Price paid: $ 555
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I play mainly metal, hard rock, and some blues. This guitar works great for all of the styles. The pickups can be used in any situation and I think they would work fine. My rig goes: guitar - DigiTech Whammy 4 - Dunlop Crybaby Classic - Amptweaker TightMetal - Ernie Ball VP JR - to a Peavey Bandit 112 "solo series" with and ISP Decimator and a Sonic Stomp in the loop. When I'm using high gain on high volume, it is noisy, but that's why I've got a Decimator. This Guitar has a lot of variety style-wise. It can do Metal to blues.
Overall Impression — 9
I play Metal and Rock, and this guitar is great for it. I have been playing for 6 and a half years, and I also own a Dean ML XF, Washburn Taurus, BC Rich KKV, and I have a Dean Evo 2000 coming soon. If this were stolen or lost, I would get another one for sure. I'm not trying to be superficial. This is honestly the nicest playing, sounding, and looking import I have ever had. I love everything on this guitar. My favorite feature is probably the abalone "Dean" logo. It looks great. I compared this to my Dean ML XF, and my old Dean Razorback V 255. This easily stomps those guitars. If you're looking for a great Dean, you've gotta go with this bad boy! You wont be disappointed. Thanks for reading!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have played at one party with this guitar so far, and it did fine. I think it will stand up to live conditions any day of the week. Sturdy build, and the hardware is good quality and will last. The strap buttons are solid out of the box, but I use Dunlop Straplocks just to be safe. Nothing would be more embarrassing than dropping your guitar at a show. I can completely depend on this guitar. I always have a backup, but I'm sure this guitar would be fine without one. The finish is great, and seems like it will last.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This guitar was set up very, very well from factory. When it arrived, it was still in tune with the original strings. The action was great right out of the box, nice and low, but high enough for bends in solos (my action preference). The top is properly bookmatched, and the bridge is routed fine. The only flaw that I have found so far was the one high fret. Everything else was set up fine from factory. The nut was cut fine, tuners were tight, and the floyd was balanced. This thing is like eye candy with the top, and abalone binding.
Features — 9
I believe that these were made in 2009. It was made in Korea. The mahogany set neck has 22 frets. The neck is a "C" profile, not too big, but not too small. The Body and Neck are both made of mahogany. The top is real Flame Maple with a Transparent Black finish. The finish is totally stunning. The headstock, neck and body are all binded in abalone. The "Dean" logo on the headstock is also made of abalone, which is an extremely cool touch. It comes equipped with an Original Floyd Rose (OFR). It stays in tune no matter how crazy you get with it, and it is a very high quality Bridge. It comes with the DMT Baker Act (Bridge) and the DMT Time Capsule (neck). I was blown away by the sound of these pups. The Baker Act is tight, hot, and is extremely clear. Every note is very defined and stands out. You can hear every note in chords. The Time Capsule is smooth, but maintains a little bit of bite. I love it for blues or some leads. In comparison with the EMG 81 and 85 in my old Dean Razorback V, I'd take these anyday.The controls are 2 volume 1 tone, and a three way selector switch. Came with Grover locking Tuners. The input jack is different than on most ML's. It is located on the leg of the guitar, right by the strap button. I thought this was a really cool feature. For me, it keeps the cord out of my way when I play live. The only problem I encountered was one high fret, which is a common problem on imports.