I love Ellefson.. especially his tone.
the clarity and punch in his tone in peace sells and RIP is amazing.
anyone here has any idea of what equipment he used during that period.
amps, basses and ways of getting his tone(please dont justs say "use a pick")
He used Jackson CMG basses with Peavey amps... not sure what kind, but I believe the active pickups and his EQ made a lot of his tone.
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Try wikipedia-ing him, theres normally a little bit on gear in there.

He currently plays his signature Peavey DE Scorpio Zodiac, so thats probably a good place to start, but Im not sure how his tone has changed, so it might not fulfill 'older Ellefson' tone.
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He used Jackson CMG basses with Peavey amps... not sure what kind, but I believe the active pickups and his EQ made a lot of his tone.

Yeah, this is how he got his tone.
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The Peace Sells album cover says he used: B.C. Rich Mockingbird Bass, Ashley Pre-amp, A.B. Power amps, 2 4x12 DeCuir Bass cabs with Cerwin Vega speakers.

The Rust in Peace album cover doesn't say but in the thank you's they thank Gallien-Krueger and there are pics of him playing Jackson Basses.

I hope this helps you.
anyone got any suggestions in what amps i could try out that could get me close to that sexy clear tone?
Ide just get the Peavey Ellefson signature.. thats probably the easier route to take!
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Amp contributes to alot of a bassist's tone. theres very little chance of me getting a bright clear tone with an ashdown abm. the closest tone to that i could get is a trebly clank, even if i buy his sig bass, which i dont like very much.
I'm pretty certain he used a Jackson bass of some sort for Rust in Peace. No clue on amp.
I can get his tone pretty easy with a BBE BMax preamp into a QSC poweramp and an Ampeg SVT.
He used a 5-string Jackson CMG with EMG's and an active EQ. Basically any bass with similar electronics and woods would be a good place to start. Amp-wise, look into a cleaner-rig, something along the lines of GK, Eden, Carvin, etc. With respect to the EQ, I say that his sound is pretty flat but with a slight boost to the treble and the hi-mids. He doesn't seem to scoop his midrange out as much as many other bassists in the genre.
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i think i would actually have sex with dave ellefson, were i not straight. His tone is amazing and he's an amazing player... nobody can deny that, ever!