ML XM review by Dean

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (43 votes)
Dean: ML XM
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Price paid: $ 149.99

Sound — 8
My sound is heavily influenced by classic metal acts such as Puppets-era Metallica, and Rust-era Megadeth, but varies in style through Alice in Chains, all the way into Guns N' Roses and Stevie Ray Vaughan blues. Every type of rock I throw into this guitar, it throws it right back at me, and nearly decapitates me every time. I run this guitar dry through my Marshall MG100HDFX, and have never had an issue on tone nor feedback when cranked up that couldn't be solved by moving away, and every sound I wanted out of this guitar has been faithfully kicked out. Because it is dual humbucker, really only the warmer tones on that end of the spectrum can be achieved, but they are accessed with no difficulty and all the punch and bite of a string-thru. Of all the bite and warmth a bridge pickup can put out, and the round, smooth tone a neck pickup provides, this guitar can adeptly blow them all out.

Overall Impression — 9
I like to play hard rock for the kids at school, and the radical shape of the ML is enough to turn quite a few heads, which is what I'm really after. Four years of playing has taught me to let my playing do the crazy stuff, let my guitar scream at the crowd, and don't put on an attitude that isn't me. but smiling and laughing maniacally doesn't Hurt. If someone took my ML, which I have named "Damien" because I admire it so much, I'd have to break some skulls open to get him back. Of, course, if I couldn't, I'd definitely coin up to another string-thru model. Without the Floyd trem my Squier has, the ML is a lot lighter, and I especially appreciate how comfortable it is to stand with, and how easy and comfortable it is to do ridiculous poses with little effort. Overall, this is an edgy guitar that I knew had to be mine from the moment I picked it up.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I've taken this on a few gigs, and every time it's gotten the reaction I wanted with it. Minimal tuning slippage, even if I kill the strings, rock-solid hardware, and no slipping of the strap buttons, which is one of my worst tics. I've never not been able to depend on this guitar, but for safety and variety, I bring along my Squier Stagemaster just in case of string breakage or whatever. If the finish ever wears, which doesn't seem too likely, I'd be ready to give it a custom paint job, or a newer stained finish, just to let the audience have something to behold. I definitely rely on my axe to kick out what I slam into it, and it never disappoints.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Since this was purchased at a pawn shop, I believe someone had the knowledge of how to set up this axe before they pawned it. The action was nice and low to my preference, and intonation was superb when I bought it. The pickups were at nominal adjustments, not too far off the strings, or slightly slanted. Not a single scratch or nick on it. all the hardware was in good shape, no rust, no finish flaws, and everything felt broken-in, ready for me to shred 'em up.

Features — 8
There are no clues as to the year or country of manufacture on this guitar, but from a quick scan, a 22-fret bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fretboard is noted, along with the med-dark stained natural Paulownia ML-shape body, a Tune-O-Matic bridge with string thru tailpiece, non-locking stock tuners, stock pickups, and one-volume one-tone, passive H/H format with 3-way switch makes up the hardware and electronics of this guitar. I purchased this guitar without a cable or strap, or any accessory of any kind, and I feel the deal didn't need any sweetening.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Anjohl
    It's not a bad guitar, but for the money you can do better. if all youw ant to do is rock out on power chords, with a little bit of shredding, like, at the beginner/intermediate level, it's a good buy. Despite what a lot of people are saying, the clean tone is terrible, not jangly at all. The distorted channel is OK for a guitar in this range. The main appeal of the guitar is the string through body, the pretty fast neck with SUPER low action (I saw two tonight, both myself and the shred-head who work there agree the action is INSANE), and of course the body shape. Not bad for $300 Canadian.
    Harrisfun
    I got one of these, I love it, it could handle distortion a little better though, but i love it's playability
    Harrisfun
    I bought one these and i love it except that it doesn't get as good of distortion tone as i would like
    BMGRocker
    I own a DEAN ML XL and its has one of the best sounds.....I LOVE DEAN FOR MAKING SUCH A AWESOME GUITAR!!!!!I couldn't imagine playing another and yes I have played others.
    james2610
    im a beginner player and i am looking for a guitar for under 200 and this dean looks a great option.. what i was wondering is, is there any guitars that are better for all round classic rock/metal playing such as metallica, guns n roses, ACDC ? I'd like to know before i spend my money as im a 16 year old lad on a tight budget
    frethard
    I got myself a ml xm, ordered it from thomann.de(great internet store for anyone in Europe, can only recommend it) and it sounds ****ing awesome!!! The finish is beautiful and I love her more then my brother xD