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BassPlayer 2017-04

BassPlayer 2017-04

Winter NAMM

Winter NAMM 2017 The Best Of What’s Next By Jon D’Auria FOR FOUR DAYS, WE VENTURED into the chaos of the packed Anaheim Convention Center to scout all of the greatest new bass gear for 2017 during the biggest music-instrument event of the year, Winter NAMM. We scoured the halls and searched through the masses of full stacks, combos, Class D heads, 4-strings, 6-strings, 27-strings (probably), and the heaps of pedals and newest novelties to hit the shelves. The result was a bout of hearing damage, calloused feet, and a full report of all the exciting and amazing products debuting in the bass world. Between talking shop with the best luthiers, builders, and low-end gurus in the world, and catching up with some of our bass heroes, the yearly conglomeration of all things music was a wild success that left us lusting for new basses, amps, and pedals of every variety. There’s really nothing else in the world like the NAMM show, so for those who have never been, here’s our best attempt to recount it for you with some choice items that caught our eye from the wonderland of bass. Aguilar AG 700 Offering 700 watts of powerful punch, the newest amp from Aguilar is a solid-state powerhouse that weighs in at only 4.9 pounds. Its innovative deep and bright EQ switches summon the deepest lows and highest highs to give a serious boost. Street $850 Contact aguilaramp.com Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp, Scrambler Bass Overdrive After unveiling its popular SCR-DI unit in 2015, Ampeg has split the key components in two and is now offering them as cost-efficient and pro-level bass preamp and overdrive pedals. Now they’re designed to fit on pedalboards of any size. Street $100 each Contact ampeg.com 36 bassplayer.com / april2017

Ashdown Stuart Zender Funk Face Pedal Ashdown Engineering teamed up with original Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender to create this twin dynamic filter pedal that gives you a wide range of envelope tones. The three-knob, two-switch layout allows you to customize just how funky you want to get. Street £300 (about $375) Contact ashdownmusic.com Bartolini b-axis J55J L/S Pickups These dual inline, hum-canceling J pickups are tremendously versatile in their range and are already gaining the attention of bassists and luthiers alike. Delivering on all sonic fronts from harmonics to deep notes, Bartolini’s latest are as precise as they are rich. Street $192 Contact bartolini.net Epifani Piccolo 333 Amp Remarkably small and portable, the Piccolo 333 is the latest and most compact of Epifani’s UL series of Class D amps. The 333 uses Epifani’s Vintage circuit, which adds a warm and tube-like ’60s vibe to any bass. Street $600 Contact epifani.com Electro-Harmonix Blurst Combining the inner workings of keyboard and modular synthesizers, EHX has unleashed its latest pedal for bass players with the oddly named Blurst. Built as an envelope filter controlled by an internal oscillator, this modulated filter takes funk to the next level. Street $137 Contact ehx.com F Bass VF5-J Bass We just kept coming back to check out this stunning 5-string made with a Canadian maple and northern ash body. The transparent seafoam green finish gives it a classic look, while its Aguilar 5J-HC pickups and F Bass preamp under the hood provide impressive power. Street $3,800 Contact fbass.com Fender American Professional Precision 5-string Staying true to its vintage roots, this American Professional build has a ’63 P-Bass neck profile, narrow-tall frets, and all of the tone of a classic Fender bass. Adding modern touches of V-Mod pickups, fluted-shaft tuners, and a fifth string only make it better. Street $1,550 Contact fender.com bassplayer.com / april2017 37

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