The late Dimebag Darrell, the famous metal guitarist who created a molten signature sound during his time with Pantera, was also known for his unusual signature guitars. A few of the designs were guitars he played personally, while others were endorsed by him with a Dimebag-approved design. Some rarer guitar models are still available to the metal guitar aficionado if you look hard enough, while many of the Dean signatures are sold in any standard guitar store.
Guitars That Dimebag Darrell Played
Dimebag Darrell loved Dean guitars, though for several years he played Washburn guitars after Dean temporarily closed down. Just before Dimebag's death in 2004, Dean guitar company became his official sponsor and exclusive guitar provider. There were several guitar models that he favored and played often, including the following:
The Blue Lightning Bolt Dean ML
Possibly the most familiar of Dimebag's guitars, the one that so many of his fans saw him play, the Dean ML with the blue lightning bolt is a legendary guitar. In 2015, Dean did a limited run of the guitar for about $4000 each. It earned a nickname, the "Dean From Hell," as Dimebag played it for almost six years (from 1988 to 1994). The original model had Bill Lawrence pickups. Seymour Duncan eventually made a signature pickup called the Dimebucker, which imitated the classic Bill Lawrence L-500XL pickups.
During much of the 90s when Dean temporarily went out of business, Dimebag took up with Washburn guitars. Dimebag collectors continue to purchase and sell these models, and they can sometimes be found online. The Washburn ML, for example, was designed to look exactly like the blue lightning bolt Dean ML.
The Dean ML Far Beyond Driven Model
Dimebag also played a Dean ML with a sunburst body, and this became known as the Far Beyond Driven model because he played it on that famous album Far Beyond Driven and likely at times during the tour as well. A limited run of the guitar sold for about $3,600 each.
While it's not always easy to find these guitars that are made custom to match Dimebag's original models, you can find them on online music marketplace sites such as Reverb.
Guitars With the Dimebag Darrell Brand
Although he might not have played these models, the following Dean guitars were given Dimebag Darrell's seal of approval:
Just before his death, Dimebag approved a new signature Dean guitar bearing his endorsement. It was called the Razorback, which would become a popular model and have multiple variation designs. It was essentially a modified ML with extra spike shapes on the wings. Some variations had 24 frets, a variety of paint jobs, and different pickups (such as EMG pickups). Some of its unique paint jobs include:
- Gun Metal Gray
- Bumblebee Firefly
- Classic Black
- Black White
- Cemetary Gates
- Flame Top
Its high-quality features include:
- Basswood top and body
- Bolt-on maple C neck
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Pearl Dime Razor inlays
- Grover tuners
- Tune-o-matic bridge
- Dean DMT Design humbucker pickups
You can get this guitar for about $300 at guitar stores.
The other model that Dimebag helped design was the sleeker, more aerodynamic looking Stealth ML. It has the following standard features:
- Trans Brazilia finish
- Seymour Duncan Dimebucker
- DMT DimeTime Series humbucker
- Mahogany body
- Flame maple top
- Mahogany, set neck
You can purchase a Dean Stealth for around $700 at standard guitar retailers.
Dimebag Darrell's Legacy Lives on in His Guitars
Dimebag Darrell died on December 8, 2004, when a concertgoer armed with a 9mm approached the stage and shot Darrell several times. The shooter shot several others before being killed by police. He was considered one of the greatest guitarists in the history of heavy metal. Although fans are still grieved over his untimely death, his legacy lives on in his signature guitars.