Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Review & Prices

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Review
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  • From Dean's 2022 Artist series
  • Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • 3 Piece Mahogany neck
  • Richlite fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Von Frankenstein MONSTER (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 0 tone Dome knobs
  • FU Custom bridge
  • Doyle Spec. Ultra Slim D Shaped Neck-Through neck
  • 27 Jumbo frets
  • Schaller M6 Mini tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 68
Build quality 73
Value for money 56
Overall Score 71
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $3420, which means that the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator costs around 192% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator meets 2 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Scale Length Comparison
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Neck Profile
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.65'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.625'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
24.6'' Scale Length
V Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Nut Width
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Nut Width

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator has 27 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

Fret Size

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator Fret Size Comparison
Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 50
Solo Playability 90
Playability 73

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body, Neck
Richlite wood pattern used for guitar building
Richlite Fretboard

Mahogany Body and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Richlite Fretboard: It's very similar to Ebony, but it is much cheaper to make. The main reason is that it is made from resin-infused paper. It is very durable and soft, so it's often used for fretboards and tops.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator's configuration is H. A single humbucking pickup will give you all the space you need for picking, and it might give you a bit more sustain since less magnetic fields are messing with the strings' vibrations. However, you won't have the same versatility as with other guitars with more pickups. It's recommended if you want to use it mainly for high-output riffs.

Versatility

Naturally, the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator doesn't come with a pickup selector because it's a single-pickup guitar. These instruments have less versatility, but they're good for practicing. Besides being cheaper, limiting yourself to a single-pickup guitar can help you improve by learning to control the tone with your technique and playing style. Things like playing further away from the bridge for a warmer tone, or plucking the strings fast for a snappy sound can help you become a better player.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with H configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 80
Versatility 47
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 68

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

Bridge

FU Custom: With this type of tremolo bridge, you'll be able to perform dive bombs and pinch harmonics without getting out of tune. This type of bridge gives you the best versatility, but it also makes it harder to set up your guitar correctly, especially when changing your strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a retainer bar for the nut, which would be a helpful addition. Without it, the strings will change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'll have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 49
Features 70
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 73

All Specs

Dean USA Doyle Signature Annihilator
General
Brand: Dean
Year: 2022
Configuration: H
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Artist
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: FU Custom
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: Schaller M6 Mini
Fretboard: Richlite
Neck Material: 3 Piece Mahogany
Decoration: Pearloid Doyle Bats
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Doyle Spec. Ultra Slim D Shaped
Frets: 27 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Von Frankenstein MONSTER (Humbucker / Passive)

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