Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 8
To me this guitar has a fairly unique tone. It works very well for any type of rock, blues, and heavy metal. It has kind of a full crunch tone through the bridge pickup through my Peavey Windsor and Ibanez TS808 and Boss SD1. The neck could have been better with distortion or overdrive. But both pickups sound good on a clean amp like my Fender Hotrod Deluxe 112. The pickups limit its tone though for music that requires a lot of distortion or overdrive. If you use a lot of distortion, it'll become rather noisy and muddy. So if you play something that requires loads of distortion, I would recommend upgrading the pickups to something of high output like DiMarzio's, Seymour Duncans, or EMG's. But overall it has a rather mellow to bright sound (not really up there with the Strats but not as dark as a Les Paul). Overall, the VX works well for anything that doesn't require a lot of distortion.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a variety of rock, metal, instrumental, and blues music, and this guitar is a good match for any of them. I honestly just wanted a V shaped guitar to add to my arsenal. I've been playing over 4 years and I own loads of gear, too much to list here. Check the blog at www.myspace.com/gregblsdeth if you're interested to see what I have for gear. If it were lost somehow, I would just get another Dean V or a better V guitar like an ESP or Jackson. I like how it's rather light and balanced in weight, the price, the looks, tuning stability, and the tone in some areas. I don't like how it's rather hard to find a decent gigbag for this guitar, the way the headstock is designed for the nut, and the pickups. I compared it to a Epiphone Flying V and the low end ESP V200 I think, and seeing how this guitar was half their price, I gave this one a shot. The only things I wish it had were better pickups and an included gigbag. But a guitar like the Dean VX for under $200, you can't get much of a better deal.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is a pretty solid guitar. The hardware is simple and effective, so I would assume it'd last for many years. The Grover tuners along with a string-thru tune-o-matic bridge keep the guitar in tune very well. I would gig with backups because nothing is perfect though and I have many backup guitars to use. The strap buttons looked good, but I replaced them with Dunlop Straplocks like I do with all of my guitars. The finish on it is a good too seeing how I've bumped it and dropped it without any dings or dents to the body. Overall it's a rather solid guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
It was setup rather well. The body looked nice, the electronics were intact and grounded well. The only thing that annoys me is that the higher frets from the 18-22 are kinda rough instead of being smooth. It's not too noticeable until you try doing bends on the strings of those frets. Other than that though the guitar is setup good. With any other guitars I get though, I replaced the strings to GHS TNT in Standard, sanded the neck and headstock unfinished areas, and adjusted the truss rod and bridge slightly to get the most out of it.
Features — 8
According to the serial # it was made in 2007 in China. It has 22 medium frets on a rosewood fingerboard. The neck is rather thin like a 60's Gibson neck. The neck is made of unfinished maple and the scale is 24.75". The body is made of Basswood that makes a "V" shape. The bridge is a Tune-o-matic with a string-thru body. It also uses 18-1 Grover tuners. The finish on my guitar is called Brazillaburst which is kinda like the Cherryburst color of my Epiphone Les Paul Standard. For electronics it features 3 Dean humbuckers, a volume knob, and two tone knobs. It comes with an allen wrench for the truss rod and a noiseless cable. Overall not too bad for a sub-$200 guitar.