NAMM 2024 Bass Gear: Day 2
Day two of the 2024 NAMM Show was packed, proving that the excitement for the event has not waned. We continued covering the floor aisle by aisle, finding the incredible and unique new offerings in the bass world.
Sheldon Dingwall of Dingwall Guitars was set up in the Boutique Guitar Showcase, where he had prime examples of the highest quality instruments from his custom shop, including a beautiful D-Roc. However, we wanted to share a sneak peak. Dingwall’s Mike McDougall shared the scoop on these prototypes for the upcoming SP-1. The bass will be a production model with a P/J pickup configuration and – of course – Dingwall’s signature multi-scale neck. Look out for these in 2025.
Luthier Ellis Hahn of LEH Guitars has made a mark on the bass world with their Offset model, but this year, there’s more. Hahn was at the show with the Offset, the new Jazz-leaning Jetstream (with a stunning Stabilized and Stained Buckeye Burl top), and the Voyager, a 32-inch scale beast. Of course, each is fitted with boost-only EQ sliders for super cool and easy tone adjustments.
Luckily, we got to spend some time with the effervescent and inimitable Steve Lawson, known to many as Solo Bass Steve. He was in the Trickfish Booth with his signature Elrick Bass Guitars e-volution 5-String SLC. Lawson could spin up some low-end magic to draw passersby in, even on a loud, bustling showroom floor.
This is a big year for Trickfish. Sitting on top of their new vertical 4×10 cab was the Bullhead 3K, marking the latest and loudest in their amp lineup. It has tons of great features, especially for those who double on the keyboard, as it has dual 2500-watt power modules to run two rigs. On top of the 3K was their upcoming pedal lineup, including a VCA compressor, an overdrive preamp, a hi-pass lo-pass filter, and an external preamp. Rich tones and inspiring textures were flooding the booth all day.
Michael Tobias Design
MTD is celebrating its 30th anniversary with special throwbacks to when the company began. They also had a dazzling display of exotic woods and gorgeous finishes. As with every year, the booth was packed and nearly impossible to enter.
Ernie Ball Music Man
The StingRay Special is getting a dozen new colors this year, and EBMM proudly posted them on the wall for all to see. The colors include Genius Gold, Candyman, Kiwi Green, Pacific Blue Burst, Purple Sunset, Jackpot, Brulee, Black Rock, Hot Honey, Ocean Sparkle, Grape Crush, and Black.
Marleaux Bass Guitars
German luthier Gerald Marleaux couldn’t make the show this year, but he did send the innovative new SPOCK bass in his stead. Shown here with bass monsters Christian Fabian and Marco Panascia, the SPOCK is a lightweight instrument crafted with a wooden frame and a top made from “Marleaux Logic Mesh,” which was developed with the Clausthal-Zellerfeld Technical University. Read more about it here.
The Swedish amplification experts had a handful of new products this year with the Runsten power supply, the Black Haze 2 Overdrive, the ClassicLine 212 Mini-Tower Bass Cabinet
Pictured here. The 500-watt cab is a perfect complement to their Classic 500 Head and has all the feel of a full tack in a smaller package.
Ashdown has revamped the Rootmaster amp series with EVO III this year. The lineup has both internal and external refinements as well as an added Cab Sim section. They’ve also revamped their own bass guitar series to include roasted maple necks.
NAMM is a great opportunity to find new brands, and these Stormbreaker Basses from Oopegg stopped me in my tracks. The Japanese brand, which is an acronym for “out of place electric guitars and gear,” fit the instruments with the combination of a Guild BiSonic pickup and a Serek Single coil in the bridge. Other features include Hipshot Ultralite tuners, Luminlay side fret markers, and a 31-inch scale.
Coming this summer, Atelier Z will be launching the URB Tour. The travel bass has all the feel and tone of an upright bass in a smaller travel unit.
All the way in the back of Hall D we found BJ Ogden who was showing off his cool little invention called the Thumb Fin. It’s a thumb rest that sticks on with two suction cups, making it adjustable, universal, and – importantly – a non-destructive option for anchoring your thumb. Although I was a little skeptical at first, the thumb fin sticks quite strongly and I felt secure anchoring my thumb to play. It also has an ergonomic feel. They’re available now through the Thumb Fin website for $20.
Near the end of the day we had a chance encounter with Kyle Clay of Looyay, who was walking on the second floor with his mighty invention called The Excalibur. The incredible sonic weapon combines a four-string bass with a keyboard, drum pad, and more. We’ll be following up with Clay to learn more soon!
Check out our NAMM 2024 index for all the bass news from the show.