The Dean Vendetta XM has all the rich pedigree of Dean guitars but a fraction of the price. Is it the ultimate budget rock guitar?
The Dean Vendetta XM is a guitar that is aimed at the novice guitarist on a tight budget. However, with all the looks of more expensive Dean Guitars the Vendetta XM packs quite a punch and should keep even the more experienced rocker happy.
Dean guitars are an American guitar manufacturer founded in 1977 by Dean Zelinsky. They make a wide range of guitars and basses as well as pick-ups and amplifiers. But they are best known for the high profile endorsements of guitarists such as Dave Mustaine, Bret Michaels, Michael Schenker and the late Dimebag Darrell. In that sense many of their guitars are firmly aimed at the rock guitarist market and this is certainly the case for the Dean Vendetta XM. With its distinctive headstock, double humbuckers, 24 fret fingerboard and very attractive price this guitar has been built with the novice rock and metal guitarist in mind.
But what can you expect from the Dean Vendetta XM?
The Dean Vendetta XM is straight out of the super-strat mould with the distinctive body shape and deep cutaways allowing excellent access to the full two octave fingerboard. The body is made from Paulownia which is a wood we have not seen much in guitars. However, Paulownia is starting to be used more often by guitar manufacturers mainly as a core wood which is then laminated with more traditional hardwoods such as mahogany. This is certainly the pattern for Dean guitars where they use Paulownia in the Dean ML XM. In the Dean Vendetta XM the whole guitar is made from Paulownia and it looks fantastic especially under the natural satin finish. The additional bonus of using a wood such as Paulownia, apart from the cost, is that it is a lot lighter than more traditional tone-woods and so the guitar is light, nicely balanced and comfortable to play. The neck of the Dean Vendetta XM is maple topped with a full two octave, 24 fret rosewood fingerboard. It has a comfortable C profile and is a great neck to play, the two octave fretboard is also a real bonus in my opinion. The bridge is a tune-o-matic fixed bridge with strings going through the body. This for me is an ideal set-up for the beginner as it provides rock solid tuning stability, the last thing you want to be doingis re-tuning every 5 minutes. I can appreciate that many of you would want a tremolo and for those that do the Dean Vendetta XM does come with a vintage style tremolo allowing some minor whammy bar antics but it will cost you a little bit extra.
Two DMT designed humbuckers are at the heart of this guitar giving a deep growl to your sound.
In terms of electrics the guitar comes armed with two DMT designed humbuckers in the neck and bridge positions. The DMT humbuckers are Dean in-house produced pickups and are great sounding considering the price of the guitar. The pick-ups can be accessed through a 3 way selector switch and there are tone and volume controls to complete the package.
Plugged in the Dean Vendetta XM has a great sound. A nice warm tone, especially from the neck pick-up, which really comes alive when the distortion is turned up high – after all this is a rock guitar. This guitar gets no complaints from me. It looks good and sounds fantastic considering the price. In fact it would give some guitars twice the price a run for their money. For a little under £110 the Dean Vendetta XM is a great place to start if you are looking for a quality budget rock guitar. If you can’t resist a whammy bar the Dean Vendetta MX with Tremolo is also available.
|Dean Vendetta XM|
|Frets||24 jumbo frets|
|Neck Profile||C profile|
|Nut width||1 11/16"|
|Bridge pickup||DMT designed humbucker|
|Neck pickup||DMT designed humbucker|
|Pickup switching||3 way selector switch|
|Controls||1 master volume and 1 tone|
|Recommended retail price||£175|
|If you love this guitar||Buy it now through Amazon for £103|
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Dean Vendetta XM
- Build Quality
- Sound Quality
- Value for money