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NS Design EU5 advice required

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by kevin_lindsay, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Hi guys.

    I primarily play an electric bass guitar, but dabble in double bass.

    I have owned 3 acoustic double basses over the years (3/4 size), as well as a few EUB instruments (Yamaha Silent Bass, Clevinger).

    The biggest bugbear for me is the large neck depth on double basses. I've been pampered with the slimline electric bass neck profile. The deeper neck causes fatigue in my hand pretty quivkly.

    So, I am considering the NS Design EU5 mainly due to the concave neck profile. I think this would ease the "hand fatigue" compared to a traditional neck.

    It's an expensive instrument, so I'd appreciate advice from anyone here who actually owns one (or has previously owned one).

    How does the concave neck feel to play?
    The fully radiused fingerboard (compared to a traditional "angled" board - pros & cons?
    Hardware - ease of assembly and ease of use when playing? Also, how robust is it?
    String changing - issues?
    Electronics - opinion as to how it sounds?
    Gig bag - robustness?

    If I don't decide to go down the EU5 route, I might go for one these (even though it obviously has a traditional neck profile)
  2. Once you get practising and gigging you build the hand strength. The trick is to avoid clenching the hand and locking up your shoulder. Rest regularly in your practice.
  3. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    The NS Design basses are very comfortable to play, and the EU-level basses are particularly well-crafted - the necks are smooth, have a nice profile, and play easy - especially so for people coming over from the E-bass side.

    That said, I will put this out there - not to sound like a contrarian or a school-marm, but just to share some information I've picked up over the years. Some far more "learned" players may chime in with further advice.

    Kay and Engelhardt basses are well-known to have quite slim necks, and some people favor them. However, most of the classically trained players can't stand them - they actually find a slim neck to be a hindrance to technique, and a prime contributor to hand/wrist pain, in the long haul.

    In your first lesson with a trained bassist, you learn how to properly "address" (hold) the instrument - it is a full-body process, including using your body - NOT your fingering hand - to hold the instrument up. If you are using your left hand to both finger the notes and hold the bass (prevent it from falling over) then you are, in the opinion of technique-savvy players, "doing it wrong." Additionally, you finger the notes against the fingerboard, and the return pressure comes from your body, not your thumb. It's a whole body approach. As such, you should be able to pretty much play the instrument normally with your thumb completely off the back of the neck - it's there for balance - not "grip."

    Apologies if I'm off base by posting these comments on your thread (maybe you just have smaller hands and just prefer a slimmer neck), but this is one of those things that bears mentioning when it comes up. The bass is a physical instrument, and you can quite seriously injure yourself if you use poor technique. It's why many posts on the DB side often get a "HARRUMPH! Get a teacher!" response. ;-)

    And in the case of the NS bass, it has a stand which holds it in place, so the grip issue is less of a problem.
    Whippet and Tom Lane like this.
  4. Thanks Mark - well put.

    as I said in my opening comments, I've owned a few double basses and also a few electric upright instruments over the years,

    imay well just go for theLingsma - it'll be a good excuse to visit the Netherlands again. My interest in the NS Design EU5 was reignited after seeing Tony Levin using his on the new Peter Gabriel live DVD / Blu-Ray "Back To Front"
    Mark Gollihur likes this.
  5. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Cool. Well, at least someone else may benefit from the comments, I hope. :)

    I have to get that DVD; I'm a big PG fan, the SWL video is my favorite concert video of all time. Big Tony sure does get around that thing. Someday when I feel like typing, I'll tell my T-Lev "Funk Finger" story... :cool:
  6. Yup, the Secret World Live DVD is fantastic. The "band in a suitcase" finale to the Secret World track is great. Plus, Tony's growling Clevinger on "Shaking The Tree" is just great.

    As for the Funk Fingers - after watching the Back To Front DVD I ordered these last week:

    I had a set of the original Funk Fingers years ago, which I gave to a German bassist friend of mine (after years of him wearing me down with his "hints"), hahaha. It'll be interesting to see how the new set work out.
  7. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Well, you pushed me... And now that I typed it, I guess it's not that great a story.

    In any case, I have three sets of the original ones I bought from the PapaBear website in the 90's, and I recently got a couple of the reissue ones just for fun.

    In my band, Second Story, which was an original band that played from 1996-2004 or so, we had two songs where I used the Funk Fingers through the whole song. I got pretty decent at using them, and they always got a reaction, since they're pretty unusual. Here's a clip of one of them, if you care (sorry about the static popping throughout, it's a YouTube error.)

    In any case, we had a couple of fervent fans who came out to a lot of our shows - really nice people who just seemed to "connect" with our music. After a show one night, the guy came up to me and was like, "Mark, you'll never believe this: I was watching a Peter Gabriel concert video the other night, and - his bass player was using those drumstick thingies you always use!" Of course, I had to tell him that Tony had invented them (with the help of Peter's roadies).

    But the best part, was in '98 or '99, I got the chance to meet Tony at Bass Day in NYC - he was signing copies of his "Beyond the Bass Clef" book. And while he was signing my book, he laughed quite heartily when I regaled him with that story. Nice to get a smile outta the guy. :thumbsup:
    Randy Ward likes this.
  8. Hahaha - thats a cool story.

    I bought a Chapman Stick at one time also - due to Tonys influence. I almost got beaten up after a gig when a drunken bloke took great umbrage to my explanation of what the instrument was:

    Guy - "great gig mate, what was that weird thing you used? Looked like an ironing board!".

    Me - "oh that? It's a Stick".

    Guy - "no, really, what is it?".

    Me - "honestly, it's called a Stick. It's a specialist instrument".

    Guy - "okay arsehole, go f*** yiurself, I was only asking!".

    Me - "no really, it's called a Stick. Here, let me show you the headstock".

    Guy (as he turned away to walk away in a thunderous mood) - "f*** you! Stick your ironing board up yer arse........ sideways!!!"

    Mark Gollihur likes this.

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