Sound — 9
I play a lot of metal, so that's where I'm coming from in this review. I tried to get the most metal tone out of this guitar no matter what I was playing. Being that it has a 7 string, it fit very well in that category. I played it through a Peavey valve king amp, no added effects besides whats on the amp. The Peavey usually isn't all that great with metal, but in this case it did amazingly. It was because of the active pickups, of course, but regardless it did my style very well. The wood added to the tone, though it was not very good quality, I could tell it took the resonation very well. On the clean channel, it does very well as well. Nice, full tone with my settings on the amp.
Overall Impression — 5
I play metal, as I mentioned, and sound-wise, it is a good match. The sound I got from it was great al around, great tone with no unwanted noise (except for selecting pickups). I have been playing guitar 9-10 years, and never have I owned a Dean guitar before this, and because of this guitar, i wont make that mistake again. I currently own an ESP 8 string guitar and an Agile Hornet 7 string. Agile is an off brand and was half the price but 3 times the quality or more. Honestly, long story short, I would love this guitar if Dean actually put quality into the production and parts of their guitars. It needs better wood and someone who isn't a machine needs to put it together. Then it needs to be finished with more durable paint, and I will be happy.
Reliability & Durability — 1
This guitar is not durable at all. this guitar is for if you have a padded room you like to make youtube videos in, because honestly even the smallest things will break this guitar. Within a day I had more than 1 chip on it, and within a week, parts were falling off. I would never even consider taking this guitar on tour with me if need be. This guitar would barely last a 30 minute gig. I never would depend on this guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 3
The guitar was set up amazingly, that's all I have to say. I could do new things on this guitar overnight just because of that. There was little to no fret buzz. That was about all the good I have to say here. The guitar had a terrible paint job: it was poorly done, chipped way too easily, and I could see the wood grain through the paint on the back. The guitars wood was very cheap and left it unbalanced. One of the tips on the headstock broke off within a week, while it was in the case. The controls on the guitar were loose to a point where I could turn the knobs in their hole in the guitar. The pickup selector would vibrate the tremolo springs when i switched pickups as well, which i found really cheap.
Features — 4
The guitar had 24 frets at a 25.5 scale, which made the low B string slightly boggy but not annoyingly. The guitar was seemingly painted by a 14 year old kid, seeing that the bevels along the side that were painted yellow looked like it was done with a brush, and not only that, but was not aligned with the guitar body all the time, giving it a very unprofessional finish. The guitar was made from some realy cheap wood (which is conveniently not posted anywhere) that made the body too light and the headstock too heavy. However, this wood did give the guitar a great tone. The guitar came with a "locking tremolo" which is basically a licensed floyd rose. It was hard to keep in tune, and the locks were slowly stripped as well. The guitar came with active EMGs, which I don't normally rave over, but they did sound good with this guitar. The tuners were alright, i guess. I never locked the trem at the trem, so i dont know how they keep their tune, but they felt good to the touch when you tuned with them. The guitar comes with a case, which in this case, was of average or lower quality. Most of my guitar cases I could stand on, this one I feel like I would snap the guitar.