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Review: Dream Studio Guitars Venus

(Image credit: Dream Studio)

Last time I checked, Dream Studio makes more than 20 different guitar models. Some are clearly hip original designs, while the rest seem to have a recurring theme as slightly offset or sleek, hot-rodded models of some very popular and classic guitars. It’s an almost surrealistic approach, and it’s rather cool to see some familiar curves blending into something fresh and new. Maybe for that, Dream Studio is an apt moniker for this company. I looked at what I consider a sleek, hot-rodded model called The Venus for this review, which is the single-cut version of their Mars guitar.

The Venus is an attractive guitar with a fast feel. Dream Studio builder Bill Ryan is well known in the BMX world for designing race frames with his other business, Supercross BMX. So as expected, the Venus plays as a super-charged instrument made to perform a cut above the rest. It has a snappy bark to its biting tone, which I attribute to its chambered mahogany body with an arched maple top, its slightly-smaller 24.6-inch scale length and set-neck design. Construction is neat and precise, with thoughtful appointments like Fifties-inspired Venus inlays and 3-ply binding.

The mahogany neck features an ultra-access bevel at its heel, making any approach to the upper registers on its ebony fretboard — with 22 jumbo frets — a smooth transition. The guitar comes equipped with a Seymour Duncan ’59 in the neck and a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in the bridge, with the additional firepower of Seymour Duncan’s Firestorm switch, which adds 20 dB of gain boost for solos while tacking on even more edge to an overdriven amp. The Duncans offer quick response and firm density in the low end, but if you really want to hear the guitar take off, crank up your amp — that’s where the Venus will make you feel over the moon.

DIRECT PRICE: $1,599.95
MANUFACTURER: Dream Studio Guitars, dreamstudioguitars.com 

Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.