Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
If you want a guitar built for metal and only metal, the ML Knight is the one for you. This thing absolutely screams. When switched to the neck pickup, this guitar produces such a deep, low, Baritone sound you'd almost think it was a bass. Plays excellent in drop-D and drop-C. The only negative is the somewhat limited variety of sounds on this axe. It was designed to play metal, and it does it well... But don't expect to play anything but! (If you're buying this guitar, I doubt you are looking to play anything else, so it really doesn't matter!) All in all, perfect at what it was intended to do.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a variety of music, but I prefer to play metal, and this is my axe of choice when I do. It is as perfect a match as I can find for metal. I play through a Crate GT212 combo, and it sounds great. I've been playing casually for about 6 years, and out of my current lineup of this ML, my Gibson SG Faded Special, Epiphone Les Paul Custom, and Dean Dave Mustaine VMNTX, this is the best axe for heavier music styles. If I lost this guitar, I would no doubt look to find another one, and if I couldn't I'd replace it with another EMG 81/85 equipped axe. Again, I love everything outside of the limited variety of sounds (which is why I own other guitars) and the Floyd Rose. In comparison to a former guitar I owned for metal (Schecter Hellraiser C-1 stoptail with EMG 81/89 coil split) I would definitely choose the Dean as the better guitar (and I spent WAY less $ on it!) I definitely recommend this to any metal guitarist who is considering a new guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I see no reason at all to feel that this guitar would not hold up to live playing. I have played this as my main guitar for awhile now, and have had no issues. After having issues with the input jack on multiple Schecters and Fenders, I am happy to say that all the electronics and hardware on this Dean are working good as new. After all of the bad things I have heard about Dean, I am truly amazed at how reliable this guitar has been. Strap buttons are solid (I actually purchased black Dunlop straplocks the night I bought the guitar, and still haven't felt the need to install them), stays in tune perfectly (until you break a string of course, then the rest are screwed)... All in all, a truly durable axe.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I purchased this guitar used, so I cannot speak for the factory setup of the guitar. But it was set up perfectly for me when I bought it, didn't have to change a thing. The only thing I had to do was change out the rusted strings for a fresh set of DR DDT strings. The action was perfect... Plays fast and smooth, very little fret buzz. The finish is absolutely stunning... The satin black finish just fits the overall image of the guitar... Bold body shape, bold sound, and a dark cloak of satin black make for the perfect metal look. Extending the finish up the neck and over the front and back of the headstock is a nice finish, and the ivory binding REALLY makes it pop. No complaints outside of the Floyd Rose, which isn't a flaw in the guitar itself, just a personal opinion of hating FR trems.
Features — 9
Purchased a 2008 Dean ML Knight from the local Guitar Center for $299 with molded hardshell case. I was intrigued by it as I had never seen an ML with EMG pickups, and for $299 with case I simply couldn't pass it up. Right from a first glance, the satin black finish perfectly matches the personality of this guitar... It is dark, mean and PERFECT for metal. The guitar is well equipped with active electronics, all black hardware, Floyd Rose trem, Grover locking tuners, etc. It is also EXTREMELY light for its size. I was shocked the first time I held it. All in all this is a very nice axe, one that has drastically improved my view of Dean guitars as a whole.