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Upright Basses & EUB'sElectric Upright Basses

NS Design WAV 2016 Electric Upright Bass - 4 and 5 string models

         Manufactured by: NS Design

Continental US - larger items may carry a partial shipping charge to AK, HI and PR
All shoppers outside the US State of New Jersey pay NO SALES TAX on any purchases at Gollihur Music. (NJ Residents pay NJ State Sales Tax of 7%.) International customers, please visit our "How to Order" Policies page for information concerning VAT and Customs Charges that may be assessed by your country and/or delivery services.
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(Note that larger items may carry a partial shipping charge to AK, HI and PR.)
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When NS Design first introduced the WAV4 a bunch of years ago, I was really shocked at the price, I expected it to come in at around $1200. I don't think that any other bass at this price point really compares. They've taken the popular design of the CR/EU/NXT basses and had them constructed in India using strict quality controls implemented by NS Design, and the basses are then reinspected by NS Design staff when they are received in the states.

The well-known and respected Ned Steinberger, designer of the WAV Series (and countless other instruments over the years), commented: "This is the part I love, where we can put a fine instrument in a players' hands at a price that makes them smile."

The basses in the WAV series are full (3/4 size) scale four- and five-string instruments featuring NS Design's proprietary PolarTM piezo pickup system. The WAV4 and WAV5 Bass is available in a choice of FOUR finishes, a transparent Black, Amberburst or Dark Cherry (Trans Red), and a new "Brilliant White" finish -- which is perfect for those playing in praise bands, with its clean, bright finish -- it looks really sharp in white! Each bass includes a foldable tripod stand and a padded gig bag that will hold the bass, the stand, and also has a pocket for a bow.

The instruments have two transducers beneath the adjustable bridge, and a switch to toggle between them for bowing (arco) and plucking (pizzicato), because the strings vibrate differently under the bow than when plucked. Unlike the CR and EU basses, to keep the price down the system is passive, with just a single volume and tone control. I recommend that you consider a suitable outboard preamp or be conscious of the fact that, like any instrument with a passive piezo-based pickup, some EQ work will be a good idea to shape the tone to your preference.

This is a true electric upright bass, not a fretless bass guitar that you play vertically. The fingerboard is curved, so it can be bowed. While there is a truss rod, there is relief in the fingerboard for typical upright bass style play; if you want very close action for fretless bass guitar style mwah up and down the board, additional fingerboard work may be needed.

The stock strings are a light gauge steel that serve as a reasonably decent hybrid sort of sound, but the instrument responds well and can handle most standard 3/4 size upright bass strings. I and others report good success with strings such as the Pirastro Obligatos, which are a popular, heavier gauge upright bass string that delivers a more traditional sound, with less sustain and more body than the stock strings. Keep in mind, however, that the tuning machines are similar to bass guitar tuners, so very heavy gauge strings (like the Eurosonics) typically cannot be accommodated. However, since the pickups are piezo-based, which sense vibration, most any 3/4 size upright bass string can be a candidate. They designed the rear control cover that allows you route the excess string around the bottom of the bass and anchor them in keyholes.

The Endpin Stand, Strap System, ATA Rated flight case, and Tripod Stand for the CR/EU models (see below) are compatible with the WAV4 as well. However, the CR/EU Stand Conversion Kit, which enables the docking of the Endpin Stand to the CR/EU Tripod Stand, will not work the the WAV stand. See those optional accessories below.

A page with comments from Mark, such as what to expect and how to get the best results from it, is included with each bass.

SPECIFICATIONS (subject to revision, these applied to the previous incarnation):

  • LENGTH: 132 cm (52")
  • WEIGHT: 4.8 kg (10.5 lbs.)
  • SCALE LENGTH: 106 cm (41.73")
  • STRINGS: 4 or 5
  • FINISH: Gloss polymer
  • COLORS: beautiful shaded Amberburst, Dark Cherry Transparent, Trans Black, or Brilliant White. The Black, Amberburst and Trans Cherry show off the figured maple veneer tops, and the Brilliant White finish presents a very clean and professional look.
  • BODY/NECK: Maple
  • FINGERBOARD: Rosewood; 43.1mm (1.7") wide at nut; 89.0mm (3.5") max. width. Assymetric relief for easy playability. Inlayed cascading dot markers on face.
  • BRIDGE: Rock maple (dyed black); radius 7.9cm (3.1") string spacing 80 mm (3.14") - adjustable for height
  • NUT: radius 7.9cm (3.1"); string spacing 31mm (1.22")
  • POLARâ„¢ PICKUP SYSTEM: Switch between Arco and Pizz modes; the 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), with the flick of a switch
  • CONTROLS: passive volume and tone control (treble roll-off), Polar Pickup Switch
  • TRUSS ROD: Powerful rod design provides positive relief adjustment, accessible at nut.
  • TUNING MACHINES: Fully encased worm gear tuners; black finish
  • STRINGS: Light tension flatwound steel strings are standard. Accommodates all NS length strings and most 3/4 scale double bass strings.
  • TRIPOD STAND: (standard) Black, adjustable, standing tripod design. Weight 3.2 kg (7 lbs.)
  • END PIN STAND: (optional) Offers full freedom of movement. Height, tilt and "right bout" angle are fully adjustable providing a more conventional feel. Weight 2.3 kg (5 lbs)
  • SHOULDER STRAP SYSTEM: (optional) guitar style shoulder strap for full mobility
  • GIG BAG: (standard) Padded gig bag with integrated bow pocket, handle and backpack style strap. External pockets for stands and accessories

- NS Designs WAV4/WAV5 Electric Upright Bass

Is this product returnable? Click here for our return policy.
Is there a Factory Warranty? Click here to find Warranty Information for all of our manufacturers.
International customer? Click here for important information about ordering from outside the USA, and what to expect concerning taxes, VAT, delivery times, and more.

Additional Photos of this Product

Simply "mouse over" the small thumbnail image to see the full-sized version.

Check Out the FAQ Resources That Apply to This Product:
   PREAMPS: Do You NEED a Preamp with Your URB Pickup?
   BASS GUITAR TO UPRIGHT BASS: The Top Ten mistakes migrating players make...

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Some of our customers have told us what they think about this product.
Check out what they had to say!
Bob & Mark,

Wow! I am always amazed at how quickly I receive orders placed with your company. My Wav 4 arrived today. I am thrilled. I changed out the strings to Obligatos, and raised the bridge. This thing is great! While it doesn't sound exactly like my Englehardt, I love the sound of it. I've really come to trust your recommendations and it is a joy to deal with both of you.
Thanks again!
Alan T
Mark/ Bob,

Just dropping you a line to express my complete satisfaction with the NS Design WAV 4 bass - and your superb service. The treatment I got from you guys puts all those mega-huge etailers to shame. Great, timely responses on my emailed questions, and once I finally placed my order you got it out to me at lightning speed.
Dan B
Dear Gollihur and Son,

I've been gigging with the WAV 4 you sold me for about 2 months now. 1 month ago, I restrung it with Pirastro Obligatos, also purchased from you. All in all, probably the smartest $1,000 I've ever spent. This thing is really a monster, tonewise. My initial approach was to try to make it sound as much like an acoustic upright as possible (hence the Obligatos.) But as I started closing in on that, it began to dawn on me that the WAV 4 is a totally different animal, sort of a "third way" for bassists. So now I've developed a hybrid tone (or, more accurately, tones - this thing is really versatile) that fuses a foundation of a more traditional upright sound with qualities that can be attained with an electric instrument. One tonal configuration I find particularly beguiling is adding just a whisper of compression, chorus and "room" (reverb) - so subtle that you wouldn't really notice it unless it was taken away. It's very thick and lyrical, but with crystalline definition and, of course, volume is no problem with the WAV 4 (I've played it for 2 hours with a drummer, electric guitar, acoustic 12 string and electric violin - the WAV stayed in the mix beautifully, and I wasn't the least bit fatigued at the end of the night.)

So, thanks again for a bass n' strings combo that has actually changed my life.
Dan B
Mark, Bob ;

I recieved my WAV 4 bass on 10/4, set it up and played, in 10 min I was in Love...........

Thanks for all your help really enjoyed doing business with you, and would again in a snap.
Nick S
Thank you Bob. We waited nearly two months for "brand X" to deliver my sons WAV 4 before I finally cancelled and ordered from you. You did it in 4 days. We love it and he's now got enough time to get comfortable with it prior to his performance next Friday. We really appreciate your prompt personal service. You are our new official supplier of bass supplies!
Greg O
My WAV 4 arrived in perfect condition. Thanks for the nice, no- hassles, easy shopping experience from such a small place. I'll certainly be buying accessories from you guys!
Josh F
Dear Bob, on Oct 22nd, 2007 I ordered an NS WAV4 Bass from your website. I was thrilled when 2 days later I was learning my way around my new instrument. What a great experience - my compliments to you and your operation. The information you included with the bass was very insightful and helpful. Thank you.
Ben L
Dear bob, I just recived the WAV, and it was pure heaven. The sound, the tone, it's so rich and full. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Thank you for selling a reasonably priced instrument, and speedy one too!
Leonardo N
Hi Bob, Just dropping a line to tell you that I receive my Wav 4 Amberburst I ordered from you today. I absolutely love it. I am planning on using to further my proficiency on the acoustic since I now have a "silent Upright". When I have more funds available, I am going to follow the advice sheet you enclosed with it about the strings and set-up. Thanks again for a great a great shopping experience.
C.J. Ruth
Hi, For several weeks, I was looking for a WAV 4 at some local music stores, and then later at some online ones. All of the online stores I found wouldn't ship to Canada, and I didn't have any luck with any local stores either. Eventually, I came across one of Bob's posts in a bass forum, and after reading his helpful advice, I immediately decided to check out gollihurmusic.com to see if I could purchase a WAV4 from you. I was very happy to find that you ship to Canada, and even more so that your product description pages actually describe your experience with the instrument, instead of just using the standard marketing paragraph and feature list. I recieved the bass just 2 days after placing my order, and I've been playing it, and enjoying it since. Thanks for the quick service, and i'll definately be shopping here again!
Jordan L
I recently (Monday!) received an NS Designs Wav 4 I purchased from Gollihur Music. It showed up set up perfectly for me, and everything I read on your site and in your contributions to the TalkBass forum was extremely accurate. I used to play an AUB, but my Arthritis made it very difficult for me to achieve the positions I needed in the upper register for our material. The lack of a body enables me to get where I need. The instrument is very comfortable for me, and I rehearsed with my band Wednesday, 2 days after getting the Wav4. They were blown away, as was I at the quality of the instrument and it's sound. Thanks for the help!!!!
Erik Anderson