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Difference Between NS Design CR and new EU series

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by SharkB8, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    If anyone out there knows, aside from what's posted on the NS site, what are the sonic differences between the CR series and EU series basses? In your opinion, is it worth going to the EU series that more closely models the original USA made model?

    Inquiring minds...
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I own a CR5 and I briefly tried one of the new ones in a shop and it seemed identical to me. :meh:
  3. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway

    I've also tried both models and own a CR5-m, they sound the same to me. :bassist:
    Zbysek likes this.
  4. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    So, if the sound was identical...how's the playing feel? Is it worth the extra cash for the EU. Sorry for so many questions, I don't have the ability to try these where I live and want to get as much input as possible....

  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I coudn't see any difference at all - but I only tried the new one briefly and I have worked on getting my CR5 to how I like it over a few years...:meh:
  6. bassisten


    Sep 15, 2004
    Bergen, Norway

    Well, I wouldn't pay the extra bucks. Go for the CR-5m, that's what I say...

    Good luck. :smug:
  7. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    The CR series have a traditional neck shape while the EU series has the multi-laminate (graphite&maple) concave neck profile. That's a pretty big difference, IMO.

    They sound very similar.
  8. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    which one has the reference point in the back where the neck heel would be on a traditional double bass? i need that for reference, and to know when to go to thumb position...
  9. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    I played an EU series bass at NAMM, the neck profile makes a huge difference. Also, there's no reference point on the back of the neck like an URB, however, they do have position markers on the 'fretboard'. The Bass Central web site has some really good pictures.

  10. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    one of them does offer a refernece point on the back of the neck, i'm just not sure which one...
  11. SharkB8


    May 29, 2002
    The "traditional series" CRT4 (I believe thats the model #) has the brass button reference position marker on the back of the neck. It has no magnetic pups...just piezo as well.
  12. lin fung

    lin fung

    Oct 9, 2002
    St. Louis, MO
    What's the idea behind the concave neck on the EU series? Does it somehow make it easier to play? For someone accustomed to acoustic bass is that really disorienting?
  13. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Right on. The neck is the thing. The EU series are a marvel of bent wood. The neck is very comfortable and a lot thinner than the CR series. Mechanically, the thing is a nightmare though ...
  14. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Why do you think that?
  15. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    Here are some of the mechanical issues I've experience with my EU5.

    The bass itself:

    - can't adjust magnetic pickup height without removing all strings and the back cover, because the holes for the pickups were drilled too small.

    - have to loosen at least 2 strings to get at the battery compartment.

    - batteries fit so snugly you can't extract them with your fingers

    The stand:

    - The screw and rubber gasket assembly cannot be tightened adequately to prevent slippage. For awhile I the bass at about a 15 degree angle, and if left overnight in the stand, regardless of how much torque I applied to the screw, it would slip and I would find the bass rotated with headstock on floor. I have a nice divot in my headstock because of this.

    The endpin:

    - The hip bolster is of a fixed length, the radius of the bolster is also fixed for some other humanoid species. I'd like an adjustable arm, so that I could get the bass an inch or two further away.

    - The hex screw that allows the part of the bolster that touches your body to rotate cannot be tightened adequately to eliminate wobble. Seems to be of cheap metal, so that no matter what you do, it loosens after a few minutes of playing.

    The endpin stand adapter:

    - The wood and aluminum boot rattles itself off the stand. I resorted to duct tape.

    I think the concave shape of the EU5 is brilliant. The composite construction and the piezo pickups yield a compelling tone. Its too bad the mechanical stuff is so third rate. And then there is the disgraceful gig bag ...

    I have a love/hate relationship with my EU5, as despite my frustration with the issues above, I don't see myself replacing it with another EUB anytime soon. Nothing and nobody is perfect, but NSD really needs to get its act together. E.g. I had to exchange a bunch of emails with them to inform them that their website had the manual for CR series for the EU series and that the control layout was different.
  16. bassinstincts

    bassinstincts Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Acoustic Image
    I sold my NS Design 5 string (like the EU model) a few years ago. I can also say that I liked mine, but that the beauty was skin deep and the mechanics were somewhat nightmarish.

    I didn't like the concave neck. But that's a personal thing.

    But what really seemed odd, given the price of the thing, was that the inside of the instrument was so amateurishly constructed and the accessories were such pieces of crap. It was like the great designer (which I believe Ned Steinberger is) had spent all his time on the cosmetics (and, to be fair, the sound...which was unique, although very unlike a DB).

    The tripod stands were nightmares of design, the pots were ****ty and needed frequent replacement, battery life was lousy and replacement a monster, etc.

    Maybe things are improved on the newer instruments. I haven't played one since. But for the dollars (huge at the time) I was underwhelmed with the build quality and other flaws.
  17. Funkateer


    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    The bent wood is worthy of the NY MoMA design exhibit. The rest, I agree, feels like Ned didn't have any interest in. That makes me angry, as a $3K (street) instrument shouldn't have ANY of the mechanical issues noted.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    During a conversation with Ned Steinberger I asked him the same question and he told me himself that the only difference between the Cheq model and the USA model was that the USA has a concave neck profile while the Cheq has a more traditional neck profile and the fact that the Cheq model is not made in the USA.he said for what the made in Cheq model cost it would be a better bargain,being that the only difference are the neck profiles but if you want the USA neck profile you will have to pay more.

    Kind of like having two Fender J's,one having a C profile neck and the other a D neck
  19. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Sorry to dig up this topic. Are any of these issues being addressed by now? Have there been improvements in the design since then?
    And do these issues mentioned for the NS Design EU also apply to the CR? Or is the CR designed different?
    Zbysek likes this.
  20. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I've owned both, currently only own the EU5.

    The concave back of neck isn't the only thing. At least with MY CRM5 from 12+ years ago, the CRM5 had a POSITION SWITCH for the pizz/arco control. The EU5 has a blend knob, and I rely on adjusting that blend instead of "either-or" on the CRM5. It helps with controlling the note decay for a more realistic DB tone response.

    It is possible the newer CRM5's have the blend and not a switch like my old one, but that blend is VERY important to me. I prefer the "standard" CRM5 neck, though that blend on the EU5 makes me prefer the EU5.
    Zbysek likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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