Velvet Revolver Bass Rig from Duff Mckagan – Know Your Bass Player (3/3)

Welcome back to the final installation of the Duff Mckagan Bass rig series. The associated acts that followed Duff after Guns N’ Roses deserved it’s own post, where we can provide more detail. Duff’s Velvet Revolver bass rig originally used elements from Guns N’ Roses but soon took a change following many new line ups.

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The breakup of Guns N’ Roses (1997)

First, we start where Guns N Roses originally left off in 1997 after disbanding. Duff contributed on a few projects after the break up leading up to the early 2000’s. During this time his bass playing took a backseat in favour of the guitar.

Between 1995 and 2001 he contributed in the following groups

  • Writing contributions with Slash on Slash’s Snake Pit (1995) (This was during Guns N’ Roses)
  • Played guitar in super group Neurotic Outsiders (1996) who’s members included Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, John Taylor of Duran Duran  and Guns N Roses drummer Matt Sorum.
  • Played guitar in 10 Minute Warning (1997)
  • Writing contributions with Izzy Stradlins second solo album “117 degrees” (1998)
  • Formed the band Loaded  playing guitar (1999)

Velvet Revolver (2002-08)

Finishing his session work in 2002 he created his second super group Velvet Revolver with Slash and former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum.

The VH1 documentary Inside Out: The Rise of Velvet Revolver showed the trio writing material and finding a front man.

During the documentary Duff used as

Eventually he switched back to his original Jazz Bass Special after issues with the active preamp in the Stingray. According to an article in Guitar World’s Bass Guitar, he stated on the topic of active basses.

“I once had a bad experience with one.
We were playing a live show … and at the beginning of our first song,
“It’s So Easy,” I hit a note and … nothing. The battery was dead.

I … got my passive Fender Jazz Bass Special and kept on playing.”

Duff – Guitar World’s Bass Guitar June/July 2004 Issue

Velvet Revolver bass rig

His set up during Velvet Revolver consisted of two custom white Jazz Bass Specials. Both were reissue Fender custom shops that replaced his older Jazz Bass Specials from the Guns N’ Roses days.

  • Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass Special  – With the word “SOLGER” written in black marker across the top horn.
  • Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass Special  – With the sticker “Be Mine” on it (occasionally seen in a similar style is “Mom”)

In addition to the white JBS he had one in black that was used as his main tour bass

  • Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass Special  – Black

Lastly in his Velvet revolver bass rig he had these two basses for specific songs.

  • Japanese ABJ-58 (Seen in Slither) and Fender Jazz Aerodyne* (Neck width increased to 1.6″ and played Slither live)
  • Semi acoustic Duesenberg Starplayer (Used on the last ride)

These basses in Velvet Revolver started out as reissues but by 2008, Fender were producing the Duff Mckagan Signature Precision* and he used those instead.

Duff spoke about all of this gear and effects pedals from this time in the DVD Behind the Player: Duff McKagan. 

Velvet Revolver hiatus (2008)

Velvet Revolver went on hiatus in 2008 and Duff again started bouncing form band to band. Reloading Loaded, releasing an EP and touring in 2009.

Quickly followed by joining Jane’s Addiction in 2010 for all of 6 months using his Velvet Revolver setup. He appeared briefly with the 2010 iteration of Guns N’ Roses for a few shows but used then current bass player Tommy Stinson’s signature ESP.

Loaded, Reloaded

Finally, he regrouped with Loaded again for a third time releasing albums “Sick” and “the Taking” and touring up until 2012.

Duff is the frontman for Loaded and primarily plays electric guitar instead of bass. Despite this, Yamaha gave Duff and resident bass player Jeff Rouse an endorsement for their new BB series.

  • Yamaha BB1024X (in white and black)

This bass is Yamaha’s version of a “super Fender clone” and designed with professional musicians in mind. Five years on and Yamaha have released an upgrade to the BB1024X that you can own too.

Rock N Roll Allstars and Kings Of Chaos (2012-present)

Duff McKagan Geddy Hamilton bassAfter the Loaded tour he helped create the Rock N Roll all stars which had a debut tour between 2012 and 2013, This group is now renamed the Kings Of Chaos and is the supergroups of supergroups touring with a random line up each time.

Duff’s bass is a custom shop but taking inspiration from bassit Reggie Hamilton and the Rush’s Geddy Lee.

Coined by some as the “Geddy Hamilton” bass essentially, the body and hardware of a Reggie Hamilton signature but with the neck of a Geddy Lee. It’s fitted with a P/J configuration and possibly a 18 volt preamp.

  • Fender Custom Shop “Geddy Hamilton Bass” in white
    • Alder Body with Jazz bass shape
    • Maple fingerboard and neck
    • 34″ (864 mm) scale with 20 medium jumbo frets,
    • American Vintage single-coil
    • American Series split single-coil
    • Custom High-Mass bridge
    • Synthetic Bone Nut Width 1.5″ (38.1 mm)
    • 18 volt preamp
  • Fender Custom Shop #2 – same as above in black and seen in Walking Papers (2012)

Duff’s Amplifiers 2012-2016

We cover Duff’s Mckagan’s amplifier rig for this era in part 2 where we get into the details of wattage and show the progressions. The Footnotes is that he used a Fender Super Bassman amplifier and cabinets during this period.

Alice Cooper’s Hollywood Vampires

In February 2016 , Duff played with Alice Cooper’s Hollywood Vampires at the Grammy’s and since then is listed as the touring bassist.

He played with a custom Precision Jazz NASH which is painted with a Nitrocellulose lacquer and a maple fingerboard.

  • NASH Precision Jazz custom

NASH guitars replicates the look and feel of vintage basses and updates them to appeal the modern player.

Guns N Roses reunion 2016

That’ brings us back to present day where Duff now resides back in Guns N Roses which we’ve already covered in part 1 (its a circle!). Links to everything we covered are down below as well as the videos to the previous  episodes.

  • Starting with part 1 of Duff Mckagan bass rig  covering the basses of the Guns N’ Roses period (1986-1997 and 2016-present).
  • Our second part consists of the Duff Mckagan amplifier rig and
  • The third part concludes with Duff Mckagan Velvet Revolver bass rig, Loaded and other associated acts (You are here).

In the next Know Your Bass Player

Next time, we hit the series with our penultimate episode and bring forth a player who’s praises need be louder. Following that episode is the first series finale and we open the floor up to requests from other fans.

If there’s a bassist you would love us to do, get in touch via the YouTube comments/messages or tweet @alfiewilliamsuk. We’ve already got a few on the list so make sure you submit yours soon.

After the Duff series we have another bassist lined up and soon to be released. It’s not too long before we reach the end of this first series and if there’s a bassist you want to see, then get in touch!

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