Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Fantastic Dean ML Guitar
The Dean ML is an electric guitar made by Dean Guitars in 1977 along with its counterparts, the Dean V, Dean Cadillac and Dean Z. This is the most well known Dean Guitar due to the radical look and V shaped Headstock and V shaped tailpiece. It was popularised by the guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera. It is one of the most well known heavy metal guitars and has received many tributes from guitarists such as Michael Angelo Batio and Dimebag Darrell.
A special feature of this guitar that was different from many guitars at the time is that the neck had a slight "v" shape to it, which for some guitarists allowed for faster playing. Also this shape allowed it to fit into some players' hands more comfortably. The mass of the guitar is spread out over a wider area than most guitars in order to maximize sustain. The "V"-shaped headstock and "string-through-body" design are also used to increase sustain and improve tone. The Dean ML's body shape resembles that of a Gibson Flying V combined with the upper half of a Explorer.
The ML was created by Dean Zelinsky in 1977 to be the guitar with the ultimate sustain and tone. The ML was created with the Dean concept of spreading the mass of the body over a large area. Radical string angles and string length due to the size of the headstock contribute to the overall resonance. Dean has made the ML available to other manufacturers with exclusive licensing arrangements.
The ML was named after Dean's best friend, Matthew Lynn, who was battling cancer, and although he did not live to see the success that Dean would soon attain, Matthew was honored posthumously. The sadness of losing his best friend turned into a bittersweet tribute to a young man who fought cancer. What began as a tribute to his fallen friend was a guitar that in 1977, took off and is still revered today; known as the ML,  taking its name from Dean’s friend’s initials.
The ML shape is also available as part of the Baby Series as a scaled down version. The Dean Metalman line of basses has an ML model.
The ML is a featured guitar body shape for Create-An-Instrument Mode in the video game Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Dean From Hell
The "Dean From Hell" is an ML used by Dimebag Darrell, shown on the cover of Pantera's album Cowboys from Hell. It sports a custom lightning bolt paint job, routed for a Floyd Rose and has a Bill Lawrence L-500XL pickup in the bridge, 2 Dimebag Darrell traction volume knobs, one master tone knob and a rosewood fretboard. The original has an old Kiss sticker on the bottom left spike and multiple abrasions including burn marks on the tips of the headstock due to shooting bottle rockets from them.
Six-String Masterpieces is a tribute project for Dimebag Darrell. 50 guitarists each helped or created a piece of artwork on a Dean ML guitar, including Jerry Cantrell, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Dave Grohl, Alexi Laiho, Kerry King, Joe Satriani, Marilyn Manson, Zakk Wylde and Willie Adler. They were on display at the NAMM show.