Venom Review

manufacturer: DBZ Guitars date: 05/24/2013 category: Electric Guitars
DBZ Guitars: Venom
Overall impression is fantastic. Suits my music style, looks awesome, sounds great even if I would rather have blackouts in it, the difference in the pick ups make it more versatile than the Ibanez I have.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) pictures (6) 15 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Venom Reviewed by: Buffb, on january 27, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 600

Purchased from: Promenade music

Features: I believe it's is a 2010 model made in Korea. Not sure on the factory and can't seem to find anything specific to detail exactly which one. It has a mahogany v shaped body with DBZ's nice contouring across the top and a set mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. 24 jumbo frets on a 25.5" scale v shaped neck. It has a slightly satin silver finish and as said before this guitar is DBZ's take on the flying V. It has an original Floyd rose double locking trem with a 3 way selector, 1 volume and 1 tone pot. Grover tuners and EMG 81/85 active pickups. No other accessories with it which means I am now in need of a case as its very pointy! I am giving this an 8 as I would have preferred the American version for the unique headstock mainly, which is something I don't have but import duty scuppered that plan. All in all features wise it has everything I want on it all of which are on first impressions appear good quality original items. // 8

Sound: I play mainly metal, Metallica, Maiden etc but I also play some blues and classic rock and I bought this guitar because I have experienced 81/85's before and was pleased with the result but wanted to get a V to encourage me to play more standing up than sat on my backside. I am using this with a Roland Cube 40XL and a DigiTech Metal Master pedal. For metal this guitar is awesome, it crunches and pushes the low end out really well and also deals with the high end although it does ring out a bit for which I am knocking a point off for although this is more likely to be the amp and my ability. Getting no excessive noise currently from the pickups with only a small amount of buzz when cranked up full. I have only briefly played it on a clean setting but it seems to give a nice crisp sound that in no way feels out of character even with its metal look. I currently own the Ibanez MTM-2 and an Epiphone LP Standard Plus and sound wise I think the Ibanez just pips the DBZ but that is down to the blackouts it has which are better than the EMG's in my opinion. Pinch harmonics combined with the floyd rose scream out on this guitar though and it really does seem to love divebombs with no loss of tuning even after a few hours of playing around. In summary low end awesome but it does ring out a little on the high end stuff so again I will give this an 8 as its not quite as impressive as the Ibanez sound wise for metal but as a rock guitar the difference between the 2 pickups gives it a versatility that the MTM doesn't have. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar was setup fairly well although the action was a little high for me and the g string was dead. Nothing a bit of tinkering didn't sort out so only a minor inconvenience. TNT ignored the fragile stickers and managed to ding the headstock which was hugely disappointing but I can't fault the store or DBZ for this and they compensated me for this and I have fixed the dent at no cost and it is now not a noticeable issue. Pickups were set up great as was the Floyd rose and the finish was as I have experienced from previous DBZ's I have owned and that is faultless. They are a really high quality instrument for reasonable money. Again scoring an eight due to having to tinker with the action slightly. // 8

Reliability & Durability: No issues at all with this thing withstanding live playing. My only concerns would be the pointiness of it as already there has been the incident mentioned previously so to keep it looking a1 it will need treating well but aren't all pointy V's like that? Hardware is solid, strap buttons are solid and the finish looks like it will last. I would definitely gig with it and I would always take a backup when using a Floyd rose due to set up times and at the end of the day you never know when a string will break. Scoring this an 8 again due to the points! // 8

Overall Impression: Overall impression is fantastic. Suits my music style, looks awesome, sounds great even if I would rather have blackouts in it, the difference in the pick ups make it more versatile than the Ibanez I have. As an out and out metal guitar I would say the MTM-2 just better sit but as an overall rock guitar I would say the DBZ is more suited due to the versatility. Wish I had ordered a hard case with it spit arrived perfect but that's stupid TNT's fault nobody else's. If it got nicked I would replace it as have loved the look of this guitar since I first saw it 2 years ago. Love the Floyd rose as again have wanted this feature for a while to give me something to help develop my own style. The points concern me and the one thing that will always draw me to this axe is the look, it is a beautiful piece of kit. If I had the money I would get the snake skin one as it is that impressive. I just need to get a tube amp now my style is coming so I can see just how goodie can sound as whilst my modelling Roland is good, I think the tube would really push this guitar and show what it is truly capable of. Overall I would give this an 8 and I hope you all feel that's fair. For me it's a 10 but for a review that doesn't help anyone. I love it, you might not! // 8

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overall: 9
Venom Reviewed by: BledGhostWhite, on january 23, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Music Centre Canada

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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:

// 10

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overall: 9.6
Venom Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 24, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 500

Purchased from: a collector

Features: The DBZ Venom I bought cost me 500 and a trip from Cornwall to Birmingham, it was made in 2010 in the DBZ leased factory in Korea, most of DBZ's guitars come from there and mine has superior build quality and value for money than most other guitars I've played including guitars from Japan and the USA. The guitar has 24 frets which is practically standard issue for most metal lead guitarists, the fretboard has a 25.5" scale with an ebonized rosewood fretboard (not entirely sure what that means beyond "black rosewood") if I'm honest I would have preferred a real ebony fingerboard but this is the next best thing as far as I'm concerned. The inlays on this guitar barely exist, there's a trio of diamonds on the 12th fret and that's about it, the rest of the frets are blank although the fret dots on the top and bottom of the frets are as standard. The body and neck are both mahogany with a set neck construction that features a contoured profile on the joint to allow a better access to the highest frets, although I shouldn't give too much of an illusion on this one, you still have to reposition to access the frets. The neck feels fairly similar to the Dean Razorbacks with a slight V shape to them but it feels more comfortable than the Dean Razorbacks. The shape of this guitar is a very sinister looking V shape with a crown shaped headstock, unlike other V's I've played this guitar balances perfectly, whatever angle you tilt it at you can leave it at. The guitar during the machining process had a lot of wood cut away to reduce the weight hence the bevels have bevels and those bevels also have bevels. The bridge used in this guitar is a Floyd Rose Original which frankly I prefer to the licensed or other tremolo systems with the possible exception of the Ibanez ZR bridges. Due to the Floyd Rose Original bridge it is also double locking at the nut and the tuning remains remarkably stable despite use of the bridge. The tuners used are (as with just about every guitar Dean Zelinsky has produced worth over 400, grover tuners. And I should not have to point out the considerable quality of those). This guitar has active pick ups in the form of EMG 81 in the bridge position and an EMG 85 in the neck position. This guitar has 2 volume knobs and a 3 way selector. Beyond the guitar itself it came in a hard case lined with some silky feeling furry lining. Tools were included in the form of some Allen keys as standard for Floyd Rose guitars. // 9

Sound: I play a lot of metal primarily melodic death metal and black metal and this guitar totally slays for melodeath, thrash, power, folk, gothic or just straight up death, the only thing it doesn't really impress me personally for as far as metal goes is black metal. It looks like a weapon and the ribcage graphic of my thoracic is very much in keeping with the music. This guitar having active pick ups, 24 frets and a Floyd Rose Original bridge points to metal players, the Venom was initially designed to be part of DBZ's now discontinued "nightside series" which was aimed entirely at metal guitarists and with a construction like this it's not a surprise. I'm currently using it with an overdrive (Boss OD-2) for general riffing and with delay and reverb for melodic lead lines. For other forms of metal I tend to use it through a Metalzone (MT-2). These guitars handle these effects fantastically and the ability and range of this guitar should not be underestimated. Before buying this guitar I have never really been a fan of EMG preferring my Seymour Duncan pick ups and I wouldn't say I'm miraculously convinced but I'm really enjoying the pick ups so far, I had an idea to switch them out for some Seymours but I won't bother because they've exceeded what I wanted out of my guitar tone leaps and bounds and if it ain't broken it doesn't need fixing. It's not even remotely noisy, the EMG's have a noise reduction feature that is wonderfully helpful for tonal clarity although this makes them far too clinical for some sounds but for most sounds they are exceptional. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action on this guitar is ridiculously low which I really love, that was how it has been since when I got it but I couldn't say how it was set up when it came out of the factory. Pick ups were in the perfect position. The bridge was perfectly set up and the top was perfect too. There are really no flaws I have found in this guitar although I've tried but I've come up with no ideas. Everything was perfectly set up from the moment I got it but there is the possibility that it was corrected at a later date. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I see no reason this guitar would not withstand playing live but it's a long instrument with prongs and a pronged crown shaped headstock that are magnets for being knocked against stuff. I don't see how it is possible for the hardware to not last considering it is all made of metal and rust proofed but I'll go ahead and say that yes I believe it will almost certainly last as long as the hardware on any other guitar. Although the 9 volt battery in the EMG's may eventually run out but that's about as much as I expect to fade on this guitar. The strap buttons I got it with have a separate dome thing with a metal spring loaded rod that locks straps on securely I don't know if that was standard issue or not but talking purely of my own guitar they're as sound as strap buttons get. I can depend on this guitar 100% although if a string snapped whilst playing, attempting to restring a Floyd Rose on stage because I didn't bring a backup is pretty much my idea of hell so I wouldn't ever bring this guitar without a back up but if I was less paranoid I have no doubts I would trust it, as I have no reason to believe it would fail to handle the task. The finish is good enough to last providing you can avoid smacking it into stuff. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal and this guitar is a brilliant choice for this. I've been playing for 6 years and own a Dean Razorback, Epiphone Les Paul and an ESP LTD EX-104 bass, not to mention my collection of pedals and recording gear. There's not really a lot I wanted to know before buying this product that I couldn't find out elsewhere with a degree of research. If I lost or stole it I wouldn't buy it again and would buy a DBZ Bird Of Prey instead... This is not because it's a bad guitar, it's possibly the best guitar I've played to date but DBZ were stupid enough to discontinue them and I doubt I'd realistically be able to easily find one again (unless it gets stolen or lost within the next few weeks that is as I can find maybe 5 online right now). The BoP is virtually the same guitar with just the slight difference of an extra prong to turn it into a more curved Razorback-esque model. I love the fact it balances fantastically, sounds fantastic, is remarkably well built and looks incredible. However I'd probably say the fact that the EMG's don't really seem to handle fast paced solos or scales too well (tending to become quieter and more murky sounding) was a minus point. I compared it to the Dean razorback a couple times and frankly it is a better guitar in every respect but it's the closest comparison I could make. I do wish it had an Ebony fretboard then it'd be perfect for me but hey, it's as flawless as a guitar is likely to get for me. // 10

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