Price paid: £ 650
Purchased from: Ron's Music
Sound — 9
This guitar perfectly suits the style I bought it for - metal. Also I have found I can get nice pinch harmonics and harmonic squeals from it, as well as some nice cleans. Depending on your amp settings, the guitar is very versatile. Personally I don't get any hum from the guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, If this guitar was lost or stolen, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. The only thing I wish it had was an Original Floyd Rose and a name brand neck pickup. Possibly a BL500XL in the bridge but the stock pickups are good, and all of these can easily be swapped out once you buy the guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't yet gigged this guitar but I have confidence that it would survive being on the road. The hardware seems built to last and is high quality. Unfortunately the guitar doesn't come with straplocks, like most guitars don't, however, as long as you just play your guitar in a normal position, the strap buttons will do the job. The finish on this guitar is vry nice, and I have bumped the guitar numerous times without any damage. In fact, I hit the headstock off my door, and I looked and saw white paint on the headstock which was transfered from the door however the guitar didn't have a scratch on it! I would definitely gig without a backup, however, as it has a Floyd Rose I would probably take another guitarr just incase a string snapped.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar came very well set up from the guy's at Bill Lewington, Dean's UK distributer. The action was perfect for me and it arrived nearly in tune, it just needed some fine tuning on the bridge, which was well set up and parallel to the body, as most people have their FR's The routing was as clean as you could ask for from a Chinese factory, there was nothing wonky or misshapen and the cavities were cleanly routed. The frets were finished very nicely with no sharp edges etc. A lot of people change the pots but the ones they use as stock are of acceptable quality.
Features — 10
My model is a 2006 model, made in China. It has 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard with nice star inlays and a "Rebel" inlay on the 12th fret. I believe it has a 24.25" scale length. It also features the famous Dean V neck profile. The body is solid mahogany with an aged confederate flag graphic. It's body is in the style of Dean's famous ML shape, but with it's rounded edges cut straight. Bad description, you'll see what I mean if you look at a picture. It has a well made Licensed Floyd Rose, which stays in tune very well even with extensive dive bombing and harmonic squeels, however, an Original Floyd Rose wouldn't go amiss. The guitar has two humbuckers, with a Seymour Duncan Dimebucker in the bridge position and a Stock Dean in the neck, which performs well unlike most other made-in-house-stock-brand pickups. It has a 3 way toggle switch, and two volume and one tone control. It also features Dimebag's "Traction Knobs" which are small holes made by soldering irons which allow good grip on the speed knobs even when your hands are all lovely and sweaty. It also has Grover 18:1 tuners which, in addition to the locking nut, hold tune well, obviously they wouldn't work if you used the tremolo without the locking nut, but that's pretty obvious. Also Dean include a nice, good quality locking deluxe hardshell case, custom moulded to the body and covered in a velvety material. Inside is also an accessories tray, which has allen wrenches for the tremolo, a tool for adjusting the tremolo arm angle and keys for the case.