Dean Performer Dao Four-String review

Dean's established bass guitar gets a stunning update.

  • £449
Highly figured dao wood gives this bass a touch of class

MusicRadar Verdict

This is a really good-looking bass, with a more compact scale length that gets both acoustic and electro jobs done very efficiently.


  • +

    Striking looks and sound.


  • -

    Only one strap button.

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Although the Dean Performer bass has been around for about eight years and follows the traditional lines of a fully bound cutaway acoustic bass, this particular model positively screams with visual originality.

The use of highly figured dao wood for the top, back and sides of the body, suitably adorned with an asymmetric (and quirky) rosewood bridge and Celtic rosette, elevates it into a whole new dimension. It´s true that the rosette actually gets a bit lost in the vibrancy of this stunning top but close inspection reveals that it's all rather beautifully done. With multi-ply binding, die-cast tuners and downsized dot inlays this is one very tasty looking instrument.

A jumbo body with slightly more depth ensures a good natural voice and, with a slightly shorter scale length of just over 32 inches, this is an accurately intonated bass. The reduction in scale also provides this with a better balance potential. That said, however, the jack socket/end pin is still the only means of applying a strap, so a second button will need to be fitted if you ever want to stand up and play this bass.

Although not as sophisticated as some, having the benefit of a Fishman preamp system is a huge advantage when it comes to amplified sound. Strong tonal qualities are guaranteed throughout the spectrum and naturally there´s loads of power at hand. It is one of the neatest preamp modules currently available and very effective.


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