Gear I Use


Upright Kay Basses - 1939 and 1953 

The ‘53 has Innovations (U.K.) Black Rockabilly Medium Tension set - a lot easier to slap for longer periods of time with this set-up, sound a bit like gut strings, stay in tune even in weather changes, balanced tone. 

The ‘39 is fitted with all steel strings.  It has some neck and top issues so I don’t play this one at this point. 

Current upright bass set-up: 

Realist Pickup  This is my main pickup.  It is a lot stronger than the Underwood (more gain right out of the box) and very bass heavy.  Check out the whole site for lots of upright bass information. 

Radial Tonebone PZ-PRE - A honey of a powerful preamp for any instrument with a piezo pickup.  It is amazing the strength and fullness of the signal out of this piece of gear. Has a great notch filter that can knock out annoying feedback frequency to give you more gain.  It has a Boost button so I can use that with my ballad loudness and unboost when I’m rockabillying!  Tuner out, 2 channels with separate volume controls for blending if needed and much much more! THE main feature of this piece of gear is what it does to enhance what the piezo pick-up does.  It knows what piezo pick-ups do well and leaves those alone. It enhances and “fixes” what piezo pick-ups don’t do well, so it gives a powerful balanced tone out. 

Boss TU-2 tuners 

Monster cables for bass 

Amps and Pre-amps:  

Gallien Krueger - used this up in Canada when playing with The Tennessee Three.  “WHAT’s THAT?” I thought when I saw this little itty bitty amp sitting there.  Looked like a small briefcase with knobs and a speaker.  But ohhhhh the sound!  Perfect for my ‘53 Kay Bass and Realist pickup and Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre and that electric bass (see below).  yeah!  

I used to use a Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum Bass Preamp  It works well but I like the Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre a lot better.  

ART Tube MP preamp (for phantom power - sweet little tube amp when you need it most) 

My Electric Bass info

Fender P-Bass Custom (has a Jazz neck and both P-Bass and Jazz pickups) 

I put this Electric Bass through Radial Tonebone PZ-PRE second input jack.  I balance the volume output of the upright and the electric so the sound guy doesn't have to fiddle all night when I keep switching back and forth.

Other gear: 

My new favorite piece of microphone gear, a mini-shotgun microphone from DPA is amazing!  The DPA 4099 clip-on with both violin and guitar mounts have all kinds of flexibility of where you can mount the mic for any number of instruments to get the best sound at the instrument/mic combination sweet spot.  It is very clean sound and really true from what I’m hearing.  When I ordered it I asked for the flat XLR adapter (not the standard HPF one (Hi-Pass Filter)).  I use either the phantom power 48V from the board or from my portable ART battery operated unit (I can use in Europe, too).  The Power Mute from Pro Co is another great find  This gives me the opportunity to temporarily turn off the signal to the board and tune.  Very clean OFF/ON and it passes 48V phantom power with no problem.  I tried recording a few clips of this using it for my guitar and bass and love it.  Much more clean sound than the Shure BETA 98 and not as muddy.  Very clear tone in fact, the DPA is. 

I used to use a Shure BETA-98H/C clip-on microphone  This little gem gives me the natural mic’d sound of my bass, rather than the cigar box tinniness of a pickup.  Be very careful handling this as its cord is so tiny and a bit frail (not designed for Rockabilly antics, and the clip is not sturdy either (thankful for duct tape!).  I wrap the cord up at the XLR connector and tape it in place on the back of my tailpiece.  I leave enough room to enable me to connect an XLR cord to the board from the unit’s.  That way it doesn’t get mishandled.  The gooseneck attached to the mic is handy to be able to adjust the power coming to it from my bass by moving it closer or farther away from the f-hole or the body. 

My back-up pickup is an Underwood Pickup  30 year old technology but hand made and tested and steady steady steady! 

Road Cases: 

David Gage Upright Bass case 

Gator Bass Guitar flight case  I also use their handy light-weight mandolin case 


Fender Squire Tele cuz I love the Tele sound and this was a great inexpensive way to start on an electric (for us hard-drivin Bluegrass flat pickers!).  I just had Original Vintage Tele pickups put on this Squire.  Really improved the tone and volume! 

Fender The Twin Amp 

Fender Blues Junior Amp 

Danelectro pedals: 

  Tuna Melt Tremelo and 

  Dan Echo 

  BLT Slap Echo for that near Sun Studio sound

Danelectro Baritone Guitar - powerfully deep TWANG! 

Gibson ES-120T 

etc etc