Razorback 255 7-String Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 06/14/2010 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Razorback 255 7-String
The rigors of the road are pretty hard on most guitars. However, most guitars aren't Dean Razorbacks. The Dean Razorback 7 is a 25 1/2 inch scale 7-string electric guitar with easy access to higher frets and modern heavy toned EMG 707 pickups.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7
 Features: 7.3
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reviews (3) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
Razorback 255 7-String Reviewed by: GNR Rule, on january 28, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: Mine is a 2008 model. I believe it is USA made but Korean assembled to save costs. Plays like a USA guitar 100% however. It has 24 frets, and has the unique 25.5" scale, a very nice scale if you like room for solid rhythm, but still want the high end to be very quick and shred'able! It is also the 7 string model. The seventh string is setup perfectly, and in no way feels like an uncommon and unperfected add on, like some cheap 7 stringers. It is available exactly the same in 6 string models. The neck and body is one solid piece of top grade mahogany, provides great sound and sustain. The fretboard is made of good quality rosewood, and the inlays are beautiful white pearl. Inlays are in the shape of arrow heads, except for the 12th fret which is aptly a double sided razorblade. It has a solid black finish with thick yellow bevels around the outside, providing an almost lightning like appearance, very catchy to musicians and citizens alike! It is a typical Razorback shape, halfway between a V and an Explorer. It has the spiked, sharp corners like the 'Shards' Razorback model, as opposed to the rounded razorback models. It has a double locking licenced Floyd Rose, unfortunately not the real thing. 100% active EMG 707's in both bridge and neck positions. It has two volume controls (for each pickup) and a single tone control. All are dime-traction knobs (or named something similar) which are very smooth and easy to use. Has a three-way Gibson style pickup selector located on the bottom spike. Configuration is Bridge-Both-Neck, very Standard. I believe it has good quality Gotoh tuners, tunes as smooth as a top of the line Fender. Hardware is in a very unique gunmetal-esk silver. Finishes the guitar perfectly, however is a pain when trying to match in new hardware, such as locking strap buttons. I don't believe even Dean make supplement hardware in the same colour unfortunately. Mine came with a hardcase as Standard. The case is molded very well for the body, but provides little headstock protection. I very simple and effective modification can however fix this as I found out, contact me if you wish to use it yourself. // 9

Sound: I play anything from jazz to blues to hard rock, all the way up to crazy death metal style stuff. It reacts perfect to any form of music. The EMG's are naturally suited to heavy metal, the bridge pickup provides an incredibly solid and well balanced rock tone for rhythm, while the Bridge/Neck combo combined with a boost (I'm currently using a Line 6 CrunchTone) provides a shred/sweep/solo tone exact to some of the pros of metal. I rarely use the neck pickup solo, but that's simply because I find the combo with bridge too good. It does still however provide an extra thicker and more than useful solo tone to the guitars arsenal, effective for soaring bends etc and weird effects. I'm currently playing it through a 15W Marshall, using amp distortion and the tone is amazing. The single solid mahogany body effectively makes it a hotted-up Les Paul, and it actually sounds better than some of the Gibson's played in the past, particularly when played through a timeless amp brand like Marshall. EMG's typically won't back off well as I've found in a Jackson I own also fitted with them, however that doesn't seem to be the case as much with this. I don't know why exactly, but possibly again due to the Les Paul style mahogany body, the EMG 707's can actually back off really nicely, and can provide some very nice clean tones which I've used for even Blues and Jazz recordings in the past. Just don't underpower them too much when using distortion, or they can sometimes not react too well under certain situations, like all good rock pickups. However, unfortunately nothing is built to cover everything perfectly! The Bridge is mounted perfectly and allows the strings to vibrate very clearly and sharply, unlike some cheap Floyd Rose copies. Overall an incredible and very versatile sound, and I've played top of the range Fenders Gibsons and ESP's in the past. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar came setup perfectly from the factory, and it even came with a nice set of strings on it, not some cheap crap. I changed them to Ernie Ball's within the week but that's only because I use them exclusively on all my guitars. Normally I would have done it straight up however! Action is at the perfect height to allow for clean rhythm, but still low enough to suit the extremes such as shredding and sweeping perfectly. Tremolo bar is not 100% secure and can fall out if you try hard enough, but definately won't do it by accident. It very slightly loose in it's fixing, but that's good as you can hold it while playing with out moving the Floyd Rose and changing pitch. I've noticed this can't be done with most Floyd Rose's I've played. Absolutely no flaws in the hardware's finish. I can't find a fault with the action and finish, and neither can't my 60+ year old ex-guitar teacher who hates metal guitars! That's saying something! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Every feature of the guitar is 100% solid. There is no point me making a huge paragraph going over every feature as the the thing is immaculate. It's the first guitar I've had where I haven't fitted locking strap buttons to it, yet I've never had a single problem with losing the strap off it. I will still maybe do it if I can find some to match, however it will most likely never need them. I would play huge gigs confidently on this thing without a backup guitar, however we all obviously have them there anyway, it is still mortal like every guitar. Only notable problem is the sharp corners. They're tougher than they look, however that isn't saying much. A really solid knock on any of the pointed corners will chip paint off easily, however you just need to be careful and you won't a problem, I thought mine would be owned by now and yet it's survived numerous close calls scratch free. You can't really downrate it for this though, you go knocking any guitar about and you'll mark it, I'm just note that you have to be slightly more careful with this one... // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for 4-5 years, and played numerous top of the line guitars through stores and long time professional mates. Although this isn't necessarily listed as Dean's top of the top, I would argue that it is up there. I would've easily agreed to pay double the money I did for this, I do believe it's worth a fair bit more than what I paid anyway. I play Hard Rock/Soft Metal predominately, but branch off into just about anything. It's very versatile, sounding and acting a lot like a hot Les Paul as I said before. Can play just about anything semi-professionally. Would definately replace it if it was ever lost or stolen. If I become rich and famous, I would have several in my arsenal! The best way to describe it is as a typical Dean product, it is a Standard line but feels as if you're playing something out of the low end of a custom shop. Overall amazing, it turns heads, and that's before they even set eyes on it! I would urge you get one yourself if you relate to my playing at all. // 10

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overall: 8.4
Razorback 255 7-String Reviewed by: Plarx, on march 26, 2009
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 2600

Purchased from: Cecere's Music Centre

Features: Made in Korea. Not sure which year. 25 1/2 inch scale with 24 frets. The Upper frets are really easy to reach too. Body is a pearly white, with black bevels right round the body. Rosewood Fingerboard with set neck construction. Has a Licensed Floyd Rose with Active 707 EMG Pickups. 3 way selector; bridge, neck and both. 3 controls are given. Tone, and separate volume knobs for each pickup. Comes with some sexy as Gunmetal grey Grover tuners too. It all seems very nice. So far and haven't had any problems with it. I just had to fit some strap locks to it because I didn't want to risk snapping one of the 'spikes' It's also kinda heavy, but it's used for metal. It's meant to be heavy. // 9

Sound: I pretty much just play metal/rock. I'm plugging this baby straight into a 12" Kustom 16w practice amp, and it surprisingly sounds amazing. I've been playing a lot of Trivium and Megadeth lately; both using Dean guitar for their records. The tone matches their songs, exactly, so if you want a little hint of what it sounds like, have a listen to Black Swan by Megadeth or Kirisute Gomen by Triviumand you'll get an idea of the tone. It's a very clean distortion; no muddiness but I do get a little bit of humming. Not too sure what that's from, it disappears once I start playing though or turn the volume knob right down. Playing on the clean channel, it also sounds gorgeous. I've played 'Two Steps Behind' by Def Leppard and it sounds spot on. One last thing about sound; the sustain is amazing. It just keeps on ringing. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Firstly, the guitar was set up at the store before I picked it up. The action was nice and low. Minimal fret buzz, but the strings hadn't stretched when I picked it up, so after a while of playing I had to re-tune a floyd for the first time and snapped my top E string. I learned my lesson and know how to do it now so that isn't a problem. Probably the only problem is that after a bit of abuse, the little hole where the whammy bar goes in goes a bit loose, and I have to take the back plate off to tighten the nut at the back, but the gap is tiny so I need to use needle nose pliers, to turn it bit by bit. I might have to look into replacing that with another one of a different type. Also, because of the extra string, there are now 4 tuners on one side of the headstock. I'm not sure if this is a problem, but the top B string touches the Top E string at the nut. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've never played Live before, nor am I in a band yet, but I do plan on it later in the year. When I do start gigging, this will defiantly be my primary guitar. I wouldn't use this guitar without a backup because of the Floyd Rose and if I snapped a string, I'd need a guitar straight away, I wouldn't have time to go out and re-string. However (if I had 'un-snappable strings' I'd defiantly use this, no problem, without a backup. // 7

Overall Impression: This is one of the greatest metal guitars I've ever played, and feels perfect for me. I've been playing guitar for about 2-3 years now and the only other guitar I've owned is a Schecter Omen 6. During my time searching for another guitar, I've played some Ibanez 7 strings, Jackson Dinkys, and the Schecter C-7. Honestly, the Razorback beat them all. The look, feel, sound, and fast neck did it for me. 1 thing I wish I'd asked is "how do I re-tune/re-string it?" I thought I knew; I obviously didn't. This is now my pride and joy. If it were lost, I'd shoot myself. If it were stolen, I'd hunt the guy down and beat him. I love everything about this guitar. My only problem with it is the hole the whammy bar goes into, but I guess that's what you get when you buy an imported model and not a USA series with an OFR. That would be the only thing I'd change on it. I'd install a Original one. I just need money now:D Definitely recommend this guitar for anybody looking for a hot sounding, DEANgerous looking axe. (bad pun intended) // 9

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overall: 4.4
Razorback 255 7-String Reviewed by: rtfk101, on june 14, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 4

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 3

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 1

Overall Impression: 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. // 5

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