The five string NS Bass Cello is an electric string bass with these distinctive features:
• 34 inch fretless bass guitar scale with arched fingerboard for bowing
• Dot markers on the fingerboard for intonation.
• 5 strings cover the range of the double bass and cello, available in 3 standard tunings:
Bass guitar tuning: E,A,D,G,C (low to high in 4ths)
Low B bass guitar tuning: B,E,A,D,G (low to high in 4ths)
Octave cello tuning: C,G,D,A,E (low to high in 5ths)
• Bass Cello strings, flatwound custom made strings by J D'Addario and Co. (Standard bass guitar stings can also be used.)
• Polar™ Pickup System with multiple sensors to optimize bowed response also allows control of attack and decay parameters when plucked.
• EMG magnetic pickups and active EQ circuit
• Boomerang™ Strap System allows full mobility for bowing and plucking. Interchangeable Tripod and End Pin stands are optional.
The stroke of the bow energizes the instrument with a wonderfully natural and expressive voice that combines a powerful bass resonance with brilliant harmonics. The versatile pizzicato response can emulate the percussive punch of the acoustic upright or the smooth sustain of the fretless electric, or open the way to new sonic territory for those who want to experiment. The five strings, in concert with the thirty four inch scale, cover the range of the double bass and cello combined.
Fifty years ago, the electro-magnetic pickup gave birth to the electric bass guitar, a plucked instrument that offered new sounds that were destined to change music forever. This has left many bass players without access to the rich, singing voice that only a bowed instrument can provide. With the advent of piezo technology, the NS Electric Bass Cello has emerged from the drawing board to make great bowed sounds accessible to everyone who can play the bass guitar. Tuned in fourths, the fingering is exactly the same as the bass guitar. For cellists interested in a bass instrument, the fifth tuning an octave below the cello is ideally suited to the 34 inch scale length of the Bass Cello.
A new dimension in musical expression, electric bowed instruments are reaching across the traditional divide, bringing bowed music back into popular use, and energizing the classical world with exciting new sounds. NS Design is driven to develop the best instruments possible to support this union of tradition and technology. In this spirit, we are proud to include the bass cello in the NS family of electric bowed instruments.
Arched Fingerboard: The Bass Cello has a highly arched fingerboard and bridge, similar to a cello, to optimize bow articulation. The high arch on the fingerboard fits the human hand, and combines with the round neck profile for a comfortable and natural feel.
34 Inch Scale: The 34 inch scale length of the Bass Cello is the same as the standard bass guitar. Tuned in fourths as a bass (E A D G C), the fingering positions are therefore immediately familiar to the bass guitarist. The Bass Cello can also be tuned in fifths, for fingerings that are natural for the cellist.
Dot Markers: Dots for each semi-tone cascade across the fingerboard in a pattern that provides a clear visual fingering reference. The logical dot pattern is of critical value to the novice player, and an invaluable tool for the seasoned pro.
Polar™ Pickup System: The multiple sensor NS Polar bridge pickup system has two modes of operation, "arco" and "pizzicato". This allows the player to optimize bowed response, and to control attack and decay characteristics for plucking. The deep bass and brilliant highs possible with piezo crystal technology give the instrument a beautiful, dynamic, and versatile sound.
EMG™ Magnetic Pickups: EMG low impedance magnetic pickups have a smooth response with lots of sweet midrange for the quintessential "electric" sound.
Active Controls: Two balance controls allow unlimited mixing options for the magnetic and the dual mode Polar™ Pickup systems. On-board pre-amplification provides master volume, bass and treble controls.
NS Bass Cello Strings: Traditional cello strings, designed for bowing, are the starting reference for NS Bass Cello Strings. Light and responsive, with singing highs and deep low register, these ultra-smooth low-tension strings are effortless to play, and minimize unwanted finger noise. They have a smooth pizzicato growl that can be made to sound very much like an acoustic, yet deliver plenty of sustain and drive when you need it. Still these strings, custom made by D'Addario, are highly specialized for bowing. They respond much quicker to the bow than traditional bass strings, so expressive bow technique is easier to develop and maintain. The Bass Cello is designed to accommodate any standard bass guitar string, adding unlimited set up options for the musician who wants to explore.
Interchangeable Support Systems: The optional self-standing Tripod stand provides stable support for the instrument at virtually any angle, for standing or seated on stool. The End Pin stand is adjustable so that the instrument remains balanced without support from the left hand.
Boomerang™ Strap System (patent pending): The two articulated arms and pivoting hub allow full mobility for bow and pizzicato styles of play. The comfortable Boomerang strap fits over the shoulder just like a guitar, but the adjustable strap arms allow the instrument to be placed in virtually any position in relation to the hands and body.
Hand Crafted Maple and Ebony: Each instrument is hand-made in the Czech Republic to the highest standard by craftsmen steeped in a long tradition of instrument making.
• LENGTH: 44.5 inches
• WEIGHT: 7.2 LB
• SCALE LENGTH: 34”
• STRINGS: 5 (E- C)
• CONSTRUCTION: Solid rock maple neck and body, flame maple face
• FINISH: Traditional amber stain with clear semi-gloss polymer coating.
• FINGERBOARD: Ebony, 27.5 inches long, radius 2 inches
• BRIDGE: Phenolic, overall string spacing: 2 ¾ inches, radius 2.2 inches
• NUT: Ebony, overall string spacing: 1 5/16 inch, radius 2 inches
• BRIDGE: The Polar™ directional piezo pick-up system 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).
• MAGNETIC: Low impedance EMG™ magnetic pick-up system, with individually adjustable coils, and low-noise, hum-canceling pre-amp.
• ELECTRONICS: 18 volt active circuit. Mono output.
• CONTROLS: (top to bottom): Knob 1 - Volume, Knob 2 – Balance: counterclockwise for magnetic pickup, clockwise for bridge pickup, center for both., Knob 3 - Balance: counterclockwise for optimal pizzicato (plucked, sustained) sound, clockwise for optimal arco (bowed and percussive plucked) sound, center for both. Knob 4 - Treble: boost and cut. Knob 5 - Bass: boost and cut. Note: For bowing, it is best to use the bridge pickup only in arco mode.
• TRUSS ROD: Double rod design. Accessible at nut.
• TUNING MACHINES: Schaller 20:1 ratio, fully encased worm gear tuners; black finish.
• STRINGS: NS Bass Cello strings by D’Addario. The NS Bass Cello also accommodates most long scale bass guitar strings.
• TRIPOD STAND (standard): Black steel, fully adjustable, standing tripod design. Weight 3.2 kg (7 lbs.)
• GIG BAG: (standard) Padded gig bag with integrated bow pocket, handle and backpack style strap. External pockets for stands and accessories.