Price paid: $ 180
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 1
The pickups are... Well BAD, thin cheap sounding and well the first thing I had to replace if I was going to keep playing this guitar. I play though VST plugins mainly at home and use a Line 6 X3 Live through 1000 watt Carvin, JCM 900 and 4 cabs. Honestly I just could not get this guitar to sound good even after I put EMG 81 and 85 pickups in it,. I have 20 odd guitars (nearly all with EMG's) play metal mainly but blues jazz as well and this thing just sounds thin. With No balls no meat. The body is thinner than any guitar I can think of, most of my guitars weight alot more than this. But this is a much BIGGER guitar? I think the thin body gives lighter weight (maybe cheaper too) but to me tone is clearly lost, I switch guitars when I practice and not play with tone But every time I picked this one up I had to go play with tone controls to get more meat in the sound. The only positive thing I can say about the sound is maybe good for a country picker light thin sound? But that is not me so I sold Dean ZX last week.
Overall Impression — 3
I been playing for 20+ years and this guitar was a surprise to me, it was all over the place in design, but I did get it cheap and did not know what I was getting from eBay. The hardware is top quality but with really bad pickups. The paint and finish also top quality but cheap light body wood which effects sound and feel of a large body guitar such as this. I sold mine Dean ZX last week so NO I would not buy another. I dislike the sound of the wood (I feel due to the lightness or thinness of the body). I also dislike the missing weight because it also effects the feel of the guitar (compared to a Gibson Explorer with its heavier body and maybe lighter headstock?) I still give it a 3 because it still had a good neck and good tuners etc and it's was cheap.
Reliability & Durability — 7
It solid guitar well-built and would have no problem standing up to playing live and there were no factory manufacturing issues I saw, the paint and finish were good. The only issues was minor setup issues when I got it (it was not setup as good as it could have been). The paint was excellent I have to say it did look like a good guitar the sun burst finish looked great, I did move the strap buttons around afew times to try and get the guitar to balance and feel better when standing up but could find the answer.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
Well it needed a minor tidy up in setup (string height etc.)The action could go lower and on a positive note it has good action and a fast straight neck, the pickups again had to be replaced (cheap sounding not helped but the thin body wood I think). The general finish was OK but the guitar is light and I have a Gibson Explorer and the lighter feel of this guitar does Damage to how it feels when you play standing up it's just does not sit well or sit properly like a Gibson Explorer does. Maybe it's the bigger heavier headstock on the Dean? Maybe it's the much lighter body the Dean has not letting gravity do it's job? Sorry but to me this guitar just feels wrong when playing standing up and I OWN a Gibson Explorer? It's total different? 8 for neck action etc. 1 for the rest.
Features — 4
I got this guitar on eBay because I put in a very low bid and WON. Then I got the guitar... OK thinner than normal basswood body that feels light I think it's made in an Asian country, lighter than it should be since it is a BIG guitar. 22 frets, 24 3/4 scale Maple neck, rosewood fretboard, dot inlays. Bolted on with a sunburst finish with 2 "cheap sounding" Dean humbuckers with 2 volume and 1 tone, but with good,. I mean surprisingly good Quality hardware with tune-o-matic bridge strings thought the body and Grover tuners!. The case is HUGE and well-built also.