Dean Guitar Model Numbers

665 IQ #4 'Dean guitars made in the USA follow a serial number pattern consisting of a 7 digit number with the first 2 numbers being the year of manufacture, followed by instrument production. Located within our 110,000 square foot, worldwide headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the Dean USA Custom Shop is a state-of-the-art, woodworking facility designed for the sole purpose of producing the best looking and best playing, Made in USA, guitars in the world. Anchoring the Dean. Look for a distinctive serial number located on the back of the headstock. Dean guitars made in the United States have a seven-digit serial number. The first two numbers indicate the year the guitar was manufactured. The succeeding numbers are the Dean production numbers. Located within our 110,000 square foot, worldwide headquarters in Tampa, Florida, the Dean USA Custom Shop is a state-of-the-art, woodworking facility designed for the sole purpose of producing the best looking and best playing, Made in USA, guitars in the world. Anchoring the Dean custom shop, two Anderson CNC machines are used to sculpt every. Find the current Blue Book value and worth of your new and used guitars, both acoustic, electric and amplifier. The number one source of guitar and amplifier pricing and information so you can find the price and value of your used guitars and amplifier. Use this site for a pricing guide and source of information on all guitars.

  1. Dean Guitar Model Numbers For Beginners
  2. Dean Guitar Model Numbers Mean
  3. Dean Guitar Model Numbers List
What kind of guitar is it? How old is it? What’s it worth? What is this stupid thing? I know I hear questions like this several times a day, and I’m sure many of you who are enthusiastic about guitars have found yourself asking these questions as well. Since I can’t include everybody’s guitar in my column, I’m going to help you properly identify, date, and evaluate guitars.
It may seem like I have a magic wand that instantly finds the answers to your many questions, but I spend quite a bit of time researching each guitar before I respond. You’re probably thinking that this is why the Trash or Treasure column exists, but I promise most of you will find that researching guitars (or any musical instruments) can be very interesting – you never know what you may learn! My first installment focuses on determining the make and model of a guitar.
When you walk into that garage sale, pawn shop, or guitar show this spring, the first thing you need to figure out is what it is. All guitars should have some kind of logo, label, or identification that makes it unique (think the Flying F for Fender, or the K for Kay). Guitar builders affix their guitars with names so people know what they are playing. The most common place to find identification is on the headstock or on a label inside of the guitar, if applicable.
If there is nothing on your guitar in question, chances are the original label or logo has fallen off. Also, many fakes or copies will have all the features of a popular brand, but they don’t have a name (probably due to the fact the faker couldn’t come up with a creative name). Unless it is a guitar built from parts, a build-it-yourself kit, or a blatant fake, a manufacturer name exists – you may just have to do some research to find it. The two best resources in my opinion are books and (gasp!) the Internet. I know not everybody has access to the wide variety of books I do, but that is why libraries exist, and if you can afford an order at B&N, any guitar junkie will appreciate some good guitar literature.
Once you have determined what brand you have, you need to know what model it is. This is similar to taking your Chevrolet one step further and determining that it is a mid-‘80s Citation.

Thanks to Al Gore, the World Wide Web gives us unlimited resources at our fingertips. But remember, there is a reason most college papers do not accept websites as a source – not everything you read is factual. Make sure when you are searching that you check a number of sources. Ebay can be extremely helpful but since so many people have no idea what they are listing, information can be misleading.
Once you have determined what brand you have, you need to know what model it is. This is similar to taking your Chevrolet one step further and determining that it is a mid-‘80s Citation. Many guitars will have a model name next to the brand name, or it will be placed somewhere else on the guitar. Check the entire guitar as model names can be put just about anywhere (truss rod cover, neckplate, tailpiece, etc.).
Remember that many guitar books focus on individual brands as well as individual models. If you can find any old catalogs, you can compare what you have to them. There are many photos on the Internet as well. Another helpful way to narrow down popular models such as Stratocasters and Les Pauls is to find out what features make your guitar unique (pickups, woods, construction, hardware, etc.). Once again, make sure you cross-reference your sources, as facts are never taken from just one example but from numerous occurrences.
Next month I’ll dive into dating your guitar, which also includes serialization – a daunting task to say the least!

Zachary R. Fjestad
Zachary R. Fjestad is the author of the Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, Blue Book of Electric Guitars, and the Blue Book of Guitar Amplifiers.
NumbersGuitar Trash or Treasure Questions can be submitted to:
Blue Book Publications
Attn: Guitar Trash or Treasure
8009 34th Ave. S. Ste #175

Dean Guitar Model Numbers For Beginners

Minneapolis, MN 55425
[email protected]
Please include pictures of your guitars.Dean guitars review
Dean Guitars
IndustryMusical instruments
Founded1977; 43 years ago
HeadquartersTampa, Florida, United States
Area served
Evan Rubinson
(President & CEO)
    • Guitars
    • Bass guitars
OwnerArmadillo Enterprises, Inc.
Number of employees

Dean Guitars, commonly referred to simply as Dean, is an American importer and maker of stringed instruments and musical products with its headquarters in Tampa, Florida.

Its products include solid-body electric guitars, bass guitars, and acoustic guitars. The company also distributes resonators, basses, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, amplifiers, guitar cases, accessories, and custom guitar pickups.

The company was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1976 by Dean Zelinsky, but came to prominence under Elliott Rubinson in 1997 after his company, Armadillo Enterprises, purchased the Dean trade name.[1]


Dean Guitars started in 1976 and made instruments used by bands such as Heart, Kansas, The Cars, Molly Hatchet, Triumph and ZZ Top.[2]

Dean artists Michael Schenker and Wayne Findlay with Dean owner Elliott 'Dean' Rubinson

With the advent of the Superstrat and grunge music, Dean Zelinsky sold the business to Oscar Medeiros of Tropical Music, who gained ownership of the brand from 1986, and until 1995 focused on selling to Latin bands overseas. The company had all but disappeared from the American market at that point.[3][1]

Armadillo Enterprises, under the leadership of Elliott Rubinson, then purchased the Dean trade name in 1997. Rubinson, a musician who toured as a bass player for the Michael Schenker Group, Uli Jon Roth and Michael Angelo Batio[4] expanded Dean's products to include acoustic, electric and bass guitars; mandolins, banjos and ukuleles with prices from less than $99 to more than $13,000.[4] Rubinson had previously built Thoroughbred Music,[5] a music retail store, music supply, and music clinic. Rubinson sold Thoroughbred to Sam Ash Music in 1999 so he could focus on Dean.[6][7]

Dean artist Dave Mustaine with his Dean signature VMNT 'Rust in Peace'
Dean guitars forum

After getting a number of endorser-user guitarists (including Dimebag Darrell, Michael Angelo Batio, Michael Schenker, Leslie West, Dave Mustaine, Michael Amott, and Jacky Vincent),[8] Dean Guitars' popularity increased. Under Armadillo Enterprises the company outgrew its Clearwater site and moved to a larger building that includes a custom guitar shop.[1][9] Today the company also assembles guitar pickups[10] and guitar parts.

In December 2016, Elliott Rubinson's son, Evan Rubinson, assumed the position of President and CEO at Armadillo Enterprises (which includes Dean Guitars, Luna Guitars, and ddrum).[3]

In February 2017, Elliott 'Dean' Rubinson died from cancer.[11] Richard Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music Stores, said, 'Elliott was a true genius. He would have been successful in any business but he went with his passion for music and built his business around it... He was truly one of my heroes. RIP Elliott Rubinson.'[12]


Various Dean guitar models

Dean has the line of electric guitars that includes the ML, V, Z, Cadillac, Splittail, Soltero, EVO, Icon, Custom Zone, Vendetta and Deceiver models.

Dean also has many signature electric guitar models. The company offers a number of Dimebag Darrell models.

The company has also worked closely with Dave Mustaine of Megadeth on a line of guitars. These cost from around $300 for imports to over $6000 for USA-built instruments. The Dean USA Dave Mustaine Signature VMNT Holy Grail [13] electric guitar, a more recent incarnation of the V introduced in 2016, is an example of the brand.

Dean also makes signature models for Bret Michaels, Michael Schenker, Leslie West, Michael Angelo Batio, Michael Amott, Rusty Cooley, and other artists.[4]

The company's bass guitar models include the ML, V, Z, Cadillac, Edge, Metal Man / Demonator, Hillsboro, Entwistle, EVO, Razorback, and Custom Zone. Dean also imports and markets other string instruments such as resonator guitars, mandolins and banjos.

In 2017, Dean unveiled several new musical instruments[14] to commemorate the company's 40th anniversary.

In 2018, the company formed a partnership between Dean USA Custom Shop and Angel's Envy Bourbon[15] to produce the Dean Envy Series guitars made from whiskey cask barrels.

Affiliated companies[edit]

Dean Guitar Model Numbers Mean

Armadillo Enterprises, the parent company of Dean Guitars, also owns Luna Guitars and ddrum.




  1. ^ abc'Business: Dean gets new digs, designs'. 2005-02-27. Archived from the original on 2005-02-27. Retrieved 2017-02-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^'A Brief History of Dean Guitars'. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  3. ^ ab'Episode 42: Elliott Rubinson, CEO of Dean Guitars, ddrum, and Luna Guitars breaks down the music biz like few can'. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  4. ^ abc'Dean Guitars CEO Elliott Dean Rubinson Talks Gigging with Uli Jon Roth, Balancing Life As a Musician'. Guitar World. 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  5. ^'Security Check Required'. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  6. ^''. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  7. ^'Elliott Rubinson'. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  8. ^Jim Aardema (2013-04-08), Branding and Marketing Planning - Dean Guitars, Luna Guitars, Ddrum Drums, retrieved 2017-03-03
  9. ^DeanGuitarsVideos (2016-09-28), Dean Guitars USA Shop, retrieved 2017-02-09
  10. ^DeanGuitarsVideos (2009-04-29), Dean USA DMT Pickups, Live at NAMM'09, retrieved 2017-02-09
  11. ^'Elliott Rubinson: The Man Who Made it Happen - All That Shreds!'. All That Shreds!. 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  12. ^'Sam Ash Music Stores on Twitter'. Twitter. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  13. ^Dean USA Dave Mustaine Signature VMNT Holy Grail
  14. ^new musical instruments
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dean Guitars.

Dean Guitar Model Numbers List

  • Elliott Rubinson Interview NAMM Oral History Program (2010)
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