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Bass Musician Magazine’s 2009 NAMM Report

By Creative Director, Raul Amador –

What do you get when you take 815,000 square feet of exhibit space and fill it with Musical instruments, Products, Musicians, Vendors, visitors and more than 1500 manufacturers from all over the world under one roof? NAMM 2009!

This Mega event held at the Anaheim convention center is the longest running trade show in the United States and is expected to have an economic impact exceeding $70 Million USD for Anaheim over a four day period. This is amazing when you consider the current economic downturn we are going through.

The convention center itself is a modern wonder of glass, steel and concrete that got its beginnings in 1967. Huge banners and an excited atmosphere welcomed us to what would prove to be a unique experience.

We focused our efforts on visiting booths with Bass related products and it simply ate up two whole days! In retrospect there was an unbelievable amount of stuff happening all at the same time. NAMM university sessions (Including Gene Simmons as a guest speaker), live performances inside the facility and outside in front of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Jam sessions, Press meetings, Off site performances (NAMM Bass Bash 2009) and too much to list here. It kind of leaves you wishing you could be in multiple places all at the same time! That said, I am going to mention some of the highlights we were able to experience fully realizing there were many things we missed. I am also going to make clear that although we were in search of the “latest and greatest” basses and gear at this years show, the real “reviews” will come in following issues as we get more time to play with it.

OK, so here we go. Our journey began with a Press conference with D’Addario and their latest in coated strings, designer straps, tuners and miscellaneous goodies.

Next stop MarkBass and their big product release kick off. Talk about some cool stuff!

First, we saw the MoMark. This is a modular head that lets you select the components you want in your amp. Next we have a new group of cabs and heads. I will list them but you will have to look up the specs! There is the most powerful SD1200 cab, The Little Mark III (with 500 watts of digital juice), The Little Mark 800 (800 Watts), Little Mark Tube (Can blend solid state and tube sound), the Little Mark Tube 800, a collection of MarkBass effects pedals and lastly the Studio 1, software that models MarkBass amp sound into your computer.

As if this wasn’t enough, they had a trio of powerful players to demo this gear! None less than Alain Caron, Hadrien Feraud and Michael Manring! I felt fortunate to listen to this shear talent and immediately realized that I need to practice much more….

OK, now I am going to shift gears here. For me to show you everything that I saw and heard, this article would have to be a mile long. So I am going to take you through a selection of sights that will fit this format. I am also going to make clear that there were so many amazing basses, amps, gear, gizmos etc. that showing them here would be impossible. That said, I can show you what I saw but I will leave the product reviews to my fellow bass player and staff member Jake Wolf. If there is any thing or anyone left out, it is due to lack of space and not lack in merit! Here goes…

Alain Caron playing his signature fretless F-Bass for MarkBass.

Michael Manring goes “Headless” on the Markbass stage.

Hadrien Feraud and Etienne Mbappe Jam at the F-Bass booth.

F-Basses Line up (Alain’s is the second from the left).

Dingwall basses line up… Note the way the frets are positioned.

Flea releases an entry level bass (specifically for the youth market) called Fleabass.

Rugged SteelCaster Bass.

Matt Matsuda tears it up for Tregan!

Epifani Power!

EBS Releases the Stanley Clark Signature Wah Wah.

Michael Manring chatting at the Zon Booth.

Bunny Brunel signing autographs at the Carvin Booth.

Marcus Miller up close with some serious goove!

Fenders New ‘Road Worn’ bass line.

Accugroove Amps & Cabs with Pavel Basses.

David Dyson gives a Pavel Bass a try.

Jake Wolf, David Dyson and Me.

Ritter Basses Line up (All Sold).

You can see anything at Namm!

Marco Mendoza playing for Ashdown.

OK….. My wife took this picture so I am not in trouble (thanks Honey!)

Until next time…

Raul

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