David Ellefson Bass Rig – Megadeth (Part 1/2)

With help of the David Ellefson Bass Rig. Megadeth have seated themselves into the Big Four of Thrash Metal. Dave is one of the nicest guys in metal and it’s a wonder how such a charming man can endure and survive the burning passion of Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine.

Let’s find out how David’s bass rig made all the difference.

Did you watch the video?! Would you like to know when the next one is out?

David Ellefson’s first bass

David Ellefson came from a well to do family who were located several miles outside of Jackson Minnesota. He grew up and worked on a farm and lived a pretty good all American life.

Dave first became acquainted with music as a child. Originally playing the piano and Wurlitzer organ at his local church.  It wasn’t meant to be for Dave after he exclaimed it was “excruciatingly boring” . By the age of 10 he took up the tenor saxophone.

Not long after this Dave soon became a huge fan of KISS and after studying the back of the “Alive” album.  It stated “KISS use Gibson guitars, because they want the best”.

Following suit in the summer of 1976 , Dave asked his parents for a Gibson bass. Proclaiming in an interview “I figured that if KISS used it, it must be the only one to have.”

Daves parents found a used Gibson EB-0 and bought it for $150 dollars or nearly $700 dollars today. After taking the bass home Dave was disappointed to hear that

“It sounded awful – That combination of a Gibson EB-0, with its single pickup at the neck, plus flatwound strings was terrible, especially at the volumes I wanted to play it. 
I got home and plugged it in and I thought, “What the heck is this? This doesn’t sound like Gene Simmons at all!”

Nonetheless, Dave was committed to learning the bass and taught himself how to play by using the Mel Bay – Electric Bass Method Volumes 1 and 2*.

Ellefson’s early basses

Dave’s father who was described as “not having a musical bone in his body took interest in his sons new vocation. Buying him an Ampeg Dan Armstrong bass.

Following this in 1979 came the addition of a sunburst Rickenbacker 4001. The black pickguard was swapped out for a mirror typed guard.

Dave’s run in with a BC Rich Mockingbird

On a family vacation one summer in 1980. Dave visited a music shop in Atlanta and saw a BC Rich Mockingbird made of Koa wood. These were the “go to cool instrument” at the time. According to Dave.

Initially, worried about the price of the Mockingbird, he considered buying a Peavey T40 instead. His father then pressed him asking “Is that really the bass you want?” And continued “You know, it’s better to spend more money and buy right the first time, than to buy something you don’t really want …”

He added, “If that’s what you really want, I’ll help you get it” With excitement Dave proclaimed in an interview “Once I got the B.C. Rich I finally felt like I was heading in the right direction.”

Ellefson moves to LA

At the age of 18, Dave decided to move out to the big lights of Los Angeles. Citing “There were only a few places a budding rock star could really make it big:  New York, London, or Los Angeles”.

That and he was “repelled by farm work and being told what to do”.

Meeting Mustaine

Once in Tinseltown it didn’t take long for Ellefson to meet Dave Mustaine.  Mustaine, who you should know already was kicked out of Metallica several weeks prior to their first encounter. He was currently plotting a path for all out revenge on Metallica and was absolutely dedicated to the creation of his new band.  Soon to be called Megadeth.

After some tribulations and a revolving door of musicians. Including brief appearances of Slayer’s Kerry King. The line up then landed on Mustaine, Ellefson, Chris Poland on guitar and Gar Samuelson on drums.

Ellefson had originally taken his BC Rich Mockingbird and Dan Armstrong bass with him to LA. The former is seen in photos and live videos at this time. I’ll come back to the Dan Armstrong later on.

Megadeth’s first show 17 February 1984

Megadeth’s debut appearance was on the 17th of February 1984. Dave himself states in an Instagram post that on this show.  He used a NJ series white BC Rich Eagle. Personalising the bass by throwing some red paint over the body to make it look like blood splatter.

Additionally he took it upon myself to carve a huge hole in the top of the Eagle and install a Kahler tremolo bridge. Dave then admitted, “it didn’t really work and ruined the bass”.

He also recalls that Mustaine wrote the intro riff to Peace Sells on this bass. And then continues that he’s “Not sure what happened to the bass after that.”

Adding insult to injury, he tried his hand at modding again. By ripping the frets of his Koa Mockingbird in an attempt to make it fretless. This bass too was ruined.

David Ellefson’s basses on Killing is my Business and Business is Good 1985

The first album Killing is my business and business is good. Was released in June 1985. During this time you’ll see quite a few BC Rich basses appear.

As Mustaine would admit “Ellefson and I were in the habit of buying guitars from B.C. Rich, and we had a lot of them”

Drummer Gar Samuelson was a general manager in the local BC Rich factory and no doubt helped Chris, David and Dave with acquiring a few BC rich guitars. Pictures have emerged of Ellefson with;

  • Rich Bich 8 string  30”
  • Black Ironbird
  • Rare headless stealth model
  • Striped mocking bird in blue in the style of Eddie Van Halen’s stripes
  • Red Mockingbird
  • Mockingbird painted in the style of a WW2 fighter

David Ellefson’s basses on Peace Sells 1986

The fighter bass was used to record Peace Sells in early 1986 and was seen in the music video of the same name.

The following video release was Wake Up Dead which saw the Ironbird. It was used in a few shows before going missing.

Dave Ellefson’s first Jackson bass

It was during the Peace sells tour in May 1986 that Dave had his first run in with a Jackson bass.

“I went to go see Judas Priest and the opening act was Dokken.
Jeff Pilson was playing a Charvel bass (Now owned by Jackson), and his tone was phenomenal.
The next day I went to the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard, and I saw a Jackson [concert] bass on the wall.
I plugged it through a G-K 800RB head into a Hartke cab. My tone was born right then and there.

In his autobiography Life After Deth he then went on to place an order with the Jackson custom shop.

The fighter jet bass up until Winter 1986 whilst his new bass was being built. Depending on the manufacturer of course you could be waiting several months for a build.

Peace Sells tour

The custom shop quicksilver concert bass appears on tour early 1987. Fitted with Jackson made precision jazz pickups, a neck through maple body and active electronics. It was this bass that began Dave’s love affair with Jackson basses.

According to Dave, at a show in Miami, May 1987. He threw this bass into the air and cracking the neck at the headstock. Lucky for Dave, a replacement was shipped in overnight.

The replacement bass came in a cracked egg shell yellow which was masked with stickers. Notably, an typed man and … some sort of mutant chicken foot.

A year or two after this incident the bass was then painted gunmetal gray. Dave states while it sounded good live it didn’t work as well in the studio and was “relegated to a live back up bass during the So Far So Good So What tour. He lost track of this bass too.

Missing basses in Megadeth

A lot of basses in Megadeth seem to go missing. Dave reports that there are a handful of basses that he doesn’t know what happened to.

  • EB-0
  • Rickenbacker 4001
  • White BC Rich Eagle
  • very first quicksilver Jackson concert.

Additionally The Dan Armstrong was reported to be stolen by Gar Samuelson for dope money. The Mockingbird fighter used during Peace sells video was purchased by a fan at a Megadeth auction. This was then donated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Dave Ellefson’s basses on So Far So Good So What 1988

In one of Daves’ Facebook posts, he mentions that the quicksilver was quickly repaired and went on to record 1988’s So Far So Good So What

In some of the shows during 1988 you’ll also see the gunmetal gray concert bass performed on the shows encore “Anarchy in the UK”. As previously mentioned, this was once the cracked egg shell Jackson.

During that summer Megadeth played the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington. Possibly their biggest show to date. On this performance Dave busts out a candy red Jackson concert bass. During the US tours however, Megadeth toured with Dio. Dave and Dio’s bassist Jimmy Bain then became friends and Jimmy invited Dave over. Dave Recalls

“ I went over, and he loaned me an eight string bass.  I took it home and started playing it, and immediately wrote the song ‘Dawn Patrol, which ended up going on the Rust In Peace record.”

Dave Ellefson’s basses on Rust In Peace 1990

Ellefson also mentions that the candy red concert bass was used to record “A large portion of “Rust In Peace“. Praising its ebony fingerboard that had a bright “snap” which can be clearly heard on songs like “Five Magics”.

Rust In Peace tour

This bass was later painted black and appeared on the video for Holy Wars as well as the Rust In Peace tour of 1990-91 He switches between this bass and a 5 string concert bass.

The 5 string was featured in the video for Hangar 18 which was originally  written on a four string in drop D. It was also the first 5 string designed by Jackson. Towards the end of the tour in summer 1991 a white concert bass is played a few times.

Dave Ellefson’s basses on Countdown to Extinction 1992

1992 was the release of Countdown to Extinction. It’s not said been specifically which basses were used to record it. Dave mentions in one of his “every bass has a story” posts that he had 2 main 4 strings on tour. One of which was white Jackson concert bass.It can also be seen in a few shows at the tail of the previous tour and on the Symphony of Destruction video.

The second bass was a precursor to what would be called the Kelly bird. Designed and released by Dave many years later (see below). He had Jackson paint this one battleship gray – stating “it’s the same color as my Panasonic answering machine at home.”

A new 5 string bass was spotted during the Count down tour. The Jackson pictured here was based on a Kip Winger signature model made for Dave. Unfortunately, he goes on to describe the bass “too thin for my stage uses”. It was used for a few photoshoots and was subsequently retired.

Countdown to extinction tour

During the Countdown tour he also mentions that he was “on the hunt for some new and unique guitars”. Finding a Spector NS2 in the local classified ads. The bass was picked up for $1100 in 1993.

Towards the end of the tour. the video for Angry Again was released and we see the white Kelly bird again.

Dave Ellefson’s basses on Youthanasia 1994

Youthanasia saw quite a big change in Dave’s usual style. A friend of mine named Ron sent me this letter that he received from David himself during the Youthanasia tour in 1995.

In this letter it states “I recorded Youth with a 78 Fender Precision for the 4 string songs And the blue 5 string modulus for all the the 5 string songs” The letter continues with amplifiers which we talk about in part 2 – David Ellefson Amplifier and effects (Part 2/2)

A big thank you to Ron from New Jersey for sharing that awesome letter with me. This change came about because Dave wanted to “expand his tones”.

When it comes to the ‘78 Fender. Pictured here with a maple neck. Some artists find that older instruments have a unique tone that can’t be recreated with modern instruments. It’s a very personal and subjective thing.

There are also reports of a second vintage Fender Precision from 1976 with a Rosewood fingerboard .

In the making of the album video we see Dave pull out a Fender Jazz, Steinberger Q2 and a natural BC Rich Eagle but the extent of their use has not been confirmed. In this program Dave mainly plays the Modulus, Steinberger and the Precision.

David Ellefson’s Modulus basses

The Modulus basses on the other hand were quite unique at the time are built with carbon fiber necks. Virtually unaffected by changes in temperature, humidity, and altitude. They also produce a very specific tone compared to traditional wooden necks. Dave praises these basses stating

“Its 35” scale length, EMG pickups and maple tops made this an exquisite instrument to handle the duties for the album and tour. Its graphite neck provides an incredibly stable support and also a terrific “snap” to the brilliance of the notes.”

Dave further explains his choice in an article with Bass Player Magazine.

“On Countdown to Extinction, we realized as we were playing bigger venues and the tempos needed to slow down so people could actually hear the music— so we wrote differently. That continued through Youthanasia, which is when I started using the Modulus 5-string to get deeper and punchier for the new, slower songs.

Ellefson quickly became a Modulus aficionado and actively engaged in trading modulus basses within his local community. Originally, an employee at The Bass Place in Scottsdale Arizona loaned him a swamp ash quantum 5 model.

This was soon followed by the purchase of the blue quilt maple top mentioned in Daves’ letter. Two singles were released from the album, Train of Consequences Tout Le Monde. In the latter video, Dave plays an Emerald Green Quantum 5

Youthanasia tour

The Youthanasia tour started in October 1994 and Dave originally used the blue quilt modulus. A quilted maple or trans orange modulus was also purchased as a backup for the tour. However it was soon played as the main bass instead. This bass is now retired from the road and Dave only uses it to record.

Dave Ellefson’s basses on Cryptic writings 1997

Megadeth then took time off to record Cryptic Writings. Released in June 1997 and followed up with a world tour. The Spector NS2 now took the helm to record the album. Dave also adds “I used my Modulus Quantum five string bass for a few songs, but overall the Spector did the job for everything else”.

For the tour, Dave shares this picture with the following caption. ”This black Modulus Quantum five string bass – was my go-to axe on this tour. It MAY also be one which later sported the pearlescent white pickguard.

Dave Ellefson’s basses on Risk 1999

Released in 1999, “Risk” received a mixed response from critics. Alienating hardcore Megadeth fans due to its departure from the band’s heavy thrash metal roots to a more commercial, pop rock sound. The general theme of the album was taking Risks. A lot of these changes stemmed from a comment made from Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. Mustaine remarked;

“Last album, Lars said something to me through the press.
He said he thinks I am talented but that I should take more risks, which I took as good advice.As this new record evolved, it became more and more appropriate to call it Risk.
And after all, the band is called Megadeth – we aren’t afraid to take chances.”

A Sadowsky 5 string and the 76 Fender Precision was used on the record . The music videos released soon after show a 5 string American Jazz bass in Crush’em and a 5 string quantum with a pearlescent pickguard on the video for Breadline.

Whilst on tour, Dave also goes on to say the he used a pair of four and a pair of five string Fender American P-Bass Deluxe basses. The 76 Precision was also used during the encore and put through an Aguliar preamp to match the modulus output .

The World Needs A Hero 2001

The World Needs A Hero was released in May 2001 and much like the last albums. Fender Precision deluxes were used throughout this period. Dave would go on to praise their active electronics.

The World Needs a Hero tour began in mid-2001 but was cut short due to the attacks of September 11th 2001.

The band instead played two shows in Arizona that November which were filmed and released as Megadeth’s first live release, Rude Awakening On this DVD you can also get a good look at these basses.

David Ellefson leaves Megadeth

That following January 2002, Mustaine was hospitalized for the removal of a kidney stone and was administered pain medication which triggered a relapse of his drug addiction.

Whilst in treatment at rehab, Mustaine fell asleep with his left arm over the back of a chair, causing a compression of the radial nerve. He was then subsequently diagnosed with radial neuropathy, which left him unable to grasp or make a fist with his left hand.

On April 3 2002, Mustaine announced in a press release that he was exiting Megadeth, as his arm injury rendered him unable to play guitar. After a one year of physiotherapy. Mustaine began work on a solo album, which would be called “The System has Failed”.

Unfortunately due to contractual obligations, the record company was still expecting one more Megadeth album. Long story short, this album had to be released under the Megadeth name. Regardless of who was in the band.

Mustaine invited back members of the Rust in Peace lineup. Unfortunately Ellefson and Marty Friedman could not come to an agreement for the production. Drummer Nick Menza agreed but was effectively fired by Mustaine due to being “insufficiently prepared for the physical demands of a US tour”. Mustaine picked a bunch of session musicians to create the record and play live.

Dave Ellefson’s new jobs

Dave would be out of Megadeth for 8 years between 2002 and 2010. During this period a lot of opportunities presented themselves to him. He was asked by Fender if he’d like to be a bass amp product manager. Then he was invited to play bass for Alice Cooper’s band.

He considered being a full time record producer and even looked into being an A&R rep for Roadrunner records. All of which he passed on.

Peavey Electronics

Early in this period Dave worked with Peavey Electronics and prepared artists to endorse their products. Mainly to help build a higher profile for their amplifiers and guitars in conjunction with artist endorsements.

Some notable artists called into the fold was the late Paul Gray from Slipknot and Nicklbacks Mike Kroeger. He also had the opportunity to design amplifiers and basses for Peavey. One bass in particular was the Zodiac series.

The creation of Dave Ellefson’s F5

A few months into his new life and Dave was approached by a friend from Phoenix named Steve Small. The two jammed together and a couple of weeks later the band F5 was formed.

While Dave did mention he was tired of being in a rock band he stated that “The good Lord intended me to have a bass in my hand. It was really the first time that I felt validated for my musical ideas too but it was still a labour of love” F5 released their first album “A drug for all seasons” in 2005 and a follow up “The Reckoning” in 2008.

Dave was seen using a 5 string silver modulus when recording as well as a signature Peavey Zodiac Scorpio and a Fender Precision Deluxe on stage.

Ellefson and the Peavey Zodiac Scorpio

The Zodiac Dave plays is one of a kind and built in 2006. It was fitted with Seymour Duncan PJ pickups and had unique active electronics that Peavey designed. Peavey couldn’t find a company to reproduce this which meant that the retail Zodiac basses became a passive P/J pickup arrangement.

Dave Ellefson the student

Dave went on to enrolled in a 2 year course to finish his bachelors degree in business in 2005.

I enrolled in an online bachelor’s degree program in business administration and marketing through American InterContinental University (AIU) in Illinois, a course that was moderately intense because it was designed to be completed in two years.

Dave Ellefson the producer

Apart from these bands Dave also had the chance to produce and play on several albums. He had considered a life as a music producer but soon realised that sitting in a studio all day wasn’t as great as he first thought. Notable production credits include Temple of Brutality, Killing Machine and Avian.

Dave Ellefson and Soulfy

He also attended an audition for the band Soulfly but admits “it wasn’t the right time to join full time”. He did however help to record the Prophecy album, music video and stood in for for a few shows. Using the 5 string concert bass and trans orange modulus.

The creation of Hail! 2009

By 2009 a heavy metal super group was formed and named Hail! Featuring members from Judas Priest, Alice Cooper and Megadeth. Dave describes the band as “A cool opportunity for us to perform some of our favorite songs together And for the fans and pay homage to the movement as a whole.”

The Peavey Zodiac was used on all of the HAIL! and the Montrose shows that followed. He commented that the bass has a “deep punchy tone that works well in almost any setting”

The lawsuit

Dave gets a call from Mustaine who explains he’s ready to play again. After meeting up to discuss the details it was clear the terms present at the time were completely rearranged. Ellefsons’ participation and compensation were only a fraction of what it had previously been.

Even now Ellefson tries to avoid the subject as it’s all water under the bridge. He explains in his autobiography that the lawsuit was “specifically designed to drive both parties back to the negotiating table” He then continues “If I had to do it all over again, I would never had filed the suit”.

The Megadeth Reunion 2009

There were a few phone conversations with Mustaine over the years with the aim of starting up Megadeth again. None of which came to fruition.

Around 2009 a booking agent named John Jackson was preparing to launch his second Sonisphere festival. That December he announced that the Big Four thrash bands would be playing the festival. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

If that wasn’t enough, news was soon announced that Megadeth will be touring and celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rust In Peace.

Upon hearing the news Dave said he felt like “he’d been kicked in the gut”. Also saying “I need to be there for this. I knew it was the right thing to do for our legacy “

As if by divine intervention …

Dave received a message from Mustaine’s guitar tech Willie Gee. and in turn spoke to then current Megadeth drummer Shawn Drover. Drover explained that current bassist James Lo-Menzo would be leaving the band.

Ending with -“Dude if there’s ever a time for you to reach out to Mustaine, it is right now”.

Over the course of the next few days Dave met with Mustaine and Drover to jam. Dave mentions “The first song we played was symphony of destruction which sounded great. We looked at each other and we knew right away it was going to work”.

Mustaine then asked Ellefson “Are we going to do this?” Ellefson nervously replied “yes”. “He went home thrilled and I thought to myself,” What did I just commit to? Coincidentally, Peavey were making cutbacks and Dave’s job there was now redundant.

Megadeth reunited February 2010

He initially signed up for one month of the Rust In Peace tour to ease himself back onto the horse. But of course that would eventually turn into a permanent position.

Rust In Peace 20th Anniversary tour

Dave officially rejoined Megadeth early February 2010. With one of his first appearances in the music video “The Right To go Insane” The Rust in Peace 20th anniversary tour kicked off that March.

The band were so well received that they continued touring End Game well into the next year. During the first half of the shows Dave was on stage with his silver custom 5 string Peavey Zodiac and the black 4 string model.

For the Rust In Peace portion of the set Dave went back to his original gear that he used during Rust in Peace and had Jackson make him a new custom concert bass.

The first one was a black Jackson 5 string concert bass and had 3 control knobs just like the old days. Followed by a second Jackson 5 string in quicksilver that Dave is synonymous for these days which arrived in summer 2010.

A brand new BC Mockingbird was also used in the encore to perform Peace Sells. All 3 were were fitted with EMG pickups.

Dave reunites with Jackson guitars

From here on out Dave would rekindle his relationship with Jackson. And due to much public demand, Jackson released a U.S.A. Custom Shop David Ellefson Signature Model in January 2011. Dave then collects a handful of new Jackson’s from 2011 to present day 2019.

Megadeth’s 13 (2011)

Right in the middle of the Endgame tour. The band recorded their 13th album aptly named Thirteen. No specifics about the recording process was released. We do know it was recorded in just 10 weeks between May and June 2011.

The 13 tour mainly saw Dave using his custom quicksilver and a black 5 string custom bass for the encore. His rig now consisted of 2 Jackson five strings quicksilver and red, 2 four strings; quicksilver and a blue kellybird.

On this occasion a 5th bass was added just for fun. A 5 string signature with artwork by Craig Christy.

The Kellybird, a fusion of the Jackson Kelly guitar and Gibson Thunderbird bass. Was designed by Dave in 1992.

Apart from a prototype or two nothing really came of it. Then in 2010 Dave and Jackson took another shot at the design.

“It’s sort of the classic, slung low, rock & roll bass with the Jackson Kelly guitar horn on the bottom … We sort of integrated some Jackson-ism into a nice traditional, rock & roll bass.”

The album 13 was released November 1st 2011 with a tour commencing that December right through 2012. The tail end of that tour then became the 20th anniversary of Countdown to Extinction.

The Countdown to Extinction live DVD was released and showed the basses already mentioned and puts a clear spotlight on the red Jackson 5 string. The band ended up touring nonstop between the years 2011 and 2013. Taking a short break over the Christmas holidays before recording Super Collider.

Super Collider (2013)

Dave states in an article with gear gods he used one of the stock Jackson X series basses to record Super Collider.

“We went to market with a much less expensive bolt on version last year. I actually recorded the latest Megadeth record Super Collider with that exact bass.

Megadeth put on their own festival that year called the Gigantour. Through these shows Dave was using this 5 string neck-through USA Custom Shop Jackson Kelly Bird. Stating;

“it was a “one-off instrument I played for a short period In 2013 … Moving forward now, I play the bolt-on neck 4 and 5 string models, usually for “Peace Sells as this bass was intended to imitate the protruding neck that was inherent on the BC Rich Mockingbirds That I use to record that song with in 1986. “

Creation of the Metal Allegiance

During 2014 Dave took part in the Metal Allegiance. Another supergroup with the core line up comprising of Mark Menghi, Alex Skolnick, Mike Portnoy and Dave on bass.

The group is routinely joined by many, many other musicians on the road.

Their debut album Metal Allegiance was released in 2015 and Dave was snapped playing his 5 string custom shop and 76 Fender precision.

Dystopia (2016)

The follow up album Dystopia was released in January 2016. In an interview with bass player magazine Dave talks about the recording process. While he talks about his amplifiers, he fails to mention the basses used specifically.

The article however lists the equipment he used at the time. Which is pretty much every Jackson guitar he has on the market at that date.

Jackson reissue the signature concert bass 2016

Also in 2016, Jackson re-released Daves’ signature concert bass CBX2. While his are custom shops, the retail versions share the same changes. The biggest changes here include ergonomic cut aways as well as a new placement for the knob controls.

Dave mentioned that when strumming, the controls were kind of in the way. This model now changes that by putting the controls around the edge of the bass.

Altitudes and attitude (2011)

Stepping back a little bit to 2011. Dave and Frank Bello – Bass player for Anthrax. Were performing at bass clinics in support of Hartke amplifiers.

They began writing music together on and off while traveling the world during their clinics known as “Metal Masters” The result of this partnership was the formation of the band Altitude and Attitude.

By 2014 the pair had released a 3 track EP. Only recently in January 2019 did they finally release a full length record named Get It Out. Dave explains the dynamic of the duo.

It’s fun because as bass players we’re holding down the lower end of the spectrum and the rhythmic groove section.
I think there’s always this yearning for us bass players to wanna be melodic players.
Where these songs are coming from they’re written from a guitar player’s perspective not from a bass player’s perspective.”

Both Dave and Frank write guitar and bass parts whilst Frank does the singing. The interesting part of this duo is that Frank tends to play an 8 string bass and Dave a 10 string Jackson bass.

David Ellefsons bass collection

As of 2019, Dave has a few extra basses added to his collection.

  • Navy blue Rickenbacker
  • Steve Harris signature Precision
  • Double Jackson guitar bass
  • Cream coloured Stingray SUB
  • Couple of acoustic basses.

Jackson release CBX2 basses 2019

Jackson guitars also had a new signature release for Dave which came in July 2019.

It has a newly designed headstock and Dave wanted to create something traditional that would appeal to a general audience. It has a few quality of life features too like the string tree, high mass bridge and a pickguard.

A maple fingerboard for reasons unknown and PJ pickups just like the old days. The interesting thing here is that the precision pickup is flipped.

Dave explains there’s a certain midrange tone he dislikes from this position and flipping the pickup alleviates that.

Megadeth start work on new album 2019

Megadeth are currently in the studio recording their 16th album. Photos have emerged of Dave using a beautiful looking velvet black cherry modulus. You can just make out the trans orange model in the background.

As well as some usage of his red Jackson 5 string. This specific bass bass was a one off build for Dave’s signature line. The increased scale length of 35” inches adds a piano like tone to the B string. However Dave admits that it also adds fatigue to his left hand and shoulder.

Its appearance is limited on tour and mostly used in studio. The latest bass to be seen is a Dingwall combustion which Dave has borrowed to record with.

David Ellefsons Sleeping Giants

Dave has released a solo album this year named Sleeping Giants. He’s joined by a huge collaboration of musicians from track to track. The album is presented as a soundtrack piece to Ellefson’s recent sequel memoir, More Life With Deth.

In the debut video Dave is playing one of the original concert basses with stickers reminiscent of his very first Jackson quicksilver bass.

A thanks to my friends

I’d like to thank Ron again for sharing his letter and Big T on twitter for helping me bug Hartke. Additionally my thanks goes to Rodney over at Rodney McG for sharing his David Ellefson knowledge. Click the following link to view his very own Metal Bass Microscope EP3 – David Ellefson.

David Ellefsons amplifiers and effects pedals part 2

Click the following link to watch David Ellefsons amplifiers and effects pedals part 2 and read the show notes for all the gear he’s used over the years. Thank you very much for watching and we’ll conclude Ellefsons gear in part 2

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