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Opinions: DEAN basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rufus95, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Rufus95


    Jan 26, 2013
    I've heard a bit about these but people don't seem too interested. Are they just cheap/beginner basses? Someone said they are rubbish but Dean make some decent guitars so I was just wondering how their basses could be such lower quality
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    There's better budget basses at the same price range, in my opinion. I've played a few electrics in stores and wasn't impressed. I owned a Dean acoustic but it was too big to play comfortably, and I'm a fairly large guy. I'd buy a $300 Squier over a $300 Dean.
  3. BKBassDude


    Jun 17, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Dean is one of those brands that floods the market with cheap entry level stuff (the Edge 9 and 10) and really waters down the brand. That being said, their higher pricepoint stuff (Hillsboro series in particular) can offer solid value.

    I think the big problem is they just don't have anything where they are the best bang for your buck in a pricepoint. MIM Fenders are generally better for traditional style instruments, while stuff like Schecter and Ibanez generally have the modern styled market cornered.

    The DBZ stuff that I've played seemed of bit better quality, but never really seemed to take off much (I know it's technically a different company but it's the original founder and aimed at a similar market).
  4. To me, the brand seems very hit or miss. Either way, I don't think even their best is comparable to high end stuff. I own a Dean Rhapsody 8 string and although some features of the build could be improved upon, I love it!
  5. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    Very innovative low end company IMO- the Rhapsody semi hollow, fully hollow cabbie basses, dean pace EUB, dean 10 string BEADG coursed bass, etc etc... Not the greatest quality, but one of the most imaginative and creative entry level instrument manufacturers out there.
  6. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.. Same with every single bass out there. They are what you find them as. They can be crap. There can be $5000 crap basses as well. There can be basses out there that are the best you will ever play for $100 too. Do not dismiss any bass due to its price. Play them. If it feels comfortable and you like the way it looks, a really good set up will make most basses play very well. A good set of strings help too. Quality of wood, craftsmanship and tone are all important. But as with anything, you can spend $100 on your bass and put $1000 of upgrades to it!
  7. I think the Hillsboros are really snazzy for the price. They would be one to consider. I think they look cool and have some features that others at the $200 price point don't have. I can't speak for the other models.
  8. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I'll disagree with some of the other posts here and say that I think that cheap Deans are some of the best cheap basses you can get. Over the last few years, I had a couple of them, and I thought they had really nice necks on them. A decent set-up was all either needed to be a pretty nice player. I had a Custom Zone and a Metalman V, both $200 brand new. The pickup in the Metalman was not the greatest, but nobody should buy a bass in that price range with very high expectations. I gigged with the Custom Zone for a while---no complaints and never a moment of trouble.

  9. ggvicviper

    ggvicviper Fender, EBMM, Rickenbacker, BSX. I'm Marc! Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    East Meadow, NY, USA
    Dean is, as said before, hit or miss. I played some good ones, and some trash.

    I owned one, the acoustic EABC5, and it was definitely one of the better acoustic basses I've played thanks to the big body. Electronics were terrible though.
  10. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    I once considered a Hillsboro series J bass, until I tried one out at the local GC a couple years ago. The frets edges on that thing were so sharp that you would literally have no fingers left after playing for an hour. Worst fret edges I've ever seen, seriously.

    I don't know who to blame more, Dean's outgoing quality department, or GC's incoming. Regardless, I remember seeing that same bass in the store 18 months later... I thought maybe they'd fixed the frets. Nope.
  11. scyzoryk


    Jan 12, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    My first bass was a Dean Edge bass that I got converted to a fretless. Sounds surprisingly good for a $300 bass. However -- I would never buy a Dean again -- why would I when I could get a better bass at every price point?

    $500 range: Ibanez
    $1000 range: used Musicman
    $1500 range: used Mike Lull
    $2000 range: used Sadowsky Metro
    $3000 range: used MTD / used Sadowsky NYC
  12. I've messed with Deans - their custom stuff is awesome; their "Made In xxxx" stuff isn't. I've never seen one with an adequate setup that didn't come out of the custom room.

    Their guitar necks, I've heard, are killer.
  13. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Dean basses and guitars are a bit weak sounding to me compared to the competition. So so craftmanship. Theres better basses out their for same money. Ibanez, Esp Ltd, Jackson, as 3 examples.
  14. gr8avocado


    Mar 23, 2012
    I wouldn't mind picking up one of these if I could find a used one at a good price.

    Attached Files:

  15. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    Anybody buying ANY bass should probably expect to get it set up, and that is especially true of bargain basses. A poor set-up absolutely does not mean a bad bass, though. Possibly the most important skill you can have as a savvy bass shopper is being able to tell the difference between actual defects and a poor set-up (which, unless it's hiding a defect, can be easily remedied).

    Neither of my cheap Deans played great when I got them, but a few minutes with the allen wrenches and screwdrivers and everything was cool.

    You can certainly find other basses of equal or perhaps objectively better quality in the same price range as Deans, but, the ones I had didn't feel like Squiers or Ibanez or whatever---if you play a Dean and like how it feels, I'm just saying that I've had good experiences with mine, so don't dismiss them out of hand. And, I still think they are good bargains.

    I forgot before about my EAB! I picked up one of those recently, and I'm very happy with it! I am stunned by how much bass I got for about $150, new on sale.
  16. I've looked at them because of the flying V and Z bass designs at a reasonable price point. i've never been able to play either of those models.
  17. mizzou541


    Jan 8, 2010
    KC, MO
    I own a Dean Edge Q4 and I think it's a great bass. But I did buy it from a local music store where I had a chance to play it a lot before I bought it. I'm sure they have a bad reputation for a reason and are probably hit or miss on quality but the only experience I've had with a Dean bass has been very positive. I think you could get a great Dean bass for a great price but I'd recommend playing it first based on feedback I've heard here. But I don't think I'd avoid them altogether just because it says Dean on the headstock.
  18. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    something tells me most negs you read are by people who have never played one or don't realize that not every instrument is set to your liking out of the box. i have played my Dean for years, the music store I bought it from asked me how I liked my setup and had it done a half hour later for free, no major tweaking or anything in the three years I have had it. one of the best necks I have ever played on , and no the pickups are not weak, its all in how you set up your tone. Just because it doesn't have a stylized F on the headstock or a virtually unplayable neck , a lot of nay sayers around here will call it crap.
  19. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    I get kids with Deans and Schecters frequently, and with a decent setup, these things can play fantastic. I have never understood the snobitude toward less costly instruments.
  20. After-purchase setup is different story, of course, and there are a lot of budget basses that, once adjusted, rock. My Squier is a good case in point. Dean's budget stuff comes from the same offshore factories as everyone else's budget stuff, so there's not much difference.

    But that's not to say they can't be good!

    Factory setup really needs to be better. That's not just a Dean thing. I've just noticed it more on them.