Razorback 255 Union Jack review by Dean

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.4 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.7 (23 votes)
Dean: Razorback 255 Union Jack

Price paid: $ 1099

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 6
Dean really could have worked a lot harder on this guitar. I mean, come on, the Dimebucker? The very same Dimebucker that you can get off eBay for 45 ($90)? To be honest, it's an ok pickup. Not great. But ok. A lot of clarity and output, but Dean could have tweaked it a bit more for more versatility. Good harmonic sqeals and divebombs, though. All it does is metal. Nothing else. Maybe hard rock. Disappointed. As for the DiMarzio in the neck, is, quite frankly, crap. Well, not entirely crap. it's quite muddy and you know when you want a slightly bluesy sound, you Switch to the neck pickup. Not so! I want a decent blues tone! Well, I've got my Strat for that. Thankfully. it's good for clean as it's quite rich, but that's it really. I think it's just a bridge pickup in the neck position. I'm currently using a Line 6 Spider II 212 (150 Watt), which is a brilliant amp. As the whole guitars made of mahogany (please, correct me if I'm wrong), there is a lot of sustain, perfect for sqeals and divebombs. Overall, quite disappointed with the sound.

Overall Impression — 7
As I play mostly metal, this works just fine. Would like some lower action though! I've been playing for nearly 5 years, and my Ibanez (RG4EX1) beats this. I'm sorry both Dime and Dean, but for the money (I've seen the full price, I'm disgusted, it's around $2000) it's nowhere near what I expect. it's a huge disappointment. My Ibanez, which cost me $200 in all (RRP $800) kills this guitar. Low action, flawless finish, the same, if not better sound than the Razorback and could survive another Blitz. Strat shapes just work. it's a perfect universal shape. If the 'Back was stolen or lost, I'd probably get the Jackson Dominator (the Mark Morton model (Lamb Of God guitarist)), as I saw that after I bought the 'Back and thought 'Oh for Gods sake, I could have had that'. Same price, most likely better sound too. What I hate, well, mainly the cheap pickups and bad action. Dean, I'm ashamed. But what I love, is the Floyd and how well it works. The guitar sounds alright, but the pickups only work decently because of how solidly this guitars made. Any other wood/construction and theyd sound atrocious! I mainly chose this guitar for how cheap it was (for the model and RRP) and the fact it's a Ltd Ed. they're only making about 36. Just think, in the future, it might very well be worth twice, maybe three times it's current price. I think ahead. Good for debt worrys. Get some sort of nest egg, I've got a 1965 Eko 100, a 1985 Fender Strat and this Razorback. you'll regret it if you don't. Overall, an alright guitar for a lot of money. Look around, for the love of God please look at other options. I wish I had.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm pretty sure it'd withstand Live playing. If I haven't sold it by the time I get to use it on stage. It's all pretty solid now I've sorted it all out, so I'd be quite confident to use it on stage. If it stays in tune and sounds alright, I'll use it on stage. Which is the case with this. It never goes out of tune. Ever. The hardware will last a lifetime, it's great! Might change the pickups, though. Soild strap buttons. Happy with them except the the position of the back-of-the-neck-one. Gets in the way a bit. I reckon the guitar would last for a few years. The finish won't though. it's thin as skin! Not happy. But, it's a pretty solid guitar. I've got confidence in it.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
Oh God, here we go. When I tuned it and locked up both ends of the Floyd, I found that the action was rubbish! Very high indeed! So I tweaked that I still find that it's bad. And that's still how it is. I hope I'll get used to it. If I have the action too low, the Floyd refuses to do smooth divebombs. It'll go down so far, then stop and go down again, in two rough stages, thus making an uneven sqeal/divebomb and setting off the other strings. The Floyd's installed and routed fine, I'm happy with that, apart from the previous point. Big Flaw Alert: I've had to rewire the neck pickup. It didn't work. At all. And no, the volume wasn't turned down on it, it was all up and as it should be. But it wasn't wired in properley. So I did it. This is not what i expect from a respected and experienced guitar company! $1099! And I had to wire in the neck pickup myself! Sort it, Dean! The finish is also quite badly done, in some places (small though it may be) there are patches where there is no paint, just clear laquer. This occurs in about 3 places. And under the small horns, you know the little ones that are on the main horns, under all of them there are rough paint patches. It's disgusting. The Union Jack transfer is quite frankly, crap. It looks really cheap up close. The pickup selector 'pops' when I use it. I hate that. I had less problems with my Ibanez, I bought it as a second with the headstock snapped off, so I glued that back on and strung it up. It was perfect! Normal shaped guitars 'for the win'!

Features — 8
This is a limited edition Union Jack Razorback, made in Korea. I bought it as a factory second as it had a 1/2 inch square chip out of the side of the headstock, which is now glued back on and looks fine. Not perfect, but fine. So, as a second I got it for 570 ($1099). Which isnt all that bad. Or so I thought. But I'll get to all that later. 24 frets as it's 25.5 inch scale, which is perfect for me with a rosewood neck and jumbo frets. Set neck. V shape too, plays nicely. Union Jack transfer onto a red finish. Frankly, I think that the transfer looks very bad. More on that later. The whole thing is made of mahogany I think. To sit down with this guitar is very uncomfortable, as the back of the top spike really digs into your chest. To stand up is perfectly fine. A very good Liscensed Floyd Rose system on this thing. it's brilliant, stays in tune perfectly and works better than the one on my Ibanez. Regular pickup config. That being two humbuckers, a DiMarzio in the neck and the frankly over-rated Dimebucker in the bridge. Two volume, one tone. that's fine. Lovely Grover tuners and a locking nut which works perfectly. Got a giant fitted hardcase with it, works well, very high-quality.

58 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm currently using a Line 6 Spider II 212 (150 Watt), which is a brilliant amp.
    Stopped reading about there. I'd rather take the one with the bumblebee (??) slime finish.
    death punch
    i have tis guitar and its awesome. i did get it used so i paid $486 with a case when it is about $1200 new. the original owner did change the bridge pick up for some stupid reason to god knows what, and it has a licensed floyd when it should have a original. but man it stays in tune and plays like a dream. and yes it is made in korea.
    Thats fake,look at the stipes on the flag,they arent even straight and last time I checked high end razorbacks were made in USA.
    Also please tell me you didnt buy it looking at the pic here,that looks like a photoshop.
    I've never played a good Dean anyway - This review doesn't suprise me in the least. One of the worst guitars I ever played was a US Custom shop Razorback worth over $4k, awful neck, terrible action, and the pickups were just farts.
    Mr Fox 666
    YES Dean DID infact release a limited edition Union Jack Razorback. It, like anyother Razorback, Only has 22 frets, Not 24. With it been a factory second it will be in bad condition, I would only buy new unless you know it's been taken good care of or you know the seller personally. You can't give a great guitar a bad review because you bought shit. Tough luck friend, You shit out.
    These are not fake, there have only been 36 made so far (not sure if that includes factory seconds) but you can only get them in Fairdeal Music in birmingham, or off ebay.
    Not all razorbacks are made in the US. Only the ones that say Dean USA are. And dean doesnt have any shops in Korea as far as I know, only in China. I think the neck is made in Korea however. And only the Razorback 255 series has 24 frets. Also I dont think Dean 'officialy' released a Union Jack guitar. I think someone just paints them, since it wouldnt be hard. Sorry buddy I guess you just got a bad deal, you gotta be careful with guitars off of ebay. Every dean dimebag guitar ive ever played kicked any other guitars ass. By the way, you should get the confederate razorback! Now thats a badass guitar! im from south texas lol
    Aside from all the point above (which are mostly valid) can i remind everyone thats its a FACTORY SECOND!!!! Hence crap paint job (never met QC), possibly why pick up didn't work. Rule no.1, ALWAYS ALWAYS try before you buy. Never buy a guitar, especially a 2nd, with out trying it. On that alone i vote this review null and void. cw
    That doesnt sound like dean at all. The Dean Union Jack Razorback does exist but im convinced this was fake and if it wasnt BLAME YOURSELF,ITS A FACTORY SECOND. Also you do yourself nor dean any justice by totally contradicting yourself with what you say about the floyd rose. Another thing, congratulations, due to people like you dean will continue to mock dimebags name by making a guitar and putting DIME infront of it and calling it commemorative, this isnt a dime guitar, this is an abomination. RIP DIME and sorry dude its your own fault for not playing before buying
    Hi Richard, It sounds as though you've had real bad luck here, I'm sorry you've been so disappointed with your guitar. There seems to be lots of confusion as to whether or not the guitar is a fake; the guitar certainly exists, and is sourced to the UK through Bill Lewington, the UK Dean distributor. I own one myself, and have to say that I have found it to be an excellent guitar. I bought it new for 600, and the set up out of the box was excellent - but it had been set up by the guitar shop I purchased it from, so whether they had a lot of work to do or not I don't know! Some high-end USA models were produced too, but the standard ones are Korea/China made (as with the various other Razorback models). Anyway, I wanted to add my thoughts to the post here as my Razorback 255 Union Jack is certainly not a 6.4/10 guitar!
    Roybordom wrote: buddy...i think you got ripped off by a counterfiet guitar. dean doesnt have a 24 fret union jack razorback. and you said it was from korea, which makes me a bit more skeptical since deans are usa made
    think before you type
    i have one of these guitars, they are real deans but they are not made in usa they are made in england thats propably why they arent on tyhe website, and i personally dont know what this guy is talking about, no offence to the guy, its a great guitar, the dimebuckers are fantastic too, i would have given it an 8.5 because i thought it was a pretty damn hot guitar.
    Guys, Anyone interested in buying a dean Union jack, Or dean V 255? There in good condition. And haven't been played, The only reason i'm selling is because i have a Dean USA now and don't need more than one guitar
    Obi Dan Kenobi
    I Have one of these guitars,until you have it how do you know it's got a problem. I researched these razorbacks for months and I still got done,I'm working on exchanging it. 36 only made, 24 frets there lies a problem in itself that they have NOT been made before it's a limited cast. Now where the design for this model comes from some of you guys made be too ****ing ignorant to know your root's to research where razorbacks came from the short and curlies are Judas Priest Album cover and what country are they from, er ever seen dimebags necklace. I have read this whole page and bridgemeister is the only one helping the rest of you sort it out. Dean is an American guitar company with factories existing outside of USA. You lot would not want a UK flag cos some of you is REDNECKS same reason why I wouldn't buy a Texas Flag and why is there no proper USA Flag design. It is not fake just some have worked and some haven't. Weird thing mine is brand new from a shop and I got some problems that is the same. ****ed action which how the **** are you meant to hear it when the amp is cranked in the shop and other people are testing as well. If anyone has proper hard evidence about this model then post it otherwise FUCKOFF and stop repeating each other. Forgot to mention the explosion razorback I picked up from korea and the bumblebee slime guess where from. I do feel for you but maybe we deserve this.
    Your Dean is wierd... Try checking your serial number with the company to see if it's real, because ,you now, Dean is one of the biggest and most respectable guitar manufacturers out there.
    Grimriffer wrote: Your Dean is wierd... Try checking your serial number with the company to see if it's real, because ,you now, Dean is one of the biggest and most respectable guitar manufacturers out there.
    Aye,besides..He doesn't know what he is talking about.
    if its 24 frets its clearly a fake cause all razorbacks are 22frets as are ml's sorry bud you got had
    Firstly, Obi Dan Kenobi is correct. Have any of you bothered your arse to research this?? It DOES have 24 frets, its called a razorback 255 for Christ's sake. This means its a 25.5 scale, therefore, 24 FRETS. It DOES have a DiMarzio pickup at the neck, a DiMarzio Super Distortion to be finicky. Yes, it was also MADE IN KOREA. If it was a Dime USA model, which its not, it would have been made in the USA (and no factory seconds are ever sold for the USA custom shop models). Research before you spout shit all over a forum.
    Demon Seraph
    Roybordom wrote: buddy...i think you got ripped off by a counterfiet guitar. dean doesnt have a 24 fret union jack razorback. and you said it was from korea, which makes me a bit more skeptical since deans are usa made
    I brought this exact guitar from kosmik sound for $1000 down from $3000 very pleased hasent let me down sounds great
    Specs out like so.. Dean Union Jack Razorback MSRP $1,689 (USD) Yr 2008 Country Mfg Korea Body Mahogany Neck Setneck Mahogany Tuners Grover (non-locking) Fretboard Rosewood Inlays MOP V also known as barbwire w/ Razorblade @12th Frets 22 Scale 24 3/4 Neck profile V Pickup DMT (Neck) Pickup Seymour Duncan Dimetime(Bridge) Bridge Lic Floyd Hardware Blk Chrome Knobs DBD Traction Color Union Jack Graphic
    Edit (Error) Frets 24 Scale 25.5 Bridge Floyd Rose 1000 Series
    Ok I just got off the phone with Brad at Dean and this guitar came both ways the 255 is out of production and had the 24 frets, 25.5 Scale and Floyd 1000 which is Korean made. The Union Jack that is currently still in production is a 22 fret, 24 3/4 Scale with a Lic Floyd. all the other spcs listed above remain the same. Hope this clears up some of the confusion.
    mafropetee wrote: Am I the only one who realizes that 255's are supposed to have EMG pickups?
    no you aren't
    alot of the cheaper dean rozorback's are made in korea but i wouldnt expect a limited edition to be made there
    Dude you've been had. i have an explosion razorback and it is brilliant. the dimebucker is 10x better than what you say it is and the action is actually really low. i also bought mine from ebay, brand new, not factory second, for exactly the same price. best guitar ive ever had. you've got a dodgy one man
    buddy...i think you got ripped off by a counterfiet guitar. dean doesnt have a 24 fret union jack razorback. and you said it was from korea, which makes me a bit more skeptical since deans are usa made
    at that price i'd say it wouldnt have been an expensive dean. plus i dont beilive every dean's US made. i know the expensive ones are.
    First time I read about so many complaints on a Dean. You should notify Mr. Dean Zalinsky asap.....
    Seems to me i get a lot more of sound of a dimebucker than you do. Well all a matter of opinion i guess. Still a killer guitar though.
    Stopped reading about there. I'd rather take the one with the bumblebee (??) slime finish.
    slime bumblebee version is propably the coolest guitar ever \,,/ this looks pretty nice too
    It's gotta be a counterfeit. I thought it was a decent review until I read about the Spider...
    man i got a few probs with it. a union guitar with dimes name on it is funny with in its self. and idk how u can not get a killer sound out of a dimebucker.... a dean form korea? i think they only have shops up in usa and china.... if its dean made itll be on there site and i havnt seen that one...i think u got bulljived buddy
    deans do come from korea, i have a dean 79 ml and its from korea thats where they produce them, and yes there are usa made guitars but they are $3000+ for one since they are usa but korea are alot cheaper.
    not all guitars are made with the same quality...play it before you buy it. but my dean fbd is amazing and ive never had problems with it
    All guitars can be awful if not setup properly. Deans are awesome when REAL! Yours probably isn't... Dimarzio in the neck? I don't recall any Razors with a Dimarzio in the neck... Don't just slam the model. Slam yourself for not researching into a guitar before buying. As for 24 frets... yeah fishy. Hmmm...
    P.S people, the guitar is real. But it ain't a Dimarzio in the bridge... Conclusion is... Play a guitar before you pay for it considering its a factory reject... Do your research if you can't play it in the flesh!
    These are real but they piss me off because its a Razorback and Dime is from Texas