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Upright Basses & EUB'sElectric Upright Basses

NXTa Active Series Electric Upright Bass by NS Design - 4/5 String, Full Size Bass

         Manufactured by: NS Design

Continental US - larger items may carry a partial shipping charge to AK, HI and PR
All shoppers outside the US State of New Jersey pay NO SALES TAX on any purchases at Gollihur Music. (NJ Residents pay NJ State Sales Tax of 6.875%.) International customers, please visit our "How to Order" Policies page for information concerning VAT and Customs Charges that may be assessed by your country and/or delivery services.
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-- Select Left Handed NXT Electric Upright Basses - IN STOCK

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NXT Bass NXT Bass 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 in the Czech facility 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 higher-quality 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...

Model NXT WAV4
Made in Czech Republic China
Body Wood Maple Beech
Fingerboard Wood Ebony or Richlite* Black Rosewood
Finishes Available Amberburst, Black Satin Amberburst, Cherryburst, Piano Black
Includes 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 NXTa is a full (3/4 size) scale four string instrument featuring NS Design's proprietary PolarTM piezo pickup system. The NXTa 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 preamp controls are passive, with just a single volume and tone control (Unlike the CR and EU basses, which have an active EQ preamp built-in). The NXTa does feature an active buffer, however, and this new feature takes about a minute to charge (with the included charger) and provides a much better interface to bass amps that are designed for lower impedance magnetic bass pickups. This improves the balance and tone of your instrument, and it's a welcome upgrade! The buffer can also be bypassed with a push-pull knob, if you don't need it (or forgot to charge it.)

NXT BassThis 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 NXTa bass are available at the prices shown. We try to keep stock on left-handed basses, but they may be subject to extended timeframes for acquisition.

NXT BassThe 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 NXTa 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 Mark, 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)
  • BUILT-IN BUFFER CIRCUIT: Creates a better electronic "match" to low-impedance bass amps, providing a better overall tone and balance. Flash-recharge in 1 minute, for up to 18 hours of use. Bypassable by switch.
  • 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

NXT Bass
*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, NS Design began 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...

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Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
Hi Mark,

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.
Tony R
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)
Hi guys

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)
Hi Mark. Got my bass in the mail last week...it sounds and looks terrific! I'm trying to track down a teacher near me to help with some bowing and fingering technique. I love that it has the dots on the fingerboard--maybe the ghost of Franz Simandl would not approve, but that feature alone probably saves me months and months of work just trying to figure out where the notes are. The tone is terrific, still getting used to playing with a bow. And the string replacement solution you came up with (for my unconventional tuning) seems to be working nicely.

So thanks again for your help and for answering all my questions. Very excited to make music with this thing and I probably wouldn't have figured out what to get without your help!
Matt R. (April 2016)