Locating a Dean in the affordable range is not too uncommon these days. The brand is still recovering from the short pause they’ve taken several decades back. With a more aggressive presence in the entry-level section of the marketplace, we are seeing some pretty impressive and strange Dean designs. Designs like Dean Vendetta XM. This item packs a mean punch and will go at any of its competitors who dare come near. While it’s definitely one of the best guitars you can snatch for about 200 bucks , let us see just what this item is really capable of.
Body And Neck
The first category where Dean took another route in comparison to other brands is their choice of tonewood. Instead of opting for mahogany, Agathis or even basswood, they chose paulownia. This sort of timber is very, very seldom seen in guitars these days, but provides a fairly interesting set of properties that are amalgamated. Can it be a gamble? Likely not, but if it was, it was worth it. The neck is a bolt-on maple piece with a fairly plain looking rosewood fretboard at the top. Dean went with a slightly altered Strat body, which is a known, low-risk choice.
Instead of packaging a standard stationary tail bridge, Dean really offers the Vendetta XM using a Tune-o-Matic bridge and string thru body design. It seems they wanted to pack as much of the solid performance to this starter model, as it was humanly possible. Hardware functions, and it works well. Intonation and tuning retention is great, even in the event that you go a bit harder on these bends.
Talking of safe bets, packing your novice guitar with a pair of two quite balanced humbuckers is as low risk in regards. All these pups are Dean’s very own design, but feature a pretty standard type of performance. To put it differently, neutral tone and balance across the range. Circuitry that accompanies them is also fairly straightforward. You are taking a look at just one tone knob, a single volume knob, and a pickup select button.
The combination of all tonewood, hardware, and pickups Dean chose for Vendetta XM makes for a pretty interesting sound. Those humbuckers are more than capable of taking care of your distortion pedal of choice and can generate a satisfying tone in the other end. Where they fall short is the clean tone, like many of their competition.
All in all, the chief reason Vendetta XM is an outstanding guitar is due to Dean’s unorthodox way of building a beginner model. We love the fact that they moved with a Tune-o-Matic bridge, rare tonewood, and a set of potent humbuckers. There is definitely quality inside this package.