NAMM 2018: New Gear For The New Year - BassPlayer.com

NAMM 2018

New Gear For The New Year
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
89
032_bas0418_NAMM-1

Basses, Amps, Pedals, Cables, Strings, Cases, accessories, artists, icons, luthiers, builders, engineers, industry insiders, instrument experts, a sea of onlookers and gawkers, and a wave of noise—all under one roof. Another Winter NAMM has come and gone, and the meeting of the music masses was an epic one. Gear companies unveiled their latest new products, top players once again displayed why they’re appropriately revered, and the bass world saw what it has to look forward to in 2018.

The basses are more customized and jaw-dropping, the amps keep getting smaller and more powerful, the pedals keep expanding their range to cover every corner of the sonic spectrum, and the innovations just keep smashing the ceiling on what we can do as bass players. We demoed, played, and tested everything we could get our hands on—here are some of the things that impressed us the most.

FENDER
American Original Series Basses

032_bas0418_NAMM-2

Fender is traveling back through the decades with its new line of Precision and Jazz Basses that mirror classic 4-strings from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s in both sound and feel. No vintage detail was overlooked.

Street $1,900–$2,000
Contact fender.com

IBANEZ
UB804 Electric Upright

033_bas0418_NAMM-3

Breaking into the electric upright field for the first time ever, Ibanez’s UB804 has a fast fingerboard and tremendous comfort that’ll help you avoid getting those dreaded sore hands and wrist cramps from upright basses.

Street $1,240
Contact ibanez.com

MUSIC MAN
2018 Stingray 4 Bass

033_bas0418_NAMM-5

Ernie Ball’s latest improvements to its Music Man Stingray line include enhanced contours for easier playability, a sculpted neck joint, lightweight aluminum hardware, and a new stream-lined bridge and saddles.

Street $2,000
Contact music-man.com

STONEFIELD MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Stinger Bass

033_bas0418_NAMM-2

Extremely small and portable for those on the go, Stonefield’s new Stinger bass has a 20" scale, three-piece bolt-on neck, and six strings that combine bass and guitar gauges to achieve extended range.

Street $1,500–$2,100
Contact stonefieldmusic.com

ESP/LTD
B-208 8-string Bass

033_bas0418_NAMM-1

ESP/LTD has jumped into the increasingly popular 8-string bass game with its B-208, which plays extremely smoothly for its excellent price. The thin maple neck with rosewood fingerboard is so fast; you won’t even realize it has extra strings.

Street $570
Contact espguitars.com

YAMAHA
TRBX605FM Bass

033_bas0418_NAMM-4

With a beautiful flame-maple top and a matching headstock, Yamaha’s new TRBX605FM bass looks as sexy as it sounds. Featuring custom H Series pick-ups with wide frequency response, this bass covers it all.

Street $1,070
Contact usa.yamaha.com

AMPEG
Liquifier Analog Chorus & Opto Comp Optical Compressor

034_bas0418_NAMM-7

Ampeg’s new Liquifier has a dual chorus circuit that gives it rich customizable tones, while the Opto Comp gives players a little more headroom and sustain, making it the perfect box to accompany any rig.

Street $140 each
Contact ampeg.com

TRICKFISH
Trilobite Dual EQ

034_bas0418_NAMM-5

Carrying on the innovative legacy of the late Richard Ruse, Trickfish has unveiled its Dual EQ, which has A/B signal paths, true-bypass mute, an FX switch, and loads of switches to dial in your tone precisely.

Street TBA
Contact trickfishamps.com

AGUILAR
SL 212 Bass Cabinet

034_bas0418_NAMM-3

Weighing in at a mere 45 pounds, this well-balanced and powerful cab handles 500 watts and has a deep frequency response to handle all of the rumbling tones you send through its two 12" speakers.

Street $1,200
Contact aguilaramp.com

MARKBASS
Little Marcus Miller Signature Head

034_bas0418_NAMM-4

Boasting clear definition, vivid tones, and enough punch to have Marcus Miller’s name on it, the new Markbass Little Marcus amp is compact, powerful, and works for all players—not only slaphappy low-enders.

Street $600
Contact markbass.it

WARWICK
Idolmaker Bass

034_bas0418_NAMM-2

A counterpart to the Framus Idolmaker guitar, this beautiful bass comes as a 4-string or 5-string with a carved mahogany body and bolt-on wenge neck and fingerboard. It includes MEC vintage pickups and active Warwick electronics.

Street TBA
Contact warwickbass.com

GALLIEN-KRUEGER
Fusion Series Class D Heads

034_bas0418_NAMM-6

GK’s new Class D series heads come in 500-, 800-, and 1,200-watt models and feature tube compression, tube overdrive, tube preamp, and a classic 4-band EQ to help you customize your tone.

Street $900–$1,200
Contact gallien-krueger.com

LAKLAND
Blue Ice Basses

035_bas0418_NAMM-4

While Lakland had an impressive batch of basses on hand, what stole our attention most was its brand new Blue Ice finish, which the company featured on several models. We’re always suckers for matching headstocks.

Street Varies by model
Contact lakland.com

GENZLER AMPLIFICATION
BA12-3 SLT Cabinet

035_bas0418_NAMM-1

This portable, compact amp is full of innovation. From its six-degree slant baffle that tilts the cab upward, to the high-efficiency 12" woofer, to the neodymium cone driver, this is one sweet cabinet.

Street $900
Contact genzleramplification.com

NS DESIGN
NXTa Radius Bass

035_bas0418_NAMM-5

NS’ latest Radius-series bass features improved innovations including the ergonomic headless neck, self-clamping tuning system, custom EMG pickups, and NS electronics. Available in 4-or 5-string models and fretted or fretless.

Street $1,850
Contact thinkns.com

MICHAEL TOBIAS DESIGN
Kingston Saratoga

035_bas0418_NAMM-6

MTD has unveiled new looks for its Kingston Saratoga basses (as featured on our March ’18 cover modeled by Evan Brewer), including sleek matte finishes and multiple wood options. The J-style pickups give it a classic tone, but with all of the modern MTD touches.

Street $4,500–$5,200
Contact mtdbass.com

BERGANTINO
Forté Head

035_bas0418_NAMM-3

With extreme attention to detail in its construction and design, the Forte was a massive hit with players stopping by the Bergantino booth. As the successor to the BIAmp, this lightweight head is a fantastic value.

Street $900
Contact bergantino.com

SUPRO
Huntington III Bass

035_bas0418_NAMM-2

This short-scale beauty features not one, not two, but three gold foil pickups, which give it its bold tone. Its vintage-looking body is inspired by early-’60s Ozark-model basses, which only adds to its cool factor.

Street $1,300
Contact suprousa.com

TECH 21
dUg Pinnick DP-3X Signature Pedal

036_bas0418_NAMM-6

Tech 21 has put all of the customized features of dUg Pinnick’s Ultra Bass 1000 Signature head inside this tiny pedal that will fit on any pedalboard. Cop dUg’s famous tone, or sculpt your own.

Street $290
Contact tech21nyc.com

SADOWSKY
MetroExpress Basses

036_bas0418_NAMM-3

Want the legendary tone and feel of a Sadowsky bass, but don’t have the money to buy one of the top models? Sadowsky’s new MetroExpress basses are phenomenal and a lot easier on your pocketbook.

Street $1,900–$2,000
Contact sadowsky.com

ASHDOWN
Geezer Butler Head of Doom

036_bas0418_NAMM-4

The only thing cooler than playing Geezer Butler’s Head of Doom was seeing him at Ashdown’s booth signing it. This amp was designed to his exact specifications, and it hits its mark.

Street $1,450
Contact ashdownmusic.com

SPECTOR
Euro Bantam Series Basses

036_bas0418_NAMM-7

Spector put its big, dynamic tone into this 30"-scale bass, with all of the great features of the company’s previous models. It’s a great introduction to Spector basses, or a nice addition to anyone’s collection.

Street $1,800
Contact spectorbass.com

HARTKE
HyDrive 112b

036_bas0418_NAMM-5

Perfect for someone looking for a big sound in a small package, this new HyDrive-series 12" cabinet has Hartke’s patented paper/aluminum HyDrive Speaker Technology, the cornerstone of the Hartke sound.

Street $300
Contact samsontech.com

KALA
Passenger UBass

036_bas0418_NAMM-2

With its mahogany body and white binding, the new Passenger might be Kala’s best-looking UBass yet. At only $300, this bass is a must-see for anyone who has been curious about Kala’s uke basses.

Street $300
Contact kalabrand.com

FODERA
35th Anniversary Monarch Deluxe Bass

038_bas0418_NAMM-6

With a solid mahogany body, quilted-maple top, and all of the world-class playability that Fodera is known for, this anniversary series is truly something special. Unfortunately, Fodera made only 35 of these beauties.

Street $7,550
Contact fodera.com

GRAPH TECH
Ratio Machine Heads

038_bas0418_NAMM-3

Never have issues tuning your bass again—these advanced machine heads’ gear ratios vary by string, so that each string responds the same to any adjustment. Precision tuning has never been easier.

Street TBA
Contact graphtech.com

SEREK
Midwestern Bass

038_bas0418_NAMM-4

New to the game and making big waves, Serek Basses were a big hit at the NAMM show, as many bass players visited the Reverb.com booth specifically to try these unique and killer-sounding instruments.

Street $2,100
Contact serekbasses.com

LINE 6
HX Effects Pedal

038_bas0418_NAMM-5

After playing with this tech powerhouse, we quickly realized that the possibilities are endless for crafting tones with the HX pedal. Create your favorite sounds and store them in this advanced and compact box.

Street $600
Contact line6.com

JAMES TRUSSART
Steelcaster Bass

038_bas0418_NAMM-2

Want a distinctive tone? Try steel. Trussart’s hollowbody Steelcaster Bass is made of “Holey” steel, and it looks like nothing else on the market. We were pleasantly surprised by its monster sound.

Street $4,100
Contact jamestrussart.com

XOTIC
XJPRO-1 ProVintage Bass

038_bas0418_NAMM-7

Inspired by its previous XJ Series, Xotic has improved upon its already-stunning design with stylish wooden pickup covers, hand-wound Raw Vintage pickups, and a custom Xotic active/passive preamp on its latest masterpiece.

Street $1,400
Contact xoticbasses.com

Related