This bass has a standard passive control set with the Jackpot volume control, and if you're using an acoustic amp or a buffering external preamp (like a Fishman, LR Baggs, Schatten, Radial Engineering, etc.) then the new NXTa's preamp is purely academic for you. So save a couple hundy and get this bass instead! (Or use the extra money you save to purchase a more full-featured external preamp.)
NXT Omni Bass
The CR-Model Omni Bass from NS Design has been a popular instrument for bassists looking for a portable, professional-grade gigging instrument where it is impractical (or impossible) to bring a larger-scale or "real" upright bass. With a comfortable 34" scale, incredible build quality, and excellent pickup/preamp setup, it's a great performer.
Now the convenience and playability of the Omni Bass is within the reach of even more players, thanks to the new NXT Omni Bass!
The successful formula of the NXT Bass has been applied to the Omni Bass: take the design and styling from the high-end CR-Model bass, scale back some of its features, and create a more affordable, entry-level bass that is still "pro" enough to be used by real professionals. This is no toy!
The NXT OMNI Bass from NS Designs has a few distinct features 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, and dot markers on the fingerboard for ease of intonation. And its light weight and slim body make it a joy to play!
The bass features the great Polar™ Pickup System, just like the NXT Bass (and similar to the CR models) - the unique Polar mode switch allows you to optimize for pizz or bowed response at the flick of a switch. It does omit the active preamp that you get with the CR model - but it's not a required feature - and you could always use an external preamp to optimize gain and impedance matching, if you wish.
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!
I find the Omni Basses to 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.
The NXT Omni Bass is available in either a transparent Amberburst or Black Satin finish. Each bass includes a Boomerang Strap System and a padded gig bag; it holds the bass and has a separate pocket for an optional stand; it also has a pocket for a bow. The Omni Bass is compatible with all of the same stands and straps that the other instruments from NS Design all share; tripod stand, endpin, etc.
The instruments have two differently-mounted transducers beneath the adjustable bridge for sound. There is a switch to toggle between them for bowing (arco) and plucking (pizzicato), because the strings vibrate differently under the bow than when plucked; each pickup in the "Polar Pickup" system is specialized for each task. To keep the price down, the system is passive, with just a single volume and tone control (Unlike the CR and EU basses, which have an active preamp built-in). I recommend 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. The action is very low, as the basses are set up at NS Design's headquarters in the USA before being shipped to us. If you want even closer action - so you can get even more fretless bass guitar style "mwah" up and down the board - you might need tp reduce the amount of scoop in the fingerboard to make it a little "flatter." Though the chances are that you're gonna love it right out of the box.
The Tripod Stands, Endpin Stand, and Strap System for the CR/EU models (see below) are compatible with the NXT models as well. They make an ATA Rated flight case for the Omni bass, and we also have a lighter-weight hard case available which works well with this bass.
NXT STRING OMNI BASS SPECIFICATIONS: (four string model specs will be included when they become available)
- LENGTH: 113 cm (44")
- WIDTH: 15 cm (5.7")
- WEIGHT: 3.2 kg (7 lbs.)
- SCALE LENGTH: 86 cm (34")
- STRINGS: 4-string E,A,D,G; 5-string B,E,A,D,G or E,A,D,G,C
- BODY/NECK: Solid, straight grain maple, with maple face (Black model) or flame maple face (Sunburst model) on body.
- FINGERBOARD: Hand-graduated ebony or Richlite*. Intonation referenced with cascading dot markers & side dots.
- FINISH: Amber Sunburst Flamed Maple or Satin Black over Maple
- BRIDGE PICKUP: The Polar™ directional piezo pickup system responds selectively to lateral string vibration, for bowing and for the percussive plucked response of a traditional acoustic instrument, or to vertical string vibration, for remarkable even and sustained plucked sound more like a guitar. A switch allows the player to choose the desired response.
- ELECTRONICS: Passive circuit with high impedance output, no batteries required. Volume control and Tone control (treble roll off).
- GIG BAG: NXT Padded gig bag with integrated bow pocket, handle and backpack style strap. External pockets for stands and accessories.
- TRIPOD STAND: (optional) Black steel, fully adjustable, standing tripod design. Weight 3.2 kg (7 lbs.) Note: All basses come with the newest version stand with the redesigned head.
- 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 Design is committed to the need and responsibility to do what we can to protect our environment. Certain materials which have for centuries been part of the tradition of instrument making, are under increasing environmental and regulatory pressure. Among these is ebony. NS Design has been on a quest to find an alternative to ebony, one which meets high standards for performance, appearance and durability.
Beginning in November, 2014, they will begin equipping NXT series instruments with fingerboards made from Richlite™, a natural fiber composite that was originally developed for aerospace and industrial applications. They have found that Richlite's structural, visual, tactile and sonic characteristics rival those of ebony, and that this material is very "friendly" to traditional tools and techniques used by luthiers in the maintenance and care of ebony fingerboards.
Please note that during the transition period, an NXT instrument you receive may have either an ebony or Richlite fingerboard. Also note that all model numbers and prices remain the same, regardless of fingerboard material.