The NS Blog

  • Scenes from NS Design’s European facility

    Following the Frankfurt Musikmesse, Ned and I spent several days at the factory near Prague in the Czech Republic. These visits help us maintain close contact with the engineers, artisans, and production staff. NS Design instruments are unique, and uniquely demanding in the way that they are crafted. The team behind the production of our instruments is committed to Europe’s old world tradition of quality, precision, and the world’s finest bowed musical instruments.

    Factory manager Petr Vykydal (third from the right), and some of the master craftsmen and other members of the engineering team, along with Ned Steinberger (third from the left) and me (second from the left).

    Ned works closely with the engineers and artisans on the fine points to ensure that each instrument is meticulously crafted and faithful to the design. Translating from a sophisticated design to a finished product requires considerable experience, and a complex understanding of the materials and the production process.

    Ned and I, along with factory manager Petr Vykydal and members of the production and set-up team. This group is chiefly responsible for the many exacting details involved in the final preparation of each instrument.

  • NS Design a hit at Frankfurt Musikmesse

    The NS team had a great time at the 2010 Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany.  The show provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with current and potential customers and distributors in Europe.  Visitors to the booth were particularly interested in the NXT and the Omni Bass, as well as the prototype of the WAV-5 violin (more on that later).  People continue to love the CR-series violins and basses too.

    Comparable to the NAMM show in the United States, the Musikmesse is Europe’s premier music tradeshow.  Running between March 24th and 27th, the show featured nearly 2,500 exhibitors and attracted 110,000 visitors from 128 countries.

  • NS Design is pleased to announce that Education Specialist Scott Laird has been recognized for his groundbreaking educational work with music technology. Scott is the recipient of the 2010 University of North Carolina Board of Governors and North Carolina School of Science and Math Award for Exceptional Contribution in Classroom Innovation.

    The award recognizes curriculum development with emphasis on innovative technology, teaching strategies, and activities. Honorees are nominated by their colleagues and submit a portfolio to showcase their work.

    Scott, who works as Fine Arts Coordinator and Music Instructor at NCSSM, has made a career of bringing his educational and musical talents to students both inside and outside the classroom. Beginning in the early 1990s, he pioneered the use of electric stringed instruments in traditional orchestra programs. In his portfolio submission, Scott  wrote: “I am always seeking innovative methods of instruction that will connect with students and enhance the learning process. I believe that the aspects of music and technology that inspire me as a musician, when presented effectively, will also inspire my students.”

    As Educational Specialist for NS Design, Scott has become a valuable resource for music teachers seeking to bring the benefits of electric instruments in their own students. In conjunction with NS Design’s partner, D’Addario Strings, he has produced several instructional videos for students and educators on D’Addario’s website Many of these feature NS Design instruments.

    “String teachers are necessarily a traditional crowd,” Scott said. “The legitimacy and quality of NS Design’s instruments appeal to those sensibilities.”

    Scott is also an active electric violinist and recording artist and has appeared on the Motown, REX and Roadrunner record labels.  His latest solo CD, entitled “Simple Gifts,” features performances on a variety of string instruments with an emphasis on the electric violin.

    You can learn more about Scott on his website,  From all of us at NS Design, congratulations!

  • Janice Martin

    We were excited to learn that Janice Martin, an American violinist, soprano, and aerialist, has recently started using an NS WAV-4 violin in her performances.  As you can see from this video, Janice combines all of her talents into a single spectacular performance!  A graduate of the Julliard and Indiana schools of music, she also has a successful career as a soloist and was selected by the Stradivari Society of Chicago to play the 1708 Burstein-Bagshawe Stradivarius Violin.

    You can learn more about Janice on her website,

  • Theresa Jenkins-Russ and Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra

    Theresa Jenkins-Russ and the Carolina Cool Jazz OrchestraHere at NS Design, we are really pleased to welcome Theresa Jenkins-Russ as a pioneer in our NS Design Artist/Educator program.    Theresa is a string and orchestra teacher in the Spartanburg, SC School District, Artistic Director of the Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, and President-Elect of the South Carolina Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.  Theresa is a fixture on the national string education scene, presenting sessions at numerous national conferences and is known for her work in the “Alternative Styles” world of string ed and for her work in promoting minority composers and musicians. At the recent ASTA national conference in Santa Clara, she presented a session on programming multicultural orchestral literature and conducted the alt styles new music reading session.  Her group, The Carolina Cool Jazz Orchestra, is a professional performing group in Spartanburg that brings together musicians of a variety of ages and experience levels to perform primarily great jazz literature.  They frequently feature guest soloists and are committed to promoting string instruments as an integral component of the jazz scene.  Recent soloists have included Matt Turner, Martin Norgaard, Joe Dread, and me.

    Theresa is now performing on the NS Design Wav violin and absolutely loves it.  We had the pleasure of spending a good deal of time with her at the NS Design Booth at ASTA and look forward to a long and productive relationship.  Congratulations, Theresa, on all of your good work!!

  • The NXT Bass, Anniversary Edition

    Celebrating the 20th anniversary of NS Design’s founding, this special limited edition of the NXT four-string upright bass is now available to consumers.  Featuring a cream finish, each of these instruments will be signed on the back by Ned Steinberger.  Only 20 were produced for the U.S. market.  You can click on the pictures below for bigger versions.

  • NS Design presents 20th Anniversary NXT upright bass to Museum of Making Music

    On January 16th, at the 2010 Winter NAMM convention, NS Design presented the Museum of Making Music with the first of a Limited Edition NXT upright electric bass, created in celebration of 20th Anniversary of the founding of NS Design by Ned Steinberger. Museum curator Tatiana Sizonenko, along with and Carolyn Grant, museum executive director, accepted the bass on behalf of NAMM. Making the presentation to the museum were Ned Steinberger, founder of NS Design, and Gary Byers, managing director.

    Crafted in the Czech Republic, the anniversary bass is part of the NXT series which made its market debut in November 2009, and is the latest example of Mr. Steinberger’s concentration on beauty, aesthetics and performance. The NXT incorporates the trademark shape, feel and construction of NS Design’s original CR series, and includes a patented Polar™ Pickup System which provides optimal sensitivity to either arco or pizzicato playing.

    Located in Carlsbad, California, the Museum of Making Music was founded in 1998 by the NAMM Foundation. Its collections explore the history of the music products industry in America, from the 1890s to the present day.

  • Danusha Waskiewicz

    We were honored to receive this video from Danusha Waskiewicz, a violinist and violist from Germany, who performed Benjamin Yusupov’s “Viola Tango Rock Concerto” with the Tonkünstler Orchestra in St. Polten, Austria, this past October.  The piece specifically calls for the soloist to improvise on the electric viola.  Danusha switches between the acoustic and electric instruments with ease and achieves a remarkably consistent tone between the fourth and fifth parts of the performance, as she returns to the acoustic instrument.

    Danusha Waskiewicz was born in Würzburg, Germany, in 1973.  She studied the violin with Walter Forchert and the viola with Tabea Zimmerman and has received awards from the German Viola Society and from the ARD Music Contest, Germany’s largest classical music competition.  She is a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, of the string quintet the Mahler Soloists, and of the Orchestra Mozart.

    Danusha writes:

    Finally I can send you the link of the Yusupov Viola Tango Rock Concert. In part 4 there you can listen to the electric viola. I hope you enjoy, I did, even though it was the first time of performing this instrument. NS Design was mentioned in the program and in the end credits of the concert recording.

    All the best, thanks again for your support!


    You can see the video of Danusha’s performance on the NS Viola below.  Follow this link to see the entire concerto on YouTube.

  • David Darling receives Grammy nomination

    NS Design congratulates cellist David Darling on receiving a Grammy nomination for “Best New Age Album” for his album “Prayer for Compassion”.  The nomination takes its place atop a list of many honors David has already received in his career.  “Prayer for Compassion” was named CD of the Month by Echoes Radio and features David’s NS Cello, among other instruments.  You can read more about it at

    Click on the image below to read the full announcement.