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NS DESIGN EUBs....Please Help?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by SpaceCadetVibe, Mar 13, 2014.


  1. SpaceCadetVibe

    SpaceCadetVibe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Marco Bass Guitars
    I am thinking about purchasing a NS Design electric upright. I basically want to practice on a full scale and be able to store it and travel efficiently. I was wondering if anyone could help me who has had experience on these? I am probably looking at the basic NXT 4 string to get started then possibly upgrading to the Omni. I would prefer the omni but getting started under $2,000 is what I would prefer. Thanks for any help or comments.
     
  2. tbear1776

    tbear1776

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    Apr 8, 2013
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

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    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    The Omni is not a full scale upright (it's 34") whereas the NXT is (42").

    The NXT should serve you well; I have a lot of friends that use them. I have a CR series myself, and the transportation element alone (I can keep it in the wheel well of the backseat of my car) is worth it. The only thing you may not like is the switch on the NXT which allows either the piezo for pizz or arco to be active; the CR has a blend knob instead of the switch, which I find much more useful.
     
  4. Larry Ames

    Larry Ames

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
    I purchased an NXT 4 through ebay, and I am very happy with the instrument. The scale length is the same as my 3/4 DB, so fingering is the same (interval spacing in the upper register is a little compressed). It works very well for pizz. not so much for arco. I did have some issues with the tripod coming apart, and the endpin adapter not fitting me, but nothing that can't be overcome with a little ingenuity and a power drill.

    Bob Gollihur is the resident expert on NS basses on this forum. If you have specific questions, shoot him a PM. He is very friendly and helpful.
     
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  6. Neuroman

    Neuroman BHPD - Forget about me. Save yourselves! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Sunol, CA
    I ended up paying a little more and getting the NS CR5M upright electric and it is still the best investment I have made in terms of musical instruments. I played as many upright electrics as I could get my hands on over a 2 year period and kept coming back to this bass. The combination of magnetic and Piezo pickups with the pan knob and EQ allows me to get any tone I wish for any situation. The bass plays like butter, has sustain, richness and growl rivaling the $40K uprights from Germany I drooled over all my life and is amazingly compact (that is, if you compare it to your real upright). Being able to maintain your thumb position behind the neck through every possible register is an AMAZING feature, too. This bass seems to play itself. I call it my "poor man's" upright because it is like having an amazing seasoned real wood top upright in the tens of thousands cost wise but for $3K.

    In terms of lessons learned - definitely invest in the tri-pod stand. AND make sure you wrap the tri-pod stand in additional padding before you put it in it's separate case within the case holding the bass itself (I have used pipe insulation and large bubble-bubble wrap, either of which work well). The inner case is much too thin to adequately protect the bass from the harsh steel edges of the stand and I have a few gouges in the back of the neck to prove it.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Enjoy your search!
     
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  7. Neuroman

    Neuroman BHPD - Forget about me. Save yourselves! Supporting Member

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  8. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2000
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    The NXT is a really high quality instrument at the core, but it skimps in a couple places. With a little accessorizing it's a fantastic setup. I'm gigging my NXT5 a few times a week right now - effectively exclusively - and I'm super happy with it.

    The stock stand is a plastic piece of garbage. I replaced it with the metal endpin stand, and just got the K&M EUB stand to hold the thing up while I'm not playing it.

    The OEM strings are okay, but if you want decent bow tone and a rich upright-y pizz tone you'll want to go with the D'Addario Traditionals. The case is thin garbage as well. If you're gigging I'd strongly recommend the Undercover case available at Bass Central. Super thick and heavy duty.

    It's passive, so you need to be careful about what you plug it into impedance wise, or use a preamp. Some people also like to swap the cheapo stock tuners for Hipshot ultralights. I haven't done it and don't know if it's necessary if you use the NS labeled strings, but it may be if you use "real" upright strings with it.

    A CR will be great out of the box, but I think the NXT is a great value if you're cool doing a little tweaking.
     
  9. SpaceCadetVibe

    SpaceCadetVibe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
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    Endorsing Artist: Marco Bass Guitars
    Thanks for everyone's responses I appreciate it. Solid input
     
  10. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Arlington TX
    I love my WAV4. All it needed was better strings and tuners. And it's way cheaper than even the NXT4.

    But in fairness, I have wondered what I'd need to upgrade it somewhat. Basically all I could need is a better preamp. But even though I don't NEED it, I keep thinking I'd love to duplicate the pickup set up on the CR4, with the mixed piezo and individual magnetics.
     
  11. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    I have sort of the same question:
    Can someone talk me through all the different NS models?
    there are so many variations of the NS and with different prices that I loose track.
    I want it to match and feel like my 3/4 scale upright acoustic bass.

    two other questions:
    1) how are they for arco? both playing wise and sound wise. I play arco for 80% of the time.
    2) can these NS basses be played seated. I play arco in a cello like position on a lower stool.
     
  12. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    The quick rundown:

    DOUBLE BASS:

    WAV - The Chinese made variant to the CR series; no longer made. 42" scale (comparable to upright)

    NXT - The successor to the WAV series, which is roughly the same as the WAV series. 42" scale (comparable to upright)

    CR - The higher end electric upright. Upgrades from WAV and NXT include much sturdier tripod stand, better tuners, inclusion of magnetic pickups and active 18v preamp. 42" scale (comparable to upright)

    Which one of those is the best for you? It really depends on your needs. Given everything that I was going to do with my bass, I opted to spend the extra money and get a CR series 5 string and don't regret it at all. The upgraded electronics alone are worth the extra; it has a blend knob for the piezos over a switch, which I find infinitely valuable.

    OMNIBASS: The biggest thing you need to know is that this one is a 34" scale bass, so if you are looking for something that will be comparable to your string bass, this will not fit your needs. Both the NXT and CR series share the same differences as the double bass versions.

    To your questions:

    1) The strings are going to determine how well they bow, more than anything. The OEM ones that come on it aren't really meant for arco; they sound thin and nasally. Using either the traditional set or a dedicated URB set will make it a lot easier. There's also a new NS-dedicated string set that's coming out that's easier to bow than the OEM, but not as much as a true URB set.

    Tone wise, even with great technique and a good set of strings that really sing under a bow, it's going to sound like a bass through a pickup.

    2) With the tripod stand, you can definitely play it in a seated position. I play my CR Double Bass in theatre pits all the time, and it's 50/50 between standing and sitting.
     
  13. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks. Great info and just what I needed to know!
    some more questions:
    1) Is there much difference in sound between the CR and NXT? I mean when you only use the polar pickup of the CR and run the NXT to an external preamp will the CR sound much better?
    2) how is the magnetic pickup of the CR? does it add much?
    3) does the NXT also have an adjustable bridge like the CR?

    thanks again!
     
  14. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

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    Sep 9, 2007
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    Kalamazoo, MI
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    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    1) They both would sound comparable if the CR is being run with the blend 100% in either the arco or pizz direction. That's why the blend knob on the CR is that much better; you can perfectly dial in the sound you need for the situation because you're utilizing BOTH the arco and pizz elements. My usual setup has it about 60/40 in the arco direction, as that gives me the best articulation for both worlds.

    2) The magnetic pickups can add a fretless tone to your sound pretty easily, dependent on the strings used, as in, if you're using a set of gut strings on your NS bass, the magnetic pickups aren't going to have as much of an effect compared to a set of Spirocores (which until recently, I had on mine). Because the electronics on the CR series incorporate another blend knob to incorporate both the magnetic and polar elements, you can dial in as much or as little as needed. I usually run the blend knob for this 75/25 in the polar direction.

    3) Yes it does.
     
  15. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    good info again. Well I guess I will have to save for the real thing then! ;)
     
  16. bassmanrudi

    bassmanrudi

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    There is a huge difference between the tone flexibility of the NXT and the CR line. I tried the NXT through several amps with various EQ variations and could not loos the honky midrange tones. If tone and sounding as much as poss. like a full upright matters. Try the CR units before spend money on the NXT.
     
  17. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2000
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'd disagree with that, actually. The NXT is pickier regarding your setup due to it being passive, while the CR should sound the same into everything, but you CAN get a good full upright tone out of the NXT if you put the right strings on it and plug it into something designed for a piezo. I certainly do.

    The CR is better in a lot of ways and is certainly more flexible with the blending between arco & pizz, piezo & mag, and the EQ, but as far as sounding and playing like an upright they CAN be very similar.
     
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Not to mention more than twice as expensive!
     
  19. grimesfan

    grimesfan

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    May 19, 2013
    Location:
    phila
    I think with the NXT, you need a good preamp. I'm putting the NXT into a headway eb1 into a mackie powered cab and it sounds pretty good, even with the crappy strings that come with it. Every one says it's better with the ns traditionals or other db strings and raising the string height. That's next on my agenda. I have not heard the cr, so I I can't comment on the sound difference.
     
  20. kdrabbit

    kdrabbit

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I recently acquired a NXT Bass from Mark Gollihur and I really love the sound and how easy it is to play it. I use the frame strap with it because I've gotten so used to it with the NXT Cello that I've had for quite a while. You won't be disappointed with the NXT Bass. At some point I'm going to put NS traditionals on it, but I've gotten used to the stock strings that come with it (I assume they are the NS contemporaries).
     
  21. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    are there any good bowing videos of the NS CR or NXT? the ones I have seen didn't really convince me sound wise.
     

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