Dave Mustaine Zero Angel Of Deth II review by Dean

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (45 votes)
Dean: Dave Mustaine Zero Angel Of Deth II

Price paid: A$ 450

Purchased from: Ebay Store

Sound — 8
My main reason for getting this is that all the guitars I currently use with my band are bolt on neck, floyd equipped guitars and while I have no problem with this at all, I wanted to get a string through so as to have one guitar for several different tunings. The first thing this guitar reminded me of when I picked it up was sustain. After playing pretty much nothing but floyds for 10+ I forgot how nice a crazy long sustain can be. I'm playing this through an Engl Ritchie Blackmore at the moment, which sounds great. Being a set neck/string through mahogany body it is very responsive and clear sound. You can really fell it resonate. I play mostly metal, but also alot rock and blues stuff. My band has alot of thrash/melodic death/ groove influence and even though I'm not really into the standard pick ups it still sounds great running through the hi gain channel of an Engl. I was kind of surprised at how good the cleans are with this too. The neck pick up doesn't have any of the "boomyness" to it and to start off with I had to knock back the tone knob on the bridge pick up to get a nicer sound, but after a bit of height adjustment it works fine with everything to 10. The volume/tone/switch config to a little while to get used to, I had to start thinking of it like a Les Paul with only one tone knob and less like a super Strat/shredder guitar to really use it to its best. But after an hour playing around with it and a nice tube amp you can start to get some cool sounds out of this thing.

Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression with this guitar was that it exceeded my expectations and has given me what I was after in this situation. When you see guitars with these outlandish paint jobs, it is usually there to draw attention to a low quality, poorly made instrument. These guitars look tough, play really well and if you see one in a store you should pick it up and play around with it, I can tell you now it will be different to play as how you would imagine it while looking at it on a stand. One thing I forgot was the Mustaine spec neck, these are a blow out. Down around the first fret etc it is a well rounded D shape that makes chords and riffing feel really good and as you move up the neck it flattens out to become more like that of a Jackson, real shredder territory. This guitar as a whole feels a little different to most other guitars I've played when you mix the weight/size/shape and layout, but once you get it together you find it is actually a well designed and thoughout axe that begs to be plugged into a cranked amp and wailed on.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have only had this guitar a couple of weeks at this stage, but if deans other models are anything to go off it will last a while even with gigging and daily use/abuse (I have a bunch of friends that use various razorbacks and ML's). I biggest concern firstly was how amazing light the guitar is, It's become a little bit of a joke to hand the guitar to someone and see their reaction to how much it weighs, this makes alot more sense when you see just how huge the guitar is with your on eyes then pick it up. I always had that idea that guiatrs that weigh more sound better and last longer, but I have a good feeling about this axe and it may be one of the exceptions.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was OK when I first got it but there was one issue that took me a little while to deal with. When I first tried to adjust the bridge I couldn't even move it. Who ever had set it up at the factory had misaligned the tune o matic to the point where the threaded poles were jammed into the sockets so hard I couldn't move it by hand, and even after using rubber grips then resorting to a cloth and multigrips it was not any easy thing to get it unbound. The finish and how this guitar all fits together is alot higher quality then I expected. When I was first looking at getting a string through I first looked at the 2 brands I swear by, Jackson and Ibanez, and never being a big fan of deans I was a little reluctant to purchase this, it was the price that changed my mind (retail is now about 3-4 times what I payed) and I have no regrets. To get a Jackson or Ibanez with these options and build quality would have cost alot more but I think that the price range it now falls into, it would be a good match with similar models from the other companies.

Features — 7
Mahogany Top/Body - 25-1/2" Scale - Mustaine Spec. Set Mahogany D Neck - Rosewood Fingerboard - Mini Grover Tuners - Black Hardware - Tune-O-Matic Bridge - DMT Design Humbucker Pickups - Finishes: "Angel Of Deth II" Custom Graphic The features on this guitar while great, still leave some things to be desired. I'm not a big fan of the pick ups (after adjusting them and the string height a little I can get a decent sound out of them, but will be replacing them in the future with BKP's) and as of yet it is impossible to get a Dean case to fit them. The American Mustaine Zero's are the only models that offer a hardcase with the sale and these cases are yet to be sold as an extra,. But since I only payed 450 $aus I don't feel I can complain all that much. Also I was a bit worried as I have never bought or played an Indonesian axe before, but this thing is put together really well.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have a problem with the big Dean V headstock, it's ugly as hell, this one however is not .
    Dean should do a step up version with things like an Ebony fretboard, and the Dave Mustaine Live Wire pickups.
    drying out
    Usually I'm not much for custom graphics on guitars but that actually looks pretty slick. I don't have a problem either, love that shape.
    Needs more sharkfin inlays and Ebony fretboard but...it looks ****en sharp
    Id never liked art on guitars, but Daves guitars really look good. The AoD1, AoD2, Gears of War, Fear, and endgame guitars all look amazing with their artwork.
    tonello wrote: Dean should do a step up version with things like an Ebony fretboard, and the Dave Mustaine Live Wire pickups.
    That's the problem with Dean IMO. They do mostly budget instruments with tiny selection of mid-range stuff, and then the Americn made stuff which is ridiculously pricey. At least that's been my experience.
    metalFAN2261 wrote: that's a nice guitar, too bad Dave cant play 4 shit
    You're either trolling for the hell of it or just a total moron. I beg you to look up the Big 4 Sofia gig, search Wake Up Dead and watch Dave play the solo where he climbs the entire neck. I'm a huge fan of shredders/virtuosos and I've seen Broderick do his 8 finger tapping live, but my jaw literally drops every time I watch Dave play that solo.
    Theibanez2012 wrote: very sexy guitar
    There's a reason why Fender and Gibson dont put gay graphics on their guitars...
    the paint job killed it. he should release a black zero similar to the black vmnt
    really nice, but I'm still searching for his VMNT Rust in Peace. if I buy one, I'll marry it.
    bortbort wrote / quote | Dean must have the ugliest headstocks out there.
    Dean and Ibanez win the crown haha
    I don't actually mind the headstock, however,can't stand the body's paintwork.
    I want one of these, and an Angel of Deth V, also...unfortunately I can't spend that kind of money on what is essentially for me a novelty item...
    The angel of deth series guitars... they are so good looking, i want one so bad, wonder how it plays too, ill need to try one, but damn! sharks inlays on this and this is looking perfect for me!
    Neg whoop
    I have it, there was an issue with buzzing and the strings but I took it to GC and they fixed it for free.
    The paint did take me a while to get used to, but when your playing it the paint doesn't seem to cause any lose of sustain, fret buzz or feedback, so I kept it. Once you play the neck, you notice the paint less and less. I just need to get some better pups for it.
    i got mine today im not happy with it it sounds like a strat made out of mahogany with a bolt on neck no warmth no sustain at all
    I hear ya Patrick, the factory pups are to blame. I upgraded to Mustaine livewires & woke this thing up. Warning though, hold your receipt if you get the livewires they come with 100k pots that are not available anywhere, and for the longest time Seymour Duncan said they could not get them. I had to buy another set at the time just to get pots that worked, recently I was able to get pots from Seymour Duncan support, they sent me 2 and one was bad.
    tonello wrote: Dean should do a step up version with things like an Ebony fretboard, and the Dave Mustaine Live Wire pickups.
    I emailed them about that before I bought this model, they can sell you one exactly like Mustaines' for $2400 US.
    i've always been interested in this guitar and have wondered what it's like, because i saw it, and the Rust In Peace VMNT hanging up in a guitar center. good to see it on ultimate-guitar, finally. i'd like to see more reviews
    DAMN! I never knew about Dave's Spec neck. That's EXACTLY what I've been looking for in a neck. I've grown accustom to a D shape all the way through (learnt on a Tele), but the U shape of my ESP has always been more comfortable towards the higher frets. Didn't know they made necks like this.