There wasn’t much in the way of breakthrough gear at NAMM for bass players, but as always there were a few things that did in fact bring great thrills to our bottom end.
Zon Guitars thrilled us by releasing a new line of imported basses! I was showing off a bass to one of our editors who didn’t yet know how fantastic Zon basses were… and I didn’t even realize that I was holding one of the new imports! It felt fantastic. If you’re shopping for a pro-level bass and you haven’t experienced Zon basses, you need to check them out, especially now that you can get one for under $1,600.
Bad Cat Amplification
Can we get a big meeeeooowwweee! from everyone? The Bass Cat, or Beast 300, was very cool. The preamp is really small and lightweight while the power amp section stays in the included rolling hard case. The idea is that you roll the heavy amp into your gig, remove the top cover off the case, lift the preamp easily up on top of your cabinet, and leave the heavy power section sitting in the case on the floor behind your rig. Nice job! We can't wait to hear this in our studio!
Ibanez had a few cool things in the guitar department this year like the Steve Vai Universe reissue and a 24-fret Satriani guitar, but lovers of Ibanez basses have something to get really excited about: the SRT series features three models with neck-thru construction that are all priced around the $1,000 mark. Sweet!
No NAMM show is complete without a trip to the Garden of Eden, and this year the forbidden fruit was just so delicious! Eden Bass Amplification introduced the World Tour WTB1000, a new tube head that incorporates their first graphic EQ, in addition to a familiar parametric EQ. The EQs are footswitchable, and the head incorporates popular features from other Eden heads. The black faceplate is a cool departure from the familiar gold chasis.
TC Electronic continues to set the industry on fire with its WIHO Award-winning bass gear (see our review of the RH410 amp). They were showing a range of new cabinets including the RS410 and RS112. As their names imply, one is a 4x10 cabinet (with Eminence drivers and a center-mounted high-frequency driver), and the other is a very portable 1x12 which also manages to include a one-inch tweeter. Finally, full range sound is available from an ultra-portable cabinet. Of course it’s designed to be used as one building block in a highly customizable bass cabinet arrangement, too.
MultiWave Bass Distortion is finally here! We first saw the technology unveiled at last year’s show by another company, but this year Source Audio delivered it… to our studio, in fact, just days before the show. If you’re as excited as we are about frequency-dependent distortion, then you’ll be in for a treat with these pedals. Look for the review coming soon.
Peavey unleased a very cool tube bass amp — the Pro VB-3. This all-tube head (8xEL34, 4x12ax7,1x12at7) has a street price of $1,800, 300 Watts of power, real tube compression, a nine-band graphic EQ and more. Sweet!
Check out the other cool gear we saw at NAMM:
Recording & Live Sound