The Dean ML is an electric guitar made by Dean Guitars in 1977 along with its counterparts, the Dean V, Dean Cadillac and Dean Z. It has an unusual design, with a V-shaped headstock and V-shaped tailpiece. It was popularised by the guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera.

Replica of Dean From Hell.jpg
Replica of Dean From Hell
ManufacturerDean Guitars
Period1977 — present
Body typeSolid
Neck jointSet
BodyMahogany, Maple
FretboardEbony, Rosewood
BridgeFloyd Rose tremolo / String thru
Pickup(s)2 EMG, Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, Humbuckers

The neck had a slight "v" shape to it, which for some guitarists facilitated faster playing. The shape fit into some players' hands more comfortably. The design spread the mass of the guitar over a wider area than most guitars to maximize sustain. The "V"-shaped headstock and "string-through-body" were also intended to increase sustain and improve tone. The Dean ML's body shape resembles a Gibson Flying V combined with the upper half of an Explorer.


Dean Zelinsky created the ML in 1977, striving for improved sustain and tone. Higher string angles and string length, due to the size of the headstock, contribute to the overall resonance. Dean has made the ML available to other manufacturers[which?] by licensing arrangement.

The ML was named posthumously for the initials of Zelinsky's friend Matthew Lynn, who had died of cancer.[1]

The ML shape is also available as part of the Baby Series as a scaled down version.[2] The Dean "Metalman" line of bass guitars has a Metalman ML model.[3]

A guitar body shape similar to that of the ML is featured in the "create-an-instrument" mode in the video game Guitar Hero: World Tour.[citation needed]

Dean From HellEdit

The "Dean From Hell" was an ML used by the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott, shown on the cover of Pantera's album Cowboys from Hell. It has a custom lightning bolt paint job, routed for a Floyd Rose and has a Bill Lawrence L-500XL pickup in the bridge, two traction volume knobs, one master tone knob and a rosewood fretboard. The original has an old Kiss sticker on the bottom left spike and multiple abrasions including burn marks on the tips of the headstock from Abbott shooting bottle rockets from them. The words "THE DEAN FROM HELL" are written on the top in black magic marker.

Six-String MasterpiecesEdit

"Six-String Masterpieces[4]" is an ongoing charitable art tribute for Dimebag Darrell. Musicians, tattooists and contemporary artists painted, sculpted, or drew original art on a Dean ML guitar. Over 70 artists participated including Jerry Cantrell, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Dave Grohl, Ozzy Osbourne, Kerry King, Joe Satriani, Marilyn Manson, Zakk Wylde and Rob Zombie. They were on display at the NAMM Show and on the Ozzfest 2006 tour, MTV's Headbangers Ball and in 2011 at the Mesa Contemporary Arts Center. The exhibit was curated by Curse Mackey of the band Pigface.

30th Anniversary MLEdit

In 2007, for the 30th anniversary of the ML and V, Dean Guitars produced 100 of the ML with a "Dean 30th Anniversary" logo printed on the headstock and the pickup covers. They were signed by Dean Zelinsky, and had a transparent black finish and hardcase.[5]


Notable players of the Dean ML includes Eric Peterson, Dimebag Darrell,[6] Michael Angelo Batio,[7] Corey Beaulieu,[8] Matt Heafy[9] Mike Terry, Wayne Static,[10] and Michael Schenker.


  1. ^ "Dean Zelinsky Interview". Musicians Hotline. December 2002. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Dean Electric Guitars-Acoustic Guitars-Bass Guitars".
  3. ^ "METALMAN SERIES - Dean Guitars".
  4. ^ "Six-String Masterpieces - The Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  5. ^ "30th Anniversary ML and V".
  6. ^ "Dimebag Darrell - Dean Guitars".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Official Bio of Corey Beaulieu". Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  9. ^ Official Bio of Matt Heafy Archived July 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^

External linksEdit