Darrel Lance Abbott was born on August 20, 1966 in Ennis, Texas, U.S. He is perhaps better known by his nickname “Dimebag”. He was a founding member of the band Pantera along with his brother Vinnie, and of the band “Damageplan”.
Pantera became a key formulator of the post-thrash subgenre of “groove” metal. It would not be until nine years after forming that Pantera saw its first piece of commercial success in its 1990 major label debut, Cowboys from Hell. Pantera’s “groove” style came to fruition in its breakthrough album Vulgar Display of Power, released on February 25, 1992, which saw the replacement of the power metal falsetto vocals with a hardcore-influenced shouted delivery and heavier guitar sound. In 1994, Abbott dropped the nickname “Diamond Darrell” (after original Van Halen lead vocalist “Diamond” David Lee Roth,) and assumed the nickname “Dimebag Darrell.” Pantera began to suffer from mounting tensions between band members in the mid-1990s, largely due to vocalist Phil Anselmo’s rampant drug abuse. In 2001 the group went on an extended hiatus but never formally broke up. Anselmo left the band for other projects, such as Superjoint Ritual and Down.
Dimebag was shot and killed while on stage during a Damageplan performance on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. He ranked 92 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Guitarists and #1 in the UK magazine Metal Hammer.
Dimebag’s Electric Guitars:
“My main guitar is still my blue ’81 Dean with the Kiss stickers. That guitar just can’t be topped. I use that on all the songs that are in standard tuning. When we tune down to D, I use my brown tobacco-burst Dean.”
|“As a kid it was always my dream to be with Dean guitars, to play a Dean guitar – to own one some day. And funny enough, how this whole thing evolved, after countless days of skipping school and gawking at the Dean catalog, learning inside and out everything about it, and dreaming it would happen some day. There was a guitar contest that came to town, and the a prize was the Dean ML guitar, and at the same time – I didn’t know, my dad ordered me a cherry burst Dean ML Standard. The day when that thing came in was the night of the contest – and I won it! That was the best day of my life. I won the guitar, and my dad got me a bad-ass fu**ing Dean standard.”
Later on, Dime wanted to buy a car for himself, a Firebird Formula 400, so he sold the guitar he won. Here’s a quote from him: “When I was sixteen years old, I wanted to race to hell – I wanted to buy this fu**ing Firebird, Formula man! And I needed 600 fu**ing bucks. What I did is I sold the guitar I won – ugly ass mother fu**er, but I loved it. So I sold the guitar for 600 bucks, and bought the car, but I sure miss that guitar.”
He continues the story: “Long time coming, the guitar made a weird circle, and ended up in the hands of Buddy Blaze, and I didn’t know that he got it. And what I did with the Deans back in the day, I’d get them in the pawn shop for cheap, I equipped them with Floyd rose, hot-rod pickups and customize the paint job. ”
“Anyway, he (Buddy Blaze) got the one I actually won, and he painted the lighting bolts on the body, threw the pickups in, threw the Floyd rose on it, and he was getting famous at that time and I asked him if he would do a Dime guitar for me. So Buddy goes yea I’ll do the guitar for you, and next thing I knew, the next day on my doorstep there was a big box. I opened it up, and I totally knew there was a Dean in there. I popped up the case, and it was the lighting bolt Dean from fu**ing hell man. Greatest guitar I ever had – will ever have in my whole life! Thank god I still got it now. I’ve lost it one time, and I had to pay 2500 bucks to get it back.”
Dime’s Dean from Hell is equipped with Bill Lawrence XL500 pickup in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan ’59 model in the neck. Both Seymour Duncan and Dean make a custom line of pickups based on the ones Dime used (see Dimebag Darrell Dime and Dimebucker SH-13).
|Dime co-designed a guitar with Dean just months before his death. Called the Razorback, it was a modified version of the ML. The guitar came with various versions, such as the one with 24 frets.
Though Dime was never actually seen with the guitar onstage as it was released by Dean posthumously, he did play the prototype and had approved it about a month or two before his death.
|After Dean went out of business in 1994, Dime signed with Washburn, and started using their guitars for the upcoming period. They were pretty much the copies of the Dean ML guitar, which made Dean Zelinsky (Dean founder) come back, and try to build his company back up.
Dimebag returned to Dean 10 years later, in 2004.Dime was seen with Washburn x33, Stealth and Culprit models.
Dimebag’s Guitar Amps:
= Randall RG100H
(used on Cowboys From Hell and The Great Southern Trendkill)
– Randall Warhead
Quote: “I have two different setups that I use. If I’m playing through the regular Randall RG100H, then the guitar goes to the Furman 4-band parametric EQ, to the MXR 6-band graphic EQ and into Randall. If I’m playing through Warheads, then I’m pretty much plugged straight in without those outboard EQs, because they’re built in. “
– Randall Century 200
(used on Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven)
Before switching to amps mentioned above, Dime was using Century 200 heads. During jamming sessions, Dime didn’t wanted to be bothered with hooking up his normal rig: “so, we dragged in a bunch of my old shit and set it up. I was liking the way everything was sounding so I thought, “Don’t fuck with it, there it is!'”
– Krank Revolution
Dime was a longtime user of solid state amps. First tube amp the he actually liked was a Krank, so he decided to connect with the company that made the amps. They sent him the Krank Revolution and Dime was blown awat by it’s tone. Krank also released the Krankenstein – Dime’s signature model. Here’s a short interview with Dime at Krank’s headquarters: link.
Dimebag’s Guitar Effects:
– Dunlop Crybaby DCR-1SR
(just a remote pedal of the rack unit. Dime started using it on The Great Southern Trendkill. Before that, he was using a Vox Wah)
– Dunlop Crybaby From Hell
(Dime’s signature model)
– MXR ZW-44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive Pedal
(Dime has a signature model MXR DD11 Dime Distortion, but he often used ZW-44 for live gigs)
– Furman PQ-3 parametric EQ
(used with the RG-100 stack)
– Furman PQ-4 parametric EQ
(used with the Century 200)
– MXR Flanger/Doubler
– Rocktron HUSH
– Korg DTR-2000 Rackmount Digital Tuner
Most of the stuff bellow was used just occasionally, and was not part of Dime’s main setup:
– MXR 6 Band EQ
– Boss Noise Gate
– Roland AP-2 Phase II
– Korg AX30G
– Boss CE1 Chorus
– Korg G1
(on the demos on The Great Southern Trendkill. some of which made it on the record)
– Electro Harmonix Small Stone Phaser Pedal
– Electro Harmonix Deluxe Electric Mistress Flanger
– Electro-Harmonix Little Big Muff
– Electro-Harmonix Nano Soul Preacher Compressor / Sustainer
Dimebag’s Guitar Strings:
“I’m using two different custom-gauged sets of DR strings which will soon be released as signature sets. One set is .009-.046 set and the other is .009-.050. I use the heavier strings on the lower tunings. “
The signature set he was mentioning was released by DG Strings. Check them here: Dimebag Signature Set
Dimebag’s Guitar Picks:
Dime used green Dunlop Tortex .88mm picks.