Price paid: £ 800
Purchased from: Dolphin Music
Sound — 8
After a while of getting used to bridge's pickup medium output its great for rythm but I have been able to make the guitar scream. I used a Line 6 Spider III amp. For me, the Neck pickup is by far the best neck pickup I have used in my guitar lifetime. It produces spectacular cleans. About the Variety, I would say it sound better clean than it does distorted, but due to the large shape of the guitar it projects is sound very well, so I'm not going to lie, but you can play almost anything on this guitar.
Overall Impression — 6
The guitar after the few modifications plays like a charm and sounds very nice, however getting to that stage was a nightmare, after owning many guitars with very high output the bridge pickup was horrible. I have been playing for 4 years now. I'm not a guitar expert but I know a good guitar to a bad one and this is a good one. I own 1 Ibanez, one Ltd, one Gibson and a few acoustics. And word of warning! The guitar is missing a few characteristics which picturse do advertise, like the mother of pearl Dean symbol on the head stock, is just painted on. The fret board look like ebony in the picture, but in real life it looks like rosewood. If it were stolen because I would buy it again however it would be very difficult as it is discontinued because I am a Trivium fan boy and they were the few bands which reaffirmed my Faith to metal. So there is a lot of history between me and the Band. And the guitar looks pretty sexy if I might say so myself. What I love is the 24 frets and how the fret board looks very clean with the lack of fret markers. Which in my opinion is a massive problem. You will soon get used to it and enjoy the look. Other featured is the Floyd Rose which I haven't needed to tune after a heavy workout! Although there are some pros with the guitar, the journey was not very pleasurable and Dean have given me hell. Solution. Don't buy a Dean.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played live with the guitar. And it preformed well, I'm not going to complain. The Floyd Rose tuning is working a charm and usually they always let me down. However there seems to be a lot of rust where the tremelo arm is screwed into the hole of the system. So I guess I have to get that fixed. The strap buttons where the only things done correctly with this guitar! But after the few modifications I would say it is gig worthy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The guitar was set up horribly, due to this, I am probably never going to buy a Dean again. Screws were loose and even missing. The action was fine, but for the bridge pickup one of the screw was loose so it was always at an awkward angle. The fret wire was poorly inserted and when ever I bend the high e string it would catch and would distrupt my playing. There where many finish flaws near the tremelo and on the edge of the neck. Other than those issues, the Floyd Rose is working a charm and after long hours doing the job of the guitar techs who were supposed to do the job I got it sorted but it was a nightmare!
Features — 7
After owning this guitar for a year this review is not going to be all 10s because frankly it isn't. No guitar is. This is copied and pasted from a site: "Like a unique blast from the past, Matt Heafy's signature model features his band's Trivium logos on the inlays and a unique Rising Sun graphic chosen by Heafy himself. Rock out with specially USA-made Heafy pickups, the MKH86 bridge for modern Killer tones and a "Nostalgia" neck pickup for Vintage metal leads and rhythm tones." Features: Mahogany Body Plain Maple Top 24-3/4 in. Scale Mahogany Neck Ebony Fingerboard Trivium Logo Inlay/Side Marked Frets Grover Tuners Black Hardware Floyd Rose Bridge USA Dean Matt Heafy "MKH86" Bridge Pickup USA "Nostalgia" Neck Pickup