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Upright Basses & EUB's:
Electric Upright Basses
NXT Electric Upright Bass by NS Design - 4/5 String, Full Size Bass
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When NS Design introduced the WAV4 I was really shocked at the price.
The WAV4 really turned the EUB market on its head. Who could have expected to see an NS Design bass for under $1000? It was a roaring success, but they had to cease production due to some quality issues in the last group of basses in 2009.
Meanwhile, Ned Steinberger had been at work on Plan B. As you may already know, the NS Design Electric String Instruments have a long and noble history. The EU series came first, and they were initially made in the US and were quite expensive. The CR series were introduced as a more affordable version made in the Czech Republic. They got to be so good at it that they make the EU series now, too! Finally, the WAV4 were introduced at a remarkably low price, good quality instruments made in China to Ned Steinberger's strict quality standards. Now, the Czech shop is making a version of the WAV4 bass — the NXT Bass.
The NXT Bass is very much the same as the WAV4, but with some notable differences — and beyond the specifications below, it is a far more refined instrument than the WAV4...
||Ebony or Richlite*
||Amberburst, Black Satin
||Amberburst, Cherryburst, Piano Black
||Lightweight Tripod Stand, Padded Gig Bag with Separate Compartment for Stand
||Lightweight Tripod Stand, Padded Gig Bag with Separate Compartment for Stand
Like the WAV4, the NXT is a full (3/4 size) scale four string instrument featuring NS Design's proprietary PolarTM piezo pickup system. The NXT Bass is available in either a transparent Amberburst or Black Satin finish. Each bass includes a collapsible tripod stand and a padded gig bag; it holds the bass, the stand, and also has a pocket for a bow.
The instruments have two differently-mounted transducers beneath the adjustable bridge for sound. There is a switch to toggle between them for bowing (arco) and plucking (pizzicato), because the strings vibrate differently under the bow than when plucked; each pickup in the "Polar Pickup" system is specialized for each task. To keep the price down, the system is passive, with just a single volume and tone control (Unlike the CR and EU basses, which have an active preamp built-in). I recommend you consider a suitable outboard preamp or be conscious of the fact that, like any instrument with a passive piezo-based pickup, some EQ work will be a good idea to shape the tone to your preference.
This is a true electric upright bass, not a fretless bass guitar that you play vertically. The fingerboard is curved, so it can be bowed. While there is a truss rod, there is relief in the fingerboard for typical upright bass style play; if you want very close action for fretless bass guitar style "mwah" up and down the board, additional fingerboard work may be desired.
LEFT HANDED VERSIONS of the NXT bass are available at the prices shown. As of June 2011 we had several lefties IN STOCK.
The stock strings are a light gauge steel that serve as a reasonably decent hybrid sort of sound, but the instrument responds well to - and can handle - most standard 3/4 size upright bass strings. I and others report good success with strings such as the Pirastro Obligatos (see related items, below), which are a popular, heavier gauge upright bass string that delivers a more traditional sound, with less sustain and more body than the stock strings. Keep in mind, however, that the tuning machines are similar to bass guitar tuners, so very heavy gauge strings (like the Eurosonics) typically cannot be accommodated. However, since the pickups are piezo-based, which sense vibration, most any 3/4 size upright bass string can be a candidate - strings can be made of any material, as they do not have to have magnetic content. NS Design specifically designed the rear control cover with keyhole slots, which allow you to route the longer strings around the bottom of the bass and anchor them there.
The Endpin Stand, Strap System, ATA Rated flight case, and Tripod Stand for the CR/EU models (see below) are compatible with the NXT as well. We also have a lighter-weight hard case available which works well with this bass. However, the CR/EU Stand Conversion Kit, which enables the docking of the Endpin Stand to the CR/EU Tripod Stand, will not work with the WAV stand. See those optional accessories below.
A page with NXT comments from Bob, such as what to expect and how to get the best results from it, is included with each bass.
- LENGTH: 132 cm (52")
- WEIGHT: exact weight not specified yet
- SCALE LENGTH: 106 cm (41.73")
- STRINGS: 4
- CONSTRUCTION: Solid maple
- COLORS: Transparent Amberburst Satin or Black Satin.
- FINGERBOARD: Ebony or Richlite*;
- 4 string: 43.1mm (1.7") wide at nut; 89.0mm (3.5") max. width
- 5 string: 47.6mm (1.875") wide at nut; 101.6mm (4.0") max. width
- BRIDGE: Rock maple (dyed black); radius 7.9cm (3.1") string spacing 80 mm (3.14")
- NUT: Ebony; radius 7.9cm (3.1"); string spacing 31mm (1.22")
- POLAR™ PICKUP SYSTEM: The directional piezo pick-up system responds selectively to either vertical vibration (for the sustained plucked sound, like an electric bass guitar), or lateral vibration (for dynamic bowing, and a percussive plucked sound)
- ELECTRONICS: passive volume and tone control
- TRUSS ROD: Powerful rod design provides positive relief adjustment, accessible at nut. See text above outlining range, it cannot completely flatten the board.
- TUNING MACHINES: Fully encased worm gear tuners; black finish
- STRINGS: Light tension flatwound steel strings are standard. Accommodates all NS length strings and most long scale acoustic double bass strings.
- TRIPOD STAND: (standard) Black steel, fully adjustable, standing tripod design. Weight 3.2 kg (7 lbs.) Note: All basses come with the newest version stand with the redesigned head.
- END PIN STAND: (optional) Offers full freedom of movement. Height, tilt and "right bout" angle are fully adjustable providing a more conventional feel. Weight 2.3 kg (5 lbs)
- SHOULDER STRAP SYSTEM: (optional) guitar style shoulder strap for full mobility
- GIG BAG: (standard) Padded gig bag with integrated bow pocket, handle and backpack style strap. External pockets for stands and accessories
Comments from Mark, reproduced from our November 2009 newsletter:
The brand new NXT Electric Upright Bass from NS Design is really something! While on the surface it may seem that it's just a WAV4 bass with a higher price tag, a closer look reveals some key differences.
For one, the finishes are gorgeous; they're not glossy like the WAV, they're a matte finish, which is more like the high-end CR models. The black has a matte - rather than glossy - finish, it's super sharp. And the AmberBurst is nothing like the WAV's faux-flame; it's real wood with grain showing, and a traditional burst application (also with a very classy matte finish.)
What also strikes me is the acoustic resonance of the instrument - the construction is "tight" and the physical vibration throughout the entire instrument is quite apparent. This may also be wood choice; for the body and fingerboard, the NXT features maple and ebony/Richlite*, rather than the WAV4's poplar and black rosewood, respectively.
Plugged into the shop amp, an Acoustic Image Contra, it sounds quite good; it still needs some tone-shaping to get a more "real" URB sound, but it speaks well, even with the stock strings. Electronically, it looks like they're using better pots and switches on the NXT, too. I haven't opened up the cavity yet, but the switch is obviously different (bigger paddle, feels more substantial) and the knobs are different. The design, accessories, and stand are all essentially the same, so it's still compatible with the various stand and strap options, as well as the cool molded plastic case I found for the WAV4.
I still love my WAV4, but this new NXT bass is really slick, and I think the extra refinement is worth the difference in price. NS Design continues to impress. -- Mark
*What is Richlite?
NS Design is committed to the need and responsibility to do what we can to protect our environment. Certain materials which have for centuries been part of the tradition of instrument making, are under increasing environmental and regulatory pressure. Among these is ebony. NS Design has been on a quest to find an alternative to ebony, one which meets high standards for performance, appearance and durability.
Beginning in November, 2014, they will begin equipping NXT series instruments with fingerboards made from Richlite™, a natural fiber composite that was originally developed for aerospace and industrial applications. They have found that Richlite's structural, visual, tactile and sonic characteristics rival those of ebony, and that this material is very "friendly" to traditional tools and techniques used by luthiers in the maintenance and care of ebony fingerboards.
Please note that during the transition period, an NXT instrument you receive may have either an ebony or Richlite fingerboard. Also note that all model numbers and prices remain the same, regardless of fingerboard material.
Is this product returnable? Click here for our return policy.
Is there a Factory Warranty? Click here to find Warranty Information for all of our manufacturers.
International customer? Click here for important information about ordering from outside the USA, and what to expect concerning taxes, VAT, delivery times, and more.
Check Out the FAQ Resources That Apply to This Product:
BASS GUITAR TO UPRIGHT BASS: The Top Ten mistakes migrating players make...
CR/M Electric Upright Bass by NS Design - CR4M & CR5M, 4/5 String Full Size
This beautifully designed bass is crafted in the Czech Republic, and features a full-scale fingerboard with adjustable relief to suit varying players' preferences. Available in 4 and 5 String versions...
NXT Omni Bass by NS Design - 4/5 String Short-Scale Electric Upright Bass
The NXT Series Omni Bass is the brand new (for 2013) lower-cost version of the popular CR Omni Bass - a pro-level instrument at a more reachable price point...
** NS Design 4 string CR4 - BRAND NEW - $660 DISCOUNT
This beautifully designed bass is crafted in the Czech Republic, and features a full-scale fingerboard with adjustable relief to suit varying players' preferences. We have only a few of these basses at a VERY special price; the bass lists for $4200 and normally sells for $3359 - get it now for MUCH less!
U-Bass Electric-Acoustic Bass Ukelele from Kala
This fun ukelele-like bass instrument with a short scale has a booming response that will make anyone do a triple take when hearing it! Available in several beautiful, solid wood finishes...
Lightweight Plastic Travel Case for NS Design Bass Instruments
We searched high and low for a more affordable hard case for the NS Design Bass lineup (NS Design makes a wonderful ATA-Rated case, but it's pretty pricey). Here's our answer...
Heavy Duty Flight Case for NS Design Bass or OmniBass
For the frequent NS Design bass players/flyers in the group, this flight case is a necessity for keeping your axe in one playable piece...
K&M Electric Upright Bass EUB Folding Stand
This brand new (July 2011) lightweight stand from Konig and Meyer offers something many of us have been searching for - confident holding of various electric upright basses...
Endpin Stand (and accessories) for NS Design Basses
Endpin - lets you use a more traditional type of playing position than a tripod; has a hip bout and an optional add-on for the stock stand to make the tripod a storage stand...
Tripod Folding Stand Mount for NS Design Basses
Tripod Stand - standard equipment with the EU and CR basses, and an upgrade for the WAV4...
Shoulder Strap System for NS Design Basses & Cellos
With the Strap System to you can achieve full mobility with amazing comfort. For the NS Design basses, cellos, and OmniBasses...
String Sets: NS Electric Traditional for NS Design Electric Upright Basses NS610
The NS Electric line has been conceived jointly by Ned Steinberger and D’Addario. The Traditional set is designed for use with the CR4M, CR5M, NXT and WAV4 basses, from NS Design, to provide a more "traditional" upright tone...
String Sets: NS Electric Contemporary Electric Upright Basses NSFW610
The NS Electric line has been conceived jointly by Ned Steinberger and D’Addario. The "Contemporary" set is designed for use with the CR4M, CR5M, NXT and WAV4 from NS Design, to provide a bright, powerful sustained tone...
GHS 'Crossovers' String Set for the NS Design Basses
These new strings have been specially designed, with input and assistance from Gollihur Music, to be a new option for the NS Design Basses - sort of a "modern traditional" hybrid string. 4 and 5-string sets available...
Pirastro Obligato Upright Bass Strings
Pirastro's relatively new Obligato strings have a solid synthetic core with a very thin metal wrap. They were designed to emulate gut strings...
Hipshot Ultralite Tuning Machines for NXT and WAV4 Electric Upright Bass
Excellent USA-Made tuning machines, perfect for upgrading the stock machines on your NS Design WAV4 or NXT bass...
Strings: Choices for NS Design NXT and WAV4 Basses
Need new strings for your NS Design WAV4 or NXT Bass? Check out these options! A String Guide by Mark...
Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
I want to offer my deepest and sincerest appreciation for your help in getting my NXT bass to me in time for my New York Trip. It arrived yesterday and exceeds my expectations. It is perfect for my travel needs and I am impressed with the tone and feel of this bass for such a great price. ( I just can't look at the neck because the position marks are a little unnerving) The plastic case is clever and I love that the soft case fits inside. It will make gettiing in and out of taxi's much easier. Once again, thank you for your help in getting this to me in time and relieving my stress level.
Mark, many thanks for your help in the purchase of my NXT5. It arrived ahead of schedule and the last part arrived today. I am very pleased with the varity of sounds I am able to get out of the bass. Thanks again for your great customer service.
—Mike R (Nov 2010)
Greetings all, Got the NXT and stuff today. It is all very fine...perfection is good enough. Thanks for your fantastic service and setup. 5 stars all the way folks.
—Francis T. (Dec 2010)
Hello, Received the NXT4 EUB several weeks ago and been using it for our guitar group in church. Absolutely fabulous instrument. Many folks are coming to me after mass and commenting on the beautiful sound and unique look of the NXT4. I've been playing bass guitar (fretted and fretless) for 40+ years and had some reservations moving to an EUB after reading the remarks in the "10 common mistakes" section
. But the desire to make the move was too great and after about 1 hour of practice, it felt totally comfortable to play...Many thanks.
—George S (November 2011)
Hi Mark, JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I LOVE MY NXT UPRIGHT ELECTRICAL BASS, YOU GUYS WERE GREAT WITH THE TECH TALK AND HELPING ME DECIDE WHICH BASS WOULD BE GOOD FOR ME, SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS BUT I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW IT WAS A VERY SMOOTH TRANSACTION IN THE PURCHASE PROCESS, you guys offer great service for someone like me who has been playing bass guitar for 44 years, and now thanks to you I own a electric upright bass. Keep up the good work and love the web site.
—Tony C (March 2012)
Well, I've had a chance to play the instrument. It's beautiful, and in beautiful shape. I really like the setup on it as shipped, and the amount of tones that can be produced with the two piezo pups and the tone control is really outstanding.
I'll be spending the weekend with my NXT thanks to Gollihur, and I'm sure it will be an enjoyable one!
—Dave B (May 2012)
Hi Mark.. The NXT has been fun and gigged heavily. Will be ordering some more gear from the Best Bass Place on Earth soon.
—Fran T (May 2012)
Last week I ordered a NXT 4 EUB sunburst. It arrived in New Zealand a couple of days ago in perfect condition.
The responses are: what a beautiful 'thing', what great sound, and then from me - how much I am enjoying playing it.
Thanks to all for the fast and trouble free service.
—Tony W (August 2013)
Just wanted to write you guys and tell you, I received my new NXT bass yesterday and I just love it. I've played electric bass guitar for many, many years and this is the first upright bass I've owned and played. I also have owned and played an NXT cello for a few years so I was already familiar with the NXT design. I have to say I'm very pleased with the NXT bass. I think I'll be looking to purchase an acoustic upright next, perhaps one of the Estle Louis models.
—Kent A. (February 2014)
(My daughter) is absolutely thrilled with her NXT and the Fishman preamp I purchased from Gollihur Music. The information sheet that was sent along with it from Mark is helping her out tremendously in setting it up for her play style.
I look forward to continuing to business with Gollihur Music in the future. Absolutely phenomenal experience with your customer service and the information on your website.
Thank you so much...
—Rod K (March 2014)
I finally took the plunge after a few months of deliberation and consultation with Mark and purchased the NS Design NXT-4. It arrived a couple of days ago and has been a joy to play and experiment with. Shipping was fast and doing business with Gollihur was a pleasure. I can't believe how close the NXT comes to creating that true double bass sound. I've been a fretted bass guitar player all my life and always wanted to play and enjoy that double bass sound without the hassle of carting one around. The NXT-4 got me there. Well pleased!
—Bob D (May 2014)