Dean Razorback V 255 review

It's hard, it's strong and it's extra long. Take a look at the Strat-style V...

  • £1199
  • $1689
Dean hasn't messed with Dimebag's original design

MusicRadar Verdict

The 255 might stray from Dimebag's original blueprint, but it still towers above everything else. The metal guitar of the year has arrived.


  • +

    Monster tones and cool concept.


  • -

    Price might be prohibitive.

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Dimebag delivered two new designs to Dean Guitars in September 2004. The first was the Razorback, hailed as the coolest metal guitar ever. The second was the Razorback V. "Everyone loves that shape," said CEO Elliott Rubinson. "I predict it will sell better than the regular Razorback."

This isn't quite the same guitar that Dime designed back then. While the regular Razorback Vs have a scale length of 24.75 inches and 22 frets, the 255 offers a longer, Strat-style scale of 25.5 inches and 24 frets.

That extra length is designed to appeal to guitarists that like down-tuned riffing. Dimebag's specification in 2004 was for the Razorback V to feature Seymour Duncan Dimebucker pickups, but the 255 features active EMG 81 and 85 items. But while the evolved design deserves credit, has it jeopardised what made the Razorback V so great in the first place?

You get what you pay for from Dean, so there was a lot of expectation riding on the Razorback V 255. But even with a £1,199 price tag looming over it, you'll struggle to find anything that isn't worthy of praise.

When you grab the 255 round its neck, any lingering fears that it won't handle like a 'proper' Razorback V soon evaporate.

Long scales can sometimes make vibrato and bends feel like more effort, but the 255 is a smooth and expressive player, combining a spacious fretboard and manageable profile with a Floyd Rose that scoops and doops to perfection.

When you want raw power, active EMGs are a great choice, and this 81/85 combination is the most celebrated for good reason.

Flip to the neck and you've got a monumental low-end grind that works best when you're chugging the low strings à la Cowboys From Hell.

Move to the bridge and, even when you're playing distorted, you'll maintain pin-sharp clarity. This guitar sounds dark, menacing and tonally enormous. You'll be blown away... again.

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