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Are Dean Guitars Good? Insightful Review

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Thousands of guitarists who are looking for new gear often ask the same question: are Dean guitars good and are they a better than Fender guitars? Adored by rock and heavy metal guitarists, Dean Guitars are an interesting alternative for both beginner and more advanced players. They look stunning, but are can they actually compare with some of the top level Fender or Gibson guitars?

Yes, Dean guitars are absolutely fantastic. Some people believe that they are far better than Fender guitars, but that’s debatable. Still, it is worth mentioning that Dean made a significant impact on the music industry, especially in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Their guitars definitely deserve a lot of recognition and they are considered as one of the leaders in the guitar game.

We all associate Dean with electric guitars, but in fact, they also manufacture bass and acoustic guitars too. In addition, they even offer custom guitars that you can order on their official website. It’s a really cool thing for musicians who exactly know what they’re looking for.

In today’s article, we’re going to dive deeper with research on Dean guitars. Let’s find out why are they so special!

Dean Guitars
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Long History

The company was founded in in Chicago, Illinois in 1976 by Dean Zelinsky. Although he was only a teenager when he started this business, he wanted to create a guitar that is different than the rest of the models available on the market. Of course, his work was heavily inspired by such guitars as Gibson Flying V or Gibson Explorer. The shape of Dean guitars is the major factor that contributed to the overall success of the company. Of course, we can’t forget about their iconic headstock! Their guitars became respected in the whole music industry and they were often used by some of the most influential heavy metal guitarists in the world.

Although Dean Zelinsky played a vital role in the company as a founder, he eventually sold his business. Since 1997, the company is in hands of Armadillo Enterprises, a manufacturer and distributor of instruments from Tampa, FL. Since then, Dean is still considered as one of the best guitar companies in the world. They can definitely compete with other leaders in the business, such as Fender, Gibson or Ibanez.

Here’s a great message from their current CEO – make sure to check it out!

Loved By Professional Musicians

There are a lot of guitarists who use or used Dean guitars on a daily basis. The most popular ones include:

  • Kerry King (Slayer)
  • Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
  • Dimebag Darrell (Pantera)
  • Eric Peterson (Testament)
  • Michael Amott (Arch Enemy)
  • Michael Schenker (UFO)
  • David Vincent (Morbid Angel)
  • Karl Sanders (Nile)

If you’re into heavy metal, you probably recognize some of the names listed above. Great guitarists do not play on poor quality guitars, so that’s a really good indicator that Dean guitars are totally worth it!

Which Dean guitar is the best?

There are a lot of interesting models suitable for both amateur and more intermediate players. Whether you’re looking for a new electric, bass or acoustic guitar (or even a banjo!), Dean’s offer is definitely worth considering. We gathered 5 of the best Dean guitars available on the market right now and created a short list below. You’ll see that great guitars don’t necessarily have to cost a fortune!

1.Dean RZR DBSee on Amazon
2.Dean V79See on Amazon
3.Dean Dimebag RazorbackSee on Amazon
4.Dean Stealth Floyd FMSee on Amazon
5.Dean MD24See on Amazon

1. Dean RZR DB

Dean RZR - is it good?

One of the most affordable and popular models manufactured by Dean guitars. In my opinion, this guitar will be a perfect choice for both beginner and advanced guitarists. It has everything that you need – it looks exceptional, sounds really good and it’s not that expensive at all. Of course, it has a really aggressive appearance, so it’s mainly used by hard rock and metal guitarists. The guitar comes with a mahogany top and body, a V-shaped neck and two great pickups: DMT Series DimeTime on the neck and Seymour Duncan Dimebucker on the bridge. Undoubtedly, it will be a great fit for even the most demanding metal players.

2. Dean V79

Dean V79 - is it good?

Another really popular Dean guitar – a classic V-shaped axe. Again, in my opinion it will be great for all-level guitarists. Although it’s slightly more expensive than the previous guitar, it still features a stunning look and sound quality. If you’re digging this flying V look, you should definitely give this guitar a chance. I highly recommend it!

3. Dean Dimebag Razorback

Dean Dimebag Razorback

Do we have any fans of Dimebag Darrell here? It’s probably one of the most famous signature Dean guitars available on the market. Dimebag was one of the biggest fans of the Dean and he maintained a really good relationship with the company. Hence, they decided to release this wonderful model to the public. Undoubtedly, there is no other guitar like that one. That’s for sure! Feel free to check out this quick demo below, it’s really worth it.

4. Dean Stealth Floyd FM

Stealth Floyd FM - is it good?

In my opinion, this is one of the best models manufactured by Dean. The Stealth Floyd model features a classic shape, unique finish and two amazing Seymour Duncan and DMT humbuckers with a Floyd Rose bridge. Undoubtedly, this is a perfect shredding machine. Although it’s expensive, it definitely makes a stunning impression in terms of sound and appearance. If you’re looking for something really powerful for fat riffs and melodic solos, this guitar will be a perfect fit.

5. Dean MD24


Something for guitarists who aren’t necessarily looking for the iconic Dean guitar body shape. This Superstrat in white color will also be a great fit for all-level guitarists. What I like about this particular model is that it’s made of basswood – one of the lightest wooden materials used for guitars. As a result, the MD24 is really comfortable and lightweight, which improves the playing experience. In addition, the guitar is equipped in two Seymour Duncan Zebra humbuckers, which are also perfect for rock and metal riffs. Certainly, it’s a really interesting alternative to all the Jackson, Ibanez and Charvel guitars out there. I highly recommend checking it out!

Is Dean Better Than Fender Or Gibson?

Dean proves to be one of the leaders of the music industry. They have everything you need to start or continue your musical journey – no matter at what level you’re at or what kind of music you’re playing. Would I recommend to buy a Dean guitar rather than a Fender or a Gibson? Well, that’s a tough choice. It’s like choosing your favorite baby – you just can’t do that because you love them all equally! I believe that in terms of overall quality, all three brands are on the same level. Of course, some models are better than others and that’s totally fine. But since all of these brands offer amazing guitars, it’s really difficult to choose a clear winner of this battle.

On the other hand, it also depends on what kind of music you’re into. If you’re looking stricly for a guitar for shredding, then you should definitely stick with Dean. That’s for sure!


As you can see, Dean is definitely one of the most interesting brands in the guitar world. Although it’s difficult to clearly say whether they’re better than Fender or Gibson, they definitely deserve a lot of attention. Personally, I think that if you’re into hard rock and heavy metal, you should definitely pick a Dean guitar. These guitars are specifically made for this genres, so it will always be a good choice. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for more versatility, a classic Stratocaster or Les Paul would probably be a better idea. What do you think about Dean guitars? Would you buy one of their guitars for yourself? Let me know in the comments section below!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s blog post! Additionally, you may also like:

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