“It’s a small world after all.” That’s what the happy puppets in Fantasyland would have you believe, but I ain’t buying it. Having spent at nearly two days of my life on planes and trains travelling to Musikmesse—the massive music trade show held every Spring in Frankfurt, Germany—I can tell you the world is in fact a pretty freaking huge place after all (especially when fighting a headwind crossing the Atlantic). But I digress . . . .
While I invite you to check out Bass Player’s Flickr widget for photographic evidence of the trip, allow me to share one pearl of wisdom that only words can convey: The US Dollar is in a world of hurt right now. I know this isn’t news to anybody paying stateside room and board (Gasoline? Fuhgeddaboudit!), but nothing drives the issue home quite like checking out some of the finest basses you’ve ever played—especially from European luthiers like Marleaux, Sandberg, Luthman, Ritter, Warwick, and Human Base—and then hearing the astronomical prices you’d have to pay to get your grubby Yankee paws on one. It hurt.
It’s always great to meet up with old friends I’ve made at NAMM shows past from companies like Ashdown, Gallien-Krueger, Aguilar, Warwick, Ampeg, Markbass, Eden, and more, but it was a real treat to meet new peeps from the kind of companies that don’t have such a strong US presence—Poland’s Mayones Basses and Taurus Amplifiers, or Germany’s TecAmp and Däsch Basses, for example. These are some companies with good people making great gear. Here’s hoping we see more of these products here in the US. I’ll be getting into the specifics of the new gear I was lucky enough to check out in a future post (and in the July issue of Bass Player). But for now, check out the goods in our photo gallery and dream of having the ducats to drop on a $12,000 bass. Enjoy your trip through Fantasyland!