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NS.. want vs need vs....

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by mp40smg, Jan 31, 2021.


  1. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Here is the deal..

    i am a BG played with a desire to give EUB, yet another, go. I tried unsuccessfully in the past as I just did not give it enough attention. With COVID and lock downs, I am considering giving it another “real try” this time.

    I have an MM bongo 6 up for sale or trade. And almost had an nxt but that fell through. But still out there for trade.

    So I guess the question is. Do I “settle” for a wav? At this point, I don’t need “modern” or wide variety of tones, just a good player with a good upright tone.

    i suppose I am asking if versatility of tone is not an issue. Is the wav a good way to go or is it just a starter and really a mistake?
     
  2. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I played a US series NS-Design 6-string for over a decade. The current EU6 is almost identical. It was a fabulous instrument with a unique voice, but IMHO it did not sound like an upright bass. Rather the tone was more like a fretless bass guitar with a really strong fundamental and super long sustain. IMHO the reason to buy the WAV or one of the other NS Design bases is specifically for the unique voice. So you need to try one IMHO.

    The higher end Yamaha Silent Basses are the only EUBs I have played that really get close to approximating the sound and feel of an upright bass: SLB300 - Overview - Yamaha - United States For the price of an SLB300 you could probably get into a decent hybrid upright bass.

    Other EUBs I have tried include the original Clevinger and the Eminence. The Clevinger I had sounded more like an upright than the NS Design, but this is because the strings were super high. It was really hard on my hands.

    The Eminence had a bit of an acoustic quality because of the small acoustic body, but it still had way too much sustain and not enough thump. Also I found the Eminence wanted to rotate on the end pin. Since the bass's body is so small you can't really brace it against your own side like a real upright.
     
    Luigir likes this.
  3. equill

    equill

    Nov 25, 2010
    Madrid
    What would you get if you didn't have to "settle"?
    And how much do you care about getting an acoustic-like tone?

    I bought a second-hand WAV4 to find out whether this EUB thing was a serious interest or a passing fancy. That was more years ago than I want to admit, and I've since bought a nicer model, though I still have the WAV as a backup and a source of different tones.

    The two things that specifically bothered me about the NS design are the single pivot-point for the stand, specifically the fact that it does pivot instead of staying where you put it, and it being designed for shorter strings.
    You can work around both things, but my workaround for the pivot is a dirty hack and it looks like one, and I don't fully trust those little screws to hold the tension of full-length strings.

    As @Wasnex says, the NS models have their own voice. They're based closely on key elements of an acoustic upright bass, but realistically need to be treated as an instrument in their own right. If that's what you want, they deliver. But if you really want an acoustic-ish sound, then you'd best look at one of the other options.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  4. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    I’d mainly recommend an eub that plays as similar as possible to the real thing. The wav does that with some modifications. (The stand, it misses a heel and might need different tuners because you need actual DB strings). There are better options out there (see Wasnex’s post). The Wav works for me as an easy to transport rehearsal instrument, but I modded the hell out of it to get closer to the feel of my DB. But if you’re willing to spend some money to see if you like DB I’d spend it on a DB. You can only learn the proper technique if you also have to do the work to get a decent volume and tone and work the tension of actual DB strings.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  5. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Can not do a an acoustic, in terms of size, space or volume. And needing to stay under 2k.
     
  6. The Italian EUB MK Studio would fall in your category. Look into the „Italian EUB“ thread.
     
  7. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    thanks. I will have a look. But, I am pretty much hooked on the NS from an aesthetic point. As wrong as that may be.
     
  8. Luigir

    Luigir

    Mar 15, 2018
    This is the MKStudio:
     
  9. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    London
    Ableton Live tutorials and product reviews for Computer Music magazine.
    I've been playing an NXT5 since December, and been very happy with it. I waited a while, and managed to get a deal on a used one. A few dings but fully functional. Came with the upgraded NS Design stand. Everything I've read about the WAV has convinced me I did the right thing to wait and reach for the 'better' model. As for sound, I'm not overly troubled about how close it is to a real DB, I like it for what it is, and it's very flexible sonically.
     
    Zbysek and equill like this.
  10. equill

    equill

    Nov 25, 2010
    Madrid
    In that case, look at the NS Design NXT Megathread Design NXT Megathread [/url] for pointers on using impulse responses to make the amplified/recorded sound more acoustic-like.
    It's probably worth you keeping an eye on that thread anyway :)
     
  11. rknea

    rknea Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Boise, ID
    I use my NXT on smaller gigs where space is limited. I wasn't 100% digging the tone as I was hoping for more of an UB sound but I started using my Sansamp Tech21 DI and was able to get the tone really dialed in! All instruments have their place and I'd jump on an NS NXT if you have the chance.
     
    Zbysek and Hummergeist like this.
  12. rknea

    rknea Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Boise, ID
  13. Luigir

    Luigir

    Mar 15, 2018
    equill likes this.
  14. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I would get NXT or NXTa If I were you...
     
  15. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    Any particular reason?
     
  16. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    I had a zeta cross over.. i would qualify as a db like object. It was kinda cool. But to me a odd duck fretless bass guitar that did not do anything all that well. . And not any sort of eub. In my limited experience you need the scale to give the feel, thump and focus of a db..

    I could see getting an Omni bass to do as a 5ths cello like object.. but that is not what what i am after right now..
     
    Luigir likes this.
  17. Zbysek

    Zbysek

    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Both NXT and NXTa series are manufactured in Europe. I have visited the factory...so I trust the QC for those series...

    I own NXT myself.

    Plus one doesn't need a preamp with high impedance with the NXTa...which saves you money...
     
    rknea and Hummergeist like this.
  18. mp40smg

    mp40smg Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2010
    Worcester, Ma.
    thanks.

    Definitely the direction I am leaning towards. Just need to move the Bongo 6 to make it possible.
     
    Zbysek likes this.
  19. Ludwig

    Ludwig

    Aug 17, 2006
    Germany
    For me, the NS basses are more of an electric fretlesss bass guitar. Coming from double bass, I miss the neck heal at the correct position and don't feel good with that thing on a 3 leg stand. I would much preferre the Eminence or one of the MK models. For me the currently available Yamaha EUBs might be good, but much overprized.
     
    DoubleMIDI likes this.
  20. jharms80439

    jharms80439

    Nov 23, 2004
    Evergreen, CO
    From the NS factory and with their “Contemporary” strings I’d agree that the NS is more of a large fretless BG. But, raise the bridge, install some proper DB strings, add either the NS neck heel or a brass brad nail (I’ve done both at different times), then get away from the tripod stand by using the endpin version and it gets pretty darn close. Properly tweaked I easily switch between my acoustic upright and the NS.

    If the OP is stuck on the NS, start with DB strings and raise the bridge (to 6 ish mm on the G, 8-9 is mm on the E). Beware DB strings “can” be pricy though, so you might try used strings first (or maybe Jargers). Then add the neck heel or a brad nail, then the endpin stand.

    That said, the MK is a terrific bass in sound and feel. For me, I still like the NSD form factor with the endpin. Well that and the sound. Oh and adding the neck heel (or brass brad nail) is/was a good decision too.

    John
     
    nbsipics likes this.
  21. 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 8, 2021

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