Features — 10
I acquired a silver Dean Mustaine VMNTX second hand and I gotta say this is a real gem. Mine is sporting a set of Seymour Duncan Dime pups and an extremely rare feature of this guitar (at least the one I got) is that the neck is actually flame maple not normal maple you would expect to find on a Chinese guitar or a fender. In fact the company took enough pride in construction to book match the flame on the scarf joint. Low action great for speed metal and great for distortion tones however it will also play clean tones like a champ. Want a little more versatility still? Not a problem (if you have 4 wire pups in it or you convert 2 wire pups to 4 wire) just add some push pulls and coil tap/split. The ONLY drawbacks I can think of are 1. The normal issues with any and every v which is the shape but if you are standing and have the right strap and strap is adjusted properly it isn't that big of a deal with a little time you will get use to it, and 2. The output jack location, whereas most v's put it bottom side of lower horn or on the front of the guitar this one places it on the underside of the upper horn in a horizontal position right neck to the strap button so care must be taken not to break the instrument cable.
It sounds and plays great and worth a lot more than the retail price in my honest opinion especially if you manage to get a hold of or find one with the flame maple neck (out of all VMNTX I have seen I have not come across another with a flame maple neck on it and yes it is the factory neck).
Sound — 10
It is good for any style although I am sure going into a honky tonk and strapping up would attract a LOT of stares LOL. Amp used is a vintage 1987 Peavey VTM120 head and matching 87 factory Celestion G12k-85 equipped peavey 412-MS cab.
I feel it does have a rich/full sound with what I consider a medium range sound, it isn't muddy, or dull, clean tones will get distorted as volume goes up but all guitars do, also though it depends on amp style for example the VTM120 doesn't have a "switchable" channel, it uses volume and gain knobs to adjust cleans and distortion, this means you can finely adjust how clean or distorted the sound is but factoring in the VTM120 head is a 120 watt full tube head tubes also have to be considered so tons will vary even between VTM120's.
Tones and sounds are subjective from individual to individual but for me it has a LOT of tonal possibilities from extreme clean to hard core in your face speed/death metal, harmonics, pinch harmonics, squealing, you name it chances are the VMNTX will do it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action was perfectly set up from the word go and only changes needed ever were when changing string gauge and that was only to set intonation (guitar comes with D'Addario XL120 ( 9-42) switching to Ernie Ball Super Slinky (pink pack) required no changes of any kind.
The pickups were not correctly set or even wired correctly for that matter BUT my VMNTX was second hand and the pups were swapped by previous owner for Seymour Duncan Dime set.
The ONLY flaws in the fit and finish on this guitar was on the ends of the horns (typical for v's) and it is very small even tiny compared to the normal chunks on other V's however that says a lot considering how sharp the horn corners are and that normally they are beaten to death in the store let alone by first owners
Reliability & Durability — 10
Guitar will definitely stand up to live playing just not sure if it will stand up to the musicians treatment on stage LOL. Hardware will definitely last in fact it comes factory with grover mini tuners and the strap buttons are a reasonably large size which is appreciated. The only drawback to the strap buttons is location, you cannot use Schaller straplocks on this guitar because one button is on the neck heal plate.
Short of pouring a beverage down the electronics or being of the type that could fill a swimming pool with perspiration quickly you could actually gig this guitar without a backup except I suspect most people whom would use a v would have multiple guitars with different tunings for different songs.
The finish is a nice medium finish and very durable, unlike the finish on say a "Gibson." I don't see any reason why I personally would concern myself with issues with the finish of the guitar but I don't really concern myself with finish on ANY guitar because I treat my gear gentle:D
Overall Impression — 10
I tend to stick with bluesy rock ALA Slash, with some metal ALA Megadeth, Metallica, etc. I haven't been playing long at all and only have this dean, an Epiphone Les Paul standard plus top pro, a 100% scratch built by yours truly Les Paul style guitar, a cherry sunburst Ibanez SR400QM bass and a Yamaha bass, modded crybaby wah, VTM120 Head and matching cab, and a GK MB210-II.
if I wished this had anything I would say more color choices than silver and basic black, different inlays, room for large size CTS pots, switchcraft output jack and 3 way toggle. Didn't really choose it, it chose me:D