Ned Steinberger, NS Design Founder, Keynote Speaker at 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition & Music Showcase

October 12 – 14, 2018, Hallowell, Maine welcomes you to celebrate the craft of lutherie at the 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase at central Maine’s “New Orleans on the Kennebec”, with a gallery exhibition of Maine made instruments, craft demonstrations, and great live performances at auditoriums, restaurants, and pubs in the most charming, and rocking, downtown north of Portland.

Friday night’s reception at City Hall includes a meet and greet with Ned Steinberger, our keynote speaker and an internationally recognized innovator in musical instrument design and construction.  He is an incredible example of innovative intellectual property producer who lives and works in Maine, and is part of an international manufacturing network.

The 2nd Annual Maine Luthiers Exhibition and Music Showcase is brought to you by the City of Hallowell, in partnership with The Harlow Gallery and Maine Craft Weekend, and funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Friday Night Welcoming at Hallowell City Hall

  • Keynote Speaker: Ned Steinberger, internationally recognized stringed instrument design innovator, City Hall Auditorium, 6:30 PM, with VIP reception at 5:30.  General seating starts at 6 PM.
  • Featured Performers: Adam Frederick, bassist, NS Design Featured Endorser, City Hall Auditorium, 7:30 PM; The Katie Matzell Band, City Hall Auditorium, 8:00 PM

NS Artist Adam Frederick with the Fretless Sunburst NXT5a RADIUS

Music and woodworking vendors and demonstrations including:

  • Bourgeois Guitars, Hallowell City Hall
  • Kennebec Instrument and Amplifier, Hallowell City Hall
  • Carter Ruff, Luthier, Hallowell City Hall
  • Shelter Tool, Hallowell Bandstand (next to The Harlow)

All days Featuring:

  • Maine-Made Stringed Instrument Exhibition at The Harlow
  • Raffle drawings for great stringed instruments including a NS Design WAV4 Radius electric bass guitar and a Yamaha Revstar RS502 electric guitar
  • Music Performances in Downtown Venues throughout the weekend

Visit http://hallowell.org/luthiers/ for more details and to reserve your tickets!


NS Artist Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Presenting the Outsiders Festival

NS Design is proud to co-sponsor the Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival in Philadelphia, PA, with events taking place throughout the month of April and a Grand Finale concert April 29th at the Ibrahim Theater. The festival is curated by renowned bassist and NS endorser Jamaaladeen Tacuma and produced by Jam-All productions. Taking place during Philadelphia’s Jazz Appreciation Month, the festival showcases diverse styles of risk-taking, progressive music and provides a platform for both renowned artists and up-and-coming performers.

Grammy-nominated bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma is celebrated internationally for his creatively free, avant-garde and funky approach to the electric bass. One of the most distinctive bassists of his generation, he is credited for redefining the potential of the instrument. He began playing a Steinberger bass in the 1980s and has maintained a relationship with Ned Steinberger ever since. Jamaaladeen now plays the NS Design WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar and WAV Electric Upright.

Tacuma’s Albums, Grammy-nominated Jukebox and Dreamscape, with original Steinberger bass.

At the age of 19, Tacuma caught the attention of Ornette Coleman and rose to prominence as the first bassist in Coleman’s electric band, Prime Time. He toured and recorded with the group throughout the 1970s and 80s. In 1989, Tacuma’s Jukebox was nominated for a Grammy for best jazz album of the year. In 2011 he was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

Tacuma plays the WAV Electric Upright Bass (left) and the WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar (right).

Tacuma has collaborated with a diverse roster of musicians, including Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Marc Ribot, Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr., David Murray, and Odean Pope, among many others. He has worked with orchestras led by Anthony Davis at Carnegie Hall, and he has appeared with Hip-Hop group The Roots and artists DJ King Britt and DJ Logic. He made an appearance as band director for the David Letterman Show and has performed on Saturday Night Live.

Since 2015, Tacuma has been producing the annual Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival in his hometown of Philadelphia. He is a recipient of the 2018 Benny Golson Award from the City of Philadelphia.

The Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival will host its Grand Finale April 29 at the Ibrahim Theater, International House, 3701 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time Band will headline the show. Music starts at 2pm. Visit www.jamaaladeenmusic.com for more information.

More details and features for all the NS Basses that Jamaaladeen plays, along with our new eco-friendly NXTa active series  EUBs, Omnis, Cellos, Violins and Violas, featuring battery-free electronics, are found at our website ThinkNS.com.


Featured Artist: Jamaaladeen Tacuma

Recently awarded this year’s Benny Golson Award by Mayor Jim Kenney of Philaldelphia, PA, renowned jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, presents the fourth annual Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival. This year’s 3-event festival continues its mission of showcasing diverse styles of risk-taking, progressive music and groundbreaking artists on April 6th, 15th and 29th for Philadelphia’s Jazz Appreciation Month. Featuring Tacuma along with headliner Ornette Coleman’s PRIME TIME led by Denardo Coleman and FREE FORM FUNKY FREQS trio with G. Calvin Weston and Guitarist Vernon Reid.

For tickets and venues visit:  https://www.jamaaladeenmusic.com/

Jamaaladeen plays a WAV RADIUS Bass Guitar and WAV Electric Upright Bass.

More about Jamaaladeen . . .


NS Design Unveils the New NXTa RADIUS Bass by Ned Steinberger

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:
Gary Byers, NS Design
636-579-0908
garyb@nedsteinberger.com

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.

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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 info@nedsteinberger.com, visit http://thinkNS.com, or call +1 (207) 563-7705.

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Weights & Measures NXT4a NXT5a
Overall Length 41.5″ 42.25″
Body Length 20.8″ 20.8″
Neck scale 34″ 35″
Neck radius 15″ 15″
Bridge Spacing 19 mm 18 mm
Nut Width 1.60″ 1.85″
12th Fret Width 2.2″ 2.5″
Weight 7.8 lbs 8.6 lbs

 

 


How Ned Steinberger redesigned the bass world. In-depth with bass’s headless horseman -By Jim Reilly

A generation of musicians has come of age since NS Design founder Ned Steinberger revolutionized the electric bass in the early 1980s. In this in-depth article, MusicRadar.com’s Jim Reilly explores the history of the original “headless” Steinberger basses and guitars, and traces Ned’s journey from those early instruments to NS Design’s innovative product line of today.

Read the full article here.

How Ned Steinberger redesigned the bass world

In-depth with bass’s headless horseman

By Jim Reilly (Bass Guitar)

In the world of bass guitar design, the name Ned Steinberger conjures up many different images. Some people envision Sting or Jamaaladeen Tacuma jumping around, playing an odd-looking bass with a huge sound and incongruously tiny body.

Others see Tony Levin strutting across Peter Gabriel’s stage with an electric upright. Still others picture Grace Chatto bowing an electric cello with pop sensation Clean Bandit.

For those really in the know, the name Ned Steinberger brings to mind not only those images but also pictures of a bass with a curved, ergonomic body – and a huge number of players and fellow instrument builders inspired by that design. Ned’s designs are all those things and much more.

His story, at its heart, is one of a true designer – someone inspired by problems, who when he or she gets hold of a good one, won’t let go until a solution has been found. In Ned’s words, “I get obsessed with a problem. I say to myself, over and over, ‘There has got to be a way to do this!’ Finding a new and better solution to something – something that hasn’t been done before – is what excites me.”

To really make sense of Ned’s achievements in electric bass design and understand what makes his new electric bass – the NS Design Radius – special, we will need to go back to the mid 1970s, and a small, communal, woodworker’s co-operative in Brooklyn, New York.

Read the rest of the article on MusicRadar.com


James “Hutch” Hutchinson – Groove Royalty

James “Hutch” Hutchinson is respected far and wide for his musical versatility and long experience playing with top-tier acts. After taking some classes at the Berklee College of Music while gigging in bands around Boston, the 17 year old decided to head out west to the San Francisco Bay Area.  He jumped at opportunities to play on sessions with Link Wray’s band and with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart which lead to an opportunity to join the Quicksilver Messenger Service spin-off Copperhead, all this before he turned 20 years old.

When their album failed to find an audience the band broke up and Hutch left for Guatemala for what he expected to be just a three week visit. Three weeks turned into a year which allowed Hutch to immerse himself in Latin American culture and rhythms. Returning to the US with his Latin Jazz Fusion band The Point, Hutch got an offer to play in The Neville Brothers Band. While playing with the Neville Brothers he was introduced to Bonnie Raitt and in 1983 moved to Los Angeles to join her band after her original bassist dropped out right before she was scheduled to go on tour.

In the intervening 30 plus years, Hutch has made significant contributions to Bonnie’s sound and has co-written some of her tunes along the way. In an interview with Bass Player Magazine Hutch recalls, “Bonnie calls me her ‘musical ranger’ because I bring in all of these different influences. It’s not just that I’ve listened well and learned to play different styles, it’s that I’ve spent time living and working with the players in those communities. There are musicians in various parts of the world—blues players, country guys, even African musicians—who think of me as their style of musician. They may not even be aware of other styles I play.”

Fellow NS artist Tony Levin sums up Hutch’s musical versatility and impact on Bonnie’s records for Bass Player Magazine: “Hutch Hutchinson has never played a wrong note for Bonnie Raitt. He’s perfect for her songs.”

Hutchinson uses a variety of basses to bring the best tone and feel to his music. For songs requiring versatility in upright sound, Hutch loves NS Design’s CR Omni Bass.  Ned Steinberger created the Omni Bass to connect the sound and feel of the electric bass guitar with its familiar 34″ scale and TransRadius™ fingerboard with the tonal purity, voice and bowed or plucked response of the classic upright bass. The Omni bridges both worlds. It’s a portable and adaptable innovation that has opened up new worlds of sonic versatility and physical freedom for so many musicians like Hutch.

Hutch’s favorite go-to upright on the current Dig In Deep tour is NS Design’s high performance CR4M Upright Bass. It’s as versatile as the CR Omni, including an active EQ and mixer, EMG™ magnetic pickups and Steinberger’s patented Polar™ Piezo Pickup System, and provides all the depth of sound that a full scale double bass commands.  Hutch uses the CR4M with vintage Ampeg B-12, B-15’s; and when in the studio, the B-18 combos or the classic Ampeg SVT808’s and 8X8 matching cabinets.

NS Design founder and creator Ned Steinberger with Hutch Hutchinson

Here’s Bonnie Raitt and Co. covering a Bob Dylan classic “Million Miles”  from her 2012 album Slipstream.

With headlining tour dates in May and June around the US, Bonnie, Hutch and Co. will also be joining fellow Massachusetts-native James Taylor in select US dates in August, with a very special performance on August 11th at historic Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Check out all tour dates and related info at:  http://www.bonnieraitt.com/tour

Learn more about James “Hutch” Hutchinson, NS Design Artists and NS Basses at thinkNS.com


NS iNSight – Chats With Champions – Ned Steinberger

NS Design’s founder and legendary 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.

For more interviews and discussions with Ned, please visit the Interviews link on our website or go to the NS Design YouTube channel linked here.


NS iNSight – A Perfect Fit

 

RADIUS Users cover

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.

RADIUS blueprint cover

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.

 

CR RADIUS butt

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.