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Help with used NS Designs CR4M

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by RadicalDad, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. RadicalDad


    Mar 6, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I'm thinking of getting a CR4M (or maybe CR5M) and found a used one locally on Craigslist. Turns out the owner lives close by and we've met before. He is an attorney who did some work for me years ago. He graciously left the bass with me for evaluation.

    The bass is old, perhaps 11 years (?) but hasn't been played much. I'm hoping the following details help determine the vintage. The stand is silver chrome (not black like current models), it has two gig bags, one for the bass plus another for the stand, and it has a 3-position arco/pizz switch instead of the continuous dial like current models.

    I can't find a manual for this model on the NS Designs website. Help with knowing what the 3 positions of the arco/pizz switch do appreciated. (Not sure what strings are on there, but they bow like crap, so its difficult to tell what the switch does by just trying it.) I think I know what the other 4 dials do, but confirmation would be nice. They certainly are not in the same order as outlined by the current manual.

    Other problems:
    • The 4 dial pots are slightly noisy when turned. They were much noisier at first, but have calmed down a lot from just slight use. I haven't opened up the back to blow them out. If this is going to be a problem, how would I know?
    • All four strings buzz under the finger, which suggests to me that the fingerboard might need work. The E string is the best of the lot, the G and D strings are not playable. The G string buzzes from A through G#, with the worst buzzing from B through D. The D string buzzes badly from D# through A, then gets better through E, where it calms down to normal.
    • The action is really low, which may be contributing to the buzz problem described above. I raised the bridge using the adjustment screws on the back, but I'm afraid to go much further or the set screws will just come out. I might try adjusting the truss rod, but I've never done anything like that - and I don't want to mess up a bass that isn't mine an the moment. The online manual for the current CR series is unclear about which way one turns the truss rod to fix this problem. The action near the nut is still super low. I'm thinking I need to raise the action - which will also give the next more relief. I think that is the right thing to try. Which way do I turn the truss rod screw - CL or C-CL?
    There is some cosmetic damage on the headstock and a few scratches on the bottom where the bass has sat on the floor. The owner is asking $2200. Does that seem reasonable given age and condition? (And assuming I can get the under-finger string buzzes handled.)

    Help appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
  2. IMHO with the issues of that bass 2200.00 is high. Look through the classifieds here to see what the typical selling price is for one in good working order.
  3. RadicalDad


    Mar 6, 2006
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, I thought that was high. I've already passed on this bass. Just too much hassle to get the fingerboard issues right. Thanks for your confirmation that passing was the right thing to do.
    Randy Ward likes this.
  4. That is what the base Brotherhood is for
  5. Gabriel1918

    Gabriel1918 Guest

    Oct 29, 2017
    Hi guys, I just wanted to ask a few questions related to the OP's original post about older versions of the CRM series of NS Design EUBs. As the OP points out, there doesn't seem to be any info online about the function of the controls on these earlier models and, as I'm currently looking for one (not necessarily that old) I wonder if anyone who's owned one could detail what the controls are/ were exactly (4 pots and a switch, looking at photos). Is the switch arco/ pizz that you find on the NXT models? I assume so. With one of the pots a blend between the magnetic and piezos?

    Also whether there might have been any issues with these early models, with the other factor being, is there anything specific buyers should look out for when considering one that's maybe 11+ years old. I already have an NXT5, so I'm familiar with the basic structure of these basses, just not the finer points of the original circuitry, especially if it's been replaced, upgraded or modified over the years as the newer models were released.
  6. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Didn't know there were two versions of the CRM basses. From what year on did they make the new version? and what exactly did change? I am also looking for a CR4M.
  7. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I bump this thread for you since there are no responses.
  8. artamuso


    Nov 27, 2004
    NS Design Bass Controls: (top to bottom)

    CR-4M & CR-5M

    1. Volume

    2. Blend

    * counterclockwise - magnetic pickups

    * clockwise - Polar™ pickup

    3. Treble EQ

    4. Bass EQ

    5. Switch for Polar™ pickup:

    * up - pizzicato (vertical vibration)

    * center - both

    * down position - arco (lateral vibration)
  9. 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.

    Apr 11, 2021

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