Similar in many regards to the full-sized CR electric upright, the OMNI Bass from NS Designs has a few distinct differences which make it uniquely attractive to certain players - particularly those who play mostly electric bass and want a "crossover" instrument which bridges the gap between electric and upright bass. Based on a 34 inch scale, which is familiar to electric bassists, the instrument features an arched fingerboard for bowing, dot markers on the fingerboard for ease of intonation, and 5 strings for extended range (4 string model also available!)
This specific bass provides a fretted, yet bowable alternative for players who wish to get into a more "vertical" option. With the same standard electric scale as the regular OMNI Bass, it adds carefully designed and installed frets for the bassist who prefers the fretted approach. It still features a fingerboard arch that makes the bass suitable for bowing.
You can play the NS Design OMNI Bass using the very cool Boomerang™ Strap System to "wear" the instrument just like a regular electric bass. It features two articulated arms and a pivoting hub (kind of looks like a "lazy S"); you simply attach a standard guitar strap to the ends of each arm, adjust the arms, and you can place the instrument in virtually any position in relation to your hands and body. You can even rotate the instrument on its hub into a horizontal playing position for playing it like an electric bass. It's a neat arrangement, you can adjust the pivot's tension so that you can quickly and easily rotate it to a vertical or horizontal position -- or anything in between!
Also fully compatible with the various NS Design tripod and endpin stand options.
I find this instrument to be perfect for a player who primarily plays electric bass but wishes to have a second instrument to capture that "upright vibe" with a modern twist. Obviously, it's a shorter scale instrument with a solid body, so it's not going to fool a purist... but it's a very well-made instrument with lots of tonal flexibility, incredible playability, and distinctive looks. It was especially rewarding to be able to dial in very URB-like sounds as well as a more solid rock flavor.
FIVE STRING OMNI BASS SPECIFICATIONS: (four string model specs will be included when they become available)
- LENGTH: 44.5 inches
- WEIGHT: 7.2 LB
- SCALE LENGTH: 34”
- STRINGS: 5 (Low B)
- 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 PICKUP: 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 PICKUP: 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.
- 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.
- GIG BAG: (standard) Padded gig bag with integrated bow pocket, handle and backpack style strap. External pockets for stands and accessories.
Need to figure out some of the more in-depth features of this product? Here's a copy of the manual, in PDF format, here.
You may wish to visit the manufacturer's website to see if a more recent version is available.