Dean ML

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Dean ML
Replica of Dean From Hell.jpg
Replica of Dean From Hell
Manufacturer Dean Guitars
Period 1977 — present
Body type Solid
Neck joint Set
Body Mahogany, Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Ebony, Rosewood
Bridge Floyd Rose tremolo / String thru
Pickup(s) 2 EMG, Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, Humbuckers
Colors available

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 an 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,[1] 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.[2] The Dean Metalman line of basses has an ML model.[3]

A guitar body shape similar to that of the ML is featured in the Create-An-Instrument Mode in the video game Guitar Hero: World Tour.

Dean From Hell[edit]

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. Also known from the black majic marker written on the top states... THE DEAN FROM HELL..

Six-String Masterpieces: The Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute[edit]

Six-String Masterpieces is an ongoing charitable art tribute for Dimebag Darrell. Some of the best known musicians, tattooists and contemporary artists in the world painted, sculpted, or drew an original piece of art on a Dean ML guitar. Over 70 artists participated including Jerry Cantrell, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Dave Grohl, Ozzy Osbourne, Kerry King, Joe Satriani, Marilyn Manson, Zakk Wylde and Rob Zombie. They were on display at the NAMM show as well as on the Ozzfest 2006 tour, MTV Headbangers Ball and as recently as 2011 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. The exhibit was curated by Curse Mackey.

30th Anniversary ML[edit]

Dean produced the 30th Anniversary ML and V, marking thirty years since the ML and V were first released. Only 100 will be produced worldwide, with the Dean 30th Anniversary logo printed on the headstock and the pickup covers. They are all signed by Dean Zelinsky and they come with a trans-black finish and hardcase.[4]

Famous players[edit]

(Testament) [5]

(Gypsyhawk) [6]


  1. ^ Dean Zelinsky Interview
  2. ^ Baby Info on the Dean Official Website
  3. ^ Dean Bass Info on Dean Official Website
  4. ^ Dean 30th Anniversary ML and V
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Info on Dimebag on the Dean Official Website
  8. ^ Michael Angelo Batio's Official Page
  9. ^ Official Bio of Corey Beaulieu
  10. ^ Official Bio of Matt Heafy
  11. ^
  12. ^ [3]

External links[edit]