Custom 450 Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 12/09/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Custom 450
Sleek new designs, sensuous curves with Classic Dean playability make this a must have for any serious rocker!
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.3
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.7
 Features: 8.7
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reviews (3) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Custom 450 Reviewed by: Dardarian, on june 29, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 315

Features: I purchased this guitar from a friend, and he purchased it online from an Ebay-ish website, so I'm at least the third person to use this guitar. Luckily the guitar was still in very good shape when I bought it. This Dean Custom 450 (arched figured maple top) was made in Korea (not sure about the year). It's made out of mahogany wood and has a 24 fret bound rosewood neck with abalone dot inlays. The frets are quite big, even bigger than Jumbo frets, so not everyone will like the way the neck plays. Before I played electric guitar I played a lot of classical guitar and I've grown to like bigger frets. I like them a lot more than those very small hard to play frets Stratocasters have! Using your thumb on the low E strings can be quite difficult because of this if you have small hands, even though the neck is quite thin. My guitar has a beautiful 'tiger eye' paintjob which in reality is a bit darker than it looks on the pictures that Google comes up with. The Custom 450 features a licensed Floyd Rose bridge that isn't really all that good and goes out of tune quite easily if you use the whammy bar. Since I don't really need the whammy bar myself I got the bridge fixed. The headstock of this guitar doesn't have the classic Dean-shape (with the two 'horns') but looks a lot more like a Jackson headstock. The Grover tuners (non-locking, they don't need to be since this guitar has nut clamps because of the Floyd) are good and built to last forever. The pickups are: EMG h4a in the bridge and EMG h4 in the neck. I'll go into detail about them in the Sound section of this review. // 8

Sound: The Dean Custom 450 comes equipped with an EMG H4 and an EMG H4A (both are passive pickups). If you use distortion these pickups pack quite a punch, and you can easily get a Metallica-sound, a more classic-rock kind of sound or a really evil black metal roar. Keep in mind that even though they are high-output the output won't be the same as the output of active EMGs. If you set your amp to clean you'll find out that these pickups aren't really made to have great cleans, they sound quite muddy on clean. I play this guitar through a Zoom Fire 30 amp but I've also heard it through a couple of other amps including a few higher end amps. In short: distortion sounds very good, clean is a compromise. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The first time I played this guitar I noticed that the action was really low. Since I got the bridge fixed the action is a little bit higher (because the bridge is fixed the individual saddle height can't be adjusted) but it's still quite low for a medium-end guitar. (I use 0.010 strings and regular tuning). The guitar was set up by a guitar tech so I don't think it's possible to lower the action even more. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've yet to encounter anything that makes me doubt the durability of this guitar. You might get a few scratches in the finish if you're not careful but the hardware seems very durable. The only thing I can't really judge are the strap buttons since the guitar didn't have the original strap buttons on it. The guy I bought it from replaced the original straps buttons with strap locks. // 8

Overall Impression: I play all sorts of rock music (from classic rock to metal to punk etc) and occasionally some other styles such as blues or pop. This guitar suits my playing style quite well, only I wish the cleans were a bit better. I also didn't like the licensed Floyd but as I have mentioned before I had it fixed. The Dean Custom 450 isn't really my dream guitar but it's still more than sufficient, especially for the priced I've paid for it. If it were lost or stolen I would seriously consider buying it again if I could get it at the same price I paid for it (250 euro). The Dean Custom 450 might not be a perfect guitar but it's still a very good guitar that plays very nice and only has two drawbacks: The crappy licensed Floyd and the muddy cleans. Fix the bridge and fiddle around with your amp till the cleans sound acceptable (don't expect too much) and you've got yourself a sweet, sweet guitar! // 8

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overall: 9.6
Custom 450 Reviewed by: Johnny Lingo, on february 15, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 200

Purchased from: Used on Kijiji

Features: I believe this model was produced in '04 and '05 in Korea. Features: Color: Metallic Charcoal Arched Figured Maple Top Mahogany Body 25-1/2 Scale Length Grover Tuners Black Hardware 2 EMG HZ4 Pickups Lic. Floyd Rose Locking Tremelo Mahogany Neck Neck Thru Construction Bound Rosewood Fingerboard Abalone Dot Inlay 24 Frets 1 Volume, 1 Tone I got this guitar used, with only a couple tiny chips on the body. Hard shell case included. Floyd Rose needed minor work (and blocking), truss rod needed a tightening, 19th fret buzzed, I dressed and polished it up. For $200 used with case, and just minor work, I got an awesome deal! // 10

Sound: This guitar is an awesome metal machine. The EMG HZ4 stock pickups are really pretty good passive pickups, and I have not changed them out. I run this thru a Peavey Vypyr 30, any and all models and effects, and it has a really nice balanced tone with lots of sustain, due to the mahogany body and neck and the fact the bridge is now blocked. The tone was rather flat and crisp before the blocking. No noise, electronics are quality, as I would expect of a medium high price range guitar. Tone variety combined with the Floyd Rose gives the guitar a fair bit of flexability, but considering it has the EMG's, it is really more suited for the heavy side. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Action is low and clean with the fretwork done. Fit is awesome, nice lean neck and lots of room to shred. Bought used as stated. All stock parts however, and they were quality. Nice to have the EMG's come stock. Finish, paint and details were all just fine. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is sturdy, the Floyd Rose as stable as any licensed version that has been blocked and maintained. Finish stands up fine, all hardware is quality as stated. Dependable and fun to play with the Floyd Rose, dive bombs and harmonics sound super and bridge holds tune. Has done a lot of time without being put down on stage, but gigging without a backup is unprofessional, period. // 9

Overall Impression: 30 year player, and I play a lot of stuff, but most is pretty heavy and this guitar is called on for tunes that have a lot of soloing. 24 frets and a F.R. make it essential, as I generally play hardtails. This is my only tremolo guitar, so it has to be good, and I have no wish to replace it anytime soon. It feels awesome in my hand is just damn fun to play, given size, weight and balance. Given the general rarity of this model, I would slowly kill anyone who trys to part me and this guitar. I would have to spend at least $1000 on an Ibanez to replace it! // 10

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overall: 8
Custom 450 Reviewed by: PiqSiq Project, on december 09, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 200

Purchased from: Used

Features: The guitar was made around 2004 in Korea. The model I have is the metallic charcoal finish. Arched figured maple top on a mahogany body. Neck is mahogany set, 25-1/2, 24 medium jumbo frets, bound rosewood board with abalone dot inlays and Grover tuners. It has a licensed Floyd Rose locking tremelo, 2 EMG HZ4 pickups, 1 volume, 1 tone and black hardware. // 8

Sound: The EMG HZ4 pickups are a good passive pickup, suited for an 80's metal sound ala Scorpions. I play metal, prog, classic and blues rock, so this sound suits me fine, and is one of the few used guitars I've bought that I haven't swapped out the pickups. Really clean electronics and nice sustain (I have blocked the trem, though). Nice full sound, but with nice highs thanks to the pickups. The mahogany body really gives it a good punch and low end for power chords. Leads are nice and cut through the mix quite well, and play on the neck pickup for really good soaring notes that just ring on and on. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar was bought used, so I'm not sure of the set up from Dean, but I know the kid I bought if from had taked to one of the worst places in town to get the Floyd Rose set up. I actually had to replace the bridge and do a little work to the frets, but that was not Dean's fault. The guitar itself was constructed quite well, and once set up was really awesome to play. Thicker than my Ibanez necks, but fast, and a real nice finish to the frets and bound board. You can tell that this model was close to $900 new. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is a well made, solid guitar, and with the bridge blocked, it can go a long time without a major tuning. Strap buttons and hardware are holding up fine, but I am not sure who to blame the issues the guitar had with the bridge on, the former owner or Dean. It was an older snip off string version of a Floyd Rose, so I would have swapped it out eventually anyway. Finish is holding up well so far, and I think it could gig night after night no problem. I would not use a tremolo bridge guitar without a backup, as trems break strings and need to be retuned bigtime if dive bombing too enthusiastically. // 8

Overall Impression: For playing rock of any kind, I think this would be a decent choice of guitar, depending on your sound preference. For playability, it is really nice and fast, with an updated bridge it is now really cool. I have been playing for a long time, and this guitar was great bargain at the price I got it at. Since it was discontinued around 2005 I think, it would be a good choice for a quality used instrument, as the quality of initial construction should give it nice life span. I have a few guitars in my collection, but most now are basic models that I have upgraded to suit my needs, but I have not done a lot to this Dean, just the needed bridge swap. She is great sounding as is. If anything evey happens to her, I am sure it would be a near impossible search to find another, and that would be a shame. I am not a huge whammy bar guy, so I was just looking for one to use in studio, but I came to have a real love for this guitar, just based on its sound and playability for Scorpions, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and similar types of classic metal. // 8

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