I got this guitar brand new, it’s made in Korea. It features a mahogany body with a quilted maple top and back, as well as a natural binding on the body, painted maple neck with a cream-colored binding, neck-through construction, rosewood fretboard with 24 frets, a tune-o-matic bridge that pivots the strings and allows them to pass through the body giving the guitar more resonance and sustain. It has stock Dean passive pickups which handle the job well enough, a 3-way switch, master volume and tone knobs. The new version of this guitar features Dean Time Capsule pickups, but the model I got has generic Dean pickups, but they’re still good enough. The machine heads are made by Grover and they provide great tuning stability.
I play several styles ranging from death metal to classic rock, and this guitar suits all of them. I use it with a Line 6 PODXT Live multieffect processor and a Roland Cube 15 amplifier. I can achieve decent tones with this guitar, and the pickups, although stock, sound tight great on the distorted channel and the clean channel as well. The guitar isn’t noisy at all. It has a nice bright sound using the bridge pickup, which is great for heavy down-tuned riffs. It also sounds good for blues using mild overdrive with the tone knob rolled back to 5. The neck pickup is great for soloing, especially for arpeggio passages and alternate-picked runs. On a clean setting, the guitar sounds great for strumming and playing acoustic songs using both pickups simultaneously. With the neck pickup on, and the tone knob turned all the way back, you get a warm jazzy sound. A coil-tap would’ve been nice to have, but it’s not really a necessity.
Feel and Finish
The guitar was set up pretty well from the factory. The action was low, but not too much, and the pickups had the right height, so they didn’t need any adjustment. The neck however needed some modification since it had too much of a backward bow, but that was easily fixed. The frets, tuners, bridge, and other pieces of hardware were in perfect condition. The guitar feels great in my hands. I like the neck because it’s a bit thicker than the ones on typical “shred” guitars, but not as thick as Les Paul’s. It’s comfortable to execute fast position shifts.
I’m pretty sure this guitar could withstand live playing, it’s built great. The hardware is pretty hasn’t worn out, and the strap buttons hold the strap firmly. I’d definitely suggest playing this guitar live without backup, because it’s sturdy, and it has fixed bridge, so if a string snaps, the player can finish a song without the tuning getting messed up, unlike guitars with floating bridges, the string can be changed afterward instantly. The finish is pretty good, but I always wipe the guitar with a cloth after playing it for a long time to keep it in good condition.
The guitar feels great, sounds tight and heavy, and it looks good. Whether you’re looking play death metal, blues, jazz, or even fusion, this guitar covers all of them well.