Dean ML

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Dean ML
Replica of Dean From Hell.jpg
Replica of Dean From Hell
ManufacturerDean Guitars
Period1977 — present
Body typeSolid
Neck jointSet
BodyMahogany, Maple
FretboardEbony, Rosewood
BridgeFloyd 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. It has an unusual design, with a V-shaped headstock and V-shaped tailpiece. It was popularised by the guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera.

The neck had a slight "v" shape to it, which for some guitarists allowed for faster playing. The shape was designed 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 designed 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 for improved sustain and tone. It was created with the Dean concept of spreading the mass of the body over a large area. Higher 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[which?] by licensing arrangement.

The ML was named posthumously for the initials of Zelinsky's friend Matthew Lynn, who had died of cancer.[1]

The ML shape is also available as part of the Baby Series as a scaled down version.[2] The Dean "Metalman" line of bass guitars has a Metalman 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.[citation needed]

Dean From Hell[edit]

The "Dean From Hell" was an ML used by the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott, shown on the cover of Pantera's album Cowboys from Hell. It has a custom lightning bolt paint job, routed for a Floyd Rose and has a Bill Lawrence L-500XL pickup in the bridge, two 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 from Abbott shooting bottle rockets from them. The words "THE DEAN FROM HELL" are written on the top in black magic marker.

Six-String Masterpieces[edit]

"Six-String Masterpieces[4]" is an ongoing charitable art tribute for Dimebag Darrell. Musicians, tattooists and contemporary artists painted, sculpted, or drew original 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 and on the Ozzfest 2006 tour, MTV's Headbangers Ball and in 2011 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center. The exhibit was curated by Curse Mackey of the band Pigface.

30th Anniversary ML[edit]

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary of the ML and V, Dean Guitars produced 100 of the ML with a "Dean 30th Anniversary" logo printed on the headstock and the pickup covers. They were signed by Dean Zelinsky, and had a transparent black finish and hardcase.[5]


Notable players of the Dean ML includes Eric Peterson, Dimebag Darrell,[6] Michael Angelo Batio,[7] Corey Beaulieu,[8] Matt Heafy[9] Mike Terry, Wayne Static,[10] and Michael Schenker.


  1. ^ "Dean Zelinsky Interview". Musicians Hotline. December 2002. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Dean Electric Guitars-Acoustic Guitars-Bass Guitars".
  3. ^ "METALMAN SERIES - Dean Guitars".
  4. ^ "Six-String Masterpieces - The Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute". Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  5. ^ "30th Anniversary ML and V".
  6. ^ "Dimebag Darrell - Dean Guitars".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  8. ^ Official Bio of Corey Beaulieu
  9. ^ Official Bio of Matt Heafy Archived July 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^

External links[edit]