Z X Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 01/21/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Z X
This guitar is much better than any others I played including Epiphone Explorer. It is cheaper, but is much better standard and sounds better in my opinion.
 Sound: 6.8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 7.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.3
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 7.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.6 
 Users rating:
 7.9 
 Votes:
 62 
reviews (6) pictures (2) 18 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Z X Reviewed by: gooseholla, on july 01, 2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 329.4

Purchased from: Daces

Features: This guitar is made from bassword, in the far east, possibly Korea. It has 22 frets, and is standard Gibson scale of 24 3/4 inches. The neck is a maple neck with a rosewood fretboard with dot inlays. It is bolted on to the body. Mine is a black body with 2 zebra Dean humbuckers which has 2 volume and 1 tone controls. The body style is the classic Explorer type body. It has a tune o matic bridge and a V shaped plate to guide the strings through the body. The tuners are Grover and give great tuning stability. The headstock is a large V shape with 3 tuning pegs on each side. // 10

Sound: The pickups on this are great. The neck pickup is nice and warm, and the bridge is nice and bright for great leads. This guitar sounds great clean, but even better distorted. I play through a Marshall 30DFX and a Behringer V tone gmx 212 and it sounds great through both. You can get blues, jazz, rock, metal etc out of it very easily. You can get the AC/DC sound, ZZ Top, U2 etc sound out of it just by fiddling with the tone and volumes and then a few settings on your amp. The pickups are actually very good when distorted, note clarity is good, you may want to upgrade them if you do really heavy distorted leads though, but I like them, they give good sound and mix. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I got mine discounted because there is a patch in the finish where it is going funny and red can be seen, but I plan to get this touched up. It seems to be robust though, could take a few bangs. The pickups are in perfect position. The action of the guitar is low, very low, with no fret buzz! It has a fast action to the neck, and this is the easiest guitar I have ever played! // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar would withstand playing live, and I would not take a backup. The strap buttonns are solid and the strap sits on them very nicely without slipping off. The finish seems good enough to last, but as the shape of the body sticks out under your arm, you have to be careful of turning round and banging it, or banging it while sitting down. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing for 2 years and have owned cheap Strat copies, a Vintage SG and a Dean Baby Z. When I was thinking of getting a new one and wanted an Explorer type, I remembered how good my baby Z had been and when I saw this reduced, I snapped it up instantly. If this was stolen I would definatly buy another, but maybe save up and get the Z 79. This guitar is much better than any others I played including Epiphone Explorer. It is cheaper, but is much better standard and sounds better in my opinion. I wish I had got a case for it, but I can always go back and get a case. I love the shape of it, it sits so nice against your body and gives it a nice playing position. I also love the super fast neck and the fact it has grover tuners! The zebra pickups are also cool. This guitar is near perfect and would recommend it to anyone! // 10

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overall: 8.8
Z X Reviewed by: TenTonHammer, on january 09, 2004
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 288.54

Purchased from: Feedback Utrecht; Holland

Features: This explorer-style guitar was made in china, in 2003 as far as I know. The body is made of basswood, with a maple neck and rosewood fretboard with 22 frets & pearl dot inlays. The pickups are two Dean Zebra Humbuckers, with 2 volume and 1 tone pot and a 3 way Switch, it has a tune-o-matic bridge, with a "V" string-tru-body tailpiece, Grover (possibly locking) tuners, all hardware is chrome. Mine has a solid black finish. // 10

Sound: I play mostly metal, and this guitar does the job quite well. The pickups have quite a high output, and can compete with the more expensive pickups tone-wise. At home I run it through a 50 watt Line 6 Spider and a Boss MT-2, and in the studio it goes directly into a 100 watt Peavey TransTube, the guitar sounds really great through both. the neck pickup is very warm, a little muddy sometimes, but in combination with the neck p'up it sounds really powerfull. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was very low when I bought it, still there was no fretbuzz so I'm quite happy with it that way :) The neck pickup was just a little too close to the strings but that's fixed in no-time anyway. Although I like the black finish a lot, the cream of the pickup mounting rings really made me puke, so I sprayed those black, looks a lot better now :) The only real problem I encountered was a poorly isolated bridge pickup wire, making the pickup mute itself sometimes, but this was fixed very easily with a piece of duct-tape :) // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar feels and looks like a tank, I think I can throw this out my window and I'll still be playable. The only thing I'm a little worried about is the basswood, it appears to be a little fragile, but I haven't seen any damages so far. All the other parts are of good quality, so I guess I'd gig with it without a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I think this guitar perfectly matches my music style, the only thing I really disliked where the cream-colored mounting rings, but that's fixed now so I think it perfect now. If it someone would steal it I'd definitely buy a new one. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Z X Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 08, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: eBay--Guitar Shop

Features: - Made in Korea - 22 frets on rosewood - Maple bolt on neck - Solid, basswood body - 2 vol, one master tone and a 3 way toggle - 2 humbuckers - Standard tune-o-matic bridge // 10

Sound: This, to this day, is the best sounding guitar I ever had. I bought this guitar when I was 16 on ebay for about $250. I wanted it because in those days I was a huge metallica nut and wanted to be like Hetfield. The Explorer was the obvious choice. I was a big Pantera fan as well so I figured if Deans were good enough for Dime, they'd be good enough for me. This guitar just screams, it just sounds so good. The harmonic squeals are insane, from cowboys from hell to hot for teacher it's insane. For about three years I ran the guitar through a Digitech RP7 into a 30 watt Marshall combo. The tube driven pedal supercharged the guitar quite a bit and mate it even more shredding. Just this past year, I sold the RP7 because it was shitting out here and there after I had repaired it numerous times. I upgraded my amp to a Marshall MGDFX50, good loud 50 watt amp with some cheesy effects. This guitar however sounds better on that than it did through the digitech. The sound is pretty has alot of variety. In the bridge section expect high gain very super ceramic lick type sound. In the bridge, very bluesy ZZ Top sound or hendrix, it's fun. There are a few electrical clicks and mild distortion at full volume, but I've also been playing it straight for four years, I think that's acceptable. The string thru design offers great sustain without a problem. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the guitar from an online company, I think it was new but I guess it could of been used. The action is super low, but has moderate buzz. I run hybrid slinkys and find them to be the best strings for this guitar. The paint had some chips and flaws, but overall the finish is very strong, takes a beating. The frets are starting to suffer from alot of playing. Frets 12-17, 19 on g b and e are rather useless cause of the buzzing. It needs to be leveled but I think I will do a complete refret. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has been great to me but is starting to wear down. Being my main axe for about four years it's in desperate need of a refret. The pickup housing screws have started to rust and oxidise, but because of the brazilliaburst finish, it more or less just adds character. The jack is ok, a little scratching but I'll replace that at some point. I would probably play the guitar live, after a refret and most importantly, tuners. The guitar is great, but the G string goes out of tune all the time. It came with grover tuners but I'm definately going to eventually replace them, they just dont hold a good tune. // 8

Overall Impression: This guitar is the best guitar I have ever played in my life. I will never sell it, I wouldn't even trade it for a real deal Gibson Explorer, it's that good. I have played the dog shit out of it for about 4 years straight and now it's starting to suffer a little. After a refret and new tuners it would be set. For what I play, it's great, but the guitar is very applicable to other types of music. I'm not very new age. I love 80's classic rock and real heavy metal (Metallica, Pantera, Slayer) but is fun for any type of rock. I would definately get another if I had to. // 10

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overall: 7.4
Z X Reviewed by: derpdragon, on july 30, 2010
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 225

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: Basswood body Bolt-on maple neck Rosewood fingerboard 22 frets 24-3/4" scale 1-11/16" nut Zebra humbuckers Tune-o-matic bridge with string-thu-body Dot inlays Grover tuners Chrome hardware Classic black finish // 7

Sound: The ZX has a great sound for metal and hard rock, especially if you play a lot of music that requires heavy palm muting. I personally play a lot of trash metal and neoclassical shred metal which is where the ZX excels at. I use a Marshall MG15 for practice and a Marshall JMD1 and MA412 Half Stack for live shows. Even out of the MG I get a really impressive sound that allows me to practice without worry of "is it me or the tone?" Easily the best low budget guitars I've ever played for out of the box sound quality. The Zebra Humbuckers have great control over tone and can work perfectly with or without distortion or effects. There is a slight buzzing problem that can make some heavy feed back if one isn't careful. The sound of switching between the humbuckers also gets picked up sometimes if you're playing loud enough. Still a great quality for the price. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: I got this brand new so everything was factory default. I was actually really impressed with how well the ZX was pre-setup. I only needed to reset the action a little to fit my own preferences, buy new tuning knobs, and of course change the strings. Everything else was in great condition. The near perfect pre-setup make this guitar great for newer people without much customization experience. // 9

Reliability & Durability: When it comes to looking clean the Classic black finish that I bought lacks in attempt. No matter how hard you try you can't keep it shiny and clean, that was more over my fault though as the sunburst finish doesn't have this problem. The Grover Tuners are some what unreliable in a live show as they have a tendency to make you're tuning slowly get flatter and flatter after long periods of time. Everything else have served me well though and after nearly a year of owning the ZX nothing has worn down very much at all. // 7

Overall Impression: For my 3 years of playing guitar I haven't found a better match for me at the price range of only $225. The ZX won't compare to more top of the line models, but it beats out most of its competitors at its own price range by a long shot. If it where lost or stolen I would buy another if my price range was still low, otherwise I'd probably get something better. // 7

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overall: 7.4
Z X Reviewed by: TheFallOfGod, on may 27, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 22 frets. 24 3/4 inch scale. Bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. Dot inlays (I ended up getting inlay stickers because I hate dots). Dean Zebra pickups (which look awkward, so I got red covers from inlaystickers.com), and a creme pickup-ring (I replaced mine with black ones from musiciansfriend). The body is (obviously) an explorer. Its string through, with a T.O.M. Bridge, with a V shaped cover for the holes (took that off of mine). Grover tuners, keep a decent tune. Dean V headstock, which is pretty cool! Volume knob and 2 tone knobs, 3 way toggle selector for pickups. // 9

Sound: I play mostly Death metal and black metal, and it is okay for that. The pickups aren't the best for that style, but I got it for under $50 so I shouldn't complain. I would imagine it would be good for playing stuff a bit lighter than what I play. It gets a nice distortion with the Bridge pickup, and it also has a nice clean sound with the neck pickup. I run it through a 65 watt Laney tube amp with a ton of gain and reverb, using a Line 6 Uber Metal pedal, a Line 6 Space Chorus pedal, and a Line 6 Echo Park pedal. It gives a bit of feed back when I play with the volume above about half way on my amp, but I use a noise gate so it isn't much. The overall sound is great for what I payed. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: Since I got it used from craigslist, it wasn't in the best condition, and everything was dirty and wired wrong, the action was totally messed up, and the pickups were in bad shape, but I fixed it up, customized the hell out of it and now it is great. // 5

Reliability & Durability: I think it is somewhat reliable, but I would only use it as a backup. The hardware is somewhat reliable, but its definitely not the best. I use Schaller strap locks on it, so I know it won't fall or anything, but I never really tried the original ones that were on it. The finish is great though, it doesnt't seem like it will fade or anything. // 8

Overall Impression: As I said, I play Death metal and black metal, and its not the best for this style. I have been playing for a little over 4 years, and this was just something to keep at my mothers house in Boston (I live in Illinois for most of the year). I own a Schecter Devil Spine, and an Ibanez RG370DXL, and the ZX doesn't even come close to those. When I got it the wiring was messed up, so I wish the seller would have told me before I bought it. If it was lost or stolen I would just look for another cheap guitar from craigslist, I only got this because I know that Dean is reliable and it was at an amazing price. I love the shape of it, I've always liked the Explorer style body, but I hate the pickups. If I was more devoted to upgrading it I would have already put some EMG's in it, and then it would be perfect. Overall a nice guitar for messing around with, but not anything special. // 8

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overall: 3.8
Z X Reviewed by: T4D, on january 21, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 180

Purchased from: ebay

Features: I got this guitar on eBay because I put in a very low bid and WON. Then I got the guitar... OK thinner than normal basswood body that feels light I think it's made in an Asian country, lighter than it should be since it is a BIG guitar. 22 frets, 24 3/4 scale Maple neck, rosewood fretboard, dot inlays. Bolted on with a sunburst finish with 2 "cheap sounding" Dean humbuckers with 2 volume and 1 tone, but with good,. I mean surprisingly good Quality hardware with tune-o-matic bridge strings thought the body and Grover tuners!. The case is HUGE and well-built also. // 4

Sound: The pickups are... Well BAD, thin cheap sounding and well the first thing I had to replace if I was going to keep playing this guitar. I play though VST plugins mainly at home and use a Line 6 X3 Live through 1000 watt Carvin, JCM 900 and 4 cabs. Honestly I just could not get this guitar to sound good even after I put EMG 81 and 85 pickups in it,. I have 20 odd guitars (nearly all with EMG's) play metal mainly but blues jazz as well and this thing just sounds thin. With No balls no meat. The body is thinner than any guitar I can think of, most of my guitars weight alot more than this. But this is a much BIGGER guitar? I think the thin body gives lighter weight (maybe cheaper too) but to me tone is clearly lost, I switch guitars when I practice and not play with tone But every time I picked this one up I had to go play with tone controls to get more meat in the sound. The only positive thing I can say about the sound is maybe good for a country picker light thin sound? But that is not me so I sold Dean ZX last week. // 1

Action, Fit & Finish: Well it needed a minor tidy up in setup (string height etc.)The action could go lower and on a positive note it has good action and a fast straight neck, the pickups again had to be replaced (cheap sounding not helped but the thin body wood I think). The general finish was OK but the guitar is light and I have a Gibson Explorer and the lighter feel of this guitar does Damage to how it feels when you play standing up it's just does not sit well or sit properly like a Gibson Explorer does. Maybe it's the bigger heavier headstock on the Dean? Maybe it's the much lighter body the Dean has not letting gravity do it's job? Sorry but to me this guitar just feels wrong when playing standing up and I OWN a Gibson Explorer? It's total different? 8 for neck action etc. 1 for the rest. // 4

Reliability & Durability: It solid guitar well-built and would have no problem standing up to playing live and there were no factory manufacturing issues I saw, the paint and finish were good. The only issues was minor setup issues when I got it (it was not setup as good as it could have been). The paint was excellent I have to say it did look like a good guitar the sun burst finish looked great, I did move the strap buttons around afew times to try and get the guitar to balance and feel better when standing up but could find the answer. // 7

Overall Impression: I been playing for 20+ years and this guitar was a surprise to me, it was all over the place in design, but I did get it cheap and did not know what I was getting from eBay. The hardware is top quality but with really bad pickups. The paint and finish also top quality but cheap light body wood which effects sound and feel of a large body guitar such as this. I sold mine Dean ZX last week so NO I would not buy another. I dislike the sound of the wood (I feel due to the lightness or thinness of the body). I also dislike the missing weight because it also effects the feel of the guitar (compared to a Gibson Explorer with its heavier body and maybe lighter headstock?) I still give it a 3 because it still had a good neck and good tuners etc and it's was cheap. // 3

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