ML Noir XT review by Dean

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (63 votes)
Dean: ML Noir XT

Price paid: $ 429

Purchased from: Funky Munky

Sound — 7
Stock pickups of Korean's model looks very close to EMG pickups, but have no title on it. They sounds good for classic rock and somoe other slower type of music but have no enough sustain for some violent solo parts a la Dimabag. Sound is rich by mid tone and suitable like rhythm guitar. Not recommanded for lead. USA's model have different pickups, with two blades on each and they sound much better.

Overall Impression — 9
This is good price for this guitar and if you are middle experienced guitar-player it's recommanded. On stage player with this axe looks very dangerous and if you can afford some better pickups, like DiMarzio X2N & SD'59, or B. Lawrence L-500Xl & L-500R it would be ultimate guitar for nailing Dimebag's sound through any valve amp.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Tuning machine are relieble and after you put new strings (I'm using E. Ball Super Slinky 2223) on it they stay in tune without help of nut locker! Strap-button are good and with some middle quality belt you will have no problem. Because licensed floyd rose and well-known problem with it, its not recommanded to use this guitar without backup (I'm using Flying V). Finish looks enough good to last, except that serial number on backside of peghead is easy to erase because it's like sticker (decal) not imprint.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action is low to middle, easy for playing. Shape is well made and neck is very nice, fast. Pickups are easy adjustable like many other PU. Finish is good but shiny black body is very difficult for keep the clean surface. Matt color would be better IMHO. This guitar is comfortable and you feel it like a glowes.

Features — 9
Axe's body is shaped with big three extremly streched horns giving on this way nice resonance. Roughly, we could to say that it is Gibson Explorer shape with V tail. Body-color of axe is high shiny black. Hardware is matt-black. Body material is probably basswood. Axe has bolt-on neck, made of maple and rosewood fingerboard. Dimension of neck are: 24-3/4" Scale & 1-11/16" nut. Neck has medium 22 frets, with low height (in comparison with some other axes like ESP KH series). On this way, neck seems very fast and comfortable for fast axe-player. There is no inlays on the fingerboard, except small dots on upper lateral side. Neck is fixed with 4 screws and double plate from backside, whith title Dean on it. One of screws serve like strap-holder. Other strap is bellow upper body horn. On the nut is locker with three allen-screw. Headstock has special V shape, so tuning machine are also divided into two row. Tuning machine are by Grover and without help of locker strings stay in tune. On opposite side of axe is bridge: licensed double locking Floyd Rose. For those that aren't familiar with those type of bridge is something painfully at first time to replace all strings: there is no holes and user must cut off Bullet on end of string and carefully use proper Tool in order to fix this end of string. On Net are many instruction about it. This action sometime demands more than half hour to put axe in tune but after that all seems like kids-game. Floyd is nice, not too much strong and offer dozen of tricks and licks for experienced player. Between bridge and neck are two pickups, with size of classic humbacker; they are black with two blades on each. Pickup's output is controlled by three modern fast-knobs: two for volume and one for tone. For pickup choice is 3-way Switch. Bridge pickup has brighter and a more higher output than neck pickup. Sound is clean and offer plenty possibilities with a little help of floyd. Neck pickup has somehow warmer sound, with more colored tone, so that player has not so oft need to use tone knob. Generaly spoken, neck pickup is very good for rhythm role in band and playing through tube powered & hybrid amp offer almost brutal tone especially chords often used by HM player! Switching to bridge pickup turn upside down tonal characteristics because bridge pickup start to scream in good HM manner. Normally, this axe is suitable also for slower kind of music and it is possible to use without problems for playing songs like "Stairway" even it's shape say: "heavy metal, please." Axe isn't heavy, some 12 lbs. All in all, this is nice axe for offered price and depending on type of amp you use you will be able to catch this or other type of sound, it's up to you. This model is made in Korea. Some guys call this model also Phantom.

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bought her (dean ml noir xt) at a pawn shop $400.00 with hard case could not pass that up. The first thing I got rid of was the pickups they were no good for the style I play so I got her some emg’s, went with their quick connect set up so I would change it up if I want . So after a while I got tired of the sustain going flat that and had to do something about that crappy no good never want to stay in tune licensed under Floyd rose garbage and did not want to hang this one on the wall just yet. so I got her a true Floyd rose with a bell brass sustain block and wow it made her screams and through my Randall v2 half stack is really killer.
    ADDITIONAL INFO: In meantime I ordered Bill Lawrence L500 pair of pickups and replaced stock pickups. Was better but not so mighty. I mainly played it by using Marshall Valvestate VS40 (home situation) and later I replaced them with DiMarzio pair: Super2 & X2N in zebra color. What a change! Now, floating bridge has more important role with tremolo-arms, and axe is offering more bite and sharper tone. X2N is really good in bridge position. I stay on these combination.
    It really a great guitar, first i had some trouble with the bridge (floyd rose floating) but after that was settled it really is a kickass guitar!
    The website "" is now closed... much was it anyway/ tar-dgk-mlx-pr-18375.html 212. An amazing price. According to MusicStreet the price retail price is 395. Also, this isn't intended to sound like Dime's sound. On the Dean website it isn't listed under the "Dimebag Series" Wait.. it's not listed...
    is it worth the money? kuz i was looking at another ML that is pretty much the same thing, but only it doesnt hav a whammy bar and i cant liv without one. im hoping that there is something like this thats a little cheaper WITH A WHAMMY BAR. but i might get this one
    hey retard the thunderbirds a bass that shows how much you know what your talking about
    The floyd rose isn't bad, although the sustain really isn't good enough on this guitar to do much more than crazy harmonic squeals a la Dimebag (this is definitely due to the bolt on neck, ML's usually have a set neck and mahogany body), which do come out well. Mine came set up really badly, had to do it all myself, apart from that this guitar has a really nice neck, good tone, and badass looks, although i would recommend saving a little more to get an ML with a set neck and mahogany body. I got it for 250, but apparently the rrp is 400, if thats what you are gonna pay for it then save and get either an ML79 or a Dime-O-Flame, cause they will be waaay better.
    im gonna buy this guitar soon this is gonna be my first dean guitar is there annother i should consider first? thanx
    I found one of these dean ml noir xt at a local pawn shop for $179 so I bought it! went to guitar center had ALINCO II PRO SLASH Seymour Duncan signature humbuckers installed $250 including install, chrome skull knobs $10 each, ghs boomers and new string locks. this guitar is a metal demon now.
    i bought this guitar a couple months ago it is a bitch to restring with the floyed rose but its still an awesome guitar and i love playing it
    how does that rip off a Thunderbird? those ugly mother****ers dont have as much durability as the ML. THe have to be one of the WORST Gibson gutiars on the planet. My Gibson explorer is 10x better than a Thunderbird but its nothing compared to an ML
    i own this guitar, sounds pretty decent with distortion effects, the clean sound its not that good but i use an acoustic boss pedal and problem solved, Floyd(licensed) it does its job, fast as F%%k neck with low action that doesnt buzz,i did not changed the stock pickups they sound good enough,