The Razorback generation is growing up, but Dean’s catalogue is ready to cater for them, with the new-ish Deceiver X offering such a classic vibe and old-school features that it should probably say ‘Keep Out Of Reach Of Children’ on the box.
Turns out this model is pretty deceptive: it comes on like a textbook ‘50s singlecut, but then you spot the skinny mahogany body, Fender-style 25.5-inch scale, bolt-on neck and shred-style 24 frets. Those factors make a big physical difference, and here’s where the Deceiver gets divisive.
We love the smooth-playing C-profile and only a fool sniffs at two octaves… but Les Paul fans might miss the free-and-easy bends of a shorter-scale neck, while hitting the fat strings at the top frets ain’t easy without finger extensions. Still, there’s potential for down-tuning without too much slack, and that’s worth factoring in if you like your riffs bowel-quaking and doom-laden.
The Deceiver’s slim tablet of a body doesn’t hang on to sustain as well as some, but the tone itself is quality: all the brown warmth of mahogany, but counterbalanced by the bite of the maple neck; all fattened and frayed by a pair of better-than-average own-brand humbuckers whose strongest suit is a mid-heavy classic distortion.
It’s definitely good enough for live, and at a push for the studio, and at £305, you’d have to agree that means the X hits the spot. Question is, would it sustain you for your whole career?