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Strings for Double BassBass String Buyer's Guides

Strings: Choices for NS Design CR and EU Model Basses

         Manufactured by: Gollihur Buyer's Guide

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Bass String Choices for CR and EU model NS Design Electric Upright Basses
So, you're looking for strings for your CR or EU bass... but you don't know which strings should you get for it? Well, it depends on what you're looking for out of the bass; do you want it to sound as "authentically upright" as possible, or are you embracing the "crossover" nature of the bass? D'Addario, in conjunction with NS Design, makes sets that are sized for the NS Basses; they're available in two "flavors" to accommodate different players' tastes and preferences. And GHS has created the "Crossovers" set, which sort of splits the difference between the two NS Electric sets. Here, we break down the differences to help you decide which you'll be most likely to prefer.

Note also that, like the NXT and WAV4 basses, the CR and EU basses can accommodate full (¾) size upright bass strings, by feeding the strings through the holes in the bottom and threading them up around into the "keyhole" slots on the back of the bass. If you're interested in some other choices, check out our String Guide covering Choices for NS Design NXT and WAV4 Basses - any of the advice offered there will also apply to your bass - just remember that if your bass has magnetic pickups, you should limit your choice to those which are compatible with them () or you'll render the magnetic pickups useless.


One other thing that might help improve your sound - NS Design sets up their basses with VERY low action. Too low, in my humble opinion. To get that big, warm URB sound, the strings need enough clearance to be plucked with real vigor, with the meaty side of your finger (not with the tips, electric-bass style). And the strings need enough room to "bloom" without vibrating against the fingerboard. I raised the action a little on my WAV, and that alone improved its sound quite a bit, because I could play it more like a real Upright Bass.
By and large, most people seem to be looking for the NS Bass to be a "stand-in" for their less-portable "real" upright bass. With that in mind, here's my philosophy on the subject (and feel free to disagree): The best any Electric Upright Bass could hope to achieve: sounding like a double bass with a pickup on it. Because, let's face it - the EUB is always being played through an amp. Since the NS basses are very tightly-constructed solid-body instruments, their habits lean towards a more electric sounding bass (more sustain, more string detail, that sort of thing.) In my experience, using strings which pull the tone towards a more "old school" upright sound (decreased sustain, a more blunt attack to notes, almost a gut string-like vibe) will counter-balance the electric leanings of the bass.

D'Addario provides you with a string that does this, as well as something a bit more modern sounding, with their NS-Electric string sets. They supply the stock strings on the upper-tier NS Design basses. The details about them are below.

You can order 4-string sets directly from this page; if you need a 5-string (Low B or High C sets are in stock and available) or even a six string set for an EU6 (!) -- click the link for the strings you prefer in "related items," below, to access the full selection of NS Electric string sets.
  • GHS Crossovers: This new (April 2014) entry from GHS provides a great new option; a little brighter, not as traditional in sound, for that "Crossover" vibe. They were aiming for a bowable, yet more modern sounding string set; sort of a "Spirocore" for the NS Basses. Plenty of low-end girth, with more definition than the more Traditional-sounding strings. Low B String Available for this string
  • NS Electric "Traditional" NS610 - for a more "authentic" vibe
    The Traditional Double Bass set is constructed and tensioned similarly to acoustic upright bass strings, for a warm tone, feel, and great bowed response. They are essentially similar to the Helicore Orchestra upright bass strings, but sized for the NS EUB's. These were formerly sold as the "NS.Helicore" string set, and have recently undergone a packaging and name change. If you're looking for a more traditional vibe, with a thumpier attack, quicker decay and somewhat muted sustain - these should fit the bill. Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string

  • NS Electric Contemporary NSFW610: D'Addario's NS Helicore Contemporary Double Bass set produces a brighter sound, and features a lower tension feel. They are identical to the stock strings now supplied on the NS Design CR-M and NXT basses. They were formerly sold as the "NSFL-Flatwound Light" set and have recently undergone a packaging and name change. More modern, perhaps even a little "zingy" - for those who prefer a more "electric bass" kind of tone and feel with lots of "mwah" and "growl." Low B String Available for this string High C String Available for this string
Obviously, strings and tone are very subjective, but I hope this little guide provides a little insight to help you along.


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