HAD A GUITAR ...
that felt so nice it seemed to call out "Play me, you genius of melody and rhyme!"? DeweyDecibel's FlipOut was built for THAT!!!
- 4 out of 5 stars!
Nov. 2004 Issue
"... a very gig-worthy guitar that offers hip tones and excellent playability"
Guitar Player Magazine
Feb. 2005 Issue - See below for full review
"... warm and sweet, with no cheap guitar edginess."
April 2005 Issue - See below for full review
Guitars Player Magazine
Feb. 2005 Issue
Tested by Mark Watson
Described in the company's literature as resembling a guitar on muscle relaxants, Dewey Decibel's FlipOut looks like something designed to stop inebriated audience members in their tracks before they wobble up to the bandstand, dig their chin into your shoulder, and start making song requests. Heck, even I was confused when I plugged into what I thought was the output jack, not realizing that signal only emerges from a jack hidden inside one of the cutaways (the stock-type jack plate will also be functional on upcoming models).
What isn't hard to grok, however, is the FlipOut's vintage-style neck, which plays most excellently, thanks to its flat-ish 12" radius and low-action setup. It even sports a separate maple fretboard. The 21 medium frets are lightly polished, and the neck-to-body joint is super tight. The upside-down headstock alters the tension slightly, making the bass strings a little tighter, and the high strings a little looser (Hendrix would have appreciated that), and, for convenience, trussrod adjustments are made from the headstock end. Other details include high-ratio sealed tuners and a vintage-style vibrato that offers smooth action and good tuning stability.
Once your eyes adjust to the FlipOut's appearance, you begin to appreciate how nicely the black pickup covers and knobs contrast with the white pearloid pickguard and swank looking gold-speckle finish. The FlipOut proved comfortable to play sitting, and it also balances quite well hanging on a strap. The controls consist of two Tones, a master Volume, and a 5-way toggle that allows the pickups to be used individually or together in bridge/middle or neck/middle combos. And kudos to Dewey Decibel for his placement of the pickup selector switch and Volume knob, which allows for lightning-quick pickup or volume changes with the edge of your hand or your pinkie.
The FlipOut is indeed one of the oddest guitars I've played, but its vintage-style alnico pickups deliver fantastic clean and distorted sounds, and they're just microphonic enough to keep things interesting. I especially liked playing sustained notes through a non-master Marshall Super Lead 100 turned way up, and hearing them blossom with controllable harmonic feedback. The dual-pickup cluck sounds are some of the clearest and most articulate I've heard, though, unfortunately, the crisp highs drop off dramatically whenever the Volume knob is decreased below full bore.
As absurd as the FlipOut looks, its a good quality and very gig-worthy guitar that offers hip tones and excellent playability. And ascrazy as it looks in stock trim, if you really want to stupefy people, you could easily attach another neck at the cutaway end of the body. The FlipOut is definitely not for everybody, but, hey, that's the point!
Dewey Decibel Inc., (415) 671-2110; flipoutguitar.com
April. 2005 Issue
by Michael Ross
Dewey Decibel's FlipOut is essentially a prototypical three-pickup, single coil electric guitar with the neck mounted into the butt end of the body. Why, I hear you asking? Why not? The original guitar in this style was flipped over by a certain legendary guitarist and played upside down, (when he wasn't setting it on fire) so why not backwards.
We tested the Barry Leventhal Model. Who Mr. Leventhal is must remain a mystery. As if the design is not striking enough, the test model featured a Gold Speckle metallic finish on a Basswood body, with gold hardware. The neck is maple with a separate maple fingerboard sporting a 12" radius and 21 medium frets. The fretwork was good enough to allow a low action with no buzzing and easy, clean bending. This was just the first of a number of pleasant surprises. The next revelation was how good the instrument sounds acoustically, warm and sweet; with no "cheap guitar" edginess. Having the controls on top is not as weird as you might think. The switch and volume control are easily accessible but not in the way, (though pinky controlled volume swells are no longer an option). In fact as player who occasionally inadvertently turns his own volume down while playing, and every now and then switches pickups by accident, this layout is actually an improvement over the "normal" setup. The obviously awkward thing would have been plugging a cable into the normal jack location. Fortunately that jack is just a dummy with the functioning jack located where the underside of the upper bout normally would be.
Plugging in and playing the Flipout brought the next set of shockers. The guitar actually balances nicely on a strap; and works fine sitting, if you lean on the body a little. The Alnico single-coil pickups sound full and warm. The bridge and middle combo yielded the classic funk tone, while the middle pickup alone chimed nicely. The neck pickup provided enough oomph for driving distortion without sacrificing character, perfect for the fusion lick below.
When Gibson introduced the Flying V there were no doubt those who thought they were crazy. It looked nothing like a guitar and you couldn't play it sitting down. There is no one arguing that the FlipOut is a little loony least of all the manufacturer but there is nothing sick about its playability or tone, and if you have the nerve to appear on stage with a Dewey Decibel FlipOut you can count on being noticed.
CONTACT: Dewey Decibel Inc., (415) 671-2110 flipoutguitar.com