Ned Steinberger needs no introduction. Having created some of the most innovative instruments in the last 30 years, he has deserved a reputation as one of the best instrument designer in modern times.
After selling his own Steinberger company, he started NSDesign with the idea of creating a classical string quartet that would be based on the original instruments but taking them one step farther.
Rather than working on making instruments that would mimic the originals in terms of playability, Ned decided to create new instruments that would allow the player new and exciting ways to play and amplify them.
This is the CR4 Bass and it is the top of the line model. It is made in a small factory in the Czeck Republic who have a long history of making quality stringed instruments.
This instrument has a standard ¾ scale and a really nice ebony board.
Perhaps the most striking and unexpected innovation is that there is no neck joint. This automatically allows any player to play any note right to the end of the fingerboard. Of course you can also use standard thumb technique (capodastro).
The special D’addario strings and dot position markers all make for an instrument that is easy to play and inviting. You can also install regular upright strings if you a beefier tone and feel, of course.
The included tripod stand allows the bass to stand on its own rather than having to use your left hand and leg as supports.
Of course the electronics are very well thought. The active board is powered by two 9 Volt batteries for extra headroom.
Controls are Volume, 2 band EQ (excellent) and Pizzicato/Arco mode: Pizz mode is great for a solid all round sound with a nice sustain to it, and Arco for the best bowed sound in the market. Blending pizz & arco 50/50 produces a sound that is rich in mids and has a shorter sustain, so you would be using this more than anything in a band situation (this sound is the closest you get to an amplified double bass).
If you have never played double bass, this is a good chance to start on a top quality instrument that will simply put things easier for you.
If you are an experienced double bass player, you’ll have to come with an open mind regarding the tripod and lack of body reference but once you get used to that (very fast), it is a really rewarding instrument.
It is easier to adjust the bridge for a lower or higher action to suit your needs. If you are a die hard player you might prefer to use regular strings.
It comes with a padded gigbag that will hold the bass and the tripod.
This is a used bass in 9/10 condition (just a small ding at the headstock).
NS Design CR4 Bass (used)