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“I went there anyway – knowingly, willingly – because I wanted a number one hit. I wanted what Metallica had, even if it meant selling a piece of my soul to the devil.” – From Mustaine: A Heavy Metal Memoir
Only Dave Mustaine really knows whether he sold his soul to the devil in order to attain career success. What is certain however, are the types of axes he has used to achieve his electric six-string stardom.
Though he’s paved the way to being a guitar god with a few different instruments, Mustaine has often been spotted playing a Dean. Now and for a limited time only, the guitar maker has announced production of its Dean Custom Run #4, or “DCR #4” Dave Mustaine Zero Floyd solid body. But what’s with that tremolo bar?
About Dean Guitars
Since 1977, Dean Guitars, which is currently headquartered in Tampa, Florida, has been turning out affordable electric, acoustic and bass models for the average and some not-so-average players, including Dave Mustaine and the late Dimebag Darrell.
Dean explains online in its mission statement, “We truly make a guitar for everyone. From beginners on a budget to the accomplished musician looking for an extremely dynamic, high-performance guitar, we make a guitar that is perfect for you.”
The DCR #4
It’s important to note that the DCR #4 Dave Mustaine Zero Floyd guitar is from the company’s import series. Though it’s probably manufactured in Japan or Korea, the information is not clearly evident on Dean’s website.
The company will be making only 100 of its DCR#4s and each will be individually numbered. Dean does not sell direct. The guitar is available by way of authorized dealers only. The word is that once they’re gone, that’s it.
Body and Neck Specifications
The Zero Floyd, which has a classic “Explorer” type of profile, sports a flame maple top and mahogany body. The set neck, also mahogany, features the artist’s “D-shaped” specification and an ebony fretboard with “Mustaine” sloping triangular inlays. Scale length is 25-1/2″ and nut width is 1-11/16″.
Available in “Trans Amber” or “Trans Red,” black hardware is standard with both finishes. So are the mini Grover tuners.
Now for Some Electronics
The DCR#4 Zero Floyd is outfitted with a pair of Seymour Duncan Live Wire pick-ups. What exactly are Live Wire pick-ups?
Seymour Duncan describes them online as having an “Active, 9-volt-powered preamp built into the pickup. It provides the benefits of an active pickup without sacrificing the famous, organic, ‘Seymourized’ tone…The active preamp allows higher gain and more output without sacrificing tonal response and dynamic feel.”
Also present is a Floyd Rose 1000 bridge. Did Dave Mustaine order that?
What’s with the Tremolo Bar?
The presence of a tremolo bar is a bit puzzling. A quick survey of Dave Mustaine on YouTube, including a brief guitar lesson of his, failed to find such a unit. By all accounts, the DCR#4 suggests Dave Mustaine’s personal guitar qualifications. It appears he hasn’t had too much use for a Zero Floyd bridge.
Though the DCR#4 Dave Mustaine Zero Floyd guitar lists for $1575 US, it sells for about $800. It’s a fine import guitar and well worth the money. The only criticism is the Floyd Rose whammy bar. Perhaps Dave Mustaine will shed a little light on that someday.