Dean Exotica QSE Supreme Reviews
Purchased from B&B music in Camden, Delaware for $429. I lucked into going to the store on their one-day blowout sale, and got the guitar for $50 less than their already discounted price. I can find no local or online dealer that matches this price on the new (spring 2002)QSE.
There is not a guitar within $500 of this that comes close in either looks or sound. The Supreme is the new model of the QSE, and upgrades include a Fishman preamp over the old Shadow system, a solid sitka spruce top rather than the old engleman spruce, and the use of tortoise shell in the binding around the body and neck. Like the original QSE, the back and sides are a beautiful quilt maple (mine is natural, it also comes in blue) and there is extensive use of abalone (rosette, binding, fret marks, headstock). Chrome Grover tuners carry over as well (a definite plus!)
It sounds great either plugged in or not. The Fishman preamp allows for a lot of tweaking when you use an amp. The day I bought this I played many other guitars, including Ibanez, and Martin. The cheapest Martin ($200 more than the Dean and with no electronics) couldn't match the sound of the QSE.
I would have preferred a better model of Fishman preamp. This is the Classic 4. It has slide controls for volume, bass, mid, and treble, plus an additional one for brightness. The older model QSE had a Shadow preamp with a five band EQ. A five band Fishman would be great, but this model does provide a lot of tonal variation--probably as much or more as the old Shadow.
At any rate, for the price, I can't complain.
Overall construction and quality appear to be top-notch. I noticed no significant difference in quality between this Korean-made guitar and the American Martin, although in time some may arise. A five year warranty provides protection against defects in workmanship and quality.
I spent a long time researching and playing guitars in preparation for this new purchase. When it comes down to price, features, sound, and overall quality, I couldn't go wrong with the Exotica QSE Supreme.Brian R.
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