Price paid: $ 1800
Sound — 10
The Dean HardTail covers styles from country to blues, and jazz to rock with ease. The clean sound is very nice as well, very fat and bluesy. This guitar sounds great. Electronically it is quiet no hums, buzzes, or feedback issues. The bridge position is plenty bright with lots of clarity. When overdriven there is massive amounts of crunch and sustain making it a great guitar for covering rock, rythm and lead. The pickups on the HardTail gave me harmonics and overtones. Chords sound good up and down the neck. The TonePros bridge is great! No more parts falling off when changing strings. A very well balanced and full sounding guitar and every position sounds very musical.
Overall Impression — 10
No guitar can truly do everything perfectly but this Dean is an awesome alternative to an expensive (2000 and up) PRS or Gibson. If you wanted a comparable quality PRS or Gibson, you are going to pay quite a bit more and the quality of components aren't quite as good in my opinion. The HardTail is a guitar that impresses and amazes on first sight and gets better the more you play it. The beauty, quality, tone and playability of the Dean HardTail cannot be beat.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's built to last no less than a life time, and it will withstand live playing with ease. Once that laquer starts to age, this guitar will have an even warmer and Vintage appearance to it than it does now. The tone will warm up a bit, too. Strap buttons are solid. It's always wise to have your back up but hardly ever bring it. The guitar was handmade and is solidly built. Everything will last. Rock solid perfectly made guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action, fit, and finish of this guitar is amazing. The flame maple top is flawless, all of the hardware is nickle, and it complements the flame top nicely. Another cool thing is the Sterling Silver inlay at the 12th fret. The craftsmanship on this guitar is excellent! There are no flaws in the construction or finish of this guitar. Inlays, frets, alighment, set-up action, finish, all premium craftsmanship. There is a small knot about the size of a pea that was strategically placed behind and adjacent to the lower volume knob. The grain was to deep and wonderful to waste so they really worked hard to hide this small "character" mark. Very tight quality control and hope Dean keeps it up. Every part of this guitar is the best. The HardTail was crafted perfectly.
Features — 10
- Maple carved - Mahogany body - 24 3/4" scale 1 11/16" nut - Ebony fingerboard - Abalone HardTail 12th fret inlay - Grover tuners - Nickel hardware - Seymour Duncans - TonePros bridge - Set mahogany neck - Quarter sawn - Wood binding - Custom abalone inlays - 22 jumbo frets Dean Guitars introduces the Dean HardTail -- the first guitar designed by Dean Zelinsky since his return last year. This guitar was 3 years in the making utilizing Dean's 20 plus years in the industry and all of the progress that had been made by others during his 12 year hiatus. The new guitar design was debuted at the Summer 2001 NAMM show. Only hand selected pieces of mahogany, with the highest quality of figured maple are chosen for the tops of the Dean HardTail.