When repeatingly swinging the cableend into your pelvis the barrel seems to get wider inside and giving the sound a very small twich of silense when hitting the cable. (I have tried to change barrel 4 times) Anyway this is not so bad that I wouldn`t use it live! It`s really about using barrel as output jack and not the angle.
Strapbuttons seems normal thin, and strong. If you have a real quality guitarstrap with reinforced ends, you don`t need straplocks. The guitar is very light in weight and feels perfectly balansed when standing or sitting (doesn`t pull to any of the sides).
I don`t feel I need a backup whith thisone but if you like strings thinner than 0.10-sets then I think all Floyd Rose guitar should have a backup when playing live as to stringchange. // 9
Overall Impression: My evaluation grades will all be out from what you pay for this guitar, and NOT as a guitar compared to the best and most expensive ones on the market. Also compared to what I look for myself in a guitar. For a 1200-dollar guitar this one`s has a lot, but most of all has a great base of potential and really gives you a lot for the money.
Combinating the playability and sound and even with the EMG, OFR, Alder, Maple/ebony combo makes this one very much worth the the price compared to many other axes.
For custumising interests: Talking about custumising this one it gave me way more than I expected. I chose to swap the EMG 85 with an 81 to make the sound less muddy/bassy and swapped the OFR sustain block with an titanium bigblock. This gave the guitar an sharper sound when mutepicking and more bite. Harmonics became another world, being easyer to pull off and much clearer, cutting straight through in band settings. The buttering mids and tremolo became even clearer, making this one a perfect guitar for mye needs. The sustain improved a lot after swapping, and seems now as comparable to a neckthru.
The "after-ring" sound where removed by using a little tape to muff the tremolo springs and strings above the locking nut. // 9