The Dean from Hell CFC ‘Cowboy from Hell’ is a replica of Dimebag Darrel’s (Pantera and Damageplan) own guitar. It isn’t quite the same as a signature guitar, because it wasn’t designed by Dime and Dean guitars together. This is a replica of the guitar that Dime customized, himself.
First, a little History…
Dime’s original guitar was a Dean ML which he won in a guitar competition in his native Texas. The guitar was then sold to the luthier Buddy Blaze, who added a lightning-bolt paint job and installed a Floyd-rose bridge.
The original Dean ML guitar actually had a string-through-body design. I don’t think Dime’s sound would be anywhere near the same without a floating bridge!
The guitar also has a bridge pickup made by Bill Lawrence (the L500XL), and a neck pickup based on the one that dime had custom made.
The Original Dean ML
The Dean ML itself was created in 1977. It has a V-shaped neck profile, and the body and headstock are very unique shapes!
It would be great to say that they made it this shape to make it more metal, but that isn’t the case. In fact, the iconic ‘V-shape’ headstock was actually designed to compliment the string-through-body design, and increase sustain!
The concept behind this design is actually to spread the mass of the guitar over a large area. This explains a bit of the crazy shape.
Because of this design, the strings are mounted are higher angles, and travel over a longer length. This is supposed to increase the sustain and improve the tone.
Whether or not it does this, might be a matter of opinion.
Either way, Dime’s guitar (and this Dean from Hell CFH) was modified to include a Floyd-rose bridge- so it doesn’t have the string-through-body design anymore.
- Mahogany neck and body
- Lightning graphic finish
- 24-3/4-inch scale
- 22-fret set neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Dot inlays
- Bill Lawrence L500XL and Dean humbuckers
- Two volume controls, one tone, and three-way toggle
- Licensed Floyd Rose Tremolo bridge
- Grover tuning pegs
- Black/Chrome hardware
- Locking nut
The mahogany body and set neck clearly show a guitar that was designed for sustain. This is a similar set-up to the Gibson Les Paul, although the Dean from Hell CFH definitely feels a lot lighter.
Also, this guitar features a licensed Floyd-rose bridge, not an original. This means that the bridge is essentially made by someone else (probably Dean), but modelled on the original Floyd-rose.
Not usually a big problem, but definitely something to keep in mind. This is usually done to keep costs down.
Not very well known, is that Dime took a soldering iron to his volume knobs. This created a more grippable surface to get a hold of. Therefore, the control knobs on this guitar are very easy to grip and adjust.
I should probably also add that the neck pickup- which was made by Dean- has been created with the illusion of electrical tape. I’m assuming that Dime left some electrical tape on there after re-wiring the pickup.
It’s not real tape, but it looks the same.
What We liked…
The neck looks and feels great- the Dean from Hell CFH guitar was definitely designed for shredding! The V-shaped neck profile makes this guitar easy to play fast.
It’s also definitely a modern heavy metal guitar. Tunes from Metallica, Black Label Society, Pantera, and Ozzy Osbourne- all feel at home on this beautiful instrument. The Floyd-rose stays in tune well, through whatever abuse you can throw at it, and the pickups really give you Dime’s signature tone.
The pickups on this guitar aren’t quite as noiseless as EMG’s, nor do they have some of the harmonic range. EMG’s are featured on Dime’s actual signature guitar, the Razorback, and are used by guitarists such as: Dimebag, Zakk Wylde, Kerry King and Kirk Hammett.
I would say that the pickups on the Dean from Hell CFH don’t have as much low end and bass response. However, neither does Dime’s original tone! Go and listen to some Pantera records to see what I mean. It’s all about the higher frequencies, for a more aggressive ‘growl’.
What We didn’t like…
This guitar is mysteriously light. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the guitar feel cheaper. You could see the low weight as a good thing (easy to hold and carry etc), but- for me- I’m used to playing Les Pauls.
If you’ve ever played a Les Paul, or picked one up, you’ll know what I mean!
The light weight might also explain why the guitar is prone to feedback. Not a huge amount of feedback, but it’s there. This could be a big issue if you’re playing with a lot of gain!
The ‘fake’ licenced Floyd-rose may also be an issue for some. Licenced versions are generally considered inferior to the real thing. However, this one does the job.
Conclusions about the Dean From Hell CFH
The Dean From Hell CFH is the perfect guitar for someone wanting Dime’s tone, and look on stage. For that, you’ll also probably want his signature Amp, and signature effects, too!
For the rest of us, yes it would be cool to own this guitar. You just need to judge it more for what it is: a copy of a legend’s guitar, and not a legendary guitar. Then it makes a lot of sense!
So, not a bad guitar, but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not a Dimebag fan!