Palomino Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 06/26/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Palomino
The Dean Palomino Archtop is a unique electric guitar, built with f-holes, three P-90 pickups, and dressed up with classy-looking inlays and a showy, chrome bridge & tailpiece.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 6.3 
 Votes:
 10 
review (1) 7 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Palomino Reviewed by: Kid Fisto, on june 26, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 389

Purchased from: Music Maniac

Features: To start with, this guitar is hands-down beautiful. I just want to start off with that. This Palomino was made in 2006 in the good old USA. There's 20 frets, with Mother-of-Pearl inlays with Iridescent strips in each one. It's an archtop guitar, not sure of the woods (looks like a softwood for the body top), but with the guitar being a Dean, and the sound quality as high as it is, I can say with certainty that they're high-quality. The finish is an amazingly sweet Vintage Sunburst that was half the reason I got this model. The body is very, very big, a full Dreadnought with single cutaway, kind of awkward to hold on your lap but good with a strap. It's got two F-holes, being a semi-acoustic, which are very well cut, and carry the sound very nicely. Let me tell you, if you don't have an amp, or the power goes out, you can still project some sound with this thing. Anyway, the bridge is a Tune-O-Matic, with a nicely crafted full-metal musical staff tailpiece, which I hope to replace with a Bigsby Vibrato, like on the Psychobilly. Passive electronics, one volume, one tone, and a 5-way pickup selector are what you've got for controls. There are 3 P-90 single coil "Soapbar" pickups, not sure of the brand, probably Dean made them. Regular old tuners, nothing special there. No extras except a Hercules locking stand that the store dude tossed in as part of the deal for about half price. // 9

Sound: I bought this guitar for Jazz. I'm in my school's Jazz band, and my B\.C\. Rich Mockingbird was NOT cutting it for sound quality, so I went and got the nicest Jazz guitar I could find. I use this guitar with a Kustom Arrow 16 amp, my Dunlop Dimewah (not reccomended) and my Danelectro pedals Fab Tone, Dan-Echo, and Psychoflange (again, not reccomended). Using any of these pedals generally causes the sound of the guitar to go down the tubes - fast. Why, you ask? Feedback. Bigtime. You put a moderate crunch, stand closer than 10 feet with the volume loud enough to hear it, and WHAM! The huge resonant space that makes your sound so nice starts to work against you. The most crunch I'd reccomend putting on it is a Bluesy style overdrive, or a light classic rock distortion. And on the note of the Dimewah, I find it too aggressive for the guitar. If you've ever played with a Dimewah on clean, you'll know what I mean: you play a powerchord and you'll hear a little bit of distortion going on: not much, but enough to notice it. And high notes become ear-piercingly sharp. So I play with the bare minimum: my amp on clean. On the note of noise, my amp loves to make noise. Therefore, when I'm within 5 feet of it, the pickups hum. I hate it, but fortunately it's only when one pickup is selected, and heavier on the bridge side. And could probably be fixed by fiddling with the wires and/or the pickups. But since I don't trust myself enough to do that, I Switch it to between pickups and sit as far from my amp as possible. Other than that it's wonderful (except the feedback, always remember that), with the tone knob adequately changing it from a full, booming bassy sound, a mid range Smooth Jazz sound, right over to a sparkly, almost crackly sounding treble end. Beware of this: when the tone is put all the way to the treble, bridge pickup, you get piercing highs on the E above fret 9 or 10. This guitar has two major fortes: Jazz and Red Hot Chili's type sound. Granted you can very easily do Metallica's clean riffs on it, with a perfect sound for that as well, but the lack of ability in the distortion department might hinder you here unless you were using it for recording. But for Jazz it's perfect, and Chilis it's perfect. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I'm not sure how it came from the factory, but it had been sitting on the wall of the store for about a year and a bit when I bought it, so consequentially it had been tried out countless times (thrice by me), detuned, retuned, and even restrung once. When I brought it home, I quickly saw that it needed a bit of adjusting: the bridge was low, a pickup screw was unscrewed, and it needed a set of flatwounds. So, I ordered up a set of light flats, loosened the strings and boosted the bridge so that the low strings no longer rattled on anything higher than fret 3. After that was done, I screwed in the pickup screw, retuned it and now it plays like a charm. The pups were just right, aside from that one loose screw. The top is lovely, perfectly seamless, and finished great. No technical problems anywhere. Flaws: when I got it home, I almost died because I thought there were massive pits in the finish all around the edge of the guitar. But fortunately, this resolved itself with a lick of my thumb and a rub. so either the finish is Saliva soluble or it was just gunk from being in a store for a year. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I certainly think that this guitar will survive MY Live playing, seeing as it will be playing Jazz, not Pantera or Slayer or Metallica like my Mockingbird! I'm not sure if it would withstand someone like Zakk Wylde or Kerry King shredding on it, but it sure seems built to last with a certain amount of respect. The hardware is the same way, and the strap buttons etcetera. I say, treat your guitar like a lady: protect her from danger, complement her style, show her off in public, dress up when you're out with her, and hold her often. I'd definitely use this at a gig without a backup. However, if something were to go wrong at a gig, I'd just usurp the other Jazzband guitarist's Les Paul. But I'm more worried about my amp dying than my Palomino. The finish. I don't think sandpaper could touch this. It's thick as anything, you can see the layer of finish above the wood when you look side-on. So I'm fairly sure I don't have to worry about that. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I bought it for Jazz, period. It's an excellent match, smooth as can be. The neck is perfect, it resonates excellently, and the sound is great. I've been playing just over a year now, and in addition to this newest guitar, I have a B.C. Rich Mockingbird Evil Edge and a nice little Indiana Acoustic guitar. There is absolutely nothing I wish I had asked (I tried it out three separate times). Were it stolen or lost, I would buy it again in a heartbeat, were I unable to track it down. What do I love about it? The finish, since this is one of the richest sunbursts I've ever seen. I also love the sound, but the aesthetic side is definitely the best part. I don't hate anything, but if I had to hate something about it, I would hate the tailpiece because it's a little cheesy (the music staff and G-clef). But I'm using it for Jazzband, so it fits right in there. And my favorite, once again is the looky-looky factor of it. Other products, yes, oh, yes I compared it. I asked people on the forum, went to three different guitar stores, and this was the only one I really LOVED. Ones I tried it against were Artcores, a Gibson that was waaaay out of my pricerange, some no-name brands, some really high-end brands, one handmade one, and other Deans. I chose this one because of the look, feel, and sound of it. Simple as that. I only wish that it had a Vibrato, like the Dean Psychobilly I tried. I would actually have gotten the Psychobilly, but it was Pink and Swirly, not Jazzband-like at all. // 10

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