Why have Dean guitars seemed to have fallen so far out of the spotlight?

CrushingAnvil

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I must admint that I've been secretly GAS'ing for a Dime-o-flame for quite some time. Have been close to buying one on a few occasions, but I doubt that it'll ever happen. Being exclusively a bedroom musician and doing a fair bit of demo recording means that I've been gravitating towards super strats the last couple of years for practical reasons. Mainly that it's easier to sit with a super strat in a comfy chair in front of the computer.

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I played one of these in about 2005-2005 as an, ahem, much younger man. First thing I noticed was how cheap the photo finish was.

Looking back these guitars were so incredible over-priced, at least in New Zealand. The Korean Dean From Hell guitars were the same price as an ESP Alexi Laiho standard series guitar ($2,500 NZD c. 2005). Look, I still LOVE the Dean From Hell design, but I'm so glad I didn't have wealthy parents who would have wasted their money on that guitar because it wasn't worth it.

To answer OP's question: that's just business, baby. Shit happens - companies experience ups and downs. The exact same thing is happening to B.C. Rich. Djent or no Djent there are always going to be boomers and Pantera-heads who will buy these guitar (and that's no slight on them), so you can't chalk it up to the times/trends changing. I think it comes down to weak links in the business itself. I also think they milked Dime's legacy too much.
 

CrushingAnvil

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I mean I'm sure there are nice dean's but come on, look at them. They look like a meth fuelled 4th grader got a hold of a tribal tattoo book, designed some stuff and said "you know what? This would look great wrapped on something $200 would buy any day of the week. Let's call up Dean."
Extremely accurate. So much tasteless stuff and I think that's part of the problem as well - an extremely specific type of guitar that only 2-3 types of guitar players would buy. When you think 'Dean Guitars' you just think 'ML with two humbuckers', 'Cadillac with two humbuckers' - there's a lack of spec diversity that really limits their market reach.
 

Mathemagician

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IIRC the V’s often had that “v” shaped neck that BCR was also a fan of putting some guitars right? Never (personally) really saw that outside of those brands and I absolutely hated that when I’d tried it.
 

KentBrockman

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The 13 year olds who thought those pointy guitars look cool have now all grown up. I used to be one of those 13 year olds that thought they looked cool (but never actually owned one).
 

somethingsomething

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The 13 year olds who thought those pointy guitars look cool have now all grown up. I used to be one of those 13 year olds that thought they looked cool (but never actually owned one).

Yeah, this whole thread is kinda like asking "why isn't nu-metal still popular?"

Dean had a moment, but--in my opinion--they're just not the kind of brand that has that classic staying power. They never had a shape like the Soloist or Horizon or Strat or Les Paul or RG that really took off. Instead, they have a bunch of goofy shapes that look hilariously dated now. I literally can't imagine someone playing a ML without wearing camo cargo shorts. Dean represents all that is cringe-inducing about metal. That's their shame to bear :lol:

This is a hot take, but I think we'll see a similar thing happen with some of the "hyper-modern" guitars that are out there right now. Maybe the Abasi guitars.
 

fps

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They didn't have a great deal of purchase here in the UK. The finishes seemed quite dated in some ways, the necks seemed quite inhospitable.

NB If you have a Dean and love it and rock it, more power to ya \m/
 

ZXIIIT

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This overlay seems to show the dimensions being at least slightly different, too bad they lost the lawsuit. I happen to like the dean v, should try to buy a 79 Floyd before they’re unobtainable.
They are, Dean made the pickguard extra slim to where it looks way odd.
 
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They never had a shape like the Soloist or Horizon or Strat or Les Paul or RG that really took off.
You just named the same shape of guitar 4 times out of 5 examples.

That's a small part of the problem. Lots of guitarists just want the same basic strat shape in different color/feature combinations.


But that being said, Dean has very niche kinda guitars. Those odd shapes with that odd headstock with those v shaped necks are very polarizing. The ML is a very big guitar which is uncomfortable for a lot of people. My guitarist tried mine one day and it was damn near the same size as him and with its shape it almost looked like he was hanging a life sized doll off him. It ain't for everyone
 

gunch

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Dean Zelinsky himself has cool ideas here and there. Dean should just take him back and let him run wild
 
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Dean Zelinsky himself has cool ideas here and there. Dean should just take him back and let him run wild
I don't think he wants to. Besides he's teaming up with Dime's ex girlfriend to start pumping out more Dime guitars. Dear god please never let him bring that shit back to Dean.

Dean might finally have a shot in being reputable again without Dime nonsense. Let that circus stay over there with Zelinsky
 

gunch

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I don't think he wants to. Besides he's teaming up with Dime's ex girlfriend to start pumping out more Dime guitars. Dear god please never let him bring that shit back to Dean.

Dean might finally have a shot in being reputable again without Dime nonsense. Let that circus stay over there with Zelinsky
Ew I didn't know he was doing that.

SOME of his ideas are cool (like the laser cut embossed neck thingy he does in his current company)
 

RRD

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I've owned a couple of their USAs - a Hardtail Exotic and Soltero Exotic (still own), both spalted maple. They're both very high quality, similar to other USA made guitars I've owned (previously a few gibsons, currently several ESP USAs). And I think both shapes are pretty attractive and prefer that older 3x3 headstock to the newer one.

Never had any interest in their other older shapes though. Zero. Especially with that terrible reverse-V headstock. Dunno anything about their newer stuff circa 2010+ or so.
 

ZXIIIT

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Dean Zelinsky himself has cool ideas here and there. Dean should just take him back and let him run wild
He left Dean Guitars in 1991, returned in 2000 and left again in 2008
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Started DBZ Guitars in 2008 (renamed DBZ Diamond Guitars then just Diamond Guitars when Dean left in 2012)
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Then he started Dean Zelinsky Guitars (The Real Dean, LLC.)
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Lord Voldemort

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Yeah, this whole thread is kinda like asking "why isn't nu-metal still popular?"

Dean had a moment, but--in my opinion--they're just not the kind of brand that has that classic staying power. They never had a shape like the Soloist or Horizon or Strat or Les Paul or RG that really took off. Instead, they have a bunch of goofy shapes that look hilariously dated now. I literally can't imagine someone playing a ML without wearing camo cargo shorts. Dean represents all that is cringe-inducing about metal. That's their shame to bear :lol:

This is a hot take, but I think we'll see a similar thing happen with some of the "hyper-modern" guitars that are out there right now. Maybe the Abasi guitars.

Here's the thing though, they absolutely do have a good variety of conventional shapes. For superstrats they have the Exile, MD, Colt and another I can't remember the name of.

exileselfntqmsbb.jpg

md24frmvbl.jpg

Just a couple. They have a few conventional LP shapes, Tele shapes, Hollowbody shapes, X and V shapes I mean they have all that stuff with the same specs and parts of the other brands.

That's partially why I made the thread, but I'm not criticizing the responses or anything. It's been interesting, it seems like all Dean is really known for are those ridiculous shapes, which is probably in large part due to mismanagement and not knowing when Confederate flag MLs were no longer acceptable. And it doesn't matter what other options you have when all you are known for is a niche thing that's out of style. It reminds me of when IHOP changed their name to IHOB to let everyone know that they serve burgers and fries. 😂
 
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