NAMM 2020 Award LogoIt’s the most magical time of the year – NAMM time! The Bass Gear Magazine team had a blast at the 2020 Winter NAMM Show, and we saw some fantastic hear! We bring you the best of the best – the Bass Gear Magazine 2020 Winter NAMM Best of Show Award winners:

Bergantino – NXT Bass Cabs

Bering a repeat winner for Best of Show is harder than you might think, as there is a bit of a bias towards rewarding previously unsung gear heroes. But, true excellence cannot be denied, and Jim Bergantino has earned himself another Best of Show Award with the new NXT – or “Neo X-Treme Technology” – line of bass enclosures. Jim has already designed some of the best cabs on the planet, including some truly excellent neodymium-based enclosures. So when Jim tells you that these are by far the best neodymium-based cabs he’s ever designed, you definitely take note. Celestion approached him with a proposal to build proprietary drivers for Bergantino, but Jim only accepted after he was assured that they would truly let him design exactly the type of neodymium motor he had long dreamed of. The results are amazing, with “ceramic-like” low mids, but “neo-like” dynamics and openness. Throw in Jim’s top-of-the line horn, and the NXT’s offer a near-perfect mix of … well … everything! Available in four configurations (1×12 with horn, 1×12 without horn, 2×12 with horn, and 2×10 with horn), there is something for everyone in this new NXT line. Our favorite was the NXT210 on top of the ENXT112, also known as the “NXT322” configuration.

NAMM 2020 Award

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Sadowsky Guitars – Super-P & Super-J 5-string Custom NYC Bass Guitar

If you haven’t heard the big news regarding Sadowsky Guitars, the production of all non-NYC instruments has moved to Warwick’s factory in Markneukirchen, Germany. Big news, for certain, but the bass which wowed the entire BGM team and earned a unanimous Best of Show Award was a super sweet NYC custom 5-string featuring a combination of Super-P and Super-J pickukps. The Super-P allows you to chose between regular-P, reverse-P, or all four coils. The Super-J in the bridge position allows you to choose between ‘60s position, ‘70s position, or all four coils. These pickup selection options, alone, allow for a great deal of versatility. Reverse-P with ‘70s bridge, and regular-P with ‘60s bridge were both standout options. The standard 2-band Sadowsky preamp with Vintage Tone Control allow for even more tonal variety. Like every other NYC custom I have played, the construction, action, playability, and fit-and-finish are impeccable. The skyline inlay on the 12th fret adds a touch of class to this beauty.

NAMM 2020 Award

Orange – Bass Butler Bi-Amp Bass Preamp

If you have never been tempted to throw some overdrive/distortion on your bass signal, or fill in some additional sonic space often occupied by rhythm guitars, then move along … there is nothing to see, here… Still with us? Good, because you are in for a treat. Sure, it’s a real hoot to bi-amp your signal and set up a separate bass rig and guitar rig, it’s also a pain the rear. What if you could get that same glorious, space-filling tone with a simple to tote pedal? This is exactly what Orange is after with the Bass Butler pedal, which splits your signal and routes it through two completely separate, parallel, analog signal chains. The signal always routes through the Bass (Clean) Channel, which features (optical) Compression, Bass, Treble, and Volume. The Guitar (Dirty) Channel is footswitchable, or may even be controlled by an optional expression pedal, and features controls for Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, and Volume. The Clean XLR output features bass enclosure speaker simulation, and the Dirty XLR output features guitar cab speaker simulation. The Amp out is a summed output, with no speaker simulation. Man, does this thing sound good! But what else did you expect over a creation conceived over pints of IPA at a pub called the Surly Goat?

NAMM 2020 Award

Singular Sound – Aeros Loop Studio Looper Pedal

Looper pedals are certainly intriguing, but getting them to do exactly what you want them to do can be a challenge. Finding a pedal which was designed the way your brain categorizes what a good looper should do is not easy. Until now. The Aeros Loop Studio from Singular Sound seems to be part looper pedal and part DAW. It allows for up to six tracks and up to three hours of mono recording time (half of that in stereo). Add an appropriately sized SD card, and you can record up to 48 hours of loops. It has a 4.3” touch screen, in addition to the four footswitches and the scroll wheel, and offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatibility. One of its most impressive features is the ability to quantize your tracks in any time signature. Priced at $770 ($599 “deal price,” currently), the Aeros Loop Studio is as powerful as it is easy to grock. You could almost hear our collective brains exploding as we began to appreciate what this mighty pedal can bring to the table. We certainly can’t wait to bring you the review on this baby!

NAMM 2020 Award