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New to EUB

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by Paulabass, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Yesterday I bought a used NS NXT bass for an excellent price. My first upright since my Ampeg Baby Bass back in the 70's or 80's.
    I'm adapting very quickly since I have 40 or so years on fretless BG. After watching a few videos on height, and stance, and technique I'm rocking along pretty good (AND in tune!) Almost all walking blues style. The only really weird thing is the distance between 'frets' one and three. After that the stretches are manageable.
    I've read as many TB threads as I can in the time allotted, but I have some questions.
    1) The strings are clearly mismatched. The silk wrapping on the E is different, and the A is quite dead. Theres some corrosion south of the bridge. Should I just replace them now before spending to much time on question 2)?
    2) I think I'd like to put an EQ in the system for two reasons, quick selection between EUB, and BG (just stomp on the bypass switch) and to tame some click I get when my fingernails inadvertently hit the strings. Maybe dial out some ultra lows. Can't decide between a ten band graphic pedal, or a three band fully parametric rack mount. My stage amp (Ampeg SVT classic) doesn't have a lot of EQ.
    3) My G string, above the 7th. 'fret', and particularly above the octave lacks sustain. The action on this bass is much lower than any upright I've ever seen. Strings, or setup? The bass was just traded in by a pro who bought an Eminence, so I assume the setup is close to being up to par. He played this bass a LOT.
    Last question for now (so far)
    4) Would adding a tiny bit of reverb give me some resonance that the solidbody is missing? Just this week I was doing FOH for blues prodigy Spencer MacKenzie, and the girl playing an Eminence sounded FANTASTIC in the 200 seat room.

    I've gone on long enough. Any help appreciated. BTW, I have enough confidence (and accurate pitch), to play this bass on stage this weekend. Nothing like a little fear/panic to bring out my best performance.
    If this side of TB is like the BG side, where pics or it didn't happen is the rule, here's a shot of my NBD. Pardon my messy office.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
    Zbysek and equill like this.
  2. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Congrats on the deal. I'm going on five years on my NXT4 so a few tips:

    Check out Gollihur Music - Upright Basses, Pickups, Preamps, Amps, and More Mark is somewhat of an expert on EUB's (and DB). His site has a lot of info on strings, pre's, etc.

    Sounds like you need to look at new strings, do a little research as they can be pricey. I have Obligatos on mine which work well for bluegrass but I've also had success with them doing gypsy jazz. (Caution that some strings will not fit through the stock tuners, I did the Hipshot upgrade.) As to action it is simple to raise the action with the screws on the back. Typically the action is set too low.

    Are you using a preamp? The NXT has a 10megohm output and having an impedance matching preamp can make a big difference. I use a Radial Bassbone OD which has two channels and you can switch between BG and EUB. That being said, I don't do that much anymore, tend to play one or the other but the impedance matching and eq in the radial is still very useful. FDeck makes a simpler pre that a lot of guys use. When looking at pre's look for the 10megohm input. It is also useful to have a high pass filter to take out the very lows. I have used a little reverb and it did help but I have not used any in a long time.

    Best of luck.
    equill likes this.
  3. Your lowest string seems to be a D'Addario Helicore Orchestral. I have no idea if the other strings but if they are shorter than the E (look at the back of the instrument) they might be NS Traditional (which are the same as D'Addario Helicore Orchestral, just a bit shorter for the NS EUBs) or NS Contemporary which are closer to a flatwound bass guitar string.

    For the finger spreading,in the low position: Do you finger 1-2-3-4 like on a bass guitar or 1-2-4 or 1-3-4 like on a double bass? 1-2-3-4 doesn't work in the library positions unless you use some tricks (like keeping the thumb in place and move the rest of the hand up or down to get the finger closer to the needed position).
    If you have problems better don't use that instrument for gigs until you sorted that problem out. You might train wrong playing if you do and that is hard to get out.

    The NXT has a passive piezo and needs a MegOhms input something between 1 to 10 MegOhms should work. If the input impedance of your amp is lower get an impedance buffer or high impedance preamp.

    EQ does not hurt, graphic EQ is OK for general sound shaping, parametric to compensate for unpleasant resonances. Dialing out bass is a good idea, since a double bass cannot radiate low frequencies well and that is part of the double bass sound.

    Finger nails ... Too long?
    Do not use bass guitar technique on an EUB, use the side flesh of the finger.
    A few lessons with a DB teacher might help if you haven't played DB for a long time or at all.

    The NS EUBs usually come with a very low action. You might need to adjust that to at least 5 to 9 mm. That might also solve your G string sustain problem. If not get new strings (for a DB-ish sound NS Traditionals, cheap and good for it). Keep the old ones as replacements.

    Pictures only needed if they help to understand a problem or to show something. Might for string ID, but quality is rather low to find out. Better two close-ups.
    VictorW126 likes this.
  4. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    Thanks for the responses.
    I spoke to Gollihur music (great guy on the phone!!). We agreed not to do anything with action or EQ until my new strings arrive. We agreed my A string was dead, and it had a mismatched E. He said most of my concerns may be answered. He pointed out the action on the treble side may be low, and to experiment to see if sustain increases if raised a little bit.
    Until my strings get here I'll concentrate of using the side of my fingers only (45 years of bass guitar), but if I'm playing 8th. note fills, I may be able to notch out some quack caused by my fingertips.
    tfer likes this.
  5. Welcome to the club!

    I was going to say more, but jthisdell said most of what I was going to, including the part about the Bassbone OD being a wonderful device.
  6. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I love seeing where other TB'ers are from, my daughter lives in Bos en Lomer, hope to visit her this summer. Cheers.
    equill likes this.
  7. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Welcome to the club!

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