Iconic heavy metal band Megadeth bassist David Ellefson talked about his favorite bass guitars of all time during an interview with Premier Guitar.
Ellefson stated that he had many favorite basses and told the different purposes of them. He has a couple of Fenders such as a 76 Maple and a 78 Rosewood. He likes them because they are very practical instruments for playing. Also, he thinks that one must have a Fender to be able to be a real bass player.
He bought one Fender when he was about to record Megadeth’s sixth album ‘Youthanasia’ and the 76 for recording ‘Risk‘ album. They are still great for him and he doesn’t want to replace them. He painted black the 78 by himself and both of them have great precision basses.
Nowadays, Ellefson is using studio instruments more. He has a pre-Kramer Spector NS2 which has been only used in studio records for both the band’s songs and his solo works since ‘Cryptic Writings’ album.
He also has a Jackson as the exact replica of his first 1987 Jackson. The new version was built by using the pictures that were taken on stage over the years. He says that he prefers using five-string basses while performing.
Here’s what he told:
“What’s my favorite bass? I have many of them, and I have several favorites for several purposes. I have a couple of Fenders – a ’76 Maple and ’78 rosewood that I like because they are plug-and-play.
I think in order to be considered a real bass player, you need to have a Fender in your arsenal. One I bought when I moved in here, to record the  ‘Youthanasia’ record with Megadeth, and the ’76 I bought in Nashville to record the  ‘Risk’ album. Both are beat-up and I don’t wanna change them.
The ’78 I had painted black for me, but the ’76 is beat to hell – the tuners are hard to tune, but if you get into a fight in an alley with it, you’re gonna win. They were a hallmark of a great P-bass. But since I just relegated now to studio instruments.
I also have a pre-Kramer Spector NS2, a very low serial number, and that is another plug-and-play studio bass, never goes on stage. I used to record the four-string parts on Megadeth’s ‘Cryptic Writings’  album and I’ve since used it on my Ellefson solo stuff as well.”
He went on:
“The other one, I must say, this new Jackson, it’s actually the 30th anniversary, this is the exact replica of the first Jackson I had made for me back in 1987. They didn’t even have schematics for this, we literally built this bass on pictures of me that people had when I was playing on stage with Megadeth over the years.
So we had photographers send us some photos. The only thing we changed on it is we added EMG pickups instead of the Jackson pickups. But other than that, it is literally a replica of that very first bass.
And I love it. I don’t play a lot of four-string when I’m performing, I use five-strings most of the time, but this is a bass kind of like those Precision basses, kind of like NS2. It’s plug-and-play and has a great tone to it.”
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