Price paid: € 90
Purchased from: Troc N Roll, France
Sound — 8
I'm into alt rock, blues and jazz, so a Tele fits for me, I think. Not plugged in yet, since just moved and getting setup. Didn't take notice the amp at the music store, but there was no noticeable hum. So, as you might expect the neck pickup was more base tone/warmer, but frankly almost muddy at times, so I think I will be playing this axe with the tone maxed to treble. Then again, there's a lot to play with even with just tone and vol on the amp versus the guitar, so 10 minutes in the store was not really enough time to tell. The bridge pickup was brighter, of course, and frankly more my style for either rhythm or lead.
Overall Impression — 8
I had a low budget, and wanted something to jam around with since my other axes are stateside. I'm pretty much of a Fender guy, so Squiers were the logical choice and there are a ton of them around, and cheap even new. At first I was all over the strats, and I really liked the fat one's, but I just questioned the long-term quality with so many moving parts, being that their so cheap, etc... And people talk about them as starter guitars which I was trying to avoid. I wanted to be happy with my axe, not like "well it's good for a while". So, getting the jangly sound of a Tele just made sense and they seem just about as versatile as a Strat (let's face it, you can't whammy with a stock tremolo). I might miss having a humbucker, but I don't think so with the overdrives in pedals, etc. This Dean appeared at 90 euro, and I start thinking "project guitar". We'll see how it goes. If it were stolen tomorrow, and I could find another for the same price, I would buy it again. I would just have preferred in white with a black pickguard, but beggars can't be choosers, right? I dig the whole style, action, sound, and having it stay in tune (which it does with the new strings). I'm hating the buzz, but I think we'll get that sorted (remember, I'm not even using an amp tonight!)
Reliability & Durability — 8
I think this axe could gig just fine, especially compared to the Squires I was looking at which just seemed more lightweight. This things is light, but solid and I'm impressed with the headstock. The cord plug is steel, so no plastic breakage problems there. I've heard the pickups are on the quiet side, but you should be able to amp it up, so NBD in my opinion. Plus, a pickup swap is always a viable option if everything else works out. I can't really say much more here, and I'm probably a year from gigging at this point.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Found this guitar used at a store, it had not been worked on, and the strings were old, so it was hard for me to evaluate everything. But what grabbed me the was first the price (he picks up the guitar and starts to strum), and the action. There was no buzz and it felt comfortable in that the action was pretty low, esp. for a Fender-type versus Gibson (it's also a pretty light guitar). I see no flaws, just a couple of minor dings and scratches, which I couldn't care less about. The tune wasn't holding that well, but I knew it was due to the old strings. The issue I have is that I have some fret buzzing now that I have new strings on (Ernie Ball 9's). The guy at the shop did it along with a tune up, so I'm just going to bring it back in and ask if he can help. (Maybe I made a bad string choice, or he lowered the bridge? I'll see).
Features — 8
Just starting to play again after 30+ years, so sorry about the novice-sounding comments. I've had the axe only a few hours, so I can edit later if I'm allowed to. Basically hoping others review their guitar because there is very little info about it on-line. Pre-2007 (according to what I've read, Dean discontinued them after 2006), 21-fret, maple standard neck with simple pearl inlays, Paulownia body, solid black gloss with white 3x laminated (WBW) pick guard, strung-thru bridge (barrel elements), 1 volume, 1 tone, 3-way selector, Grover tuners.