Summer NAMM 2017

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wvbass, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    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.
















    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  2. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia










    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  3. ScarfFace

    ScarfFace Supporting Member

    Aug 23, 2014
    La Crosse WI
    Thanks for sharing! Those serek basses look awesome!
  4. melloncollie

    melloncollie Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    What's the brand of the non-reverse thunderbird? And how did the d-bird sound?
    Bassic Playing likes this.
  5. kevinpmajka

    kevinpmajka Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Great pics. These are better than some of the popular sites that share new gear.
  6. husky123

    husky123 Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    Leesburg, VA
    Very nice review. Who makes the Back Beat?
  7. What's the brand of this bass?

    Attached Files:

  8. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    The Thunderbird...I wish I could tell you who made it. I don't remember - it was in the boutique area that had a collection of instruments from various builders.

    The D-bird. Keep in mind, I was in a big, noisy room and played it through a small amp for just a brief amount of time. Having said that, I liked everything about it. The rotary switch offered a nice variety. All three pickups got into what I would call "traditional humbucker" territory, and the other positions nicely covered the range of Fender tones. I don't think this bass was trying to break new ground tone-wise, but it covers the Fender thing arguably better than it covers the Gibson-thing. Based on other Dingwalls I have played, I'd bet that if I could run it through my amp, it would take me about two seconds to find the perfect tone for me. The controls are nice and simple: volume, rotary pickup selector, tone.
  9. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I believe they are a small business, and I don't think they are in production yet. The business card I have lists their website as

    Somnium. This is actually a really cool concept, and they are just at the prototype stage with their basses. The pickups are in a snap-in chassis that loads from the rear, so you can swap out for different pickup cartridges. The cartridges are reversible, too, so you could quickly go from P-J to J-MM to M-J, or whatever you want. The guitars have swappable body wings, so if they make the perfect neck for you, you could transform the guitar from a tele to a strat to a paul by swapping pickup cartridges and body wings. I really like the idea and the guys were super energetic and friendly. It is tough to get a foothold with nontraditional ideas, but this is the best execution of hot-swap pickups that I have seen.
    39-Bassist and husky123 like this.
  10. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    They do more than just look awesome! I am not remotely a short-scale guy, but these are impressive. The neck shape is great. They have a modern P width nut and a little bit narrower string spacing (18mm?) at the bridge. The fretwork is very well done, so he was able to give his basses a great setup with nice, low action. And then you plug them in - I'm pretty sure he was demoing them through a GK MB800 into an Aguilar DB112, and these things had a warm punchy tone with the characteristics of the specific pickup adding some color on top of that.

    I'm not looking for a short scale, but these basses are really, really tempting.
    lousybassist and Serek_Basses like this.
  11. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    I have a medium scale Serek Sacramento and it slays! Supremely comfortable and sounds killer with TI flats.

    Jake builds a really great bass and is a stellar guy to work with. In a sea of bass builders it's cool to see him get some recognition from other players, based off the quality of his work.

    Plus, it appears he's making a full scale bolt-on now too...

    Serek Basses
    wvbass, lousybassist and Serek_Basses like this.
  12. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    I played the D-bird last week. Sheldon Dingwall brought it and the yellow swirl NG2 to my friend's guitar shop. I loved it. It is so well balanced and sits more like a standard bass - no reaching for the first position.

    My friend bought the NG2, so it's now for sale at NJ Guitar and Bass Center. I told him to also buy the D-bird, but had to leave so I don't know yet if he did.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  13. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Very good pics. NAMM is Disneyland for musicians.
    NO place to try gear though, that's the paradox. You have many many fine instruments and amps set before you (Even MORE in Anaheim) but to try and get an idea of the sound, No way, it's one blaring jumble of noise, really ridiculous.
    EBMM had individual stations to plug into, but that requires wearing headphones, not ideal.
    About all you can do is look at the build quality and the different models and finishes.
    Good, but no Cigar. Unfortunately, I go to WORK! these shows (Anaheim) and they are a ZOO. More consumers than buyers, and being confined most of the time to even our fairly good-sized booth is an ordeal. (I said work, right?:roflmao:)
    The cost of food is stupid-high ($10 tacos that are better at Taco Bell) $3 for a Coke, and by the week-end it is almost impossible to move aisle-to-aisle. For years- I'm across from G-K, usually next to Epifani, in front of Tec-Amp. I've heard many great players stop by and do their thing, the great Bobby Vega always says hello, Lee Sklar always flips me off, etc. etc.
    But if I hear much more popcorn-slapping after Day 2- I'm gonna hurt someone!:roflmao:

    Anyway, you have fine photo skills,thanks again.

    BTW- WHO makes that quilted-green J-Bass, can't read the h/s.
    wvbass likes this.
  14. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear

    Aug 14, 2000
    From the times I've been to Anaheim, while it's a definite feast for the senses, after day two it can be migraine inducing! Summer NAMM, even though there's quite a bit less, is much more mellow which I like!

    Looks like the green bass is a Pensa... drooldrooldrooldrooldrool
  15. B-line

    B-line Inactive

    Thanks for the Pensa heads-up, beautiful! (I need my eyes checked!:roflmao:)

    I've not done Nashville, the Company used to, but no more. I've heard it's low-key, even tix available for the public which is cool. In Anaheim, the peeps have to "sneak in" with their "connection" supplying badges. I remember once two really Ditzy, and I mean Double-D Ditzy girlies came around all giggly, etc. Their badges said "Fender"!

    I wonder who they "entertained" to get in??
    None of my bees-wax, plus my Boss took them for drinks later!!:roflmao:
  16. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
  17. jasper383

    jasper383 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    What is it about the hi mid knob on the Ashdown Original amp that made it so great?
  18. I can't understand all the hype on the Dingwall basses...
    They most use those basses with "djent metal bands"... always those high end tones... :/
  19. tink9975


    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    here is a great vid that shows some of the versatility of the dingwalls, the bassplayer is TB'er MDBass
  20. nonohmic


    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Yep, i'm down with those Sereks.
    B-line likes this.