Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Review & Prices

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Review
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  • From Schecter's 2011 Artist series
  • Dan Donegan Signature
  • Made in South Korea
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Mahogany body
  • Maple 3-pc neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Schecter USA Brimstone-Six (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Schecter USA Brimstone-Six (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Speed knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • TonePros T3BT TOM & T1Z Tailpiece bridge
  • Thin C Neck-Through neck
  • 22 XL Jumbo frets
  • Schecter Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 78
Sound 79
Build quality 69
Value for money 75
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra
  • Locking Tuners
  • Expensive Wood
  • Black Tusq XL Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • Made in South Korea
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $1300, which means that the Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra is around 14% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in South Korea.

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Videos

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Scale Length Comparison
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Neck Profile
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's neck thickness is approximately 0.79'' (20.1mm) at the first fret, and 0.87'' (22.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Schecter website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra has a 14" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords. If you like the playability of a Gibson, which can be described as ''balanced for chords and solos'', and don't care about having slightly less curve for more comfortable solos, you'll like this radius.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
16'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
14'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Nut Width
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Nut Width

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra Fret Size Comparison
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's frets are XL Jumbo size. These are extra-large frets, which are perfect for people who truly want the least resistance for techniques like vibrato, bending, tapping, and just playing fast in general. You won't be able to feel the fretboard with these frets, so if you press too hard you'll get the notes out of pitch. It might take a while to get used to them because of this.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 90
Playability 78

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Mahogany Body: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Schecter USA. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

Diagram

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 85
Versatility 59
Tuning Stability 80
Sound 79

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra is made in South Korea. Guitars made here are well-built and tend to have good quality control, even though they focus on mass production. This used to be the most premium option just below Japan or the US, but other countries like Indonesia are becoming great competitors because of even cheaper labor without sacrificing quality.

Bridge

TonePros T3BT TOM & T1Z Tailpiece: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra has a Black Tusq XL nut. It's not made of plastic or low-quality materials. They're made to resemble the sound you get from bone and ivory nuts, but with slippery materials so the intonation and tuning are stable. Also, each nut is carefully cut to ensure you won't have tune stabilization problems.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Neck-Through neck joint. Many people believe a neck-through build delivers the best sustain because some of the vibrations from the neck aren't lost like with other neck joints. However, no one has been able to prove this. What we know is that a neck-through build is usually the most comfortable when playing the upper frets because there's nothing on your way at the neck-body joint.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 56
Features 75
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 69

All Specs

Schecter Dan Donegan Ultra
General
Brand: Schecter
Year: 2011
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: South Korea
Series: Artist
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: TonePros T3BT TOM & T1Z Tailpiece
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through
Tuners: Schecter Locking
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Maple 3-pc
Decoration: Gold Dots
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Thin C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.79'' (20.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.87'' (22.1mm)
Frets: 22 XL Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 14"
Nut: Black Tusq XL
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Speed
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Schecter USA Brimstone-Six (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Schecter USA Brimstone-Six (Humbucker / Passive)

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