Shocked by the quality of a Dean...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kink Rimson, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. ... And not in a good way.
    I noticed a Dean Sledgehammer during a spot of bass browsing the other day, I've always been attracted to these odd little basses so picked one up to give it a spin.

    Before plugging in I gave it a quick once over like you do and was shocked at the workmanship on the body of the bass - the pickup cavity looked as if it had been cut with a hammer and chisel! The edges were rough and uneven and there were frequently considerable gaps I could have wedged a pick into. Also, the edges of the cavity were so rough I could see raised splinters.

    The bass had a tag hanging from the neck confirming that it had had a full inspection before leaving the factory, so what's the deal here? I know you can expect the odd slight imperfection here and there but this was incredibly bad. :rollno:

    Are Dean known for this level of 'quality'? I've always liked the look of their instruments, but as a first look in person, this has left a bad taste.
  2. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    was it new?
    In my experience, Deans are very hit or miss in terms of Quality Control.
  3. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    That's the model that I demo'd, recently. The light blond look, and the sound from the single MM style pickup were the negatives for me on the made in China bass...

  4. It was brand new, still had the inspection tag.
  5. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I had a Dean Edge Q 6 a number of years ago and the workmanship was flawless. Not one "quality" issue with the bass.
  6. MrBassmicks


    Aug 24, 2010
    My first bass was a dean playmate, and the quality is almost as bad as you describe. I'm not sure how much the one you played cost, but mine was less than $200, so I always figured it was just the fact that its an entry level bass.
  7. I have 2 Sledgehammer 5's. One I bastardized and one I left as-is (save for a series/parallel/split coil switch for the pickup.

    On both basses, workmanship was top-notch. However, the first one I ever saw on ebay was advertised as new, but did have a really gnarly pickup route like you explain. Needless to say, I picked up another one that had a neater job done to it.

    I love those basses. They feel so "perfect" to me...even with the 35" scale & all. Seems that I've seen only the one with a crappy route job.

    The "bastard"

    the "nice" one

    The bastard seems to be a little heavier than the nice one, I've noticed, but both play equally as good.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    used to have a rhapsody 8 that i thought was great and very well made. i know a dude with a sledgehammer that he really likes as well. i've played a good handful of deans over the years, and while they won't be mistaken for foderas, i think they're pretty high quality for the money. do some bad ones escape? sure. but a single poorly made dean would no sooner turn me off of dean than a single poorly made fender would turn me off fender.
  9. Chuck King

    Chuck King Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2006
    I have been amazed, in a good way, by the necks on cheapo Deans I've played, based on the Custom Zone bass I own and several Metalmen I've played in stores. Other aspects may not be much to write home about but are about what you'd expect in that bottom feeder price bracket.
  10. So are they like bootleg Warwick thumbs? C'mon Dean, you endorse Jeff Berlin, have some self respect

    joking aside, I'm sure they sound an play great
  11. Klopp18


    Dec 25, 2009
    New Hope, MN
    every dean i've played i thought was great. i love my metalman 2A
  12. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    Does the Sledgehammer model have neck dive? How does it balance out when strapped on?
  13. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    I've got a Dean Hillsboro Jazz and it's flawless. It's every bit as good as Lakland, Sadowsky, etc.
  14. phhphd


    Jun 15, 2010
    I've had good luck with Dean's. However, I own more upscale models, the Edge Bartolini and 2 Czech Jeff Berlins. Can't speak for the lower end products

    Attached Files:

  15. have a dean acoustic 5 string that I bought scratch and dent for $150 that is great. Well issues ever with it.

    Probably like most other manufacturers they are hit or miss
  16. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My first fretless was a 1999/2000 Edge 5 fretless made in Korea. The fit and finish was very good; not perfect, but very good on that bass. I'm surprised by the OP, as my experience with Deans has always been positive.
  17. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    A $220 bass has rough edges around the pickup rout, and you're disappointed??
  18. Johnius


    Dec 5, 2007
    The "bastard"

    the "nice" one

    You know, just an observation here, these kind of look like a Carvin and a Warwick had a baby. In a good way.
  19. My wife bought me a Dean Playmate 5 string a few years back. It ws made in China and the quality is good. It has nicely finished frets, well done binding, a straight neck and clean finish. The only thing that lacks is the electronics. I can't complain, she bought it new for $150.

    Also, that reminds me of a Dolphin and a Corvette...
  20. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    I'm seriously considering the Sledgehammer 4 mahogany model to satisfy my Warwick fix!