As a bassist and massive fan of King's X, I jumped at the chance to play a bass like dUg's as soon as they were announced. Besides the fact that it's dUg's bass, I was intrigued by the 35" scale length, the semi-hollow body, and the simple elegance of the electronics - one pickup, one volume knob, and nothing else. I preordered it from Sweetwater and waited patiently.
When I first opened the box, I was immediately impressed with the build quality and finish. The paint, fretwork, and overall build quality are very nice. The "binding" appears to be paint, but it's very well done - well enough that I'm not quite sure - and either way, it doesn't bother me a bit.
The next thing I noticed, when I put a strap on it, was that it's very neck heavy. It's easy to understand why: the Telecaster-shaped body doesn't have a horn extending from the upper bout, which would allow for better balance. Furthermore, the semi-hollow body's light weight provides less counterweight than a solid body would; finally, the long scale neck shifts the center of gravity even further toward the headstock. This does make the bass a bit difficult to play; you're holding up the neck with your fretting hand as you play. This is the only "con" about the bass, but it is serious enough that it needs to be mentioned.
The bass is fairly resonant, due to the semi-hollow body, but it's not loud enough acoustically to play unamplified in an ensemble setting. It really comes to life when you plug it in - when I fired it up through my Sansamp RPM-based rig, it was seriously like dUg was in the room! Even without making any adjustments to my preamp (which is normally set up for a Chris Squire-like sound for my Rickenbackers), that unmistakeable dUg tone was right there, in spades! By this point, I was grinning like a lunatic. Next, I adjusted my two RPMs (I normally run them with identical settings, so that I can play in true stereo) to a dUg-like configuration - one for clean lows and the other for gritty highs. With this setup, the sound was dead on to the real thing! Awesome!
Playing along with some King's X songs, I noticed the next great feature of this bass - no matter how you tune it, the sound stays tight and focused and the fundamentals ring out solidly. Most other basses I've played, with 34" or even 33 1/4" (in the case of my beloved Ricks) scale necks, get loose, floppy, and washed-out-sounding when they're detuned; not the dUg bass. It stays punchy and fat at least down to C with the stock strings (Ernie Ball 4 String Super Long #2849 [.045-.105]); I'd bet it would work great with heavier strings for even lower tunings.
Overall: Schecter and dUg really nailed it with this bass. The massive tone is a very accurate representation of the real thing. I have to dock one star for the serious neck dive, but if you can live with that, I enthusiastically recommend this bass!
Schecter dUg Pinnick Baron-H Bass