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One thing with affordable bass guitars is that they mostly look the same. Manufacturers use whatever means necessary to keep the cost down, which can be boring at times. However, there are some brands out there, like Dean, who like to spice things up. Enter Dean Z Metalman Bass. Aside from being one of the more unique and exciting designs in the entry level segment, it’s also among the best sounding axes you can get for the money. Because of this, we had to put it on our list of top basses.
Not so long ago, if you wanted to get an Explorer body or anything similar to it, you had to lay down the big bucks. These days, it’s a bit different. Dean offers this beautiful rendition of Gibson’s Explorer at an affordable price. With a body made of basswood, you know right away it’s going to be a lightweight guitar, and that is actually great in this case. The finish comes in form of solid black color with some white details on the headstock. The neck is a bolt-on piece made of maple and features a rosewood fretboard with standard dot inlays.
In terms of hardware, we are looking at the standard setup. Hardware is one thing that 99% of affordable bass guitars have in common, and as long as that works for the end user, we don’t mind. You’re looking at a fixed bridge with a set of fully adjustable saddles, all in black. Tuning machines are the usual die cast models, which work pretty well as long as you don’t push the guitar outside of its comfort zone. For a beginner, they are more than adequate.
Pickups are another aspect where Dean wanted to spice things up a bit. Instead of going for the traditional Precision or P/J configuration, they have actually installed a humbucker on this bass. That’s interesting for a few reasons, least of which being the fact that they went for one instead of two. It’s located close to the bridge, and is wired to a single volume and single tone knob. Even though some may not like this type of setup, it’s a breath of fresh air in a segment full of cookie cutter bass guitars.
Aggressive and powerful would one way to describe what Dean Z Metalman Bass sounds like. It’s not overly accurate or clear, but it packs a whopping punch. This makes it a perfect choice for aspiring metal bassists. With all that said, it can still be used in a variety of music genres if you spend enough time dialing in the tone, both on the bass itself and the amp.
The main selling point of the Dean Z Metalman Bass is its Explorer shape and its unusual choice of electronics. That is more than enough to make it stand out. If you are after something that is a bit different, we strongly suggest you give this ax a shot.