NS Design FAQ

Scroll beyond the General FAQ section for more FAQ on these specific instrument types, or quick link to them here:

NS Violin and Viola

NS Cello

NS Omni Bass

NS Upright Bass

General FAQ

What is the best way to remove rosin from the body and bridge of my NS instrument?

A good thing to remove rosin, believe it or not, is mineral spirits. Dampen a cloth with the solvent and rub off the rosin. For extreme rosin build up, we have also found that Goo Gone™ is a very powerful cleaner.

I want to use a wireless transmitter with my NS instrument. Is the output strong enough to send to a wireless unit?

NS instruments deliver a signal strong enough for most wireless transmitters. However, the WAV and original NXT series passive instruments are high impedance and require the transmitter to have an impedance of at least 1 MOhm, and preferably in the range of 3 - 10 MOhm. The NXTa Series instruments have a dual mode output; a passive mode identical to the original NXT series instruments, and active mode that uses the supplied charger to plug into any AC outlet for 60 seconds to power the capacitor-powered active circuit for up to 16 hours of performance time. The instrument can then be plugged straight into any low or high impedance device, no direct box necessary. The CR which are all active, will work well with any input impedance.

My NS instrument has dot markers on the fingerboard. What do these indicate?

The dots mark the theoretical fret positions on all fretless NS instruments. Intonation varies slightly with string type and height settings. You may wish to use an electronic tuner to see exactly where the finger should be placed in relation to the dots for accurate tuning.

How do I adjust the bridge on my NS instrument?

Just below the bridge, two height adjustment screws are accessible through holes in the back plate located on the rear of the instrument. Using a Philips head screwdriver, turn these screws clockwise to raise the bridge or counter-clockwise to lower it. After adjusting the string height, check side to side alignment of the strings with the neck. Use finger pressure at the side of the bridge to re-center the strings if needed.

Can I use a standard bow with my NS instrument?

All NS instruments can be played exactly the same way as their acoustic counterparts, and all can use standard bows---violin, viola, cello, or double bass as applicable. NS Design sells high-quality carbon-fiber bows that are perfectly-suited to our instruments.

Do I need to worry about humidity with the NS instrument as I would with an acoustic?

Humidity will affect all NS instruments, albeit to a lesser extent than their acoustic counterparts. The bodies and fingerboards of the instruments will absorb moisture under high humidity and release moisture under low humidity. On larger instruments, this can result in more or less curvature of the fingerboard. The shape of the fingerboard can be adjusted by use of the truss rods. The violin and viola bodies are smaller and much less affected by changes in humidity, and these instruments do not include truss rods.

NS VIOLIN AND VIOLA FAQ

Will there ever be a ¾  or smaller size NS Violin?

NS Design instruments are not available in smaller sizes. However, many players find that the compact body of an NS instrument makes fingering, especially in higher positions, easier to handle than standard or fractional sized acoustic models.

How do I keep the shoulder rest from moving when I play?

If the two clamps associated with the shoulder rest assembly (one on the body of the instrument, one on the base of the shoulder rest) are not properly adjusted, slippage of the support arm or shoulder rest base can be expected. If this happens, the first thing to check is whether the two members of the clamp touch each other at one end or the other. If they do, loosen the clamp and adjust the set screw (the one at the end opposite the thumb screw) so that, when tightened, the two halves are parallel. Once that has been checked or adjusted, another easy step is to apply a coating of powdered rosin to the support rod where it contacts the clamp. Then tighten the thumb screw firmly.

72dpi CSR clamp adjustment

This photo shows the proper orientation of the two clamp members, and the arrow points to the set screw used to adjust the position. This screw can be turned by hand, but it can also be adjusted using a hex key. Always loosen the thumb screw before adjusting the set screw.

Can I plug headphones into my NS violin/viola?

The CR Series violin and viola, which use an active pickup with on-board battery, have dedicated headphone jacks alongside their standard 1/4″ jacks. Any standard set of headphones will fit. NXT and WAV series violins do not have a dedicated headphone jack, and their passive pickups won't power headphones directly. However, it is often possible to plug headphones into an amplifier and monitor your sound that way.

Will the violin fit in a normal case or is a special case required?

NS violins and violas are sold with custom cases that fit their shapes perfectly (and are slightly smaller than a conventional acoustic cases). They would require additional support to fit in acoustic violin/viola cases, due to their smaller body size.

What does a pre-amp do, and do I need one for the NS violin/viola? (Or can I plug directly into an amplifier?)

The CR Series violin and viola have preamps built-in. NXT and WAV series violins do not have on-board preamps, and the output from these instruments is strong enough not to require a preamp. Most amplifiers include a preamp, although depending on your amplifier, using an external one may give you more headroom and more control over your sound.

NS CELLO FAQ

Will there ever be a ¾  or smaller size NS Cello?

NS Design instruments are not available in smaller sizes. However, many players find that the compact body of an NS instrument makes fingering, especially in higher positions, easier to handle than standard or fractional sized acoustic models.

What are the differences between the NXT and CR cello models?

Electronics: The original NXT Series cellos use a passive pickup, which does not require a battery and can easily be plugged directly into an amplifier with good results, and many amplifiers provide enough tone shaping in the preamp section (tone controls). The NXTa has dual mode signal output electronics. In passive mode it has the same capabilities as the original NXT and in active mode it can be plugged straight into any low or high impedance device, no direct box is necessary and there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum. The CR cello has an active preamp powered by an on-board battery, and offers more control over tone.  All instruments use NS Design's Polar Pickup technology.

Neck and Body: The CR and NXT Series cellos both have maple necks and bodies. The CR Series has carved top cap of figured maple on body face; the NXT's use a figured maple veneer.

Tuners: The tuners on the CR Series are made by Schaller. Those on the NXT Series instruments are proprietary.

Tripod Stands: The CR tripod stand is double braced steel. The NXT tripod stand has tubular tripod stand legs. Both are very sturdy and stable.

Stringing: The CR cello is available as a 4, 5 or 6-string. The NXT Series are available in only a 4 or 5-string version.

Fretted options: The NXT Series offers a fretted cello option in both 4 and 5-string models, while a special order is required for a CR fretted cello.

How high does the range of the CR6 cello extend?

Tuned conventionally, the CR6 cello extends a full fifth above and below the range of the conventional 4 string cello: F-C-G-D-A-E. The low F string can in some cases be tuned down to a low E. For lower range than that, players should consider the Omni Bass or any of NS Design's upright bass models.

Can I tune the NS Cello in fourths?

It is possible to tune an NS cello in fourths, but specially-designed strings may be required for best results.

How do I adjust the neck relief on my NS cello?

A truss rod is accessed at the headstock, just above the nut. Using the supplied hex key, turn counter-clockwise to increase relief; clockwise to decrease.

NS OMNI BASS FAQ

Does the Omni Bass work better with a cello bow or a double bass bow?

Although players have had success with both, most prefer to use a cello bow with the Omni Bass.

How do I adjust the neck relief?

The truss rod is accessed at the headstock, just above the nut. Using the supplied hex key, turn counter-clockwise to increase relief; clockwise to decrease.

How do I adjust the signal of my optional EMG magnetic pickups?

Magnetic Pickups: Adjacent to each individual pickup is an adjusting set screw. Loosen the set screw to adjust the pickup to the desired height. The adjustment set screw is threaded into a small housing next to the larger pickup coil. Tighten the set screw to lock pickup height in place.

How do I balance the signal between the magnetic pickups and the Polar piezo bridge?

The top trim pot on the NS Omni Bass preamp controls the gain of the EMG system. You can easily match the signals by setting the switch in one position, and rotating fully the blend knob between magnetic only (fully counter-clockwise) and piezo only (fully clockwise) as you adjust the pot.

What kind of strings are standard with the Omni Bass?

Both the fretted and the fretless Omni Bass come standard with flatwound NS Electric Strings by D'Addario, for Omni Bass/Bass Guitar (NS710).

NS UPRIGHT BASS FAQ

What are the differences between the original NXT, the NXTa and CR upright bass models?

Electronics: The original NXT Series basses use a passive pickup, which does not require a battery and can easily be plugged directly into an amplifier with good results, and many amplifiers provide enough tone shaping in the preamp section (tone controls). The NXTa has dual mode signal output electronics. In passive mode it has the same capabilities as the original NXT and in active mode it can be plugged straight into any low or high impedance device, no direct box is necessary and there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum. The CR Series basses have an active preamp powered by an on-board battery, and offers more control over tone.  All instruments use NS Design's Polar Pickup technology.

Neck and Body: The original NXT, NXTa and CR basses have maple necks and bodies. The CR Series has a carved top cap of figured maple on the body face; the NXT Series basses use a figured maple veneer.

Tuners: The tuners on the CR Series are made by Schaller™. Those on the NXT and NXTa are proprietary.

Tripod Stands: The CR tripod stand is double braced steel. The NXT tripod stand has tubular tripod stand legs. Both are very sturdy and stable.

What size of strings do I need for my NS Double Bass?

The NS Double Bass comes standard with NS Electric Bass strings which are sized to fit the NS Double Bass body. However, the NS Bass is also designed to accept most conventional ¾ double bass strings by using special mounting  slots in the back plate of the bass. Note that NS Basses are designed around a ¾ upright bass scale length.
Can I tune my double bass in fifths?

It is possible to tune the bass in fifths but special strings may be required for best results.

Can I replace the B,E,A,D,G tuning on my 5 string with E,A,D,G,C?

Yes, the strings will mount in the same fashion without any nut and/or bridge modification.

I have a bass guitar amp, and I want to plug my NS Double Bass directly into it. Do I need to worry about the impedance of the input?

The WAV and original NXT passive pickup systems perform best with a minimum input impedance of 1 Meg ohm (equivalent to 1000 K). The NXTa combine active and passive signal output modes. The CR instruments, which are all active, will work well with any input impedance.

I'm buying NS Electric strings for my bass. Should I get the Contemporary or Traditional strings?

The Traditional NS Electric Strings offer the best response for arco (bowed) playing on NS double basses. Contemporary strings offer lower tension and a brighter sound for pizzicato playing.

How do I adjust the neck relief on my NS bass?

The truss rod is accessed at the headstock, just above the nut. Using the supplied hex key, turn counter-clockwise to increase relief; clockwise to decrease.

How do I adjust the signal of my optional EMG™ magnetic pickups? (CR Series only)

Adjacent to each individual pickup is an adjusting set screw. Loosen the set screw to adjust the pickup to the desired height. The EU model is spring loaded while CR models are not. On the CR models, the adjustment set screw is threaded into a small housing next to the larger pickup coil. Tighten the set screw to lock pickup height in place.

How do I balance the signal between the optional magnetic pickups and the Polar piezo bridge?

The top trim pot on the NS Double Bass preamp controls the gain of the EMG system. You can easily match the signals by setting the switch in one position, and rotating fully the blend knob between magnetic only (fully counter-clockwise) and piezo only (fully clockwise) as you adjust the pot.

More questions not answered here? Email us at info@nedsteinberger.com.