#1
Hi,

I'm new on this forum as I was looking into a Dean model for the first time, hi everyone

I'm looking at a used '02 MLF '79 trans Brazilian. It's clear after reading quit some articles that the licenced floyd Rose tremolo is bad news. Now I'm used to RG Ibanez's with Edge/lopro/pro series with rather slender D-profiled necks, but was looking for a kinky looking mahogany body, and I really like the ML looks.

So, some questions:
1. Apart from the trem, is this guitar good enough to throw extra $ in for a new trem ?
2. What kind of neck does it have, i've read C-shaped, I've read D-shape. Does it have a flat fretboard (really a must for me)
3. If you would do the trem upgrade, which trem would you put in ? I'm looking a a Floyd Rose Special or a Gotoh for now, but don't have a clue if these the same sizes as the original in the ML '79. Are these universal measurements for Floyd rose and all the licensed look-a-likes?
4. Is it true that it's the same as an FBD appart from the trem, pickups, knobs and extra logo's (I don't care for the dimebucker nor logo's)?

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to add anything that could help me out on this one.

Greetz
#3
Im a dean pacifist.

They aren't bad guitars, a new trem would certainly be a good thing, as 2 of my friends own MLF's, and one who abuses the trem alot has had theirs crap out on them after 3 years of abuse.

So yeah, if you wanna drop a new trem in, go for it!
I also advise new pickups, the stock ones aren't overly hot, but theyre okay.
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#6
1. Probably. If you like how it feels then it would be worth it. Their trems aren't horrible but they aren't great so you may not need to replace it right away.

2. I believe almost every dean has a V shaped neck. It'll be quite odd if you're used to ibanez style necks.

3. It is hard to find a replacement that fits. Since Dean has LFRs, i doubt they will be the same measurements. You can try to look it up but i'm not sure if they're posted anywhere online. I'd recommend a OFR, or Schaller FR. The only ones to avoid are the Edge 3, Lo-TRS, cheap LFRs, and i don't really recommend single-locking FRs.

4. I don't know what the FBD is but if it's an ML shaped body, then it is essentially the same guitar with different hardware and pickups.
#7
My 79 is a non floyd, but if it were i'd certainly upgrade. Love the neck on this one. +1 to a pickup change. made a huge improvement to mine.
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Dean ML 79 SilverBurst
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VHT Special 6
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#8
Does the MLF you're looking at have a Flamed Maple Top? Some of the earlier models had a mahogany body without the Maple Top. Some of those models have a V shaped neck and others have a C shape. As for the rest of the 79' MLs, they have a C shaped neck. The original 1979 Deans had a C shape neck. The V shape didn't appear until around 1981 (Give or take) on production models.

All of Dean's hardware is made by Grover including the LFR. Next to Jackson and some Peavy's, Dean has the best LFR as a factory unit. The only differences between the FBD and the 79's are slightly different finishes, logos, stickers, knobs, and pickups. All the Deans share the same LFR if they are equipped with one from the factory.

My Master Catalog doesn't list Fretboard radiuses but I know it doesn't have a flat fingerboard. Honestly I don't know of any electric guitars that has a flat fretboard (Except for lap or steel guitars) I'd say that guitar is worth putting some extra cash into. It's always been tradition to mod ML's since they first came out. Everyone from ZZ Top to Lizzy Borden does it lol
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Jan 10, 2009,
#10
Haha Deans are my forte

They make really great stuff once you look past the "OMGZ Teh Dimebag is mah G0D" thing
The 79' Series is their flagship model I think
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#11
Quote by Flux'D
Haha Deans are my forte

They make really great stuff once you look past the "OMGZ Teh Dimebag is mah G0D" thing
The 79' Series is their flagship model I think

Yeah.. I think if i got more time 1-on-1 with a Dean i could warm up to the neck. The Dean From Hell i tried just felt generally cheap tho, and the Mustaine V (i dont remember which, not the AoD but the cheaper, silver, basswood one) felt really imbalanced and awkward to play.
#12
The neck is something that takes time to get used to. I have big hands and find a V shaped neck to be very comfortable. Everyone thinks that it takes a thin neck to be able to shred/play fast. Most of the oldschool guys did it with Fender C Necks or something similar. Actually a V neck isn't a Dean original. The first Fenders had V necks and most pre WWII guitars have V necks.

The only thing I don't like about Dean necks is how close the Low E sits to the edge of the fretboard. I know it isn't much of a difference but it's enough to be felt. Well most V's feel unbalanced/awkward to me haha. I haven't got the hang of playing V's just yet....
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#13
Thanks for all the input guys ! really cool!
Flux'D: here you can see a picture of the '79 ML I'm looking at currently
http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k29/nougatbollen/ml.jpg
Honestly, I'm not sure when exactly we talk about a "flamed" maple top.

'Flat' is not 100% flat, but a radius of 430mm, compared to the standard 300-350, which is still okay, but the 250 you see on strats is just too rounded for me.

V looks really weird. If I look at this spec of necks:
http://www.kellyindustries.com/articles/guitar_glossary.html

Then my Ibanez JEM DBK has a relly thin C-shape (really slender Superwizard)
my Washburn N4/N3 has a D shape (quite fat compared to the JEM), and my RG570 is right between the two of them. So I hope the ML's neck is not too fat, an not a V, don't know if I'd like that. My hands are one the smaller size.

These of course are all personal tasts. I'll just have to test the guitar to make sure (but it's quite a trip te make).

Pac Man's remark of the cheaper feel of quite some Deans is what worries me. It's not the first time I read it, but realize that Dean gets a lot of sh*t down the neck, not sure why, so some remarks might be 'coloured'.

1. need to like the guitar. As far as looks go, I'm sold.
2. built quality decent enough so that I don't screw myself by putting some extra $ in it. About replacing the trem... possible routing for the trem studs is what I'm a little weary of. Might cost some to have new studs installed.
#15
it would be a huge waste of money. you could buy guitars from several companies which are so much better. dean's are made with less care and passion than squires, and they use more paint and finish on their guitars than wood.
there are plenty of threads here on inexpensive guitars with a locking tremolo system, like a floyd rose, so look into threads about brands like agile, michael kelly, PRS SE (although those dont have locking trems but are decent for the price) etc.
I can't stand watching people waste their money on horrible gear.
#16
tallaxegrinder: Well the main thing that got me going for a Dean ML is the design I really like. And the fact that I plan to sell 2 of my 3 basswoods, to replace one with a mahogany and more aggressive yet retro-isch and charismatic looking guitar for heavier rhythm work, and a second with an alder body.

Would you know of another brand with a comparable design ?

I testes several Michael Kelly's. sorry to say that as quite a disappointment. They sounded thin to me, and weak output, and lots of finish. Looked like they were dropped in a bath of varnish. I contacted Agile with some questions because they have some sexy Les-Pauls, no answer, and after a while, I decided to get a more extravagant, yet retro-isch guitar model. Also no Agile dealers in Europe, bof :/ PRS SE just doesn't have enough character/charisma.

It's not that I really want a floyd on this guitar, I've plenty on my JEM and N4, but I've noticed on several occasion (tested LDT EC1000/500 last time) that fixed bridge guitars go horribly quickly out of tune compared to my other double locking trem guitars. That's what made me step away from a fixed bridge.
#17
That's a terrible drawing of a V neck lol, they don't come to a sharp point like that. Over the years the actual profile of the Dean V neck has changed somewhat (Vintage Dean necks were hand shaped) but I've never seen one like that. If you're curious about playing a V neck, try out a Razorback or a Time Capsule Series. It's natural to be weary about it since it's not the 'norm' and it isn't advertised like other shapes (Wizards).

The MLF in that picture has a Flamed Maple Top. See the lines that are perpendicular to the grain? That's what they refer to as a 'flame.' In the lumber/milling business they would call that Quartersawn Maple. Quilted tops are called Curly. Therefore that guitar has a C neck unless it's an oddball. The review at the bill-lewington site shows that the fretboard has a 12" radius, I'm not sure what that is in metric but it calls it "Fairly flat."

I'm not sure what he meant by feeling cheap. Dean's Korea factory has a pretty high QC, Mr. Zelinsky personally picked that specific factory for that reason. I think the it's is Sang-Jin Industries but I'm not positve. The DFH (like most Deans) has a painted neck so maybe he was referring to that? Also their finish isn't any thicker than anyone elses. After doing some repair work to a broken headstock on a Schecter Hellraiser I've found that they have the thickest finish of anything I've worked on.

The only other company that has produced an ML shape is Washburn. They discontinued these though because it was a copyright infringement since Dean owns the patents for the design. A Washburn ML is slightly insymmetrical (Not sure what the proper word is haha) and one of the points is longer/thinner. The headstocks are the same way with one point being longer/thinner.

The LFR is this guitar shouldn't be a problem. It has the same one as my Razorback and I've giged it 2-3 times weekly for the last 3 years no problem. Most people that say it's crap either has never owned one or doesn't know how to set one up properly. It's made by Grover so it isn't just any LFR knockoff.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
Last edited by Flux'D at Jan 10, 2009,
#19
Any other last opinions before I go to check this out (and probably buy it, unless it plays like crap )