Dean Guitars USA Razorback Rebel Flag
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Dean Guitars USA Razorback Rebel Flag

USA Razorback Rebel Flag, Altra Chitarra Elettrica Solid Body from Dean Guitars.

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content in English
Audiofanzine FR 04/11/2008

Dean Guitars USA Razorback Rebel Flag : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)

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(Originally written by syel1984/translated from Audiofanzine FR)

Watch out for this guitar!! This week I test the USA Rebel model... I was so excited...

Made in the USA
22 frets.
Original Floyd Rose tremolo
SH13 (bridge) and '59 (neck) Seymour Duncan pickups
Classic settings for Razorback and almost all ML Dean models: 2 volume, 1 tone, 3-way toggle switch...

Mahogany set neck with V profile
Ebony fingerboard
Mahogany body
Floyd Rose locking nut...

Everything you need and at the highest quality...

- 10: It's a top-range product, I don't see anything else you could wish for...

UTILIZATION

Unplugged, the guitar shows that its craftsmanship is exceptional. It is perfectly balanced and very comfortable... you immediately feel at home, the wood sings and vibrates, the Floyd Rose tremolo is a bit rudimentary, it's a Floyd...
Those of you who have never played such a guitar will need several minutes to find the right position to play it, its body shape can feel strange in the beginning... But the overall balance is perfect and you'll easily find its natural position...

It's hardly possible to play sitting but honestly I can't imagine playing such a beast sitting down... It's quite big but not that heavy. In other words it won't break your back nor your knees like a Gibson Explorer or a dual-neck SG would...

The way it feels in your hands is fantastic even for someone like me who doesn't like ebony. The neck shaping is really excellent with the famous Dean V profile. It's somewhere between Gibson and ESP but closer to ESP. A bit narrower especially near the head. I've been a Dean user for a while but I hadn't tried a USA-made neck before. I had never played anything like it before even though I have played the likes of Fender, Gibson, ESP, Schecter and Ibanez.

A brief word for Luc who contacted me regarding a comparison to a Jackson. It's not comparable! It would be like comparing an aircraft carrier to a fishing boat... I don't want to talk down on Jackson, on the contrary I love their KV1 and KE2, but generally speaking they are a bit limited. With this one you can play rhythm guitar and fast chords without a sweat thanks to the top of the neck, while the other side of the neck provides a wider flat surface for high-speed sweeping solos. You can move swiftly across the neck with the best hand position thanks to the V profile...

- 10: Once again, this guitar will leave you more than satisfied. Perhaps you could wish the toggle switch would be placed somewhere else (like on an Explorer), but that's a matter of taste. I personally love it and I hate it on a Les Paul...

SOUNDS

The sound is nasty and huge... I know the SH13 pretty well and I didn't expect that. It goes to show that a good pickup isn't everything. Usually too extreme, the Dimebucker is the perfect complement for the lutherie. The pickup suits the lutherie perfectly so that sharp rhythm parts remain rhythm parts and solo parts take off without getting lost among the overtones... That is what I call a balanced guitar...

But don't misunderstand me, the SH13 is still brutal (I don't know any passive humbucker that is more aggressive) but unlike Dean import models, the sound is always full and large without becoming harsh...

The overall concept is coherent but not necessarily exclusive. The 59 pickup produces clean tones which would make a Strat envious. There is no real secret: good wood = good tone!!
I know, I know. Some of you will say it's just metal and distortion blah blah blah...

It's not completely false but that's only due to the SH13 not the lutherie. You could get every sound you'd like out of this wood but the SH13/59 configuration is the most extreme. Another pickup combination would certainly fit your needs if you're looking for a rounder sound (Dragon II or HFS for example).

The pickup choice is a matter of taste so I don't like to consider pickups when writing a guitar review. Actually almost everyone will fit their favorite pickups in the guitar, not because the original pickups sound bad but because they probably want something different...

The only thing worth mentioning is:

- 10: This lutherie can really enhance a pickup, which is something extremely rare. The optional DiMarzio pickups combinations are a good alternative to the SH13 monster... Personally I would go for a SH2 Jazz instead of the 59. But when it comes to wood, my answer is 10. It's tight and balanced. It sings and it screams. It does exactly what you want, if you know how to ask it from her...

OVERALL OPINION

- 10: The perfect grade for a perfect guitar. But then again, everything is subjective. And for the price, you could get a custom shop guitar from RAN, Jackson, Charvel or even Dean!!

And I'm not a big fan of the Texas flag but well... The design and the features are almost the same for all US-made Razorbacks, except for the Flame Top model so you can consider this a general review of the whole range.

It's always the same problem with high-quality products from the USA, they are very expensive. A good custom shop guitar from RAN would probably be cheaper (with a nice neck and so on)...

But if you have the money for this monster you won't be disappointed by its quality!
And it is the least you can expect for the price...

... it would be a pity to give it a 9!!