Dean has unveiled a new Leslie West signature guitar, the Tattered N Torn Thoroughbred TBZ.
Limited to just 50 examples (15 autographed and 35 non-autographed, with an “LW” insignia on the back of the headstock), and signed off on by the late Mountain frontman and guitarist prior to his death, the guitar features a two-piece mahogany body and a flame maple arched top with a Trans Brazilia nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
The C-shaped, three-piece mahogany neck – which, like the body, boasts single-ply cream binding – features a 22-fret ebony fingerboard.
Sounds on the guitar come by way of two Dean DMT humbucking pickups – a Leslie West Signature Mountain of Tone unit in the bridge and a Nostalgia Distressed unit in the neck. They're controlled by master volume and tone knobs, plus a three-way selector switch.
Other appointments on the custom instrument include Grover 18:1 ratio tuning machines, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, pearl block fret markers, and a distressed treatment by former Fender Master Builder John Cruz.
“If I can get excited about a guitar when I'm 75 years old, that's sayin' something!” West said of the guitar in a statement recorded before his death last December.
“I remember the first time he saw it,” said Jenni West, West's widow. “I opened the box and pulled it out, [and] laid it on the island of the kitchen. He lit up like a fat kid at a chocolate factory. He laughed out loud in that big booming voice, ‘That's fucking perfect! Looks torn and tattered like me!’
“He plugged it into his practice amp, cranked up the volume and played a few bars of 'Blood of the Sun.' That guitar made him smile! He said it made his balls rattle. That's how he judged a guitar; if the bottom end didn't boom, it just didn't make the cut. He was so proud of this model. I am too!”
The Dean Leslie West Tattered N Torn Thoroughbred TBZ is available now, with the signed edition ringing up at $9,999, and the non-signed version ringing up at $5,460. Both versions come with a custom-stenciled hardshell case and a certificate of authenticity.
For more info on the guitar, stop by deanguitars.com.
Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.
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