Venom review by DBZ Guitars

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (52 votes)
DBZ Guitars: Venom

Purchased from: Music Centre Canada

Sound — 8
I play mostly technical death metal, and this guitar is an all-out death machine. The EMGs, I personally find to be a bit lifeless, as seems to be popular opinion here on UG. For metal, they are exceptional, but are lacking for clean tones, more often than not, though the 85 in the bridge position can get you by. I play through a Blackstar HT-100 (which is not an incredibly high-gain amplifier), and this guitar compliments it really well. I use a Blues Driver to put a little more gain in the low end, but otherwise, this guitar kicks ass for distorted tones. The pickups get kinda noisy at high volumes, so I'd recommend a noise gate, but that's to be expected. The tone of the guitar is very mid-driven, though it has a very nice tight bottom end. With a little less gain, you can really hear the rich fullness of the woods, but that is slightly obscured by the pickups. I can really only give this category an 8, because the cleans are really quite lacking. If you put in different pickups, I've no doubt this guitar could do pretty much anything, but as it stands, it's better for metal.

Overall Impression — 10
For technical death metal, this thing kicks a-s. I'd like to put some BKP Warpigs in it, but for now, the tone does just fine. As previously stated, I play through a Blackstar HT-100, using a Blues Driver, but I also use a 535Q Crybaby for some leads. I've also played this through my Roland 30x Cube and Line 6 Spyder III, though it obviously shines with a better amplifier. If someone even THOUGHT of stealing this guitar, I would have already stabbed them 666 times in the heart before they could finish their thought. I'd like to buy another, but I heard that this particular finish is being discontinued soon. For what I paid for it, there really were no better options. The OFR is just so much fun, and it just feels right in my hands. Honestly, I mostly chose it for the unique finish, but I can't say I regret it at all. It is easily my favorite guitar I own, though I don't really own a lot. Overall, I'd recommend it to anyone who needs a killer metal guitar. Video from YouTube:

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Reliability & Durability — 8
I put on some Schaller strap locks for obvious reasons, but the stock strap buttons seemed pretty solid. For live playing, I think this guitar could take quite a beating. That being said, I wouldn't dare be the one dealing it. The hardware seems nice and solid, but I wouldn't gig with it without a backup, especially with the Floyd. That being said, the finish seems really durable, and so far I've had no issues with tuning reliability. All in all, is seems to be a durable guitar, but I suppose only time will tell. An 8 here, because the Floyd Rose can present some problems in live situations.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup was actually not bad, though it didn't really matter in the end. I play in D standard, so I threw on some 12-56s, and naturally had to reset the Floyd, and even ended up throwing on another spring in the back. After the bridge setup, there were no complaints. The finish is exceptional, with the graphic being absolutely killer. Looking at it with the most scrutinizing lens, it doesn't look pixelated or anything. The ribs, heart, and fade effect all look hand-airbrushed, and the side bevels are both perfectly aligned. As icing on the cake, the headstock is really brutal. The inset DBZ logo looks so cool, and is totally unique. I'm giving this category a 9, because the pickups were a little too high for my liking, but otherwise it was perfect.

Features — 10
This is a 2012-made DBZ Venom with the Thoracic-X graphic. It's Korean-made, with 24 frets, a Floyd Rose Original bridge, EMG 81/85 combo, and Grover tuners. The body is mahogany, the neck is a very smooth set-in mahogany neck with an ebonized rosewood fretboard. The only inlay is on the 12th fret, and is quite small. The guitar also came with a solid injection-molded case, the necessary allen keys, and my local shop threw in a strap for free. The controls are very straightforward: one volume knob, one tone, and a 3-way selector switch. The features, overall, are nothing to complain about. For the price I paid (which was quite low), an OFR, EMGs, and the incredible craftsmanship of this beauty justify a 10 here.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Way Cool JR.
    Just an FYI: These have the Korean made Floyd's (FRx000) not the German made ones. Most company's refer to them as a (FRO) Floyd Rose Original which is the new OEM OFR. This doesn't bother me at all but it may bother other people, so I'm just throwing that out there. Most all new/newer guitars $2,500 USD and under will have the Korean Floyd's on them not the German.
    I'm exceptionally keen for one of these...wouldn't really go with my genre or playing style very well, but it just looks and sounds so damn amazing.