Dig My Rig: October 2013 - Mitchell Elkiss

THE GEAR A BASS PLAYER USES , collects, loves, and surrounds themselves with tells a part of the unique story that is each of us.
By MITCHELL ELKISS ,

THE GEAR A BASS PLAYER USES , collects, loves, and surrounds themselves with tells a part of the unique story that is each of us. I have played many basses in clubs and bars, at festivals and at parties, for 45 years, and this picture represents my current lineup.

The vintage ’70s Silvertone on the left was my first bass. I worked at my college roommate’s grandparents’ “midnight madness sale” and they paid me by letting me choose this bass from the pawnshop behind their jewelry store. I played it for years. It has its original flatwound strings and still plays fairly well.

My Ibanez acoustic/electric bass is great for practice at a quiet level. It’s good for fingerpicking and/or playing with a pick. The ’68 Ampeg Baby Bass, a staple of the Afro-Cuban sound, has a great sound and feel. My ’73 Fender Precision is my favorite rock & roll bass. The feel is amazing, the setup can’t be beat, and the LaBella flatwounds compliment it perfectly. This Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass, strung with Rotosound Swing Bass Roundwounds, also rocks—it has great tone, spunky action, and it plays fast.

My custom fretless 1999 Pedulla Thunderbass has the best feel of any bass I have ever played. As a neck-through, it has great resonance; the B string is amazing, as are the Bartolini pickups, the urethane-coated fretboard, and the unique “growl” between the 5th and 7th frets. I alternate between using Pedulla nickelwounds and GHS black tapewounds on it.

This Lakland Skyline Vintage J has lots of snap and pop and a very crisp sound. On my mid-20th century Schroeder upright, I use a Barcus Berry bridge pickup and Thomastik strings. Last but not least are my ’80s Peavey Dyna-Bass and a fretless Ministar Basstar Travel Bass (on the floor, next to my Aguilar Filter Twin and Boss tuner).

My rig consists of Gallien-Krueger MB Fusion and 700RB heads, a Low Down Sound 1x15 neodymium speaker custom-built by Don Boatman to be driven by G-K bi-amped heads, and a Gallien-Krueger 2x12 cab with neodymium speakers.

I have a day job, but I’ve always played, and I always will. I am mostly self-taught. But in the past few years, I’ve studied with Bob DeGeorge, who helped me learn to read charts, write charts, and begin my study of music reading. More recently, I’ve been studying some home recording techniques for our band’s first CD of all originals, Wild Nights.

Got a rig you think we’d dig? Send a photo and description to digmyrig@gmail.com.