The NXTa Active Series Cello, available with 4 or 5 strings, fretless or fretted, opens up new vistas for the serious cellist. Crafted in the Czech Republic by the makers of the renowned CR Series, NXT series cellos exemplify flawless workmanship at an exceptional value.
As a pure electric instrument, the NS cello has certain built-in advantages over an acoustic. One is the virtual absence of wolf tones, an unfortunate fact of life for the acoustic cellist. Another is freedom from feedback in amplified performance settings, which means that the cellist can move about the stage at will, and better yet, can take solos at any volume. Since 100% of the sound comes via the pickup, using looping and other electronic effects in live performance is much easier and far more effective than with an amplified acoustic, where much of the unprocessed sound “leaks” out to the audience.
Note: The original NXT series instruments, with passive electronics, have been discontinued. You can read about the NXT cello here.
Features & Highlights
The tone quality and dynamic range of the NXTa cello owes much to the self-powered NS Polar™ Pickup System. Employing special piezo crystals, mounted beneath the bridge, the pickup captures the full sound spectrum created by the strings and body of the instrument. Arco versus Pizzicato playing creates more vibration energy in one direction than the other, and a convenient switch on the side of the NXTa actually allows the player to select sensitivity for either mode. The result is either more percussive response, or smoother and sustained response, adding a new dimension to what the player can create musically.
Dual Mode Output – The new dual mode signal output electronics of the NXTa take the convenience, versatility and performance capability of the NXT to another level.
Active Mode – Using the supplied charger, the NXTa connects into any AC outlet for 60 seconds, powering the capacitor-powered active circuit for 16 hours from the time of the charge. The instrument can then be plugged straight into any low or high impedance device, no direct box necessary. Since there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum of the instrument, the fundamentals of every note remain clear and strong, even with extra-long cables.
Passive Mode – The NXTa can be played in this mode when using a direct box or an amplifier with high impedance input. (This mode provides performance capabilities identical to the original NXT.)
Eco-Friendly Operation – NXTa instruments are battery-free, eliminating the hassle and cost of batteries while helping protect our environment.
The solid maple body and neck along with the graduated fingerboard contribute to the delivery of a rich, full tone that rings true for every note. Asymmetrical fingerboard relief provides extraordinary ease of playability from the lowest to the highest positions. To suit individual player preferences, the fingerboard relief can be adjusted via the truss rod in the neck, and the string height is readily adjustable at the bridge.
NS Electric Strings and most traditional acoustic strings fit all NS cellos, allowing the player to select from a wide range, each with a unique sound a feel. In combination with the easy adjustment of basic set-up parameters, the NXTa Series Cello is adaptable to a nearly limitless range of music styles.
LENGTH: 94.2 cm (37″)
WIDTH: 13.9 cm (5.5″)
THICKNESS: 9.4 cm (3.7″)
WEIGHT:4 string: 1.9 kg (4.1 lbs.)5 string: 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs.)
SCALE LENGTH: 69.5 cm (27.36″”)
BODY/NECK: Solid, straight grain maple, with maple face (Satin Black model) or flame maple face (Sunburst model) on body. Brass escutcheon pin on the rear of the neck serves as a reference point corresponding to the heel of an acoustic cello.
FINGERBOARD: Hand-graduated. Intonation referenced with cascading dot markers. NXTa cellos are also available with fretted fingerboards.
STRING TUNING:4 string tuning: C G D A5 string tuning: Low F C G D A; High E tuning also available by request: C G D A E
STRINGS: NS Electric Cello Strings supplied; the NS is designed to fit and is compatible with most standard strings.
TRUSS ROD: Single Action.
TUNING HARDWARE: Fully encased worm gear tuners, black finish.
BRIDGE PICKUP: The NS Cello features the Polar bridge-mounted piezo pickup system which 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 & CONTROLS: Rotary volume control; Tone control (treble roll off), with push-pull selection between Active and Passive output mode; Arco/Pizzicato toggle switch.
Performance Support Systems
NXT CELLO TRIPOD STAND: is made with black painted steel. It has a self-standing tripod design and is fully adjustable. The stand folds for easy storage and fits into the WAV, NXT or CR gig bag. Weight is 2 kg (4.5 lbs.).
CR TRIPOD STAND: fully adjustable steel tripod stand. Weight is 3.6kg (8 lbs.).
CELLO END PIN STAND: The optional Cello End Pin Stand has traditional knee and chest contact points for seated play. The height, knee rest position and instrument angle are adjustable. The knee rest folds so the stand fits in the gig bag. Weight is 1.36kg (3 lbs.)
BOOMERANG STRAP SYSTEM: This optional support system has a pivoting friction hub that holds the instrument firmly in place close to the body. Attached with a guitar style strap to its two support arms, the system allows the instrument to be moved into virtually any position in relation to the hands and body as it is played. Weight is .45 kg (1 lbs.).
FRAME STRAP SYSTEM: This optional accessory is a lightweight frame structure that allows full mobility to perform in standing or upright position, holding the instrument out from the body similar to the reference in traditional positioning. The system is supported by a single guitar style strap extending over the left shoulder. Weight is 0.68kg (1.5 lbs.).