This mute is a relatively new product from Nordstrand, the pickup-maker for electric basses (I have some Nordstrand pickups on my six-string bass guitar and they are outstanding!) It's based on a mute they originally made for bass guitar, and thanks to the urging of bassist Nino Ocampo, they started making a version for upright as well.
It has little slits in the dense foam to straddle each string, usually placed right next to the bridge, and is therefore easy to put on and off. The soft materials and easy flexibility mean that there's no chance of damage to the strings or instrument.
On a double bass, it provides a nice dampering effect on the decay and sustain, and brings up the "thump" level noticeably. It's definitely more aggressive than a typical wire mute, Tourte mute, or ebony bridge mute. But it doesn't totally "deaden" the bass either, like a full-on practice mute would. I can imagine that folks playing Latin music styles like Salsa or Merengue, who might use a Baby Bass to get "that percussive, thumpy sound," might find the Ninomute effective.
But where this mute really shines is on an electric upright. Put this thing on an NS Design bass, and suddenly it's a whole new ball game. Even with the stock strings (which are not designed to sound like an authentic upright tone) with a Ninomute installed, the bass gets a LOT closer to what a player seeking a more portable alternative to their full-sized upright is going for.
Check out the video, below, to see what I'm talking about. This clip is using the stock strings on a brand new NS WAV4 bass, which also has limited EQ. It's like a magic spell - stick it on the bass and suddenly it's a lot more "authentic" sounding.
The XT "Extra Thump" model has a thicker foam contact point, and therefore a much stronger muting action. I don't recommend the XT model for electric uprights, as I find that it mutes too much. However, for an extreme mute effect on an upright bass, you might prefer the XT model.
Available in 4 and 5-string versions. Several colors are made, but we don't always have all colors available.
If the model is available to be added to your cart, it is in stock.
Note that the Ninomutes DO NOT FIT the NS Design OmniBass; the string spacing is not compatible and it cannot be mounted without damage. I'm investigating getting an alternate version that may work with the OmniBass, so stay tuned!
Designed for double bass and other stringed instruments, the NinoMute alters the instruments’ note envelope, smoothing out articulation and working to tame abrasive, dynamically inconsistent notes. The resulting tone is thumpier, darker, and more direct; highly effective in ensembles that call for a mellower sound. With a bow, the NinoMute’s focus provides emphasis on fundamental technique and can act as a kind of training aid, helping students develop their fingering while controlling sympathetic resonance and the grating scratch of rudimentary arco technique. The NinoMute expands significantly the timbre and dynamics of the acoustic bass, adding a professional range of colors to the instrument’s sonic palette.
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This mute is simply great! I play mostly slap bass and live in an apartment. Been searching for a good mute for while, now I've found it. Highly recommended!
This is a pretty convenient tool for anyone wanting to add a mute to their bass and remove it quickly. I won’t use it all the time but it does create another option and works and fits well.