EVO XM Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 03/17/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: EVO XM
The evolution continues! The EVO XM carries the same mahogany body as it's bigger brothers with a bolt-on neck. Features dual Dean humbuckers, mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard and a beautiful natural finish.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.7
 Features: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (11) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
EVO XM Reviewed by: feelgoodfactor, on april 14, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 274.5

Purchased from: local guitar shop

Features: This guitar a maple neck, rosewood fretboard and 22 frets I'm not sure if jumbo frets or not but I have pretty small thingers and I have never had any problems. The stlye is loosly based on a les paul( probably a junior) and has a mahogany esc finish. It has a two Dean humbuckers a volume and tone and a three way selector. When I baught it from the shop it came with a free strap sum picks and a gig bag. // 8

Sound: Well this guitar is good for bluesy rock and metal and even punk or jazz but it tends to distort I'm not sure weather that's the guitar or my amp (10 watt Peavey Backstage)when I'm playing metal, rock or blues I use my Boss MT-2 metal zone pedal but I am looking into get the weapon by DigiTech. On the bridge humbucker it's quite and not too in your face but Switch it over to the bottom humbucker and it goes into a distorted over Drive. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it from the shop the action was fine it played really nice, but I had to lower the pickups abit. It did have sum loose tuning pegsand the jack input was also loose and on the whole subject of things being loose one of the cintrols cam loose n all. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Well I've never gigged before but if I did I wud probably use this guitar as it's quite light and seems to be reliable enough. one thing that would worry about the strap buttons as they come loose really easyily. the finish is ok I don't play it that often as I'm into classical and the sides are starting to go shiny and fade abit. // 8

Overall Impression: I mainly play rock blues and heavey metal and this guitar does them quite well I think it would manage most style of music and would be a good guitar for begginers and players that haven't found there style of music yet. If someone stole it I would claim some money on the insurance and buy a diffrent guitar it's nothing against this one I fink it's a good guitar for bigginers but it's a little basic and the necks to thin for my likeing. And finally I compared this guitar to a squir Strat standered and you may not be suprised to hear this came out on top! // 8

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overall: 8
EVO XM Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 25, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: - Bolt on construction - Basswood with mahogany finish - Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard - Dual humbuckers - Sealed tuners. // 6

Sound: I use a DSL401 Marshall amp, with a Boss DS1 Distortion pedal. And this guitar sounds great. It's a very affordable guitar with the sound you would expect from a Dean. No unwanted noise and sounds great at loud volume. I play mostly metal and rock (Megadeth, Metallica, Ozzy, ect.) This guitar has a broughd range of music and is perfect for beginners. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: When I got the guitar in the mail, nothing was set where it was. The action was pretty high and the pickups was also set pretty high. The finish on the guitar was great, outside of one loose tuning peg (wich was fixed rightaway). I've played a few Deans before and fell in love with everyone, this is the first time I bought one and just like someone told me, Deans rarely come in set where you want them. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This is a very dependable guitar, comes out of tune somewhat quick but I would still play it at a gig and have played it at a gig. Everything on the guitar is built solid. The paintjob is a little cheap on it but I cant complain with the deal I got on it. // 10

Overall Impression: I defiantly recondmend this guitar to any begginer out there. I wouldn't really suggest this to vetrian players out there, but for me (playing for 3 years now) this guitar is again one nice guitar for the deal, and right now I got my eyes on a Dean MXL. // 8

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overall: 9
EVO XM Reviewed by: JonoB23, on january 09, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 131.76

Purchased from: Ebay shop

Sound: This guitar suits my stlye of play brilliantly, I usually play Blues or Rock. I play with a Marshall "The Guv'nor" distortion pedal and on a wide variety of amps/sound systems. It has a beautiful sound when played wihtout effects but when played with distorion it doesn't lose any of the quality when playing. Sometimes I use a chorus pedal but I prefer the distortion. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When getting the guitar for my birthday, it came near perfectly set up. The action was just right. The pickups were near perfect, although one had to be lowered a little. Nothing was wrong with the guitar apart from the high pick up and that took a couple of minutes to fix. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar has withstood live playing on a few occaisions and it hasn't let me down yet. Everything looks as though it will last as long as I need it to. The strap buttons are perfectly solid and are in no way damaged. I have used it at gigs without a backup before and I shall carry on doing this. I've had the guitar for about half a year and the only reason the finish has come off slghtly is because of mistreatment (quick note: I am ashamed that I treated a guitar badly). // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for nearly two years and at present I do not have an amplifier. If it were stolen I would probably buy it again because it is a high quality guitar. I love the shape of the guitar. The only thing I dislike is the fact that customisation is nigh on impossible. My favourite feature is definitely the guitars sustain. It was a choice between Dean EVO XM or Squire Telecaster. I am glad I chose the Dean. I wish it had a bridge which could have a Whammy Bar on it but thats just dreaming. // 9

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overall: 7.6
EVO XM Reviewed by: Robbgnarly, on march 17, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: I don't know what year this is maybe a '06 made in Korea? 22 fret wide thin kind of profile made out of 2 piece maple bolt on. The body is bass wood with a thin mahogany vineer on the top and back of the body. The finish was a crappy transparent sticker thing!!! 2 humbuckers, 1 vol, 1 tone and a 3 way switch. Les Paul style body. The one I have did not work when I got it. I got this as a project guitar and it it pretty god to mod if you can get it for the right price. So this review is based on the mods that have been done. // 6

Sound: This being a cheep guitar I wasn't goning to spend $125 on a set of Duncans so I got a set of GFS FatPat pickups. They sound great and are coil split through both the vol and tone pots(push/pull). I can get just about any sound I want out of them, warm cleans or heavy distortion and they are still very articulate. The single coils are pretty good, but you loose a little umpf. A great set of pickups for $66!! // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I have dressed the frets and set the intonation, neck relif and action. This guitar plays and sound way better than I could have hoped for. I pot all the parts and electonics on this from Guitarfetish.com( great company for good cheap parts). I painted it with some ReRanch Nitro spray cans and the finish is amazing. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't think twice to play this out live. All the hardware is very solid and should lst for years to come. I use strap locks so I never have anny worries there. I would use this with out a back up. I think the finish should last, but only time will tell. // 8

Overall Impression: I realy like this guitar now. As it came I would have never even tried one. But after I reworked it it has turned in to a nice guitar. Most people can't belive the finish or sound untill I tell them I modded the hell out of it. If it were stolen I'd get mad then get over it. It's cool cause I redid it, and only spent $200 in parts and finishing suplies. Yes it's a Dean, but now it's a sick sounding Dean. // 8

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overall: 8.4
EVO XM Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 26, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: musicians friend

Features: 22 frets, Dean EVO XM rosewood fretboard, not sure what the body is but I don't believe that it is real wood. Has a red finish. Single cutaway body, passive electronics. 3-way switching with a volume and tone knob. Has two hambucking pickups, no accessorie. // 8

Sound: I play a lot of rock and some metal and this guitar does a great job with it. It is loud, very responsive and sounds awsome with or without my effects pedal. No noise when runnin through a decent amp. Has a very nice treble sound, I personally do not like the other settings very much when played clean. Is a wonderful tool to be used with distortion. Will do whatever is needed. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Was well set up from the factory. The volume knob was almost off, but a quick tap put it back into place. The action was great as is. Body is one piece, whatever its made out of. Came with cheap tuners, but that is easily fixed. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have used this guitar for live playing and it has performed beautifully. Even if I could afford a backup, I wouldn't bring it. Hardware is fine, strap buttons are good. Finish does wear off on the edges. Have not had a problem with the front or back, but edges tend to wear down fairly fast. I have beat on it quite a bit and the sound has not suffered one bit. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for about 3 years now. This guitar is a wonderful starter for a rocker. I have a modeling effects pedal and a 10 watt First Act practice amp but when I play live I route it through a pair of 100 watt speakers. The only thing that I would like to change about it would be to add a tremelo. If this was stolen I would definately buy another one. I love the playability of this little guitar. Also the heft is wonderful. A lot of my friends who have tried it think its too heavy, but I love it. I chose this one because I thought it was the best value for my money. I was right. I highly reccommend this to an beginner to mid level guitarist. // 9

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overall: 9.6
EVO XM Reviewed by: fadetoblackjc, on april 19, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 99.99

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Features: The guitar is a solid-top Les Paul-ish cutaway with a basswood body and a bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fretboard with 2 frets. It has a stop tailpiece bridge which runs strings over dual passive factory humbuckers, which work through a single volume and tone knob with a 3-way selector switch. The tuners are factory, and tend to come loose, particularly the D and A strings with mine. // 9

Sound: I mostly play metal, hard rock, or classic rock. I use this through my Berhinger V-Tone 15w analog amp. I use my Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal, which makes it sound very nice. I use the guitar isolated on the bridge pickup with the tone knob completely turned counterclockwise. I find that through my setup, the bridge pickup with a completely clockwise turned tone knob gives too much noice. The guitar can make wonderful harmonics and squeals, and my friend put it to use when he begged me to let him play it during his hardcore band's show one night. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came pretty well setup, had no real problems. The only problems I do have are the loose tuners, and the low E gives a slight buzz from time to time, so I'll check on that. The action is really high, and allows me for fast playing which is good when I'm playing songs like 'Angel Of Death' or something similar. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'm convinced I could drop this guitar off my house and it would be fine. It's like a wooden tank with strings. // 10

Overall Impression: Considering Dean's are made for rock and other variations of such, this guitars goes with me like PB&J. I'm 100% positive if something were to happen to this guitar, I would buy a replacement. I love that its such a great guitar for very little price. Its the perfect 'cheap guitar'. // 10

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overall: 7.8
EVO XM Reviewed by: autistic_spider, on january 24, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: Saied Music Complany

Features: This guitar has 22 frets. It has a solid top with a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard. The color of it is kinda mahoganyish and looks really nice. The style of the body is sort of like a Les Paul. It has a volume knob and a tone knob. It also has a 3-way selector. It has dual humbuckers. When I bought it it came with a Dean 10 watt amp, 3 picks, a gigbag, and a strap. // 8

Sound: It has a nice sound but with my amp it has some noise. I have a Fender 25 watt amp. I also hook it up to a Zoom processor and I have played it with a Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal. I play a lot of classic rock, hair metal and grunge. I think it sorts the sound I want okay but I'm getting something better. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: I think it was set up pretty well when I got it. The E and D string buzzes some and the D string tuner is coming a little loose. But overall it was pretty good. It's a nice little guitar I like it. It's not great but it's a really nice begginer guitar. Or even a player who has been playing for some number of years and has experience. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very, very, ver durable. I have thrown it and dropped it and hit it with the door and the only thing wrong with it is a couple of dents in the wood. This is the only guitar I bring when I play live. I played at a basketball game and a team member fell on my pedal and guitar and I just picked it up and started playing without any problems. // 9

Overall Impression: This is and okay match for my style of music. I have been playing about 2 years. I have another acoustic guitar. It's a Fender. I also have 2 other amps and another peice of crap guitar that I bought off ebay. I'm buying a Jackson RR3 this summer. If this one was stolen I would probaly just buy something different. I like it but it's not something I would just have to have. // 8

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overall: 9.2
EVO XM Reviewed by: ProtoRhoads, on may 07, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Sam Goody

Features: I bought it at Christmas of 2005. I'm not quite aure when it was made but that was when I bought it. It has 22 frets they're all pretty easy to get to due to the shape of body, which is similar to a Les Paul. It is a mahogany color varnish with black hardware. Tun-O-Matic bridge. The guitar has two knobs, one volume and one tone. It has a three way selection Switch. Has two standard Dean humbucker pickups. The bridge is good for soloing and the neck is good for chords. It has your Standard tuners. The guitar falls out of tune easy. I bought it by itself because I already had the other stuff but it can be bought with accessories. // 9

Sound: It sounds good for about everything I've played on it (everything from the Misfits to Ozzy). The factory strings are a little weak but I put a set of Ernie Ball Slinkys on it and that brought out the lows and highs nicely. I am using a weak little Wal-Mart amp (Christmas present) and a Bad Dog Distortion Pedal. They work well with the guitar. I get nice harmonics and tapping due to the thin neck and the fact that the strings are closer to the neck. There is a slight buzz on the lower strings but that is generally caused by lose tuners which are easily tightened. On the bridge pick-up you can get a very deep and very high, very metal sounds but using the neck pickup and the middle selection it works better with chords which it blends nicely together. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: It was severely out of tune but I assume this due to the fact that the guitar was in the box for awhile. My bridge pickup mount was cracked but was easily fixed with some glue. Besides that the guitar came in very good shape. After I got the guitar tuned I discovered that the Standard Dean strings were a bit weak and they didn't hold there sustain after about 3 months. But a new pair of D'Ardios helped but Imprefer the Regular Slinkys that Ernie Ball puts out. They really wake up the guitar. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is solid it has been hit with doors fallen, onto floors, and been repeatedly abused by friends Who think are cool by trying to play without a strap. So far all of the hardware is solid. The knobs are on well and the tuners still work fine. I can depend on it. I've used for a long while with no other guitar. Even though I haven't gigged I don't believe I would need a backup due to the guitars durablility so far. This finish is wearing very well except for a few knicks and scratches from the drops and such. // 10

Overall Impression: I play al lot of punk and now I've reached an Ozzy phase and it has worked nicely for both. I've been playing fo about a year and a half. I don't owm much more but I think I'm going to pick myslef up an Ibanez RG Tremelo. If it was stolen and I was low on money I would buy a new on because it is a solid and versatile for the money I payed. Otherwise I would go for something a bit more upscale if I had the funds. I love the differences in the music you can play with it. I don't really hate anything about there are a few little things that are annoying but besides that nothing. I compared it to a Squier my brother owns and I chose this one because it felt more solid in my hands not chincy like the Squier. Also, I prefer the humbuckers over the single coils. // 9

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overall: 7.5
EVO XM Reviewed by: icpgettozone, on november 12, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: germaine and papalardos music jamestown N.Y.

Sound: I jump from many diffent styles. I pretty much play the genra that sounds the best to me from different times. From SOAD to Led Zepplin. No country or blues. It's very noisy. even through my Marshall MG250DFX Stereo Combo Amp. It's just a beginner level guitar. But I spent all my cash on my amp. But the guitar needs to be upgraded soon. But the guitar itself is very versitale. Lots of sustain, oh god dose it sustain for hours. Very very rich sound at the bridge pickup. But the neck pickup is complete garbage. I never use it. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was built like a tank. The factory setup seemed ok. But I diddnt kno much about that. A professional played it and he said it was crap, then he set it up properley and wooo. Off I wen on my journey. There was no flaws in the finish and the it fits me perfectley. The strap knobs will never go anywhere. Extremely solid. Also I read a review on this little number on a website and a owner complained of the tone and volume knobs turning completey around. Not present in this situation. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It has never let me down. Not once. Just the fact that the neck pickup sucked hard. It's very dependable. But once you get better you must upgrade to something different. A Epiphone Les Paul Standard would be a great step up from this one. Ide never play a gig with it. I wont even bring it to band pratice (I use my buddies Les Paul for band pratice) and small school gigs too. It will last you pert near forever if you take care of. Just like about any other guitar. // 8

Overall Impression: I learned mostley everything on it. It's special to me. And I don't think I will get rid of it. If you want your little boy or girl to get on the road of rock or metal stardom. give them this. it's way better than a wal-mart guitar. And a good bit better than a Squier Strat. // 8

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overall: 8
EVO XM Reviewed by: sandmanbc, on february 22, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I bought my EVO XM in December of 2007. This is my second Dean, an acoustic-electric, tradition exotic in birds eye maple that is amazing so I thought I would try the EVO. It has a neck that is bolt-on construction, basswood body with mahogany finish, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, dual humbuckers, sealed tuners, Tone-O-Matic bridge, volume, tone and a 3-way switch. // 8

Sound: It sounds great. I haven't played guitar in 30+ years, and blues music is the direction I'm headed in. I feel there's is a real noticeable deference between the bridge pickup, both, and neck pickup. I play it through a Crate GTD-15, 15 watt amp with an 8 inch speaker. The bridge pickup is suited for lead, the middle selection (both pickups) has a great tone for both chords and lead, and the neck pickup for chords. It has unique angular neck joint, which gives great sustain and action. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: As I said the action is great due to the angular neck joint, the guitar looks great. The black hardware against the mahogany finish (which is beautiful) really stands out. Here's some problems you may encounter. The output jack nut was loose, the G string in particular seemed to always be out of tune and the tuners seemed to rotate at the slightest touch. The pickups were way to high and the neck pickup was adjusted at quite an angle. Could not adjust intonation as I ran out of adjustment on the bridge, and some of the string guides were loose on the adjustment screws. Don't get discouraged yet the remedies I found add little to the price of the guitar, and is worth the time and money. I used a small pair of needle nose pliers to hold the output jack while gently tighten the nut (holding the output jack insures that you don't twist or break wires). With this information I adjusted the pickup height. For $22.99 I bought a set of new 45 degree Wilkinson 3+3 Guitar Tuning Keys EZ Lok system on Ebay that fit perfectly other than you need to use your screws. Also from Ebay I bought a new BLACK Tune-O-Matic roller bridge for Gibson LP (L5) for $12.99 and all I had to do is loosen my strings, pull out my bridge and slip the roller bridge on my studs and tighten back the strings and tune. How easy is that. Advantage of roller bridges is almost no string breakage and strings that set in a roller, helping strings stay in tune (so I've read). So for about $35.00 plus shipping these improvements make my EVO play great! I've read reviews where there were no complaints at all with the setup. It's nice to be able to say I upgraded my guitar myself. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It looks to be very reliable and durable guitar for the money. I'm the only one playing and we don't have any children to knock it around. With the improvements it should play well and last a long time. // 8

Overall Impression: If your looking for an entry level guitar you should consider the EVO as many guitar reviews I've read have many of the same issues. // 8

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overall: 7
EVO XM Reviewed by: indie_rock_king, on february 25, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 274.5

Purchased from: Noteworthy Music

Features: Straight away you will notice how striking the guitar is visually. The cherry wood is a wonderful colour, and it works well with the matte black headstock. Good competition for the Standard Stratocaster replica design employed in most guitars aimed at beginners. Other features that make this perfect for the beginner are the Gibson-style floating bridge, without a tremolo bar, as a new player will rarely be able to use the tremolo, and doesn't usually want to (most people starting guitar I know have removed the whammy bar from their Strat-imitations). This also makes changing strings a much easier and less daunting prospect for a novice. // 8

Sound: The tone of the guitar is good, and it plays nicely. The neck is smooth and comfortable to play, something very useful when first learning guitar. I see it as a great advantage, playing electric guitar for the first time with a guitar such as this one, as it plays well, but needs some work to produce it's best tone (that isn't to say it doesn't sound good). This means that you can learn to make a good sound with an entry-level guitar before moving onto a pro-Standard one, making you that much better a player. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The tuners could be better quality, although they do the job, and I admit that only noticed their lack of sensitivity after 3 years playing the guitar. Setting intonation is also hard due to the positioning of the screws beneath the strings, and although the intonation is sufficient, on a couple of the strings the saddle reaches it's limit before the intonation is perfectly set. It's all about personal preference, but I also dislike the fact that the knobs have no numbers or marks to gauge the level they are set to. Although they look good aesthetically, it makes life difficult for me as I play in a Jazz Band where a sound check for the guitar is not an option. I have actually drawn some markings on my guitar so I can gauge what the volume level is set to, to get around the problem! // 7

Reliability & Durability: The other issue is build quality. My guitar has taken a few bumps, but hasn't been excessively bashed about, yet I've had to get out the soldering iron to fix it twice. The problem on mine is the screws holding the input jack, as they loosened and the jack fell out, making the connection between the jack and one of the wires from the pickups break, but the second time it happened, I replaced the screws with some larger, more durable ones, and that has sorted out that problem. If it happens to you, I would recommend doing that! I would also recommend tightening the screws on the strap hooks reasonably regularly, as they can loosen quite easily. The lacquer also scratches and chips reasonably easily, so be careful with the guitar in order to retain the perfect factory-new look. // 5

Overall Impression: I have had this guitar for just over 3 years now, and am highly impressed with it. I bought this guitar from a local retailer for 150, and think it is fantastic value for money at that price, let alone the 89 Dolphin want for it, and would cost at least 250-300 if it was manufactured in the USA or Europe. Although the build quality may sound extremely bad from my testimony, these defects are all easily curable, for extremely little or no money, and as long as you take proper care of it, these things will not happen to you. it's simple design and layout make it a great guitar to play and will encourage you to keep at it. It produces a good, versatile, pleasing sound, although you do have to work and learn to get it to sound it's best, making this a great option for learning on. To go with this guitar, I would recommend one of the cheaper models of the Roland Cube Series amps, a low-end Vox amp, or an Orange Crush for a similar price. Whatever you do, do not buy one of the 'all-in-one' unknown brand beginners' packages, as although they are dirt cheap, they are absolutely horrible and will prevent you learning. Ones from an established brand such as Marshall or Epiphone may not be too bad, but I have no experience of them. Also stay way clear of the 'BB Blaster' amp, as it is truly awful. As an alternative, you could look at a Squier Standard Stratocaster, although I wouldn't recommend getting any with words such as 'Bullet' or 'affinity' in the name; keep to the 'Standard' model. The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is also a very good entry-level option. Essentially this guitar is brilliant for a beginner, although an advanced player would probably want more, which is why I am about to upgrade my guitar. Proof that I respect the quality of this guitar though is that I am certain that I will keep it rather than sell it, even though I am struggling to afford a new guitar! I am very glad I chose this guitar starting out; I'm sure it has helped me advance quickly, and I hope it can help you learn guitar too. // 8

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