Razorback 255 Union Jack Review

manufacturer: Dean date: 03/20/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Dean: Razorback 255 Union Jack
Being a Dean guitar, the Razorback 255 looks as wicked as it sounds. Dangerous-looking edges are highlighted by color-contrast bevels on the body and outlines on the famous Dean headstock.
 Sound: 6
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 3
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 58 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.4
Razorback 255 Union Jack Reviewed by: richard_edwards, on march 20, 2008
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1099

Purchased from: eBay

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: 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'! // 3

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 7

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