I will start this by saying that Dean guitars, in general, are not my usual jam. They’re not on my list of dream guitars, they’re not among the brands I follow on social media just for the eye candy, and basically, they just don’t usually cross my mind.
But I’m a kind of guy who likes the opportunity to have his mind changed, and when a guitar crosses my desk to try, I’m happy to cast aside all my preconceived notions in favor of the truth.
Such was the case with this Dean Z Select Floyd Rose Quilt Top in Ocean Burst. New for 2019, this guitar is everything I would have jumped on when I was 22. I actually cobbled together a blue Frankensplorer from Ebay parts around that time in my life that I played for a while. This would have been a lot cooler in pretty much every way – Floyd Rose 1000 bridge, Seymour Duncan APH-1 and TB-5 pickups, and a finish to die for. Ocean Burst is a great name for this color because the only thing I can think of while looking at it is sitting on a white-sand beach somewhere gazing into a perfect, serene sea. It’s very calming for me. Actually, I think the official pictures on the Dean site don’t really portray the color very well, it’s much better looking in person.
For me at 35, having settled into a kind of guitar that suits me for what I play now and what I need to make the music that I make, I have a list of specs that I like to have – this guitar has pretty much none of them. But a guitar is more than the sum of its specs, and actually holding it in your hands is enough to let you know if your list means anything or not. In the Dean Z Select, they’ve demonstrated why they design guitars and not me.
This guitar is way fun to play, and despite it being all mahogany and an absolute boat of a guitar, it doesn’t weigh a ton or feel that enormous. I’m used to much more petite axes and there wasn’t much adjustment playing this guitar. It’s a fun, zippy feeling guitar, really fast and smooth, and although you’ll have to watch the video to see for yourself if it looks cool on me or not, it’s a damn stunner.
The Dean Z Select Floyd Rose Quilt Top in Ocean Burst sells for $999.99 direct and although it may not be “authentic”, it’s a great guitar for the price with looks to compete well above its weight class.