There hasn't been too much talk about summer NAMM here. I was there, and I didn't really set out to photograph everything I saw, but I did snap a few pictures. A few things stood out to me. 1) BackBeat...This was a prototype of a bass "kicker" that you wear on your strap. I liked this a whole lot more than I thought I would 2) Poly Expressive... A guy named Loki from Australia had a prototype of a innovative effects controller system that uses laser positioning to track the location and motion of your foot. For reference, he had mousepad-material mats on the floor to show him the location of his "phantom" expression pedals and stomp switches. This was real too-smart-for-your-own-good, mad-scientist stuff. Really, really cool 3) Serek basses. I only spent a few minutes at the booth, but for me, these were the best basses there. The booth had pretty good foot traffic, and I saw Curtis Novak wearing a Serek shirt. These short scales are nice, classic-feeling designs that are super comfortable to play. I was really impressed by the way that, somehow, regardless of the pickup configuration, these basses all manage to sound different from each other while maintaining a very similar, "part of the same family" tone to them. I can't say enough good things about these instruments. 4) Trace Elliot. It was a noisy room, but I am definitely a fan. The Transit B looks and sounds like a quality piece of Trace Elliot gear. It sounds like what I remember Trace Elliot sounding like. (I say that having only ever owned a single Trace preamp.) 5) Ashdown ORIGINal. I thought the Trace stuff would be my favorite small amp gear. I was wrong. The Hi-Mid knob on these amps is pure magic. I will probably end up with one of these rather than the Elf. There is a DI pedal and a small amplifier in the product line. 6) The Dingwall D-Bird. As a collection, Serek won the day for me. The best single bass that I played? The D-Bird, by a wide margin. If this isn't a perfectly executed design, I'd need a lot more time with it to figure out why.