Price paid: £ 575
Purchased from: Musically Yours
Sound — 8
The guitar...I can't really put into words how well it suits me. My style is very all around, I enjoy all music, so I play all sorts. But what I enjoy the most of music is electronic, which the guitar obviously won't do well, it isn't a synth, and rock with unique elements. Such as Nu-Metal, and most bands that protest the government haha. This guitar suits the rock element of my tastes excellingly, as soon as you play any Serj Tankian through it the sound it almost like they used it to record the album! Currently I use it with some old, hard to look into 'Poker' amp which has a nice bluesy tone when clean, and a KorgAX3000G Multi-FX pedal. The thing is quite awkward to get used to, but once you learn the basics, it works brilliantly with everything else. The distortion is fantastic with the amp and guitar, probably because of the guitar's more rock orientated design through the Dean making. The different pickup combinations really work well together too, with the neck pickup providing a deep, thick, warm and full sound perfect for all types of rock. The middle position takes the sound up a notch to a still thick but lighter combination of both pickups, which are probably good for pop and such, like the Ting Tings. The bridge pickup then takes the sound more thin, to a slightly Strat sort of sound..Those Fender fans will like this. One thing I must complain of though, is the strange matter of scales going down the fret on two strings. When playing my favorite introduction (The Hypnotize opening by System Of A Down) which is sort of my trademark thing, on some frets the sound of the B string goes all weird and fuzzy, making a sound as if there is some sort of signal interference. I have no idea why, but it's pretty strange.
Overall Impression — 10
The main style of music I play is undisputably rock, and this guitar, at least in the neck position, was made for it. In terms of a good match, if a guitar could be a soul mate, this would be it. It was even right in my price range!!! I have been playing for only 6 months, but nigh on none stop so that even my friends who have been playing far longer are impressed with my progress and ability. I can play songs such as Sad Statue by System Of A Down now. The other gear I have right now are the Poker amp and Korg AX3000G Multi-FX pedal, the Yamaha F310 Acoustic, and I'm in line for a Roland Cube 60 amp which I should already have but frankly, never buy from Fair Deal Music in cannock. Ever. It wasn't in stock, even now it says it is, and I'll probably have to ring them up AGAIN to check why it says the order is complete. Never buy from Fair Deal Music people! Anyway back on track from rambling, if this were stolen....The man, woman or child who did the crime....Their days would be very numbered. If lost, well I doubt the money will come again very easy, but if I had the money, and somehow was foolish enough to somehow lose this, buying it again would be a must. I love everything about this guitar to be honest, it is all so, so perfect for me. I honestly saw it on the internet and heard it through some vidoes, and knew it was what I needed. I Searched high and low for pretty much the only shop in Britain to stock one and tried it, as well as some other guitars to be sure it's the one I wanted, and yes it was. Everything is great for me about it. As I said, I compared it with some other products. Including an some Ibanez which a Floyd Rose which I didn't like, some PRS guitars and a Dean Semi Hollow style guitar. They were all very nice, but this just smashed them out of the water. I chose this one, purely because the sounds just made my insides tingle with joy. The looks helped a fair bit in attracting me to it in the first place too! On a last note of this excellent guitar, I'm not one really for tremelo's, but it would be good if Dean made a model of the Soltero with one for those that do like them. For now though, bendies and a whammy pedal are all I need. Maybe they'll be releasing a model like that for 2010 though, eh?
Reliability & Durability — 10
The overall look and feel of the guitar is very solid, and it feels almost like it is challenging someone to try and damage it. I've gone a whole day with the strap standing up, and they did not even budge, despite me putting them on with my bare hands. All the pieces have been put together so well it looks like one large piece, which is pretty reassuring about the guitar's ability to take excess playing. I wouldn't want to test it but even in dropping it I doubt very much that anything would so much as budge, from the pickups to the tuners. Finally, the finish is great and thick, but not too glammy, and I would definately take it for a gig without a backup. (I know it's my first electric, but my friends would let me borrow if I asked, yet I do not feel the need at all).
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action fit and finish, for me, are perfect! Some might not like the strings being so low, but this would be easily adjusted and the guitar comes with a truss rod. The pickups were made adjusted excellently, with the right amount of space to pick hard and fast wherever your hand ends up plucking. No flaws are obvious, the strap locks were a bit awkward at first but this may be because it's my first electric. There is a scratch on the upper side of the guitar but not too noticeable, and this may have happened while I moved it about in the box as I certainly did not notice it when I tried it out in the shop a few weeks prior. As I say though, either way it is not very noticeable at all.
Features — 8
This guitar is loaded with the nearest to perfect set of features to make almost all sounds possible. It has standard sized 22 frets, which feel nice and large without being so far apart they make playing uncomfortable. The neck is Maple with a Rosewood fingerboard, and your hand, or at least mine, just glides up and down it as if it was an extension to my body! The top is laminated, with a nice binding around the sides. The model I bought was in the Trans(parent) Braziliaburst finish, which is gorgeous. Everyone who sees it agrees it is a fantastic looking guitar. The style is very much similiar to a Les Paul, but with a larger bottom end and on the left side (opposite to the single cutaway) there is a brilliantly unique groove; which I jokingly call its cleavage. It has a very good Tune-O-Matic bridge, and before being opened this guitar just sat in a box for 3 weeks. Yet the strings didn't go very much out of tune, just slightly higher or lower than the standard tuning note (EADGBE), of course helped by the fantasic Grover tuners. The electronics, although I don't know if active of passive, seem to work great with the controls; a 3-way selector switch for either the bridge or neck 'Dean Vintage Style Humbuckers' or a middle position for both. Apparently you can split the coil's by doing something with the selector switch, but I haven't tried this. The four nobs are useful; a tone and volume for each humbucker. Although not as wide ranged as I hoped, the volume nobs do work well to change the volume within the range and the tone nobs are the same. All in all it's a very good guitar package, and to top this; the Hardtail/Soltero inlays are so good looking you won't find anything ever with better looking ones.