If you like your guitars acoustic-electric, beautiful, affordable, and super versatile, then Dean Exotica Cocobolo just might be your ideal fit. With this item, the manufacturer apparently decided to experiment a bit in terms of tonewood and hardware, and kinda struck gold in our opinion, at least within this price range.
So as you might have guessed, our impression of this guitar is quite positive. We believe that we are looking at an instrument worthy of your full attention, and kindly invite you to check out the full review below.
Body & Neck
The guitar features an all-cocobolo single cutaway body with a mahogany neck and a classic rosewood fingerboard with 21 frets and dot inlays. Before venturing any further we have to say that this thing is plain gorgeous!
Not only is the craftsmanship on absolute top level, but the look and feel of the instrument’s body combined with elegant gloss finish and that abalone rosette really leave a lasting impression bound to draw you in to this Dean guitar.
As for the sound, the mentioned tonewood combo secures a strong sonic punch loaded with all frequencies, strong basses, punchy middles and a bright treble section. The neck is nice, a tad chunky and quite easy to play. Regardless of your skill level and musical preferences, this guitar is bound to sit firmly in your hands.
In the electronic segment, we are looking at Dean’s under-the-saddle piezo pickup combined with Aphex Aural Exciter preamp and Big Bottom circuitry. This is a high-end combination that secures a signal that is first and foremost loud and clear, and secondly highly versatile and able to adapt to a variety of musical styles. The electronics operate via single 9V battery, which has been included in the price.
Also included in the mix is a set of sealed tuners that keep the guitar in tune for extended periods of time, along with the company’s signature headstock, chrome hardware, and full fingerboard access.
The sound is great! The mixture of exotic wood and high-end electronics was the winning combo for the manufacturers, rightfully securing this instrument a place among the greats.
Let’s focus on that versatility now. The first thing we noticed about this puppy is how well covered all the frequencies are. Also, signal clarity is top-level, leaving you with an organic and natural guitar sound you can utilize in just about any musical situation, but also run through a variety of effects, experiment and take a walk on the wild side.
When all factors are taken into consideration, this guitar has thoroughly impressed us and placed Dean among our favorites. As far as acoustic electric guitars under $500 go, we are certain that this puppy will always be among our top picks. As long as you are in pursuit of a great instrument within this price range, the Exotica Cocobolo is an item you cannot regret purchasing.
For the listed price, we cannot thing of many items to beat this fella. We find the overall instrument quality to be suitable for any intermediate and a solid portion of professional players. Thumbs up!