Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Review & Prices

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Review
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  • From Dean's 2019 USA series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.6"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Flame Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Tune-O-Matic (With V Plate) bridge
  • Patent Pending Spec. C Shaped Set neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Vintage Style Grover tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 80
Sound 74
Build quality 72
Value for money 60
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $3900, which means that the Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS is around 15% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed 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!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Fret edges

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS'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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS's 24.6" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Scale Length Comparison
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is similar to some of the Les Paul guitars made in the 50s, and it's slightly shorter than modern Les Pauls (24.75''). Short scales like these make the tone sound more bassy. It also makes the frets closer to each other, and bending is easier due to the lower tension of the strings. However, it comes at the cost of not letting you set the action of the strings as low without hearing fret buzz because the low tension will make the strings looser.

Remember that you can still try a thicker string gauge to increase the tension to let you lower the action.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Neck Profile
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS'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 C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS has a 12" fingerboard radius.

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

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS'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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

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

Nut Width

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Nut Width
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Nut Width

The Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS 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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS has 22 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.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS Fret Size Comparison
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS'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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS'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 100
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 80

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
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony 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.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: DiMarzio. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

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

The Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Double Locking Bridge
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio PAF Pro DP151 Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Double Locking Bridge
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio PAF Pro DP151 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Bridge Pickup
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Bridge Pickup
Samarium Cobalt Noiseless (SCN) Single-Coil Strat Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

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

Diagram

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH 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 90
Sustain 85
Versatility 51
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 74

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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS 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

Tune-O-Matic (With V Plate): The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

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 Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.

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 Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 65
Features 50
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 72

All Specs

Dean USA Patents Pending V Flame Top TCS
General
Brand: Dean
Year: 2019
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: USA
Colors: Red Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Flame Maple
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Tune-O-Matic (With V Plate)
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Vintage Style Grover
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Abalone dot
Scale Size: 24.6"
Shape: Patent Pending Spec. C Shaped
Frets: 22 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Speed
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (Humbucker / Passive)

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