Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 9
As previously stated it is geared towards the heavy metal player with all of its features. When I first got the guitar I was playing it through a Line 6 Spider III 75. Now when I pull it out of the case I run it through a Line 6 POD HD500 with a Triple Rec running a gate, compressor, Wah, and a pitch shifter. Before I did some basic modifications it was pretty much bland. I switched the pickup positions (85 in the bridge and 81 in the neck) and also have a custom 24v battery. This opened the door quite a bit in that it has more of an open/airy sound.
Overall Impression — 8
I received this guitar in 2008 after receiving all A's my junior year of high school. When I was 17, I was a young and naive metal head, and this guitar was the stuff. It was the perfect blend between Dime and Zakk. Now that I am 22 and I have grown in my music taste and has now became a one trick pony, so to speak. I still play it often, and it is near and dear to my heart. I've been playing since I was 15, so 7 years now. I now have the Dean And EC-1000 AB and a Washburn D-10M. I wish I would have went to a store instead of online. If this guitar was stolen, I would probably attempt to find one or something like it. It is THE guitar that you can never get rid of. I tried selling it, trading it, and never could just let it go. The only thing I can really knock on it was the apparently non existent factory set up, but that was solved. I thought that the Floyd Rose would be great, but it quickly lost it's charm. When I was looking at guitars for the bet I looked at a Jackson Rhoads, a white Schecter C1, a Dean Dime Shadow, and Shecter Hellraiser Avenger. The reason I chose this one was that it had everything I thought I needed and wanted, a Floyd, EMG's a cool shape. I have an attachment to this guitar, it has it's imperfections, but it will always remind me of when I was 17, and you just can't rate that!
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar can go live and deliver very well. If it was 100% put together then it would be a killer piece. I could depend on it now because of blocking the floyd, but it is always good conscious to bring a back up. The strap buttons are good, switched those with Dunlop strap locks. Over the 5 years that I have owned and played this guitar the finish has lost the matte and became glossy in places where my skin touches the finish, that's just par the course. The finish is thick and I see no wearing through for the years to come.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I'll be honest, when I first received this guitar it was practically unplayable. The neck was bowed and the action was a good inch off of the board. After a quick trip to a local music store and a chit used I got it professionally adjusted all the way around. Even with it professionally set up it still went out of tune, I think that it was due to the claw not being square with the body. I now have the trem blocked and the saddles on the nut off. Another issue I still have is that the G string will buzz when fretted on the first fret (just need to shim it). It feels like they just slapped it together but then again I have one of the very first ones. The finish was great on it, binding is clean and there were no heavy paint spots on it.
Features — 8
This guitar was introduced in 2008 with features that some people really wanted on a Dean for metal. Made in Korea, this guitar has 22 frets atop a 24.75" scaled rosewood board with abalone dot inlays. The neck is a more of a D shape rather than the Traditional V that most ML's have. I am unsure of the radius of the neck, but it is pretty wide, probably compounded. The neck is of a neck thru construction. The wings of the guitar are mahogany as well. It has a satin/matte black finish that along with the cream binding along the body offer a great contrast to the eye. It comes with a Floyd Rose Low Pro bridge copy. It comes with the venerable EMG 81 & 85 combo running 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck of 9v. Controls are pretty generic, two independent volumes and master tone. It has a Gibson style three-way toggle on the upper wing. The Knight also has Grover RotoMatic tuners and a locking Floyd nut. My guitar was shipped with three hex wrenches and the bar, nothing else.