NS Design is pleased to announce an advancement in the design of the fretless NS Omni Bass, the new TransRadius™ fingerboard. Transradius provides the comfort and ease of a nearly flat radius at the nut—like the most popular fretless bass guitars. Toward the bridge, it transitions to a curvature optimized for either plucked or bowed performance—like an upright bass. The best of both worlds! According to Ned Steinberger, who also created the Omni Bass, this concept is of particular importance to the bass guitarist who is interested in the performance opportunities which the Omni Bass offers. As of October 1st, 2011 the TransRadius fingerboard is standard on all fretless Omni Bass models and is also available by special order with fretted versions.
The NS Omni Bass itself blends a standard 34-inch bass guitar scale with the tone and performance versatility of the electric upright bass. Available in four- and five-string configurations, fretted or fretless, the Omni is hand-crafted in the Czech Republic to famously high standards. The Boomerang Strap System included with it allows total mobility and frees the player to adopt virtually any playing position.
The TransRadius design involves a unique compound curve. For a left-hand feel which is familiar to the experienced bass guitarist, the radius at the nut is ten inches. At the end of the fingerboard near the bridge, however, the radius is just 2.5 inches, large enough to maintain good string-to-string articulation with the bow, yet still comfortable for pizzicato (plucked/picked) style. The transition from nut to bridge features a carefully calibrated asymmetric convex curvature, providing optimal fingerboard relief at each position. For even greater control, players can adjust the truss rod to tailor the neck relief to their particular needs.
The result is a remarkably comfortable, even feel for every style of performance, and bass guitarists will find the Omni Bass even more inviting than ever as their “cross-over” instrument. Traditional upright players will also find the TransRadius design quite comfortable since many upright basses are designed with some degree of compound fingerboard curvature. “This has been done subtly in the past,” states Steinberger. “However, as an approach to a modern electric instrument, it’s radical.”