I have an amazing present for all the kings and queens of individuality and edge: there are dozens of guitars out there trying to get your attention. Some of them have the unique look, others a unique sound and some of them are just plain strange. Today we are going to take a look at a guitar that takes the idea of “looks before substance” to a new level. The Dean RZR DB F STAR Razorback is an interesting entry into the world music market. Let’s identify all the little details that make the guitar so interesting.
Ah, to live in the eighties. Where haircuts and clothes were edgier and glossier than the magazines they were displayed in. Where rock stars tried their hardest to look cool and only those who didn’t were actually cool. Where the concept of this guitar’s shape was born and where it should have stayed. And yet, while I am hating, the shape is definitely interesting and probably a lot of fun to play with. So maybe I shouldn’t be so negative about it. Either way, edges, angles, and other details invoke lightning on this electric guitar, and that is the only reason this guitar is unique. Seriously. I mean look at everything else about the guitar.
The body of the guitar is constructed out of basswood. This hardwood is often used in cheap and affordable guitars because it grows so fast and is so cheap, it is bought by manufacturers in bulk. It is a decent enough wood. The lightweight allows the guitar to remain comfortable to play even if it is made huge for the sake of style. The emphasis on the lower tones gives the guitar a nice warming effect to the tones. With sustain on, the warmth becomes a nice growl even. Yet basswood is very soft and dents easily, a less than good thing for a guitar that is entirely made for style.
The neck of the guitar is made of maple, which is a pretty standard hardwood for guitars anywhere on the price spectrum. It is a very sturdy material so that the neck will never suffer from random impacts and denting or scratching. Maple is also known to be rather heavy, but the guitar is balanced since basswood has the tendency to be so light. The neck is bolt-on, which is a thing cheap guitars do, because set through neck or glued on necks are much more expensive. The fretboard is rosewood.
The bridge of the guitar is a Floyd Rose Special. It is a nice design that keeps the strings stable, provides enough raise for some good string action and is easy to restring. The tremolo bar allows for some tone bending, but too much and your guitar will go out of tune.
The nut of the guitar is made of synthetic material and referred to as synthetic bone. This is a decent and cheap pick for any nut which allows for little string buzz and great harmony in the strings. Nothing out of the world though.
The tuners on the guitar are just plain average. They remain in tune during play and for a week or so at a time. You will need to retune the guitar every once in a while, but this is nothing compared to the cheap guitars.
The guitar is equipped with two humbucking pickups, which you should have guessed from the design. I don’t mean that you should have seen the pickups and known they were humbuckers, but that the design implied a certain aesthetic, especially with sound. The Dead DMT Design humbuckers are decent, with good tone pickup and great sustain. They filter out the string buzz well enough and are all-around average.
The guitar comes with the standard controls, as it should. Two knobs, one for volume one for tone as well as a lever to choose pickup configuration.
Dean RZR Sound
The sound of the guitar is pretty average for its price range. The electronics and the basswood combine to create a pretty good lower tone biased sound. If you kick the sustain into the play the guitar starts to sound like a metal heads wet dream, but this is mostly a placebo effect coming from the design.
As I said, this is not a guitar that stands out in any way, other than its design. Lightning is cool, so is metal, and having a pretty adequate guitar for its price is also nice. So definitely recommended if you want the aesthetic.