NBD: The Bass That Made Me Want to Play—Jackson David Ellefson Signature

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Riff Ranger, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. I had this poster over my bed from when I started playing in 1993 to when I graduated high school in 1999:

    From 1994 to 2007, I had a passive, bolt-on, dot inlay, four-string Jackson that mostly looked and sounded the part, and the band on this poster may have influenced that acquisition :smug: While I traded that instrument well and without regrets, I have always remembered it fondly.

    Though I never stopped playing completely, music took a back seat until 2018. Life had changed quite a bit, and so had what I wanted from an instrument … or so I thought. After trying a few different ways of getting at the new sound in my head, it seems the instruments I chose in my earliest years of playing would have gotten me there fastest: my Ibanez ATK (which I managed to keep) and my Jackson.

    This time, though, I went full Rust In Peace-era Megadeth:
    View attachment 4180393

    Behold the Jackson X Series Signature David Ellefson 30th Anniversary Concert™ Bass CBX V!



    It arrived set up so poorly that it was literally unplayable, but fortunately it responded well to my adjustments. It practically plays itself, and it sounds very metal. Finally, the burly PJ5 sound I (apparently always) wanted. Time to get some better strings on this and fine tune the setup.

    David Ellefson’s playing turned out to be an even bigger influence than I realized, so it feels right to have the instrument to match.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  2. 146F108C-DC38-43E4-AE86-4A10D0D89882.jpeg
    The big reveal just had to glitch out :rollno:
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  3. Katoosie

    Katoosie Mangoes! Tahiti! THE PLAN! Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2020
    Hey! One of us!
    I got the CBX V as well, different model though.

    How do you like it so far? Hows the neck, the sound, finish? Any blemishes or rough frets or the side of the neck, anything like that?

  4. thetragichero


    Jan 4, 2019
    there was a good story about how this was written on like a 12 string bass. just solid

  5. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Congrats on the new love-affair bass, RR! And if I may be so bold, best Megadeth era ever!! sw2R0gH.gif


    On a side-note, speaking as a photography hobbyist, I flippin' love that band picture! I dig it so much that when my mom got to hang out with her former bandmates for the first time in years, I had them pose for a shot just like this…just rockin' out empty-handed! :snaphappy: :D
  6. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    The early Dave Ellefson bass bodies were made of alder and they were really good. Then it was changed to poplar and indian cedro and the quality decayed a little bit.
  7. Congratulations!

    Rock it like you stole it... :bassist:
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  8. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    His tone and palm muting on Rust and Countdown is KILLER.

    Sounds like a normal 4 to me. I read Dave's book about the RIP record, and nothing was mentioned of a 12'er, not even by Junior (the book had consistently different interviews throughout).

    Ah, taken by the late Richard Avedon (did the b&w Beatles group pic, too).
  9. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
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  10. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    That’s 100% sweet! Congrats. If you read this you should be rocking that horse instead!

    and I agree with Jackson’s warning label, do not throw this one away!
    Riff Ranger likes this.
  11. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    And a nice guy to boot!

    @Dave megadeth hrowback thursday gigantour.jpg
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  12. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Congrats, RR!
    Riff Ranger likes this.
  13. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Take no prisoners
  14. oaklandthumb

    oaklandthumb Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2014
    Awesome story! Also, im just glad to see someone else who was in high school in the 90s on TB.
  15. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    We are the silent minority
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
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  17. Nice bass, now get off my lawn!
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  18. Nice! While sentimental reasons certainly factored into my acquisition of the 30th anniversary model, I have really wanted a good 5-string Precision-ish thing for the past couple years, so this particular model also made a lot of practical sense. As I modded my Squier VMPV over several months it finally dawned on me that it just wouldn’t get quite where I want it sonically, and there just aren’t a ton of options for 5-string Precision-ish things under 1,000 USD. I had pre-ordered an Ibanez RGB-305 but those won’t ship until May, and when my unused ‘90s pedals somehow turned into several hundred dollars more than expected, the choice was between this and the LTD AP-5; buying new and sight unseen, I went with the more familiar option (I still want all three, haha!).

    Pretty sure my “new” bass is in fact a customer return; the box had been resealed, the bass was poorly cleaned, I found a few tiny scratches, and as mentioned in the original post, the setup wouldn’t have passed the most rushed inspection at the most bargain basement of facilities. I decided to give it a try anyway and obviously it sprung right into shape and I bonded with it right away. I have notified my contact at the vendor and I know he’ll take care of me.

    I remembered that I really liked the neck on my old Jackson Concert EX Professional 4-string, but apparently not much about why! This neck differs dramatically from the ATKs and Precisions I have come to prefer: wide and shallow profile with a nearly flat fingerboard, almost like a 2x4—but nice, haha! As said already, this instrument almost plays itself. Those who remember the ‘90s likely also remember Carvin’s catalogs extolling the virtues of neck-through construction; I don’t detect any substantial tonal differences from my bolt-on instruments, and while I might detect a bit more sustain (or might just be imagining it), it certainly feels different, all in good ways. I was a bit skeptical of the EMGs going in based on my limited underwhelming experience with their HZs, but I figured I would at least like the P well enough. To my surprise, the PJ combination really does it for me here—plenty of midrange, not so hollowed out as I expected (I preferred this combination with my old Jackson as well, but I also preferred a scoopedy sound at that time), and about perfect with the preamp set flat. The preamp gets boomy and buzzy only at extreme settings; oddly enough, I use it to mostly to tame the highs with the P soloed. I don’t generally care for J pickups or bridge pickups of any kind, but this one seems both better positioned and punchier than most.

    Other than the scratches, I only found one tiny blemish on the binding, which I could probably sand away if I felt like it. The finish is shiny and black, which at this point I just accept is what the universe insists upon me having (I don’t choose shiny black instruments; they choose me). Oregon humidity quickly got the fret ends where they belong; I can imagine how things must dry out in a Reno warehouse in winter! The hardware feels solid; I usually tune GCGCF and this is the first instrument of mine with fine enough tuning on that biggest string that it doesn’t take forever to dial it in, and it seems to stay there.

    Apparently some wanted to know more, and apparently I had a bit to report! Thank you for asking.
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  19. Mine would be of the poplar variety, as was the previous Jackson I loved. Thanks :meh:
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