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NS Design NXT Megathread

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by dbassnut, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. equill


    Nov 25, 2010
    My advice is to try out teachers, with a focus on those who'll work remotely. Zoom, pre-recorded video, whatever you're both willing and able to work with. Live is better, because the feedback loop is tighter, but pre-recorded is still more effective than trying to figure it out for yourself.

    Some people absolutely do have bias against these instruments, including a few on this forum. However, not all do; my teacher is one of those that don't.
    What timezone are you in? If you have good enough overlap with Amsterdam's evening, I can check whether he has space in his roster.

    General advice, from my own experience with the same issue:

    Make sure the bow is actually perpendicular to the strings; it's easy to let it droop when you're focused on other things, and that really doesn't help with this. PORA can be helpful here, where you focus on different things in turn instead of trying to fix everything at once.

    Try bowing further down towards the bridge, where the strings are further apart. This also helpfully reduces the difference between bowing open strings and bowing fingered/fretted notes. The latter used to give me trouble, by reducing the height between the string of interest and its neighbours.

    Lastly, I can recommend a boringly simple exercise that's worked pretty well: leave the left hand out of it, and just bow open notes, moving from one string to the next. Work down from G/C to E/B, then back up again. Once you have that nailed, move on to fretted notes in the lowest register you can sustain, where the height-difference between open and fretted strings is least.
    HCF, Zbysek, J R Knots and 2 others like this.
  2. Timeshift


    Dec 22, 2020
    Thank you for the suggestions.

    I am on CST (U S).

    I am definitely not opposed to focusing on just the bowing at this time (just the open strings) -if I can achieve that -I should be able play on the fingerboard.
    equill likes this.
  3. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic

    Bowing takes lot of time to learn, IME. A LOT. One needs to advance slowly making sure that simple exrcercise is well mastered before moving on the more advanced excercise...
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  4. HCF

    HCF Of course, YMMV Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    +1 for both @equill and @Zbysek 's advice.

    Bowing is difficult, it's even more difficult on a 5 string. And I believe it's even more difficult to get the strings started on a solid body NS than on a normal double bass.

    That said. The introductory bowing courses on discoverdoublebass.com really helped me. The courses seem a bit pricey, but they're definitely worth it!
  5. ChrisW_Music


    Apr 30, 2017
    I've had the same problem with the NXT5. Focus on the movement of the bow. Use a flexible wrist and arm to get it moving horizontal and straight through its own line. Practising in front of a mirror can be helpful with this.
    Timeshift, J R Knots, HCF and 2 others like this.
  6. Timeshift


    Dec 22, 2020
    Thank you

    I will definitely check out this website.

    Fortunately I am very patient and will be happy to learn on a really basic level.:)
  7. Timeshift


    Dec 22, 2020
    Thank you ChrisW

    I really appreciate the suggestions.
    ChrisW_Music likes this.
  8. i would like to develop some proficiency bowing as well. I think all of the suggestions will help.

    As Zybsek stated go slow working on the most basics and progressing on when you master each stage seems to be a good strategy.
    equill likes this.
  9. Here's a quick direct audio comparison of the 3Sigma upright IRs, if anyone's interested. I don't have the Berliner IR, but I did finally pick up the Mod Bass response not too long ago.

    Recording setup: NXTa > Stomp (compression, IR with high cut set at 3kHz) > Cubase LE

    These are all the #3 variants of their IRs, recorded with the Audio Technica ATM 250DE microphone (one of 5 mic choices for each IR).


    Sample 1: Dry NXTa
    Sample 2: NXTa with Prescott IR
    Sample 3: NXTa with The Hawk IR
    Sample 4: NXTa with German IR
    Sample 5: NXTa with Mod Bass IR

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
    J R Knots likes this.
  10. Thanks for posting-5Stringgecko.

    Nice comparison
    fivestringgecko likes this.
  11. Thank you ArtechnikA.

    The Zymbol Bridge arrived yesterday and it does as advertised... the fingerboard looks 100 percent better.
    ArtechnikA likes this.
  12. kumimajava


    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Not sure whether it's useful to cross-link over here, but I've been wondering about the design of the NXT (passive) piezos, and created a post to discuss this topic over in the Electronics section.

    In case anyone with more electronics and NXT experience would like to help me out (or just have a look), it's over here:

    Piezos, Passive volume & the NS-Design NXT

    TL-DR version: how come the NXT passvie vol/tone adjustments work fine, despite the wide-spread view that piezo signals should NOT be passively adjusted prior to buffering. (answers also welcome in this thread :)
    equill likes this.
  13. What sounds fine to you might sound ugly or barely acceptable to others. The only way to find out is disconnecting the pickup from the internal electronics and connecting it (only one pickup!) to a (separate or disconnected) output jack.

    Connecting multiple unbuffered piezos in parallel sounds less good, connecting them in series enlarges the output impedance.
    kumimajava likes this.
  14. kumimajava


    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thanks for the comment - may I ask, have you actually tried the first-gen NXT yourself?

    The NXT, wired as above, using the "jackpot wiring" also has a "full bypass" at one end of the volume pot. It does exactly as you say - bypass both the volume & tone pots & go straight out. Having had the NXT plugged into a piezo buffer, the difference between "bypass" and "passive volume slightly adjusted" was ratether minor, and definitely not terrible.

    Also - if this passive vol/tone adjustmen were truly "ugly and unacceptable," I'd be suprised that Steinberger would have left it in - given how careful they are with their circuit design.

    Their current WAV range has also retained the passvie tone controls/volume, which I doubt they'd have left in if it were genuinely terrible.
  15. No, no NXT and I forgot about the bypass. But I have a lot of experience with piezo sensors and electronics for piezos. So I know by experience what I‘m talking about.
    But it might depend on the kind of piezo sensor how good it works.
    Maybe they used a 5 MOhms pot and not a 100 KOhms one as used for magnetic pickups and which degraded the sound substantially on my Clevinger EUB, so that I built a double buffer for the two piezo elements to avoid that problem.
    Anyway, that Bass volume pot and the amp gain pot are connected in parallel and that reduces the effective input impedance if there is no active buffer in front.
    kumimajava likes this.
  16. kumimajava


    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thanks for writing back - here's the diagram: 1meg pots, in parallel, i think?

  17. Piezos are in parallel, one can be phase flipped. The audio pot is 1 MegOhms, but there is one more 1 MegOhms pot in advance. Probably in conjunction with the capacitor on pizz or arco. The pizz/arco switch setting is left right, not up down as indicated. This is an error. So I cannot say if left or right switch setting is arco.
    kumimajava likes this.
  18. Um... I have one of the original NXT5s... It sounds surprisingly good for a passive Piezo pickup. Yes, there are many piezo pickups that will truly sound awful when not properly buffered. I have a Fishman Full Circle that sounds downright ganky if you don't buffer it. The NXT sounds much more natural - still electronic sounding, for sure, but much better than any of the traditional piezo pickups out there that practically demand buffering (at least impedance-wise).
    J R Knots, Sid Fang and kumimajava like this.
  19. 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.

    May 18, 2021

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