#1
As a reward to myself for learning to play,from no knowledge or ability,to being able to play well into the intermediate range,(my own assessment),I'm looking to get a better guitar than what I've learned with.

I've been going to music stores for "hands on" try outs and reading lots of reviews online.With my price range topping out at around $1200 US and liking both the Strat and Tele styles/sounds,I think I've narrowed my search to those models of Fender,MIA/MIM or G&L USA/Korean or Indonesian.Or G&Ls "MIMs",if you will.
I don't hear $300-$400 worth of difference between the MIMs or MIAS,in either brand.There seems to be really limited MIM paint schemes/finishes,with some of the MIAs being,to me,much more appealing.I'd appreciate any input on distinctions between those.

In my research,such as it's been,I've become aware of a "master guitar builder" named Dean Zelinsky,who seems to be very well regarded,formerly of "Dean Guitars" and currently of DBZ/Dean.Anyone have first hand knowledge on these DBZs?
Specifically,I'm considering a DBZ Imperial FM Premier Electric Guitar.It makes very close approximations of the sounds I like so much in Teles/Strats but with dual splittable Seymour Duncan JB/59 humbucker pups,does so much more,tone wise.Plus it's really thin and light.Very light in comparison to the G&Ls I've tried,which I found to be quite uncomfortable.

While there are literally untold pages of reviews on the Fenders and G&Ls,reading material on the DBZs is very sparse.

Anyone have experience with these DBZ guitars?I'd really,really like to hear about it.

Thanks much!
#2
DBZ guitars are not related to Dean guitars at all (except both were started by Dean Zelinsky) DBZ is partners with Diamond amplification.

But to add even more confusion Dean Zelinsky is not with DBZ guitars anymore either. He has a completely new company called Dean Zelinsky Private Lable guitars


From what I have seen the DBZ guitars are solid, but I don't like any of the shapes personally.

G&L tribute guitars are hard to beat for the price.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
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MXR Smart Gate
#3
so you are only considering "new" guitars and not "used"?

it's fine if you are, i just want to be clear. for $1200 you could get a nice fender mia "standard" or possibly a "deluxe" that has price dropped or is last year's model, etc.

the new dean zelinsky private label guitars look great and we're curious about the z-glide neck but nobody has taken the plunge yet to report with an in hand experience sadly. prices are on the web site.

i'm a fan of G&L. i prefer buying used though as i can inspect and usually fix most minor issues. i also prefer my indonesian made asat to most mim fenders. (both sell used here for around $300) i just like them, that's me and my take on it. .02

try as many as you can, try some used ones in stores and see if maybe you can get more for your money. most shops will offer a service plan so set ups and stuff are cheaper etc for both used or new guitars. (at least sam ash does, i'm sure others do too).

with your budget, there's plenty out there.

don't be shy about trying a tom anderson or suhr or PRS CE (bolt on neck) if you see one used somewhere. good stuff as well.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Aug 3, 2013,
#4
Quote by Robbgnarly
DBZ guitars are not related to Dean guitars at all (except both were started by Dean Zelinsky) DBZ is partners with Diamond amplification.

But to add even more confusion Dean Zelinsky is not with DBZ guitars anymore either. He has a completely new company called Dean Zelinsky Private Lable guitars


From what I have seen the DBZ guitars are solid, but I don't like any of the shapes personally.

G&L tribute guitars are hard to beat for the price.


OK.The most recent things I've read seem to be from 2011 & 12,with one alluding to some scuttlebutt that Dean was considering moving on again.

I played and liked the G&L Tribute Legacy HB and the Tribute ASAT Classic,except I found both to be noticeably heavier than their Fender counterparts.The S-500 I tried was lighter but still heavier than the Fenders.There are no USA G&Ls around,so I only got to try the Tributes,which on paper look far better,quality wise,than the Fenders,at least to my uneducated eye.I saw,in more than one review,the opinion that the Tributes rivaled the MIA Fenders in quality,though my ears didn't detect any real tonal difference between Tribute or MIA or MIM Fenders.Or for that matter,I didn't hear significant difference between the Fenders.Certainly not enough to account for a MIA costing $300-$400 more than the MIM. But that weight.I don't know that I'd get used to that.That the S-500s bridge HB pup splits to a single coil'while Fenders HSS Strats does not,is a big plus for me and again,except for that extra weight,I'd be swayed more toward G&L,especially given that the Tribute and the MIM are very closely priced.

Then,neither of those,at least those that I played,can match the tones of the DBZ,though the DBZ closely apes the tones of the others,with either or both the dual HBs split to singles.Either or both HBs unsplit,(if that's correct to say that way ),are so much more full and rich toned,have more "crunch" than either of the others HSS versions.And then that weight thing again.The DBZ weighs very obviously less than the Fender and weighs almost nothing compared to the Tribute.
I find the "thinness" of the Imperial very appealing,both in looks and feel.The "dual cut-out" body style/shape,while a little over sized is not all that different from my "LP style" Washburn. The extra size combined with the extended "stop-tail" bridge is said to give it the ability of a longer sustain,which I like.

Maybe I'll win the lottery,before I decide,and just buy all three!

Thanks for your input...Much appreciated!
#5
@gregs1020

so you are only considering "new" guitars and not "used"?

it's fine if you are, i just want to be clear. for $1200 you could get a nice fender mia "standard" or possibly a "deluxe" that has price dropped or is last year's model, etc.


Yeah.For this one time I want to get a brand new one.I'm pretty sure that later I'll want one of which ever style I don't buy this time and will likely look for pre-owned ones then.

The Tributes and MIMs I've looked at all were priced as low as just under $500 and the MIAs,in MY price range,as low as $850 out the door.Those prices reflect what seems to be a permanent "sale price" of 70%.Or 30% off.The nearly $1200 MIA actually costing under $850.The DBZ Imperial I'm drooling over is price tagged at $1081 and is 50% off at $540.50 out the door,plus $90 more for a hard case.

Thanks for the reply!
#6
Just to add, I largely taught myself to play, and I thought I was intermediate but really I sucked until I got a teacher.

Sure I could play stuff that intermediate players could but my technique, theory and lead work were all over the place.

Hey, I might still suck but I suck less now.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Aug 3, 2013,
#7
someone really should tell dean zelinsky that you can change your name these days.

that'd be a lot easier (for us) than having him start a new company every 6 weeks with a very slight variation on "dean" for its name.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Quote by Mephaphil
Just to add, I largely taught myself to play, and I thought I was intermediate but really I sucked until I got a teacher.

Sure I could play stuff that intermediate players could but my technique, theory and lead work were all over the place.

Hey, I might still suck but I suck less now.


I went to a tutor for 6+ months after self learning from books websites and friends for a year and temporarily ending lessons a few months ago.
I'm not ready to head to the studio or even be on a stage yet.I play decent,simple renditions of several songs using the open and open dom.7 chords,while more and more working in power and bar chords.I'm at the point where I can stand to listen to myself solo within position 1 and 2 of the minor pentatonic/blues scale and position 1 of the major scale and can alternate pick all of those in excess of 180bpm.What I call triple picking,1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5,etc,I can do the minor pent/blues at 100 bpm and 60ish for the major. I have several "riffs" pretty well nailed,playing them on their own,but not yet really able to work them into the songs I play with/as chords.Working on that!I can't count the "licks" I know,many,many of which involve combos of slides/bends/vibratos and hammer ons/pull offs.Becoming rather comfortable using them soloing over backing tracks.I have basic understanding of the major scale,intervals,keys,chord construction as far as major-minor-flat-sharp-augmented-diminished-octaves.I know,at a glance,all the notes on the low-E,high-E and A strings and how to find the notes on the others in a couple seconds.Getting better at that all the time.
At this point I wouldn't feel right calling myself a player.While I do play some,I play WITH my guitar more.For now.As a beginner I couldn't do and didn't know any of the above stuff.
I don't think I'm out of line to call myself intermediate. I hope not anyway.
#9
Quote by Atomic Wedgie
@gregs1020


Yeah.For this one time I want to get a brand new one.I'm pretty sure that later I'll want one of which ever style I don't buy this time and will likely look for pre-owned ones then.

The Tributes and MIMs I've looked at all were priced as low as just under $500 and the MIAs,in MY price range,as low as $850 out the door.Those prices reflect what seems to be a permanent "sale price" of 70%.Or 30% off.The nearly $1200 MIA actually costing under $850.The DBZ Imperial I'm drooling over is price tagged at $1081 and is 50% off at $540.50 out the door,plus $90 more for a hard case.

Thanks for the reply!

no problem. i can understand wanting new only, you can certainly afford a nice one.

also, you could find a new USA G&L in your price range. my opinion on USA G&L is that they are at a level about equal to fender custom shop guitars. you would really get a lot for your money there.

local G&L dealers usually are usually the smaller shops that will negotiate with you.

another thought.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#10
Quote by Dave_Mc
someone really should tell dean zelinsky that you can change your name these days.

that'd be a lot easier (for us) than having him start a new company every 6 weeks with a very slight variation on "dean" for its name.


If you had to consider the quality of guitars built from or based on Deans designs and that he's been associated with the production of,however briefly and given just these few options,would your opinion be:

Toward,if not in "high end"?

Medium range and deservedly priced with somewhat upscale Tributes or MIMs and lower end USAs and MIAs?

Decent beginner guitars?...I think they're priced beyond that,personally.

Rate with starter pack guitars?

Outright junk?

And:Have you ever played any of them?If yes,what other guitars are you comparing with?
#11
@gregs1020

local G&L dealers usually are usually the smaller shops that will negotiate with you.

That's true in this case with both the store that sells the G&L and the one that handles Fender and the Imperial I'm looking at.Both,without saying so outright,suggested some flexibility on price,though I'd expect that to be largely negligible.
Additionally,the G&L guy offered a "gig-bag"at half off,while the Fenders I tried,whether MIA or MIM all came with either a bag or hard-case.DBZ doesn't include either with guitars,but being that their cases don't accommodate any other guitar,I can get the DBZ hard-case for half off.$90 saving from MSRP.
#12
i don't think i've ever tried a dean (or any of the other companies' guitars with which he's been associated)

sorry
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
Quote by Atomic Wedgie

I don't hear $300-$400 worth of difference between the MIMs or MIAS,in either brand.


It's not necessarily just in what you hear, but what you feel. The difference in feel between a MIA and a MIM Fender is astronomical.
#14
Quote by Atomic Wedgie
@gregs1020

local G&L dealers usually are usually the smaller shops that will negotiate with you.

That's true in this case with both the store that sells the G&L and the one that handles Fender and the Imperial I'm looking at.Both,without saying so outright,suggested some flexibility on price,though I'd expect that to be largely negligible.
Additionally,the G&L guy offered a "gig-bag"at half off,while the Fenders I tried,whether MIA or MIM all came with either a bag or hard-case.DBZ doesn't include either with guitars,but being that their cases don't accommodate any other guitar,I can get the DBZ hard-case for half off.$90 saving from MSRP.

MIA G&L should come with a hard case, imports should come with the bag.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#15
Quote by SomeBlueKind
It's not necessarily just in what you hear, but what you feel. The difference in feel between a MIA and a MIM Fender is astronomical.


I didn't find that to be so,though I admit I just tried 3 MIMs and 3 corresponding MIAs,both of which felt better to me than any of the 3 Tributes I tried.All felt good,I suppose,though I wasn't awe struck by any.To my touch,undeveloped as it may be,all Fenders felt the same,other than the differences between teles and strats. As far as sliding around the neck and bending strings and such,any one felt like any other.Smooth.Easy.The DBZ felt remarkably different,beyond being so much thinner and lighter.Sliding and bending felt like I was working with icy slick,warm butter.So much smoother and easier.As if it were tuned to MY touch.I've never felt anything quite like it,though I admit I've only ever played with few than 15 guitars.Ever! And some of those were acoustics.

I think I'm leaning toward the DBZ and,perhaps looking for either last minute approval or having someone warn me away,based on some actual experience with and knowledge of DBZs,beyond what's available for me to have read myself.

As far as other brands.Early on I tried some Epiphones. Didn't care for any.I found an ESP I kinda liked,but it had some auto-tune thingy that scared me off as something to break at some point and be expensive to repair.The Gretches and Rickenbackers cost more than I wish to spend.Where I live,those are pretty much the extent of my options,without looking at whatever Walmart/Target types stores carry,and within a 2 hour 1-way drive.No,I didn't consider those. There is a bigtime "super music store",90 minutes away,but I'd rather not give my business to a big corporation,and have not been there.
#16
Quote by gregs1020
MIA G&L should come with a hard case, imports should come with the bag.



Must just be that particular stores policy.I guess.In any case,they only offered a bag at half off.There are no other G&L dealers within reasonable driving distance.Also,at that store,if I were to buy the S-500 HB,the strat like HSS,it isn't in stock and would have to be ordered,requiring half down,then needing to wait up to 10 days to get a guitar that I 'd never tried,other than the stores,which they use for lessons and is not for sale.Surely,I could send it back and get a refund,but I'm not sure I want to risk having to deal with the potential hassle involved.
#17
Quote by Atomic Wedgie
I went to a tutor for 6+ months after self learning from books websites and friends for a year and temporarily ending lessons a few months ago.
I'm not ready to head to the studio or even be on a stage yet.I play decent,simple renditions of several songs using the open and open dom.7 chords,while more and more working in power and bar chords.I'm at the point where I can stand to listen to myself solo within position 1 and 2 of the minor pentatonic/blues scale and position 1 of the major scale and can alternate pick all of those in excess of 180bpm.What I call triple picking,1-2-3-2-3-4-3-4-5,etc,I can do the minor pent/blues at 100 bpm and 60ish for the major. I have several "riffs" pretty well nailed,playing them on their own,but not yet really able to work them into the songs I play with/as chords.Working on that!I can't count the "licks" I know,many,many of which involve combos of slides/bends/vibratos and hammer ons/pull offs.Becoming rather comfortable using them soloing over backing tracks.I have basic understanding of the major scale,intervals,keys,chord construction as far as major-minor-flat-sharp-augmented-diminished-octaves.I know,at a glance,all the notes on the low-E,high-E and A strings and how to find the notes on the others in a couple seconds.Getting better at that all the time.
At this point I wouldn't feel right calling myself a player.While I do play some,I play WITH my guitar more.For now.As a beginner I couldn't do and didn't know any of the above stuff.
I don't think I'm out of line to call myself intermediate. I hope not anyway.


I'd probably say you're a novice heading into intermediate territory, intermediate should probably know all the pentatonics in all positions. Especially position 4 and 5 of the minor pentatonic as that's where most rock solos happen. You should be pretty confident with barre chords of all kind.

But whatever, your playing might be spot on. I was just giving you some advice based on my own experiance.

Post a video in the techniques forum, there's a thread where folk will watch you playing and critique you. It's a sticky, you can't miss it.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Aug 3, 2013,
#18
Quote by Mephaphil
I'd probably say you're a novice heading into intermediate territory, intermediate should probably know all the pentatonics in all positions. Especially position 4 and 5 of the minor pentatonic as that's where most rock solos happen. You should be pretty confident with barre chords of all kind.

But whatever, your playing might be spot on. I was just giving you some advice based on my own experiance.

Post a video in the techniques forum, there's a thread where folk will watch you playing and critique you. It's a sticky, you can't miss it.


In those parameters,I can't argue that I'm not a novice.In any case I still want to get a new guitar.
#19
Dean Zelinsky is quite the guitar maker- I have 2 of his Deans, and have DBZ and Dean Zelinsky Private Label (i'll abbreviate that to DZPL) guitars on my GAS list.

As others have said, Dean is no longer associated with Dean or DBZ. His DZPL guitars have only just recently hit the market. For the most part, his companies put out their best stuff while he is actually in charge, but it doesn't look as if DBZ has experienced any real downturn in quality since he left. What they HAVE done is expand the number of different models in the company's lines while simultaneously reducing the variations within a given model.

The Imperial and the Royale ar actually the DBZs that interest me most. The Imperial is a nice guitar, and the Royale is essentially the same guitar, but with a scaled-down body. That means it will be even lighter and ergonomic, but I don't know whatw that will do for counterbalancing the mass of the neck- I haven't played one.

DZPL has an LP-Style guitar called the Zenyatta that incorporates some of the same ergonomic principles used in the DBZ Imperial and Royale, most notably the incredibly thin body. You may want to look at those. Because Dean Z is trying to get some momentum for his young company, DZPLs are available at nicely discounted prices.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Aug 3, 2013,
#20
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Dean Zelinsky is quite the guitar maker- I have 2 of his Deans, and have DBZ and Dean Zelinsky Private Label (i'll abbreviate that to DZPL) guitars on my GAS list.

As others have said, Dean is no longer associated with Dean or DBZ. His DZPL guitars have only just recently hit the market. For the most part, his companies put out their best stuff while he is actually in charge, but it doesn't look as if DBZ has experienced any real downturn in quality since he left. What they HAVE done is expand the number of different models in the company's lines while simultaneously reducing the variations within a given model.

The Imperial and the Royale ar actually the DBZs that interest me most. The Imperial is a nice guitar, and the Royale is essentially the same guitar, but with a scaled-down body. That means it will be even lighter and ergonomic, but I don't know whatw that will do for counterbalancing the mass of the neck- I haven't played one.

DZPL has an LP-Style guitar called the Zenyatta that incorporates some of the same ergonomic principles used in the DBZ Imperial and Royale, most notably the incredibly thin body. You may want to look at those. Because Dean Z is trying to get some momentum for his young company, DZPLs are available at nicely discounted prices.


Thanks for that!

I went ahead and bought the Imperial and came close to putting a deposit on a MIA Strat. I couldn't decide between a blue,cream or gloss black.All are American Standards.All around $1500,all single coil.I'm told,once I've paid it halfway down they'll swap out the bridge pup for a humbucker. Wife likes the blue one best.I think I like the cream.This Strat deal is the wifes idea,so I'll probably have the blue one.

Anyway,thanks everybody for helping/letting me think through this. I'm off to play with my new toy!
#21
What do you mean by cream? Olympic white?

The white is killer. If you get the black change the scratch plate to a black one.
Last edited by Mephaphil at Aug 3, 2013,
#22
you had better post a picture.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#23
Which Imperial did you order?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#24
Quote by Mephaphil
What do you mean by cream? Olympic white?

The white is killer. If you get the black change the scratch plate to a black one.


I don't know what Fenders name for the color is and having to work alternating saturdays,I won't get back there for a couple weeks.
It's an off-white,slightly yellowed maybe.Sort of a buttermilk color with a white pick-guard.The guy said it's modeled after a Jimi Hendrix guitar.Single coil.I want an HSS and am told they'll convert it at no additional cost,while in lay-away and once paid to down to half.Same with the blue one,or the black for that matter. The black one,BTW,has a black pick guard already.There's a Satin black MIM with a white pick guard.I liked the looks of that better.I like the idea of the gloss black/white plate myself.The black,right now,would be my 3rd choice.
As I said,I like the "cream",my wife prefers the blue,which is close in color to a '96 Mustang she had and to the '07 Electra-Glide I had.

@gregs1020

I'll have to work on that.We don't have a digital camera,(oldest daughter managed to lose it last summer) or a smart phone and I'm not sure I'd even be clever enough to up-load a pic.
But what I got is this:

http://

They just had the one.It's the amber tobacco burst,which I think I'd have picked,given a choice,though I like the transparent indigo too.

@dannyalcatraz

None.I bought and brought home the one in the above link.I almost put a Strat on lay-away and still might in a couple weeks.IF the urge hasn't died out and if the ones I liked haven't been sold.