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NS Designs Radius thread

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tim de Martino, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. When I was researching the purchase of a NS Radius CR5, there was some info around but mostly, as is often the case, it was the same info over and over recycled from the promo and technical data supplied by NS.

    As these instruments are a bit rare and quite different, I thought a thread bringing together user experience, technical info and general thoughts would be handy. There are very very few parts on these basses that are off the shelf or common to other makes, so tips and tricks around it's idiosyncrasies are hard to come by.

    I'll start with a few things that I have found...

    - It's friggin amazing!
    - Despite the promo material, it won't take all strings. I have found that the outer windings on some nickels are too soft and get stripped by the tuning mechanism, rendering them useless. At the mo I have the recommended D'addarios but will do some testing for something lighter - maybe Fodera's, they are niiice.
    - The treble piezo setting is pretty sharp on its own but mixed with the EMGs it can give a zing that magnetics can't. For me, most of the most useful tones come from mixing the mags and various piezo settings.
    - The preamp has internal treble switches same as the EMG BQC. They don't do a lot for my ear but through a different rig, they may be more useful. Critical though, is balancing the mags and piezo with the internal trimmer.
    - It is not super light, but with the chambering and great balance, it's pretty easy to wear for 3 sets.
    - I'm not a huge fan of the 3 way pickup switch. I would prefer a blend (normally I like individual volumes) maybe I can mod it in the future...

    Any other info or experiences would be great. In fact anything other than crickets chirping would be welcome!

    Cheers to all.

    59jazz, ClassicJazz and Joshua like this.
  2. ClassicJazz

    ClassicJazz Bottom Feeders Unite!! Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Delray Beach, Florida
    I picked up this beauty around three weeks ago. Still very much in the learning process, so many tones you can get from it.

    First thing I noticed is how well this bass is built. All the features and contours are beautifully executed. And the bridge/tuning system is truly an engineering marvel. Took minutes to change the strings! And talk about perfectly balanced!

    The fit and finish is flawless and the ebony fretless fretboard is perfectly level. Out of the box the action was ridiculous low, with very minimal string buzz. But too low for me, had to raise it up a bit. The stock D'Addario strings (45-130) were minty fresh too. I did change out the B string for a 125, which I prefer.

    The bass has great mwahh and growl to it. As I mentioned, still learning all you can do with blending and soloing the EMG pickups and piezo pickup.

    Overall very happy with the bass. My only two grips, and they are small ones. The bottom edge of the fretboard could have been more rounded off to give it a broken in feel. With my small hands, I can certainly feel that edge. Also the dots on front of the fretboard are not well placed, at least on the five string. They look cool from the front, but you kind of have to look at the neck at the right angle to see them while playing. For the most part I don't need them, but I like to see them when playing/soloing past the 12th fret.

    palmann, HD007, 59jazz and 3 others like this.
  3. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    I played one of the WAV4's at samash the other week and was thoroughly impressed by its playability and sound. If I didn't already have a Kiesel on the way I might consider picking one up.
    Tim de Martino likes this.
  4. boamedt

    boamedt Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    I have a wav4. It no cr5 but close. It definitely has a unique tone to bring with the piezo and mag pickup. I would sell it for a cr5 if i could justify that much on a bass. Ergonomics are great. I love the contoured body and headless system
  5. Awesome! The fretless 5 was my first choice too but it was the fretted that came up semi-affordably first. One of the criteria for my forever bass was lack of future fretwork, but figured I can yank them later if necessary.

    The fingerboard edge is a good point. It wouldn't be too hard to reshape them on the fretless... Ned is a big time tinkerer, surely these instruments could be held to the same ethic.
    ClassicJazz likes this.
  6. I havent seen a wav in person. Have you held a cr? Interesting to know how much less obvious similarity there is.
  7. boamedt

    boamedt Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Santa Rosa, Ca
    Same neck and body shape. Cr5 uses higher quality woods, like the flame maple and carbon fiber in the neck. Cr5 has 2 mag pickups as opposed to one. I liked the mag p/u placement better on the cr5. Not too many differences
    Tim de Martino likes this.
  8. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I'm a long time P bass and Stingray 4 user and while surfing for something different, I stumbled upon a Radius CR4. I was looking for something that is ergonomic and easy on my back and shoulder, as well as something that sits well in a live mix. This bass is even more comfy than my Pedulla Buzz basses, it's my new go to bass.
    I'm not a big fan of DA XL's so I installed a set of Dunlop Nickel Brites, which seem to work well with the CR4. I'd like to try a modern sounding set of flats on this bass, I installed a lightly used set of Fender flats but 3 of the strings slipped in the clamping mechanism of the bridge. I favor EB Slinky flats, DA Chromes and TI Jazz flats, Just not sure they will work with the tuning assy because of their silk wraps.
    I'm hoping to find a used CR5 fretless soon.
    palmann, Joshua and HD007 like this.
  9. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    I wish the 5 string was 19mm spacing...
  10. Nice bass!

    I tried TI flats but again, the clamps tore through the windings. These were used strings, so I'm starting to wonder whether it would happen with a new set but I'm not willing to drop $150 to find out...
    59jazz likes this.
  11. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    I have emailed NSD about the string issue, they have not responded.
  12. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I’d love to try any of the NS basses, they just don’t exist in any shop, anywhere near me.
    Element Zero likes this.
  13. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    Same here.....curiosity got the best of me. This Bass fits me better than my Pedullas, great instrument for my aging body.
  14. 59jazz

    59jazz Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma Supporting Member

    WOW, just got an email from Don @ NSD, he stated that strings with silk wraps should hold.
  15. Greginperth


    Feb 10, 2018
    Awesome thread folks - Im a headless appreciator with two in the line up now.
    I spotted these a couple of weeks ago and somehow keep gravitating back to the web page.
    I do not NEED another headless bass. I do not NEED another headless bass.
  16. It's a bit like a Chapman Stick, there are normally none around nearby to try out so it's a matter of saving up the cash and taking a punt.... after lots of research. Being far away in Oz, that's what I had to do for both instruments. The only shop in the state that stocks NS never has one in, maybe they are hard to get hold of?

    Prob more worthwhile used, as you can make your money back if it's not for you. Also Check the NS website - they are now selling B stock directly.

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