Request advice on Steinberger NS Design EUB

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by smarvelous, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    Hi all,

    I am a bass guitarist looking to venture into the DB world, but with these requirements...

    - I play salsa/latin and want access to a more percussive baby bass sound.

    - Be able to get a DB sound for jazz and brazillian gigs.

    I don't want an ampeg baby bass because I feel it won't perform well for the jazz/brazillian stuff.

    I've researched a bit and am looking at the NS design bass. Questions for those of you play this bass:

    1. What kind of strings do you recommend for what I want to do.

    2. What action or dampening or other things do you do to get a baby bass sound.

    3. Is it worth getting the 5 string (I could see my self using the low B for Cuban Timba and Brazillian stuff, but its not really necessary for me)

    thanks in advance!!!
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I started off thinking like you - as Gard used one of these for Latin/Salsa.

    But I did find that while I loved the NS CR5 sound - you do have to play it like a Double Bass and therefore develop a different technique which slows you down.

    So, I tend to use mine for Jazz and slower things - but the fast Latin stuff is just too difficult for me, so I stick with BG. I use palm muting and plcuking with my thumb on BG for Tumbao bass lines where it is high tempo.

    So. I went for more fo a Jazz sound on my NS bass - raised the action and got soem real DB strings. Following discussion here with Francois - who seeems to know all about strings for EUBs! - I got some Pirastro Orchs and they made a huge difference to how it sounded - much more like a real amplified DB than with the stock strings!
  3. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    Thanks, Bruce.

    Are you using the Pirastro Obligatos? There are a bunch of different Pirastro strings which they describe as orchestral, so I'm not sure which ones you are talking about. On Bob Gullihur's site he says that the Obligatos won't work well with magnetic pickups (I guess because the are synthetic cores, they only would work with the piezo, don't know how important that is to me, as the NS has both pickup types).

    Also, do you find the low B useful?

  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No - I'm using Pirastro Flexocor strings - I think these have more steel, so would work better with magnetic pickups.

    However - my NSCR5 only has piezos - no magnetic pickups at all. So, I tried various option and decided that the magnetic pickups contributed to the "big fretless bass guiitar sound" - whereas the piezos sounded more like Double Bass.

    As I have bass guitars, I thought it best to buy the piezo-only model - it looks neater to me as well and more like a piece of sculpture!! ;) So people like the way that it looks and are surprised at how it makes any sound!!

    B string - hmmm - not as important as on BG I think? So - on BG I use the B string a lot - but mostly to get a sound more like DB or the Amepg Baby Bass sound you mention - bassier, thuddier, more rounded tone etc.

    But on the NSCR5 EUB, I find the tone is already like that - so I don't need to resort to the B string. In fact it can get in the way.

    But it is an awesome sound - incredibly bassy - and it is nice to play a low D or C just occasionally - say as the very last note in a piece. I have got some nice reactions - as in, what was that!!! :eek:

    Especially when playing the low D below the bottom E, for some reason it seems to resonate through people !! ;)
  5. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    as you may know, SMANAGEABLE, steve azola is making the 'current' version of the ampeg baby bass. these basses come stock with a piezo system (like the ones on his other eubs) in addition to the magnetic diaphragm system under the bridge that mimics the original baby bass sound. i haven't heard/played one, but it might be that this axe has in it the multiple sounds you're looking for. i'd bet you can blend the two pickup signals to get a baby bass sound in certain situations and a more traditional db-simulating eub sound in others. they're pricey, though - i think around $2500.

    sean p
  6. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    I have looked at the azolas. I want portability, so the full size basses are out for now. Azola has the lightning bug, too, so that was an option. I haven't actually had a chance to play any of these basses (I am in SF, but don't know of any dealers nearby) So I am going to need to just order it and hope I love it. I know it's not going to be just like a baby or DB for that matter. I do hope that the long scale length and the other DB-like qualities will give me a new level of punch and depth that I can bring to the stage (and it will bring me more jazz gigs!)
  7. smarvelous


    Jun 2, 2002
    Albany, CA
    I really like the Eminence. My new teacher is very impressed with the amplified tone and the construction (the removable neck is very well built). The realist pickup provides a very nice thumpy tone.

    No, it's nothing like a baby bass, but I think it will handle latin gigs very nicely and I can do the jazz and brazillian stuff too. I put Obligato strings on it, which are less mwahish on the g string than the stock Helicores. Now I've got GAS for a suitable speaker cab...