Neck, Body and Hardware
First things first: Dean EAB is a jumbo-shaped acoustic bass guitar, made of solid, not laminated wood. Two main components they used for creating this budget device are spruce and mahogany. While mahogany is a basic material (it`s used for back and side), spruce covers up the top.
The level of consistency is strong with this one. All the details hold up as intended, with no excessive glue. It might take quite a while to get used to its` shape, but it certainly won`t take long, as slim waist and solid build provide the comfortable setup for the player. The quality of material is high overall.
On the other hand, hardware is the thing that could have been better. It is not that bad and fits in the build rather good, even bridge and saddle are ok, but, you know, budget guitars are called budget for reasons. As every other sample under 500 bucks it needs some (sometimes a lot of) adjusting and personalizing. Having these things done properly, one can expect to get the bass sound of high quality.
The solid pro of Den EAB is that it has built-in preamp, which makes tuning much easier. With that being said, one can already consider this device as a decent choice, but there is more to come.
Sounding and Playability
Dean EAB is a device as simple and reliable as a rock. Its` size is quite an average one. Guitar is as big as Tacoma. It will sit comfortable in hands of any adult person higher than 5,6 (1,65 m). However, the guitar will not be that convenient for smaller players, and especially children.
Getting used to this very model after playing another basses is quite easy. Though the strings` height might be uncommonly low, a little bit of adjusting will fix things up. Other parameters, as frets, pins and the material are just good. Not perfect. Not bad or OK. Good.
When it comes to discussing the sound qualities, Dean EAB has two strong advantages: the lows and the acoustic play. The lowers are convincing, strong and sharp. Neither do they mix up with the mids and trebles, nor spoil the sound frequencies.
Played acoustic Dean EAB sounds as something of a higher price-ranged models. A little bit of extra-investing will make it even better. It is worth that to replace nickel strings to bronze-phosphor ones, and change the pins.
Electric sounding sadly is just another reason to recall the fact that is the “under 300 dollars” model. It is not awful, but the lack of tuning and adjusting opportunities make it a bit rough. Not that big of a downside for a new player to be honest, as there are simply less possibilities to ruin this factor.
Dean EAB`s features are surprisingly good. It is small things, that matter the most. This guitar gets a solid A for its side-qualities:
- The tuners. They do their job as good, as if they were payed triple price for it. These details make tuning process easier, and, when finished, save the adjusted position for a long period of time.
- The rosette. It is comfortable, solid and as stylish and natural as the rosette can theoretically be.
- The satin finish. The guitar sits in hands comfortably. Especially the neck part. The material choice and usage are up-to-date, solid and relevant.
- The strings. As mentioned earlier, the basic strings are not the best option ever, but they are decent, easy to play as a beginner (nickel is rather soft), and are OK to start with.
So there are no minor fails to whine about. Dean EAB is being sold exactly as it is advertised: solid, reliable, easy-to-learn-n-play.
Plugged-in vs unplugged
Dean EAB electric-acoustic bass is not equally good in both modes. While bean played as a strictly acoustic instrument, it can compete with the guitars worth up to 1000 dollars. The sound is clean, clear and powerful.
It`s not nearly as good, when being played as electric guitar. Lack of options and not the highest sound quality make the guitar less attractive from this point of view.
Buying Dean EAB as your first guitar
There has already been enough material to make the first conclusion. Dean EAB is solid and relevant piece of musical instrument, that meets all the basic and intermediate requirements. Its` value is high indeed. Arguably it can be called one of the top choices in its` price sector (under 800 dollars).
Solid body with comfortable cover, rich acoustic sounding, comparatively small amount of electronic adjustment options, the need to replace strings – all these things make Dean EAB not only the great guitar, but the perfect learning material as well.
The experience of comparing plugged-in and plugged-off sound, replacing guitar parts and attempts to improve skill – is something priceless. It is definitely worth paying 300 dollars.
On the other hand, this model will not make it any further, than the garage. It might be the leader in its` district, but stands absolutely zero chances against concurrents valued in 4 digits.
The easiest way to understand how it feels playing Dean EAB is to ask a real person about it. Three players, the beginner, the intermediate and the experienced one were interviewed. Here is what they said.
Dean, 22, Guitar experience – 3 months
I did doubt for a while before getting myself Dean EAB. Paying 300 dollars for the first guitar felt a little bit too much. Nevertheless that one friend of mine who has been playing in garage band for quite a while had convinced me to do it.
Listening to his advice was a good idea indeed. I got exactly what I had payed for. The sound is nice and strong. I am not yet able to compare it with the other guitars, but to me it sounds as the pretty expensive one.
Playing this bass is rather easy I would say. Fingers do not hurt as much as expected, the guitar is comfortable. Tuning and adjusting did last for quite a while, but I managed to do it myself. Two weeks have passed since and all the adjustments still hold.
There was that problem with the first ever time electronic experience, but, as mentioned earlier, it is easy to understand what one should do. I am completely satisfied with this purchase. Dean EAB is definitely worth its` price.
Dave, 28, Guitar experience – 3 years 4 months
We started the band three and a half years ago. To be honest, we did not move any further than my garage, but the experience has been great. Through all these years I`ve been performing as a bass-guitarist, using my favorite Dean EAB.
It took a month to adjust this baby to all my needs. I did replace strings with stronger ones to make the sound juicier and louder. Then there was that basic stuff with tuning and adjusting, but everything ended up sounding just fine.
Well, there are some things I would like to mark especially. First of all is that how clean the sound is. The lows are really powerful, but what is of bigger importance is that they do not mash up with the mids. The music played is really nice to listen to.
The second one is that there was a sure lack of advanced electronic adjusting. It`s not that it did matter a lot, but if we decide to leave the basement one time, It won`t be Dean EAB that I`ll pick for the band`s first tour.
300 dollars was a worthy investition, that I do not regret. The guitar did bring a lot of joy during all these years.
John, 35, Guitar experience – 11 years
Last time I played Dean EAB fretless acoustic bass was like 9 years ago. I did not have enough experience to value the guitar properly. Now, as I have an opportunity to come back to what I started with, I can tell a couple of words about this instrument.
The first negative thing I noticed was the truss rod. Not the most reliable thing I would say. The warp itself is however not the most important thing, so one will not probably even pay much attention to it, as the influence is minimal. I would call this thing an acceptable one for a budget guitar.
The second is that electrical qualities are not outstanding at all. I had to turn the tone down, perform several equalizations, do a lot of preamp job, yet the sound was dull.
Dean EAB is only good as an acoustic guitar. There many more guitars, providing decent electric sound. Would I say, that this sample is still worth its` price? Sure. It is nice to start with and to learn, and the money asked is not that big. Dean EAB is a valuable purchase.
Dean EAB is a decent instrument. The fretless bass, the lows, the quality of the build, acoustic features and overall convenience make this guitar a definite “YES” for a beginner or an intermediate player looking forward to having fun. Easy-to-play and easy-to-learn instrument will be a great companion during the first several years.
It is of course a definite “NO” for an experienced person looking for the skill level upgrade. The lack of tuning options and the other classical troubles of budget guitars will not help with improving personal abilities.