Reviw of Dean DCR Casillac Floyd Rose
Hey babe - wanna ride in my (Dean) Cadillac? Rick Graham tries
an exclusive - yet still surprisingly affordable - custom model
from the Metal Maestros
Winding back the clock to the 2011
winter NAMM show, US manufacturer Dean guitars unveiled a brand new
'Dean Custom Run' series of instruments, which is now Dean's
flagship limited edition series. The idea behind this new product
line was to offer sophisticated, well-appointed guitars that not
only had visual impact but also, thanks to some nice additional
touches, were unique guitars which would become collectors items.
Essentially, every three months the company would release a new
instrument, which would be one of a limited run of 100, and would
be marked as such on the instrument itself. Fast-forward two years
to the winter 2013 NAMM show and Dean unveiled its newest addition
to the series and the subject of this review, the Dean DCR Cadillac
There are custom order, US-built, Dean
models in this series (Steve Stevens, interviewed in this issue has
one - Ed) which are costly (and very collectible) versions, but
also the more affordable Korean-built models (also rare and
limited) such as the model we were loaned for review.
The design of this guitar is in the
unmistakable style that Dean has become well know for and
everything about it screams 'look at me'! OK, so let's take a
closer look to see what this new instrument has to offer.
At the core of the Caddy lies a solid
piece of mahogany, on top of which you'll find a piece of flame
maple. The actual flame effect in the wood chosen for this specific
instrument looked very subtle, which I quite liked. Attached to the
body by the way of a traditional glued joint is the mahogany set
neck. On this fine mahogany 'V' shape neck is an ebony
fingerboard, complete with pearl block inlays from the first fret
continuing right up to the 21st fret. The headstock is the classic
Dean 'V' shape, which in this instance has a rather attractive
flame maple veneer giving a much more unified aesthetic to the
instrument. On the rear of the headstock you'll find the 'DCR'
stamp along with the run number out of 100, which adds to the
Firmly attached to the rather striking
headstock are the Grover tuners (three on each side).
Continuing with the hardware, the
Cadillac comes fully equipped with a Floyd Rose tremolo system and
locking nut, finished in a very classy black chrome. Pickups come
in the form of active EMG 81 and 85s, each having its own,
independent volume and tone control. There are two colour options
for this model, gloss natural and the finish we had on our sample,
which was a very attractive trans black finish. Incidentally, each
colour option will have a run of 100, too!
Opening up the supplied DCR hardshell
case revealed the DCR Cadillac guitar, accompanied by the
certificate of authenticity and after some light unamplified
strumming and lead work, first impressions were good. It resonated
very nicely indeed, with clarity and great quality of tone. Once
hooked up and ready to rock, the Cadillac really started to show
what it was capable of! Never being one to shy away from the gain,
I jumped straight in at the deep end and the Caddy was ready to
handle anything I threw at it. The sustain on this guitar was very
impressive indeed, perhaps aided by that set-neck. The Floyd Rose,
too, proved itself to handle some real abuse and never strayed out
I can't quite put my finger on why, but
this guitar was an awful lot of fun to play. The set-up was
impressive and the playability was fantastic with a nice, low
action and without any discernible fret-buzz. It produced some
lovely clean tones too with a surprising warmth to the tone,
showing that high output active pickups are not always 'clinical'
as some would have us believe.
Dean has produced a fantastic
instrument in the Cadillac and it is most certainly a great
addition to the current DCR series. Although it is aimed at
die-hard Dean fans and collectors, it is a very impressive sounding
guitar, which is a great deal of fun to play. It's also extremely
well made, not to mention coming well set-up (assuming our sample
was representative) and is surprisingly well priced for such a
fine, collectible, guitar. Even if Dean hasn't been on your radar
previously, check this one out of you can!
Check out the full review inc. video of the Dean
DCR Casillac Floyd Rose by Rick Graham featured in Guitar
Interactive Magazine Issue 16.
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