NS Artist Bakithi Kumalo sat down with For Bass Players Only at the NS Design Booth during the NAMM Show 2020 for another fun and insightful interview. Kumalo shares his simple, sage advice about what it takes to be a good bass player, his passion for mentorship, and working with students in The Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University Mentorship Program and the various logistics involved in teaching remotely.
We are pleased to welcome Nick Cañas to our roster of NS Artists! Cañas is a multi-instrumentalist from south Texas. Coming from a background of jazz and metal, Cañas has been able to channel these influences through the WAV RADIUS bass guitar (with his custom pick guard – which we LOVE!).
Check out his high-energy metal outfit Nautilus vs. Pangolin who are currently recording their upcoming release.
Cañas is also a content creator who makes covers, playthroughs, instructional videos, and reviews which all highlight his interpretation of the bass guitar.
“The NS Design WAV RADIUS bass is beautifully made, with some of my favorite features including the di-radial body shape, the custom EMG pickup, the bridge system, and the action I am able to achieve with this bass. I have never been able to achieve my personal “perfect action” on another bass, which makes my RADIUS bass my favorite bass of all time! I truly love my NS Design WAV RADIUS 5 string bass so much that I modified my personal bass with a beautiful hand-designed custom aged pearl pickguard.” – Nick Cañas
On behalf of our worldwide community of NS Artists, Ned and the NS Design team take this moment to recognize all musicians for their power to sustain, transport and heal in tumultuous times. Your music is vital to our well-being, and we are profoundly grateful.
Please enjoy, share, and find inspiration in these videos. We’ll endeavor to share more with you in the weeks to come.Continue reading…
The latest For Bass Players Only interview is with jazz bassist and NS Artist Marcos Varela, who sat down with Jon Leibman at the NS Design booth during the Winter NAMM Show 2020. Among the topics, they talk bass technique, Mingus Big Band in NYC, a new debut record release planned with the Illumination Quartet on Spanish label Fresh Sound New Talent, and Varela’s rock jazz projects in the works with the NS CR Radius bass guitar.
The Solo Bass Competition was held on Thursday in Anaheim during the NAMM Show 2020 — NS Design are proud to be co-sponsors of this special event, along with Phil Jones Bass, Warwick, LaBella, Marleux, and others; as well as Bass Magazine and Gizmotron. Continue reading…
Winter NAMM 2020 at the NS Design Booth has been lively with NS Artists and friends. Stop in to say hello if you’re in the neighborhood. Hall D #4729.
We have a number of great players at the Winter NAMM 2020 booth performing and demonstrating NS, including: legendary bassist Bakithi Kumalo (Paul Simon), violinist Daneille Turano, Marcos Varela – Grammy nominated Jazz artist and composer, Los Angeles’s favorite electric ensemble Quartet 405 with a special demonstration including Symphonic Planet, solo bassists Noor Che’ree, Chance Wilder Onody, Donald Waugh and much more!Continue reading…
Here’s For Bass Players Only Interview with NS Artist Donald Waugh at the NS Design booth during Winter NAMM 2020.
Donald chats with FBPO’s Jon Liebman about a new album in the works for 2020, and advice about learning to play bass, among other topics. Continue reading…
Jair-Rohm Parker Wells has taken the electric upright bass to new heights and vistas. For more than twenty years, he has shared his “Loopadelica” (the method of improvising on and processing the bass live) with audiences on five continents. Jair-Rohm’s eclectic approach to the practical application of sophisticated electronics with the electric upright bass propels his newest collaboration FlowSonic to the outer limits of originality.
“My newest bass is the black satin NXTa RADIUS Bass Guitar. Again, Ned Steinberger is way ahead of the game redefining what a bass guitar is and can be. Aside from being a superbly crafted instrument in all respects, this bass is powered by “green energy”. The bass is fitted with battery-free Dual Mode Output electronics made for NS by Mi-Si™. That’s right: active electronics without batteries. Read all about this remarkable technology here.”
Check out the new interview with Bass Musician Magazine with NS Design Artist Carolyn Routh of Nu-Blu. She talks about her role in Nu-Blu, her recent podcast and VJing with The Bluegrass Ridge TV, among many other projects. Continue reading…
Here is your IBMA 2019 World of Bluegrass Conference and Awards Recap!
NS Design attended and exhibited at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Expo, Booth #315. Many NS Artists, friends and fans stopped in to say hello to NS National Sales Manager Tommy Wilson and NS Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett, who showcased a variety of NS instruments for attendees to plug in and pick, pluck, bow and strum! The Expo ran from Wednesday, September 24 through Saturday, September 28, 2019. Continue reading…
NS Design Artist Jamaaladeen Tacuma speaks with Premier Guitar in the August, 2019 issue about producing The Last Poets 2019 release Transcending Toxic Times, and his Steinberger and NS Design Basses. Continue reading…
From the NS Design Booth at Winter NAMM 2019, here is NS Artist Donald Waugh’s Review of the NS RADIUS Bass Guitar with NS Design’s founder and award winning designer, Ned Steinberger: Continue reading…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Gary Byers, NS Design
NOBLEBORO, MAINE (January 23, 2018) – Ned Steinberger’s approach to the RADIUS series, as with every new instrument, has been to re-explore each facet of a bass guitar, leading to innovations that provide the player with amazing physical comfort, exceptional performance and unparalleled versatility. The new NXTa brings together the brilliant ergonomics of the headless neck and body configuration, the NS self-clamping tuning system, custom NS/EMG™ pickups, volume-volume-tone controls, and the battery-free Dual Mode Output electronics made for NS by Mi-Si™. Fretted or fretless, 4 string (NXT4a) or 5 string (NXT5a), the NXTa Radius Bass Guitar is beautifully crafted in the Czech Republic and is made from solid, straight grain maple, with maple face (Satin Black model) or flame maple face (Sunburst model).
Here is a top-down look at four key elements which set the NXTa Radius apart from other basses:
NXTa Radius Neck
The headless, bolt-on maple neck has 24 frets, a 34” scale for the NXT4a and 35″ scale for the NXT5a, and a familiar 15” radius. A volute provides thumb reference at the nut. String slots in the aluminum headplate eliminate the need for a headstock with heavy tuning machines. Conveniently accessed from the top of the neck, the steel double-action reinforcing truss rod, gives both rigidity and precise relief control.
NS Diradial™ Body
The concave back profile provides a sense of comfort and stability against the torso. The front of the instrument is more tightly radiused, which, in with the general wedge shape of the body, creates a more comfortable orientation to the right hand. The configuration of the body cutaway provides easy access to the highest frets.
Perfectly balanced, the NXTa has no downward dip of the neck, for effortless left-hand freedom. Combined, the shape, balance and light weight (the NXT4a is just 7.8 lbs) make this instrument incredibly comfortable to play.
Dual Mode (Active/Passive) Output Electronics
The NS/EMG Radius features custom magnetic pickups with a radiused top and magnetic structure designed to optimally capture the full richness of tone from every string. The controls are a familiar Volume-Volume-Tone configuration. The Tone control is also a push-pull knob, used to select between the NXTa’s active or passive output modes. The active mode is battery-free; the special supercapacitor-based circuitry charges in 60 seconds to deliver active output for 16 hours from the time of the charge. The instrument is supplied with an AC charger which plugs into the guitar’s output jack.
Patented Self-Clamping Tuning System
Fast and simple, this self-clamping precision tuning system is integrated into the body of the RADIUS. Any standard single-ball end, full-scale bass guitar string can be used – simply rotate the knurled knob for a quick string change and to bring it to precise pitch.
Photos of the NXTa are available for press download at this link.
Founded in 1990 by noted instrument designer Ned Steinberger, NS Design also offers a wide range of electric bowed string instruments and accessories, including EU, CR, NXT and WAV series. NS Design is headquartered in Nobleboro, Maine. For more information, email email@example.com, visit http://thinkNS.com, or call +1 (207) 563-7705.
|Weights & Measures||NXT4a||NXT5a|
|Bridge Spacing||19 mm||18 mm|
|12th Fret Width||2.2″||2.5″|
|Weight||7.8 lbs||8.6 lbs|
NS Bassist Bakithi Kumalo is back on tour with Paul Simon this summer playing several dates around the country throughout the month of June. The tour kicked off June 1st in St. Augustine, FL and ends at SummerFest in Milwaukee, WI on June 30. Don’t miss it! Tour and ticket information can be found here: http://www.paulsimon.com/news/paul-simon-announces-us-summer-tour/
Joining him with an NXT Electric Cello is fellow multi-instrumentalist, composer and tour mate Mark Stewart who has been recording and touring with Paul Simon since the late 1990’s. Stewart is also one of the All-Star musicians in Bang on a Can, awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year and heralded as “the country’s most important vehicle for contemporary music” by the San Francisco Chronicle. Mark is also a member of Steve Reich & Musicians and the comic duo Polygraph Lounge with Rob Schwimmer and in 2013 was in a year-long residency at MIT in the Glass Lab teaching students to design and create a glass orchestra.
Photos: Bakithi Kumalo and Mark Stewart in rehearsal for tour with Paul Simon.
Watch: Paul Simon‘s debut performance at Austin City Limits with “Wristband” from his album Stranger to Stranger. The album is described by Andy Greene of Rolling Stone as “an experimental album heavy on echo and rhythm that fuses electronic beats with African woodwind instruments, Peruvian drums, a gospel music quartet, horns and synthesizers.” A great showcase for Kumalo’s talents, who opens this funny song playing his NXT Upright.
Watch: Bass Musician Magazine Interview with Bakithi Kumalo in which he describes how he got his start on stage at just 7 years old playing a Gibson bass in his uncle’s band in South Africa; his ultimate respect for finding the tone, the most influential bassists for him and his willingness to share lessons he has learned along the way to a successful career playing his music for audiences around the world. And at 22:00 in this interview…see and hear the slap sound technique he’s having fun with these days on his CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar, it’s a real treat and is as fun, adventurous and masterful as Kumalo himself. Enjoy!
More details and features for all the NS Basses that Bakithi plays along with our new eco-friendly NXTa active series EUB’s, Omni’s, Cello’s, Violin’s and Viola’s featuring battery-free electronics are found at our website ThinkNS.com.
NS Design’s founder and instrument designer Ned Steinberger was invited as a featured speaker at the Skidompha Library “Chats With Champions” series this past month in co-sponsorship with Sherman’s Bookstore in Damariscotta, Maine.
In the talk titled “Trial, Error and Invention” Ned discusses the evolution of his life’s work from his childhood passion for woodworking, early career as a furniture designer interested in ergonomic design challenges and the path that ultimately unfolded for the state-of-the-art innovations he brings to the musical instrument world.
Ned describes his forays into business, his early collaborations with Stuart Spector, meeting Les Paul for the first time, and the trials and tribulations of his process for finding the optimal sound potential of an instrument as it relates to its design and construction.
Guest guitarist, David Martin provides examples of the sonic variations and technological advances that make Ned’s instruments so exciting and versatile for players and listeners alike.
Review by Kel Pilshaw.
Besides being a world-class instrument builder, Ned Steinberger has always had an appreciation for beauty and instrument aesthetics, and his design philosophies manifest themselves perfectly in his RADIUS electric bass line. The NS Design WAV4 RADIUS bass guitar is a fantastic professional instrument, delivering nearly everything we love about the Czech Republic-built RADIUS CR bass (in-depth review here) in a lower-priced, import version that retains the instrument’s great build, playability, and tone.
The right bass should fit your body and accommodate your various playing situations (i.e., touring, playing weddings, sit-down studio work, etc.), and the ergonomics of NS Design basses are superb no matter your playing preference. Weighing only eight pounds, if you regularly play long gigs, the WAV4 RADIUS instrument is one that your back will definitely appreciate. But first and foremost, we know you want a bass that plays “like butta,” sounds like a gift from the tone gods, and has good looks to match. You’ll find all that and more in the WAV4 RADIUS.
The NS-WAV4 RADIUS Bass is a modern, ergonomically-designed instrument with a shape that is both beautiful and familiar. The bass arrived in a custom-fitted gig bag with adjustable backpack straps for easy transport and a large front zipper pocket with room for your cables and gig gear. The elegant, matte black finish blends well visually against the rosewood fingerboard. We were delighted that the WAV4 has the same high standard and workmanship of the more expensive NS Design RADIUS CR5 Bass we reviewed a few years ago (in-depth review here).
The body of the bass has an innovative and unique design. The curvature on the concave “Diradial” body gives the player comfort and stability. The shaping on the rear and the top of the bass provides a “part of your body” natural feeling and helps keep the angle of your hand in a more neutral position (45-60 degrees) rather than a stressful (as in, your joints and muscles) ninety-degree position. By not resting your forearm or wrist on the bass, this helps avoid muscle cramping and nerve compression (which can lead to physical distress).
OVERALL RATING = 3.9, which earns it a WIHO Award!
Read more here at: (in depth WAV4 reveiw here)
Music instrument aesthetics are rarely, if ever, considered from a scientific point of view. Yet for industrial designers and architects, form must meet function. And there is a lot of science and technology to apply in this way.
While technique for playing bass is often the subject of passionate discussion, and there are varying theories (plectrum, fingers, slap, tap, Simandl method, one note per fret method, etc.) the design of the instrument itself has a lot to do with the overall playability of the bass and the ability of the player to successfully use those techniques. When the very first electric bass was created it was just a squared, slab of wood with no cuts or rounded/beveled edges. Ergonomics took a backseat to sound production. And while there were changes over the years, they were an answer to specific player issues and ideas rather than a look directly at design. Even today, most of the emphasis and science in the music instrument industry goes into the materials and electronics of the instruments. Guitar and bass aesthetics are merely a function of what is pleasing or challenging to the eye.
Ned Steinberger is synonymous with innovative headless instruments. Yet it is not as well known that Ned designed the body of one of the most iconic basses of all time, the Spector NS-2 bass. Yes, the NS stands for Ned Steinberger. As a furniture designer and builder specializing in chairs, Ned understood that function and form are all essential to an aesthetically pleasing, yet functional piece of furniture. And it was in that Brooklyn co-op that he shared with some up and coming guitar and bass builders where he first applied those principles to music instruments. In collaboration with Stuart Spector, he designed something radical for the time, a rounded, radiused bass body with cuts and carves that naturally fell against the body of the player, making the bass exponentially more comfortable and easier to play. His body shape has been copied numerous times over the years, by some of the world’s largest guitar manufacturers.
With the NS Design Radius Bass, Ned uses ergonomic science and technology and has taken the body contour to a whole new level. While maintaining and refining the back body curve cut so that the bass lies on the player’s body comfortably, the front of NS Diradial™ Body has a 20 inch radius, which, in combination with the general wedge shape of the body, shifts it into more comfortable orientation for the right and left hand. The slight wedge shape of the body tilts the body and neck slightly inward so the fingerboard is more visible to the player, and the concave curve on the back of the body creates a more stable platform. The radius of the bass is continued along the entire body, to include pickups and bridge, to optimize the playability and comfort of the bass.
The pictures show how the radius has been built into the bass. Built in based on technology.
Simple, yet intuitive. Form, science, and engineering meeting function.
FROM JAZZ SOLOING TO CLUB GIGS, from backing singer songwriters to soloing with a 100+ piece orchestra and chorus, Louis Ochoa is finding his wings in some exciting and decidedly unique ways.
Born in the Philippines, Louis A. Ochoa moved to New York in 1998 and embarked on his formal training at the Bass Collective and the Mannes New School for Music, and then completed his studies at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Along the way he became active in the Boston Music scene, working regularly with the likes of Jamie Lynn Hart and John Hanifin.
Louis has also gravitated towards the world of video game music. He’s been featured in critically acclaimed video game soundtracks such as Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix and Final Fantasy XV, and has performed at a variety of video game industry conventions such as PAX Prime (Seattle), PAX East (Boston), and MAGFest (Washington, DC).
Recently, Louis has been featured center-stage with the Video Game Orchestra. The VGO is a noted rockestral band, combining a 12-piece rock band and a full orchestra and choir. This video clip, with the Video Game Orchestra performing “Drank Dead DOM Die from D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die” is a great example of what that’s all about.
Louis plays the NS CR5 Radius Bass, and says: “the tone is just fat and focused… whatever style you play, it sits so well in the mix.” His other gear includes the Tech 21 SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver DI, EBS Multi Comp, EBS Bass IQ, Digitech Bass Multi-Chorus, Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, and Fulltone Bass Drive Mosfet.
Find news and tour dates with Louis and the VGO at http://vgo-online.com/. Check out Louis’s other projects with the John Hanifin Band, Jamie Lynn Hart, LoVeSeXy a tribute to the music of Prince and Project O.N.S.
A bass that can do it all…or at least come close enough for jazz.
I’m making a list
So what does a demanding bassist require and how much are we (my significant other and I) willing to spend? First off, I’m old school and have never played in a pop band with a 5-string, but I’m ready to take the plunge. I’ve tried many 5-strings in stores and I want one that articulates well in the lows with a bottom B string that is more than a finger rest. For that, a 35” scale is near the top of my wish list.
Because I play jazz and have trouble fighting feedback with my acoustic bass, I’d like an electric that also has a piezo bridge that can be fudged into sounding as much as possible like an upright. I could go fretless, but I’ll have to compromise for the club band. Next, I want something that’s compact and light for those cover-band gigs where 4 sets are required. Last, and perhaps most important, I want a bass that looks cool.
“A gorgeous work of art” might be one way to describe the NS Design Radius when you first remove it from the custom-shaped gig bag, especially when coated in the Amber Satin finish of our review instrument. We couldn’t help but be impressed by the workmanship, fit, and finish of our review instrument, the five-string CR5 (a four-string version, the CR-4, is also available). Featuring a flamed maple top mated to a solid maple body, and with a beautiful edge binding between the top and back, the bass has classic beauty, yet the body shape has subtle, modern styling.
The name Radius is indeed fitting, as everything about this bass is sculpted and curved. The body itself has a soft curvature not only on top, but the rear of the instrument is slightly concave as well (to provide more contact with your body according to NS Design).
Read the complete review at: http://www.musicplayers.com/reviews/bass/2015/0415_NSDesignRadius.php