The NS Blog

  • Scenes from Musikmesse 2015

    NS Design exhibits every year at this international gathering of musical instrument manufacturers and distributors in Frankfurt, Germany. This year, visitors to our booth were excited to try our RADIUS bass guitars, and expressed great enthusiasm for the electric guitar prototypes we had on display.

  • James “Hutch” Hutchinson – Bridging Musical Worlds

    Hutch 2013 1a edit

    Iconic bassist talks to FBPO about his three decades with Bonnie Raitt, plus a whole lot more you may not have known

    By David Sands

    April 8, 2015

    James “Hutch” Hutchinson has been cooking up music with blues-rock legend Bonnie Raitt for over three decades. It’s a relationship the bassist cherishes, but his musical hunger has led him in a lot of other directions too. All over the map, in fact.

    While he’s made some amazing records with Raitt, like the triple Grammy-winning Nick of Time and 2012’s best-selling blues album Slipstream, those albums are just flavorful morsels in the stew of a life richly lived.

    Read the full interview at

  • “Astounding to say the least” – review of CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar


    “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:

  • Strings Without Boundaries – Summer Sessions

    NS Design Artist, Educator, Violinist and Composer Julie Lyonn Lieberman is proud to announce her popular Strings Without Boundaries sessions for 2015. Pairing educational opportunities for amateur and professional players in a highly exciting and positive environment, exploring traditional and contemporary musical styles for string players. NS Design is excited to have NS Artists Charles Yang (violin), Dr. Gregory Walker (violin) and Lisa Liu (violin) joining Julie at select locations.

    1. JulieStandingNS crop 1a - Copy


    June 22nd     July 27th           August 17th
    Where 21st century technique meets tradition, creativity and style
    Darol Anger (WA), Paul Anastasio (WA), Matt Turner (WA & WI), Lisa Liu (WA), Randy Sabien (WI),Judy Hyman (WI), Gregory Walker (WI), Martin Norgaard (GA), Andy Reiner (GA), Aaron “Von Cello” Minsky (GA), Katherine Irwin Thomas (GA), Bert Ligon (GA), Charles Yang (GA), and Julie Lyonn Lieberman (GA, WI, & WA)…



    Artwork by Christos Karapanos
    Strings Without Boundaries creates a sharing environment for amateur through professional players as well as students and teachers of all ages and backgrounds.
    We focus on string technique and repertoire from American and world traditions, creative musicianship in all styles, and technology-enhanced approaches. In addition, we offer teacher-training and optional clock-hour and Graduate credit.

    Learn more about these exciting sessions at:

  • NAMM 2015

    The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) annual conference in Anaheim, California, January 22nd – 25th is a major gathering for manufacturers, distributors and dealers in all things music. At the NS Design this year, we were honored to have performances twice daily by the Levin Brothers, featuring renowned bassist/cellist and NS Artist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, etc.) joined by his brother Pete Levin on keyboards. Crowds gathered repeatedly to enjoy their performance, which harkened back to 50’s and 60’s-era cool jazz.

    Making headlines at the show, NS Design was excited to introduce the new WAV4 RADIUS Bass Guitar in slick metallic red, blue and matte black finishes. Crafted in Indonesia, these basses feature the same ergonomic comfort and styling as their popular CR series relative. Players had fun experimenting with the different sounds the RADIUS can create by blending the output of the magnetic and piezo pickup. Also garnering attention were the reintroduced WAV violins with an eyecatching new transparent black finish.

    Two US Custom RADIUS electric guitars also debuted at the show, thrilling headless enthusiasts and traditionalists alike. Featuring dual humbucker magnetic pickups and piezo pickups, these guitars won respect for their musical potential, and for their styling, ergonomic comfort and innovative tuning systems.

    As in many NAMM shows past, we were delighted to reconnect with our many friends in the industry and on the stage. It was a special pleasure to visit with our endorsing artists at the show, including such noteworthy players as Hutch Hutchinson, Rob Wasserman, Simon Huber, Lisa Liu, Gary Kuo, Chance Wilder Onody, Hal Henkel, Yorgis Giorecelaya, Yvette Devereaux, David Strother, and Noor Cheree.

  • The Levin Brothers to perform at the NS Design booth! (Hall B, #5860)


    NS Design is proud to announce the appearance of The Levin Brothers at our booth at NAMM 2015 – January 21 – 25 in Anaheim, CA. The Levin Brothers are, of course, bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stickmen, etc.)—who is this year adding the NS Cello to his repertoire—and his brother Pete Levin on keyboard. The Levin Brothers will certainly be bringing the “cool” swinging grooves to the NS Booth this year and we can hardly wait!

    Be sure to check out their self-titled debut album and upcoming tour at

  • From the Maine Sunday Telegram: In Ned Steinberger’s studio, the violin gets an electric makeover


    Rock stars have played his electric guitars. Now the Maine instrument maker creates electric violins, cellos and violas.

    BY BOB KEYES STAFF WRITER – Maine Sunday Telegram

    NOBLEBORO – Ned Steinberger designed electric guitars for Sting, Peter Gabriel and Eddie Van Halen.

    More recently, he has designed electric violins, a viola and cello for clients closer to home.

    In a risky move that might rankle traditionalists, the midcoast-based DaPonte String Quartet began incorporating the odd-looking electric instruments into its performances this year. For its holiday concerts this week in Winter Harbor, Boothbay Harbor and Newcastle, the classical music ensemble performs on the Steinberger originals exclusively.

    For Steinberger, the son of a Nobel Prize-winner in physics, the bowed instruments represent his latest effort to advance stringed-instrument technology. Read the full article…


    Read more about NS Design instruments with the DaPonte String Quartet’s Holiday Concert Series.

  • Chance Wilder Onody likes to make his own rules – FBPO interview

    Hot, young up-and-comer says bass is “not a background instrument”

    By Mindy Rochwerg

    December 3, 2014

    2014 BPL Chance 1a

    Twenty-four year old Chance Wilder Onody is starting to get noticed, and deservedly so.  Primarily self-taught, Onody, has been described as a “virtuoso bassist” and “classical crossover instrumentalist.”  Chance recently sat down with FBPO’s Jon Liebman to talk about his musical upbringing, unique style and what lies ahead.

    Onody, whose mother, Tara Wilder, was a country pop artist, first took up the bass when he moved with his family from British Columbia, Canada, to California. Upon transferring to his new school, Chance had the choice of two electives – Orchestra and Introduction to Marine Biology. Not wanting to have more homework than necessary, Onody (pronounced “ON-ID-DEE”) chose orchestra, though was quickly surprised to find out that the “stringed instruments” in the course description did not include guitar. When advised so by the musical director, Chance took a look at the instruments, saw the bass and said to himself, “It’s big, I’m big, it only has four strings – how hard can it be?

    With no prior experience other than some piano lessons and having played ukulele for a short time, Chance, who says he has a “keen sense of pitch,” told the musical director he could play the upright bass and proceeded to intently watch the other bass player in the orchestra. From that limited exposure, Onody was able to pick up enough to play the new instrument with the rest of the orchestra, even though he had never before held a bow. He says he “fell in love with the instrument.”

    read more here at For Bass Players Only. . .

    Download Chance’s first single feeling good here. . .


  • David Strother’s latest (and bluer than blue) jazz release: AZUL


    Reviewing avante garde jazz violinist David Strother’s latest release, “Azul”, Florence Wetzel of, writes “Strother has carved out a very special field for himself, a depiction of nuanced sensations too often overlooked in our noisy world. Through the vehicle and vision of his violin, he creates sonic haiku that allow us to experience the finer emotional colorings that, although sometimes challenging, infuse life with richness.“… Read more reviews…

    Download and preview here

  • Guitar and Bass Magazine honors the RADIUS

    NS Design’s CR5 Radius Bass Guitar receives Guitar and Bass magazine UK: December 2014 Cover Story Gear of the Year – Winner Guitar Awards 2014 Bass Guitar Over £1000.


    There are very few people who deserve a place at the top table of bass design – the game-changers, the designers and the inspired individuals whose innovations became globally accepted as standard – but Ned Steinberger is definitely one of them.  The man who gave us that iconic, headless and wood-free wonder the L-2 is once again exploring the solidbody bass guitar.  While the L-2’s minimal form gave traditionalists an easy target, the Radius is a different kettle of fish.  It’s still headless, sure, but the sleek, curvaceous, double-cutaway maple body has a sumptuous flamed maple top that gives it a new high-end classiness.  The three pickup setting and polar piezo combinations are going to give a lot of variation, and it’s especially interesting to combine each magnetic setting with its piezo blend version.


    In twin pickup mode the Radius is big and brash with a solid bottom end, a slightly snarly midrange and highs that are bright and zingy, if a little high-mid biased.  Blending in the Polar pickup sanitises the sound;  the definition is still excellent but now the tone has lost the zingy high-mid sheen – a nicely even, controlled setting for pop exploits.  NS took plenty of time putting the CR5 together and not a single millisecond has been wasted.  It’s a wonderful instrument that manages to look cooler than a headless bass has any right to and piezo/ magnetic mixture produces effectively three basses:  a bit of an animal with the magnetics, more polite and refined with the blended, or earthy and thudding in piezo mode.  The isn’t super-slim but it’s very comfortable and contributes  to the feeling of a bass that demands to be played, while the self-clamping tuning system is fantastic.  Of course, the £2000-plus price tag is up in the professional echelon, but we think it’s worth every penny.