New Dean Cadillac 1980 Flame Top Floyd.... impressive

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Rocco Crocco, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    I've been scouring Craigslist for an inexpensive Les Paul style guitar with a Floyd (Epiphone LP Pro FX or similar) for some time now. They must be nice guitars because they are never for sale here locally.

    Last week I stumbled upon this (I must have got the last one. Link says no longer available)...

    Dean Cadillac 1980 Flame Top Electric Guitar at zZounds


    There is precious little in the way of reviews and YouTube vids for this particular piece, but reading reviews for other import Deans, it appears their guitars are well made and have quite a following, particularly in the Metal community. So I decided to order it. I could always return it if I didn't like it.


    This was my first purchase from Zzounds. They did a good job packaging the guitar for shipment. It arrived when stated and was in perfect condition. The weight is 8.2 lbs. Perfect.

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    The top is beautiful. I guess this would be considered a tiger eye?
    The hardware is finished in black chrome. A very nice touch.
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    The styling is not for everyone. The headstock is humongous, to the point where you really have to be aware of your surrounding when playing it so you don't bump into anything. The headstock size also creates a problem in that you are stuck getting a case specifically designed for the Caddy. It won't fit into a generic case or even my XL gigbag.
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    Check out the cartoonish Dean logo. I think its cool... something different than my typical Gibson/Epiphone preferences.
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    Tuners are Grover and work well!
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    I've had bad luck with Floyd equipped guitars in the past. My BC Rich Mockingbird had virtually no sustain, and my Music Man EVH import had a neck I could never get used to. This guitar has great sustain and a C-shaped Gibby type neck that I have always preferred (feels slightly beefier than a 60's slim taper).

    The fretwork is perfect. I was able to get the action VERY low without any notes choking out. The fretboard is supposed to be ebony. It looks to me like it's rosewood, not very dark and it has streaks, but it feels smooth like ebony. Either way, it feels great.

    The neck pickup sounds ok, but the bridge pickup sounds weak. I raised it alot which helped some, but I have a Duncan JB I'll probably throw in there at some point. The electronics are typical of import guitars. It has mini pots and it looks like a rats nest in the control cavity. I may address that in the future but ima gonna leave it for now.

    This guitar seems like a winner. The finish is flawless, it feels balanced when sitting or playing with a strap, and the Floyd Rose 1000 works flawlessly.
     
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  2. Meatwad

    Meatwad Senior Member

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    Nice!!:thumb:

    I dig the Cadillacs....and the big ole' V headstock.

    HNGD!!
     
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  3. jbash

    jbash Senior Member

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    I had a Dean ML phase for awhile. Imports and a custom.shop TC. Those MIK imports like the 79 series, etc. are very well put together IME. Much nicer build than the E word guitars in similar price range, IME.

    Congrats!
     
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  4. endial

    endial Senior Member

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    I've always wanted one. I thought it would be cool looking on stage between an Explorer and a Les Paul. The upper third of the bout is Explorer, and the lower two-thirds is a Paul.

    I have both.

    I'm glad you got the vee headstock. It's f**in' groovy. And the top on yours is unique. It's terrific! I love it!

    Happy New Guitar Day friend!
     
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  5. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Senior Member

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    Congrats! It's always fun to have something a bit different. :dude:
     
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  6. Couldn'tStandTheWeather

    Couldn'tStandTheWeather Senior Member

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    It looks great, HNGD! I have an '07 import Caddy and it's a great guitar. Enjoy!
     
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  7. ReiGnMaN

    ReiGnMaN Member

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    ...Big Block upgrade.. Do it.. DO IT!:applause:

    HNGD
     
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  8. Zungle

    Zungle Senior Member

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    Love it.....:dude:
     
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  9. Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful Banned

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    I love a big V :h5:
     
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  10. MrKensei

    MrKensei Senior Member

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    Nice guitar but beware

    Dean guitars use an almost unique Floyd top nut, it's got a 16" radius and a very low saddle height (The fretboard is not totally routed through).
    The hardened steel clamps on the nut tend to shatter over time and cannot be replaced with off the shelf items, Dean do not stock spares and their custoemr support is horrible.
    After 3 months of wrangling for a new nut for my Razorback I was told to "get wone from Allparts" allparts DO NOT stock suitable replacements, I had to get the nut milled down to fit, at great expense.
    Other than that, fine instruments.
     
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  11. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    ^ Thanks for the heads up, MrKensei. Are you saying the clamps can't be replaced or the nut itself?
     
  12. MrKensei

    MrKensei Senior Member

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    Either. The clamping pieces are an unusual size, I've spent a LOT of money shopping for replacements, ended up buying some floyd ones and grinding them down.
    Same with the nut, there isnt a Floyd, Schaller, Gotoh etc... direct replacement, they all have to be modified and Dean wont supply an oem replacement.
     
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  13. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    Weird.... wonder why they don't use stock sized parts...
     
  14. Tangerine

    Tangerine Guitaraholic Premium Member

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    Good looking Caddy, HNGD!
     
  15. MrKensei

    MrKensei Senior Member

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    Exactly, I wouldnt mind nromally as the Dean parts are really high quality except for the shattering clamps. My razorback is living in it's box right now as I've decided to cut my losses and just hardtail it.
     
  16. ReiGnMaN

    ReiGnMaN Member

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    Always liked the neck profiles on those guitars, just really comfortable.
     
  17. Shai`tan

    Shai`tan Senior Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but how is the access to the higher frets where the neck joins the body? I`ve always wanted one of the Caddies with a Floyd. Is the scoop in back nicely done, and allow comfy access to the higher frets? Thx man.
     
  18. Rocco Crocco

    Rocco Crocco Senior Member

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    Wow. Cool to see this thread got revived.

    Upper fret access on the Dean is OK, not great. It is slightly better than my Les Paul's with regular LP neck heels. It could probably be improved by relocating the strap button. If you want something with great upper fret access, look elsewhere.

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