Headless Gas (NS Radius 4 WAV)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Quilbert, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Hi Folks, I'm usually into 'traditional' type 4 string bass guitars, typically either P, J or MM styles with a traditional finish. I've always considered things like fan frets, headless basses or any other weird configurations as kinda geeky and definitely 'not cool'. However... I cant help seriously considering a NS Design Radius 4 WAV bass. Its the first time i've seen a headless bass and thought 'I seriously want one of these' . They sound amazing and look like a realy player friendly bass. Has anyone out there any experiences, positive or otherwise of this bass or headless basses in general?

    NS Radius bass,WAV 4 string, Crimson redcEMG pickups, polar piezo pickups, active eq, for sale, UK Bass specialist Bass Direct - Ned Steinberger Design - , warwick
  2. fuzzychaos


    Mar 17, 2008
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have not had any experience with it, but I am quite interested in this as well.
  3. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I just got a CR Radius prior to Thanksgiving, and played the WAV at Bass Player LIVE! A couple weeks back. With the single pickup, the WAV is a solid funk machine. The tones you can get from the pickup and the piezo are nice.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  4. smillhouse


    Mar 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    I just posted one for sale...
    bass4me2 likes this.
  5. Qlanq


    Jul 9, 2007
    That bridge and tuning set-up on the WAV looks real cool.
    I have a Steinberger XQ, made about 1989, and an Ibanez Axstar.
    I find the Steiny a bit heavy for me now but a class act. Great range of sounds, never goes out of tune. comfortable neck-I can play that 12 bar blues riff at the dusty end.
  6. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I tried one for a while at sam ash. Played well, but I hated the sound. Sounded sterile and lacked balls in my opinion. Might be the EMGs which are not my cup of tea.
  7. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    Director of Commercial Sales - Neural DSP
    I've tried a couple of these, really wanting to like them. Here are my impressions;
    1. The pickups are KILLER
    2. All 3 I tried had construction and / or finish issues unacceptable on a $2,600+ bass (bad joints, shoddy fretwork, stripped screws, finish anomalies etc)
    3. Very light and very ergonomic
    4. VERY modern sound... you can get a passable classic j-bass tone, but without much inherent mojo. I LIKE the sound, but it wont be everyone's cup of tea.
    5. Piezo sound unusable on its own, and not functioning correctly on one of the 3 I tried.
    6. Didn't like the 1-pc uncompensated bridge, but that's a personal thing.
    7. Overall, a bass I would DEFINITELY own for $1,400, because its light, sounds fantastic (if that's your sound) and has a lot of cool features... but it's crazy overpriced IMHO.
  8. I like the design as a whole. I'm more of a 6 string player, which isn't an option (yet?). I like having a 3 band EQ with adjustable mids. I respect Ned and crew, but went with a headless with Hipshot hardware. Steinberger parts for the older instruments are getting hard to find.
  9. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    I have the NS Design Radius CR5 and like it a lot. Lot's of variety in tones. The WAV seems a little more scaled back in flexibility but the playability is probably similar. You might consider looking for a used CR4 if possible.

  10. Just for clarification, the OP was specifically talking about the Asian-made, single mag / single piezo version, not the Czech-made dual pickup model. The WAV version has a street price of around $1200 US, vs. the $2600+ for the CR.

    Playability and design philosophy should be similar, but the MFG and electronics ( and price ) are the primary differences.

    At $1200, I'm interested. For $2600+? Not so much.
  11. NewYorkBass


    Feb 21, 2017
    Hey guys, old thread, but I tried to find reviews on the differences between the NS Design WAV bass and the Standard CR4 Radius, there isn't much out there so I bought both. I have since sold the WAV. I thought I'd do everyone a favor who was, like me, trying to find if the price difference was worthwhile.

    Here's what I found:

    1st, Ned is a genius. When it comes to comfort, I've never held basses this cozy before. It's like an extension of your body. Both of them share that quality. Easily the most comfortable bass I've ever held, I've held a lot. Both Basses as far this goes, are the same. Really amazing to hold and play, especially for long gigs.

    Build Quality
    Big difference. The WAV was of significantly worse quality than the CR4. The attention to detail on the CR4 was great, they delivered a perfect instrument - paint, fretwork, even the setup was great. The WAV? Not so much. Upon inspection, little things here and there (flaws) say "Asian built", which it is. It even felt cheaper. Even the metal parts felt like they were made at different factories. BTW, I paid $1k for the WAV, $2700 for the CR4. The WAV is probably worth $1k, but I'd not pay more than that. If the CR4 didn't exist, I'd have kept the WAV just for comfort, still a cool bass.

    Surprisingly, they are slightly different. I play with super low action, and I just couldn't get my feel out of the WAV, close, but just not right. The CR4? 5 minutes and it was 100% on point. Both play pretty amazingly though, especially the CR4, its like glass. My hands on both basses relaxed while playing, which doesn't tend to happen on most basses. Also great for long gigs. My fingers stretched even less than on a typical Fender Jazz, very cozy player, especially for tapping and speedy licks.

    Again, very different. You can Google what they have, EMG's, WAV is 9 volt, CR4 is 18volt. Both have a fairly modern sound, but are surprisingly versatile. The WAV live though, it cut through the mix great, but I just couldn't get the low booming bass that I needed out of it. the CR4 can develop so many different types of sounds, it would be hard for me not to dial in the different tones I need for different types of music, super versatile and just an all around better tone. And the Piezo? Kind of cool. I usually hate the sound if Piezos, but this is totally different. You have to hear it to understand. Its pretty cool, I actually use it.

    To sum up, Ned is a freakin genius. I love these basses, sound is one's own taste so I'm not commenting on that. The only real issue with the WAV is that they probably need to hunt down a better factory in Asia (go to Korea) and it was weak/thin live. I know the CR4 is another $1700 or so, but it's worth it, the quality and options are there to justify the money and it plays like a mother. Hope that helps!
    Herrick and dmon like this.
  12. DenverKen


    Dec 20, 2001
    Mile High City
    Resurrecting this thread. I have a blue WAV Radius 4 string bass that I am selling, if anyone is interested. It's in exc condition and I'll take a lot less than the $1000 price for a new one.

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