Dean is the red-headed step child of the Metal guitar world, but hopefully the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup will change that. The company really unleashed everything they could this year, and we take a look at some of the new models.
Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup: Time For A Change!
In a world full of Ibanez, Schecter, and Gibson… we have Dean Guitars sitting all by itself to the side. This has unfortunately been the case for quite a long time. Dean often gets a few famous supporters, and they have always had a Dimebag Darrell model or two. But when the market shifted to Muli-scale instruments and 7 string guitars... Dean mostly ignored it.
The Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup is here to fix those past transgressions. This year we see more new models than ever before from Dean, with the classics still sprinkled in. But the features is what really caught my eye, since many of these are totally new to Dean.
I will not be going over the Famous ML Model, or The Famous Z Models. I think at this point, we all know about them. We have seen them a thousand times. I want to focus on what Dean is offering, but only what is totally new. Otherwise, the Dean guitars 2021 Lineup article would be 10 pages long.
So let’s take a look at the first thing that caught my eye from the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup…
Exile Select Multi-Scale 7&8 String
Remember when I said that Dean missed a lot of opportunities when multi-scale and extended range instruments took over the market? It looks like they are making up for it, in a BIG way! The new Exile MS series is the first thing that caught my eye in the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup, because it is so ALIEN to what they normally make!
From Dean Guitars:
“Taking the time to do it right. Thats right your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The Multiscales are here! 24 frets of ergonomic design and intonation not only makes it natural to the hand but a look all its own. 27″ to 25.5” scale length adds tension to the lower notes to keep them in tune while having the comfort of lead playing with ease.
But now we went to the next level and teamed up with Kahler to add the benefit of a USA Kahler tremolo system made specifically for multiscale guitars. It even has the Kahler locking nut with built in string tree to keep the pitch of the string stable when locking down. Loaded with a pair of Seymour Duncan Angled Sentient and Nazgul pickups that not match the look of the guitar but line up perfect with the strings for pure accurate tones.
This Exile 8 string is a perfect match for the multiscale world with its Alder body, burled maple top, and 3pc maple neck with ebony fretboard to keep everything stable and clean sounding no matter the tuning.”
The 8 string version is identical in features. Some features that were not listed were the beautiful cream binding, and the in-line headstock. Both of these features are pretty nice, and something you expect to see on a Dean Select Guitar.
The biggest point of contention that I can see with these new Exile Models, is the Kahler Tremolo system. This is a “love it or hate it” situation. Some people prefer Floyd Rose, or no Trem at all on their extended range instruments. I can say that like a Floyd Rose, once the Kahler it set up properly, it will hold tune perfectly.
The Choice to go with the Duncan pickups is pretty ballsy if you ask me, since everyone seems to flock to Fishman Fluence these days. For me, this is a welcome change! I like a good passive pickup, and Duncan delivers for sure.
Right now, the new Exile models only come in the finish shown, but hopefully we will see more colors later on in the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup. Although I like the Poplar tops, and have grown fond of them over the years.
Michael Schenker 50th Anniversary Model
The Michael Schenker 50th Anniversary model is limited edition, and a bit pricey. But this comes straight from the luthiers at Dean Guitars:
“A salute to the man who has reinvented tone and versatility for 50 years! USA custom shop is proud to introduce the Michael Schenker USA 50th Anniversary V. In close collaboration with legendary guitarist and long-time Dean Guitars signature artist, Michael Schenker, we have created a truly amazing V that celebrates 50 years of Michaels legendary career. The stunning gold, black, and white finish adorns an all mahogany body and neck.
The ebony fingerboard features beautiful pearl block inlays and 22 jumbo frets. A set of signature Michael Schenker, DMT Lights Out Humbucking pickups are used to generate the elusive tone of this amazing sounding guitar. Don’t miss your chance to own this unique piece of Michael Schenker history, celebrating 50 years of one of the most influential guitar icons of all time!”
The Artist Roster for the Dean Guitars 2021 lineup is looking pretty thin. This is mostly because M.A.B. and Dave Mustaine have both left Dean USA to pursue other guitar brands. But Schenker is apparently sticking around, and I am glad for it!
The Dime ML Gets A Makeover…
No graphics. No crazy colors or exotic woods. Just a straight black tribute to Dime in the form of a blacked-out ML Model. Now I said I wasnt going to mention anything that we know would be in the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup. But this seemed kind of special to me. It has been almost 20 years since we lost Dimebag, and this is a great tribute to him, without going over the top.
“From the USA Custom shop in Tampa FL; the Dimebag Darrell ML in Classic Black finish. These guitars are perfect to his specs in such detail it could only come from Dean USA. Mahogany body with set mahogany V neck shape, Ebony fingerboard, Original Floyd Rose Top Mount tremolo system, and loaded with Seymour Duncan SH-13 Dimebucker and USA DMT DimeTime pickups to complete this beast. Form fitted Hard Shell case included.”
This ML model still has all the same specs as the regular Dime models. It is just a little more…refined. I like that!
Dean MD24 Series
Ok Dean, this is different! It seems like the past few years has brought back the popularity of the original “Super Strat” that was so popular in the 80″s. Charvel was a huge player in that category, and their sales have been through the roof since last year.
The MD24 is a great addition to the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup for that very reason. This is a “Super Strat” in every respect. About the features:
“Once again you spoke and we listened! The MD24 F is now available with Roasted Maple necks and fingerboards for intense stability and bright tones. This model is available in Vintage Blue for those who like a classic or vintage look but modern tone and performance.
Basswood body loaded with a Floyd 1000 series tremolo, direct mount Seymour Duncan TB5/ APH-1 sandblasted Zebra pickups, and 24 jumbo frets take this performance machine to the next level.”
The best part of the new MD24 Series is the price. MSRP puts these at about $850, putting them in direct competition with Jackson and Charvel import models. The MD24 is spartan when it comes to features, but that’s the point!
If you are looking for a throwback Shredder, then the MD24 might be on your short-list of new guitars to buy. I like the classy, simple look. I think the biggest factor in the MD24 being a contender is the neck. If it is anything like a Charvel, it should basically play itself.
The Dean V Is Back, and Totally New!
The new V series has everyone covered, no matter what you play style or pickup preferences. The first new V in the Dean Guitars 2021 lineup is outfitted with Fishman Fluence Humbuckers, and all modern features.
“Designed by professional musicians for professional musicians without breaking the bank. These Select Series models feature Satin Necks for ease of playing and endurance. Mahogany Bodies with 3pc mahogany necks. 22 jumbo fret Ebony Fingerboards. Easy access Set Through Construction, and the addition of a set of Fishman Fluence moderns with dual modes makes tonal options virtually endless.
String through body tailpiece for added sustain and 500k audio taper pots for that smooth roll without destroying the tone. To top it off, 5ply Body and Headstock binding, Chrome logo, and single ply Neck Binding add that extra splash of class.”
On the other side of the V Series, you get the Classic Approach….
This is a new finish for the famous ’78 V series. If your taste is more vintage than the new modern V, then these features should appeal more to you:
“The Classic Series wouldn’t be complete without the aggressive V! Since 1977 the V has been a staple to Dean guitars and this model is true to its roots at an affordable price.
Mahogany body and Mahogany set neck construction offer all the warm tones and sustain needed for any player. Loaded with DMT Series Time Capsule pickups to bring back the nostalgia of the original while being able to play all the music of today’s styles. With a trans cherry finish, bound body and bound Indian Rosewood Fingerboard is more guitar than one could ask for at right price.“
Both models also come in a Floyd Rose Version, if that’s your thing. I have to say, it’s nice to see such a classic guitar next to it’s modern counterpart. This is a cool idea on Dean’s part, and should appeal to a wide variety of people. The V series is not lacking in the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup at all!
Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup: Wrapping up…
If you still want to buy the ML Razor back with graphics as seen above, you can. Dean guitars is not going to take that away from us. But they are shifting their market around a little bit. And rightfully so, since they have lost artists, and popularity over the past 5 years.
This might be the year that Dean starts to take off with modern Metal guitarists. They have admitted to basically ignoring the niche modern market to release the same guitars every year. The Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup aims to fix this.
But is is enough to compete with the giants? I guess we will see when the Summer releases hit the market.
Do the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup come with a case?
All of the USA models come with a special fitted case. The “select” and import models do not.
When does the Dean Guitars 2021 Lineup hit the stores?
All models can be preordered, with delivery expected by March at the latest.
Are Dean guitars worth it in 2021?
I think so. This dean Guitars 2021 lineup is the best the company has produced in years, and has all kinds of options for every guitarist.