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NS BassCello (now OmniBass) megathread

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by tappingtrance, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey

    Jul 27, 2005
    Looks like you are to be able to play it as a horizontal fretless but bow it as well when you shift it more vertically.
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    Yes, saw it at NAMM and am expecting to receive some this month as I am an NS Design dealer.

    The bass comes with a neat little gadget that straps a pivot point made of metal, it enables you to move the orientation of the bass easily, without unscrewing anything, and it stays in place. Pretty slick. You can see the foam padded arm coming from the rear of the bass in the attached photo just above the player's name tag.

    I'm looking forward to getting one (low B, tuned in fourths) on stage asap.

    Attached Files:

    • nsbc.jpg
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  3. tappingtrance

    tappingtrance Cooke Harvey

    Jul 27, 2005
    Thanks Bob,

    So does it really bow nicely? I have Merchant Vertical and while it was based on the measurements from my upright it still has some balance and resitance issues. Also, can you really play it horizontally like a electric bass? Any thoughts on street price at this point?

  4. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    So Bob, are you going to treat it as a small bass? Why not just use a NS bass?

    Never mind, I went back and actually READ the title. What a great way to do the "upright jazz thing" in a cool way
  5. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    How does it sound?

    I use an NS Design EUB and love it. I do most of work on that these days.

    I'm not sure how weird I would feel with the cello strapped to me. But one of the down sides of the NS EUB is the solid stand that wobbles like a stiff spring sometimes when digging in.

    Look forward to hearing how it sounds.
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    It sounded very good, I did not bow it but the guy in the booth did and it was very clean, nice arco sound.

    I would also at first question bowing something strapped to your chest, but I've also played the Conklin MEU, also a short scale EUB, and bowed it-- and it was a quite comfortable and natural experience.

    Can't quote any street price yet.

    I'm thinking it could be a fun bass (along with my fretted five ebass) with my blues/rock electric band. I have taken my homebuilt EUB (stick bass looking like NS Design) to that gig, but stage space is usually at a premium. The advantage of the BassCello is that i could swivel it down and play it bass guitar style if they sprung the next tune on me too quickly for a bass change.
  7. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I got their catalog and it says that they use custom D'addario strings on this one... does it take other strings too?
  8. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Wow, I'd be interested in trying one, if not just to satisfy my scepticism on the concept. :)
  9. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Ok, I didn't look well enough in their website... it says:

    NS Bass Cello strings by D’Addario. The NS Bass Cello also accommodates most long scale bass guitar strings.

    That's nice, I was wondering because if at 10-20-30 years these custom strings aren't around the instrument would be useless.. although I don't know how well will normal bass strings sound bowed. This is something to consider/test before ordering one.
  10. asg618


    Jan 9, 2006
    I recently exchanged an NSD double bass for the bass cello model. It arrived two days ago, and I thought I'd share my initial impressions.

    First, although I loved the sound of the double bass, I found it too hard to get used to, coming from a bass guitar background. The dot position markers were helpful, but the much longer neck was more difficult than I anticipated.

    In contrast, the bass cello model has a 34" neck that's much easier coming from bass guitar, and it sounds just like the double bass -- I discern no tonal difference whatsoever, and I can get it to sound very close (to my ears) to an amplified acoustic upright. It has the same piezo and magnetic pickup system as the double bass, and the volume/tone controls work the same way.

    I also prefer the default E-A-D-G-C tuning on the bass cello vs. the B-E-A-D-G on the 5-string double bass. As someone not used to a 5-string bass, the high C string was much easier to get used to than the low B -- something about E as the lowest string is just more within my comfort zone.

    I also wasn't crazy about the tripod for the double bass. It never seemed to sit quite right on the floor, and it was a pain in the neck to screw the bass in and out of the stand whenever I wanted to use it. No biggie for some, but I found it a hassle. In contrast, the bass cello comes with the boomerang strap system, which you can leave on the bass cello in its case. The strap takes some getting used to, but after just a couple of hours, I'm getting more comfortable with it. The tripod and an endpin for this model are optional. For the price, that's a shame -- they really should include one or both along with the boomerang strap.

    On the downside -- The only thing I'm still trying to get used to is the rather severe arch in the fingerboard. The NSD web site explains that this is optimized for bowing, and I believe it. But the arch is much more dramatic than I expected. Holding the instrument in the upright position with the boomerang strap, I find myself uncomfortably having to peer forward and “around the bend” on the fingerboard to nail notes on the G and C strings. It’s very strange, but may just take some more getting used to, and some adjustments to the way I’m holding/wearing the thing. But the arch is way more pronounced on the bass cello than it was on the double bass. I’d appreciate it more if I was a cello player, I suspect, but I don’t play any bowed instruments, and was more interested in the double bass features of this model.

    By the way, I did try bowing it, just to check it out, but it wasn't working for me. I think I didn't apply enough resin to the bow, and will try again and post more when I do.

    Otherwise, I'm really digging the bass cello. And I can't say enough about how attractive it is in person -- the NSD website photos really don't do the finish justice. It's quite elegant looking, and practically screams to be touched and played. But then, so was the double bass!

  11. Kcorren


    May 14, 2003
    I do like the fact that the Bass Cello was designed to accommodate any standard set of Bass Guitar strings.

    Have you tried using yours with a Low B?

    On the music123 website, the Tripod Stand says (Included)

  12. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Hah, I bought this Bass Cello from Alan a couple of days ago on ebay. I had read the thread before, but I just noticed it's the same guy... I'll post my thoughts when I receive it.
  13. bfonf


    Feb 20, 2006
    Have you ever bowed before? Because if not you probably don't know the technique in order to make the strings ring. It may be the rosin, but in order to bow, you really have to dig into the string. Try bowing nearer to your bowing hand and farther away from the tip of the bow.
  14. hensonbass

    hensonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Anyone got anything more to say about this basscello?
  15. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    i just tried one out....
    i'm sold!
    i also have an ns cr5m upright,
    and although i love it to death, it's a bit cumbersome to
    gig with, especially abroad with a flight case.
    i also realy dig the ns cello strings....4ths or 5ths, e to high c bass-tuning wise...
    it was so much more responsive with a bow i was blown away.
    really fantasic sounding.
    i'd need the stand, as the strap-system has the same problem on the cello as the db model for me....
    it doesn't position the instrument correctly at all for arco.
    they come with a decent soft bag and cheapo cello bow, which is a nice extra and an improvement on the old stock bag.
    i will be playing them next to eachother, but i will say at this point that the newer electronics (my cr5m has the older style with 4 pots and a three-position switch) seemed to sound better than the old, at least for arco.
    anyway, i can't wait to get my mitts on one of these...
    i'll be keeping the cr5m for ultra-sub, but i can see the basscello in the very near future!
  16. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    bit of an update...
    i brought my cr5m in to a/b next to the basscello.
    very different animals...originally i thought the basscello could be a solution to some of my travel problems, but as it turns out there are some differences which make it not such a great replacement.
    first and foremost, the biggest difference to me is the width of the neck at the nut. this is definitely cello territory....very petite.
    although this instrument can be strung with bass guages, i think it would undermine the beauty of the tone you can get with the cello strings.
    it has a very warm, open tone that is very arco-friendly. the other difference is that it's voice seems to sit a full octave above the 5m...
    even when tuned in fourths to standard bass tuning.
    it's a night and day in character. not a bad thing, by any means.
    like the eub, the basscello strap system is useless imho as far as providing a reasonable arco position, but is fine for pizz.
    no stand means i would have to possibly buy one(i tried the basscello on my 5m stand and it worked great).
    the bag that is provided is great, just like the undercover you can get 3rd party for the eub series. the basscello also comes with a student-quality french bow, and standard with decent d'addario cello strings.
    size-wise it's a headstock difference in length. the scale was great,
    very natural feeling(having spent 25 years on 34"scale bg)
    i lke the electronics, my 5m has the older controls with the filter toggle, and i prefer the newer blend pot for more control and variety.
    all in all, i really like the basscello and still intend on getting my mitts on one, but now it's for the differences rather than the similarities.
  17. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'm fascinated by this instrument but as an arco player I'm a little worried about what string choices are currently available.

    Can this instrument be strung with 1/4 or 1/2 size doublebass strings too, or must one depend solely upon the good graces of NS Design for it's own brand or default with electric bass strings...which of course aren't made with the bow in mind...?
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes - the good thing about the NS Basses is that you can use any "real" Double Bass strings and these make a huge difference in sound - much more like DB.

    It looks to me like the NS Cello falls between two stools - it's not really like a Cello or DB and it's closer to a Bass Guitar that's held vertically - but surely there is no advantage to this, if you can't get decent strings for bowing? You might as well stick to a decent bass guitar and turn it sideways? :confused:

    I can't see the appeal and while the EUBs have lasted a long time and been very popular - I can see the Cello disappearing without many sales.....?
  19. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'm talking about the bass/cello, the one that has the 34" string length...not the doublebasses. But hey thanks for the info.

    With a 34" string length, it won't be easy to string it up with either DB or cello strings (the tensions won't be right for DB strings and cello strings aren't long enough). It's gotta be the NS brand strings or electric bass strings...right?

    That's why I'm asking about 1/2 or 1/4 DB strings and if they'll work fine on this frankenstein bass NS came up with, so I can put on various brand strings that are designed primarily for bowing that aren't exclusive to NS. If NS goes out of business, it would make the prospects for fresh arco strings pretty low...
  20. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    the basscello i tried had d'addario helicore type strings.
    i can't see putting anything db string-wise on them except maybe a solo set or maybe a light set of corelli tungsten strings.
    the nut and neck at the nut is definitely all about the cello,
    width-wise and depth-wise. much more than bg, imho.
    i thought the strings were great, nice arco tone, but then again, i'm not a cello player.
    i'd suggest trying one out for yourself, i'm gassing pretty bad(as if you couldn't tell by my posts)
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    Primary TB Assistant

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