Dean Guitars

Dean Guitars
Industry Musical instruments
Founded 1977 (1977)
Headquarters Tampa, Florida, United States of America
Area served
Key people
Elliott Rubinson - Owner
Dean Zelinsky - Founder
Products Electric, acoustic & resonator guitars
acoustic & Electric guitars
Owner Armadillo Enterprises, Inc.
The various Dean models available, with three Dimebag Darrell models visible.

Dean Guitars is an American manufacturer of musical instruments. It was founded in 1977 by Dean Zelinsky in Chicago, Illinois and is currently under the ownership of Armadillo Enterprises in Tampa, Florida.[1] The range of products includes electric, acoustic and resonator guitars, basses, banjos, mandolins, ukuleles, amplifiers and pickups.


Dave Mustaine (left) with his Dean Signature VMNT.
Dean 79 Z.
A Razorback model.

Dean Guitars was founded by Dean Zelinsky in 1976, when he was 19 years old. Oscar Medeiros gained ownership of the brand from 1986 and until 1995.[2] Armadillo Enterprises, under the leadership of Elliott Phillip Rubinson then purchased the Dean trade name in 1997. Rubinson continues to run the company today and is also an active musician. He tours as bass player for the Michael Schenker Group as well as for Uli Jon Roth and Michael Angelo Batio.[3] Zelinsky left from the company in 2008 and went on to form DBZ Guitars.[4]


Dean is best known for their line of electric guitars that include the ML, V, Z, Cadillac, Splittail, Soltero, EVO, Custom Zone, Vendetta and Deceiver models. In 2012, Dean Guitars debuted its 35th Anniversary Collection including reissues of the original 1977 ML, V and Z.

Dean also has many signature electric guitar models. The company offers numerous Dimebag Darrell models, including some signature ML models and his own original shapes, the Razorback and Razorback V. Dean also has signature models for Dave Mustaine, Bret Michaels, Michael Schenker, Leslie West, Michael Angelo Batio, Michael Amott, Rusty Cooley, and other artists.[5]

The company's bass guitar models include the ML, V, Z, Cadillac, Edge, Demonator, Hillsboro, EVO, and Custom Zone. Dean has extended its range of products to other strings instruments such as resonator guitars, mandolins and banjos.

Other products

In 2007, Dean Guitars began producing their own pickups, called DMT (Dean Magnetic Technologies). Dean manufactures artist signature pickups for Dime, Schenker, West, Batio, Amott, Moore and others.[6]

Dean also produces amplifiers for electric, acoustic, and bass guitars. At the 2009 NAMM trade show, Dean unveiled the Dime Blacktooth amplifier, which is a recreation of Dime's favorite amp that he played in Pantera for over 12 years. It was released to the public in early 2010. The 20-watt combo version kept the Blacktooth name, but the head and cabinet version were renamed the Dean Dimebag D100 and D412. The Blacktooth, D100 and D412 were produced by a subsidiary of Dean Guitars, Dime Amplification. The amplification line has since been discontinued.

Affiliated companies

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


  1. Music Trades Magazine December 2007
  2. Ed Roman. "Dean Guitars - History of Dean Guitars - Ed Roman Guitars". Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  3. "Repositioning ddrum for growth: drawing on lessons learned reviving Dean Guitars, Elliott Rubinson reintroduces ddrum as an alte - printable". Retrieved 2010-07-28.
  5. "Dean 2016 Catolog" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  6. "Buddy Blaze Guitars". 2013-12-28. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
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