Price paid: A$ 1900
Purchased from: Venue
Sound — 8
I play metal and this is a metal guitar, no doubt. The neck pickups also offer a surprisingly warm sound and very passable for clean sounds, but metal is where it excels. It doesn't have much bass to it, but has a great treble sound, similar to Dime (obviously) or some old hair bands who relied on a more bitey sound, which is exactly what I'm after.
Overall Impression — 7
My overall impression is still this is the best guitar I've played in my life in regards to playability, action, sound, looks etc it's just a shame it has the fret flaws and the licensed trem. You just can't help but feel Dean are simply shipping these out as fast as possible just so they can make money off Dime's death. I know if Dime were to try this guitar he'd say "bro, take it back and do it again". Good guitar, but flawed, given the flaws I'd say it was hugely overpriced. Good to play, just don't divebomb or pull off the high E.
Reliability & Durability — 7
The guitar is incredibly light, it's literally the lightest guitar I've played. I've read reviews saying its also the heaviest they've played weight-wise and I don't know which version they were playing. I wouldn't gig with this guitar until the fret problem is fixed up, or else it could be a little embarassing to say the least when you divebomb and all the audience hears when you pull back up is "tink... tink... snap".
Action, Fit & Finish — 5
Guitar was setup very well at the factory with the lowest action I've ever seen in my 20+ years of playing guitar. Didn't even have any fret buzz. However, it has one (to me) massive issue with it... When I fingertap or pull off the string a lot of the time the high E will drop off the fretboard (normal) and then get stuck under either of 4-5 frets. I've even done divebombs where the strings have slacked then got stuck under the frets. To me this is pretty much unacceptable for a guitar of this cost, whixh also brings me back to Dean's quality checking process. Not to mention it comes with a licensed Floyd. To me this comes across as a massive slap in the face for people paying so much for a guitar. For the fret problem I have to ship it back to Dean (at my own charge) to fix, or pay someone $190 locally to fix it. Add this to an already overpriced guitar and it's not good.
Features — 7
I believe this model is from 2008 and made in Korea. 22 frets. Licensed Floyd Rose Tremelo. I bought it last year when Venue were still around. Given that I paid as much as I did for it I would have liked it to have an official Floyd, especially considering some far cheaper guitars are coming with official Floyds these days. The funny thing was I picked up the Dimebolt first and noticed it was made in China. I played it and it was quite literally the absolute worst guitar I've ever played in my life, barr none, so I disregarded buying a Dime. Then I looked at the flame version (right next to it in Venue Music) and noticed it was made in Korea and played it to see the difference... Whoa. It was the BEST guitar I'd played in my life. Which actually worries me. What is Dean doing with their quality checks? There should be no reason 2 identical guitars from the factory (save paintjob and country) should play soooo differently.