REVIEW: Dean Vendetta XM review – a great, cheap electric guitar?

Shane tried out the Dean Vendetta XM electric guitar, available from the Fret Zealot store with the Fret Zealot system installed. 

Here’s what he thought: 

“This is a sweet electric guitar from the Dean Vendetta line. There are two different versions to choose from – the Tremolo, which includes the whammy bar, and then the hardtail version. Both come in the natural satin finish – it’s got a deep red look to it and is very stylish, as well as the black hardware throughout. It’s definitely got a rocker vibe to it and I’m really enjoying the playability as well. Everything down to the dome knobs with the knurling on the side. That’s a nice touch in my opinion. It’s outfitted with two Dean humbucking pickups and a three-way selector for your bridge. The body is made of poplar, the neck is maple on the back with a black walnut top and a black headstock with a neat, finished look and a bit of curvature on it, with the Dean logo wings and “Vendetta” written across the top. The black hardware on the top as well gives it a really nice look.

This guitar speaks to my inner rock/metalhead. I think it will serve you well in a variety of genres, but you’re gonna get that humbucking pickup sound, so it’ll be a little thicker. It’s definitely something I think is across the board designed as a rock instrument, all the way up to having 24 frets on the guitar, so you get two octaves of playing on each string, and the various little features. The cutaways are very comfortable, suited more to performance playing, which I’m really enjoying. Regardless of your level of playing, I think this guitar is going to do well if you’re looking for an instrument that performs well, and a rock instrument, and a lower price range. This guitar comes at a very affordable price for the different features we see across it. Having 24 frets is awesome, I’m really enjoying the sound, the hardware, as well as just the feel when you’re in the upper frets. There are some nice contours on the instrument that make it easier to play. Definitely comfortable, easy to play, not quite the thin-style neck some people might anticipate on a shred guitar. These pickups sound really good, I’m really enjoying the two different tones I get from each one. The sound is typical of what you expect from humbucking pickups like this.

The Fret Zealot store has both styles available. This is the XMT, the other option is the hardtail version with the string-through design. That’s a good option for those who aren’t keen on the whammy bar and want more tuning stability. It will give you less room for the tuning to move around and more stability for your playing. It’s also a pretty common for people who want to do drop tuning.

If you buy the Dean Vendetta in the Fret Zealot store, it comes with the LEDs already installed, so you can get right into learning your favorite songs.”

Looking for an acoustic? Check out our review of the Yamaha FG800.

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