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Upright Basses & EUB'sElectric Upright Basses

OMNI Bass by NS Design (CR Series) - Compact Electric Upright Bass, 4/5 string

         Manufactured by: NS Design

Continental US - larger items may carry a partial shipping charge to AK, HI and PR
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NS Design

Click to view the Bass Player Magazine review of the NS Design Bass Cello - now called the OMNI BassSimilar 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!)

NS Design intends this instrument to appeal to different player objectives. While I typically order them with a low B string, they are also available with a high C string, as well as tuned in fifths in order to be played as a five string cello! While I hold down the low end with my low B model in blues-rock and other settings (March 2006 photo on the right), it could very well serve as a melodic instrument in other types of ensembles. The bass features the same Polar™ Pickup System and EMG Magnetic pickups as the CR series. The onboard preamp includes bass and treble controls for EQ tweaking, as well as a mag/piezo balance control and the unique Polar mode control, which allows you to optimize bowed response, and to control attack and decay characteristics for pizzicato playing.

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 used a tripod stand when I played the Bass Cello at a recent performance as I had to quickly switch between it and electric bass, but have practiced it with the strap. I also bowed it for several tunes and was very happy with the results. The photo below shows Mark using the strap system-- now I know what he's doing out in the warehouse when he says he's working!

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
  • STRINGS: 5 (can be ordered in conventional fourth intervals bass tuning, with an added low B or high C string, or in fifths "cello tuning" C-E, low to high)
  • 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.

$3580 (4-string), $3790 (5-string), $3830 (4-string fretted), $4040 (5-string fretted)

Please contact me by email or telephone (856-292-3194) for the lowest permissible selling price.

NEW! Check out the FRETTED Five String OMNI Bass!

This newer incarnation of the OMNI Bass provides a fretted, yet bowable alternative! 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. Similar to the other models, it comes with the wearable "Boomarang" strap system, and is fully compatible with the other stands and accessories.

I've been a dealer for the Eminence Portable Bass for several years, and happily gig one on a regular basis. While I feel that the Eminence is the closest thing to "the real thing" in a more portable format, I'm quite conscious of the needs for an instrument that can be played at much higher volumes. I've often taken my homebuilt Electric Upright Bass (EUB) to situations where a more electric presence is required, where I need more punch and clarity to get through the mix... where a standard upright bass or the Eminence won't do.

When I built my own EUB several years ago, I borrowed its look from the very attractive instruments from Ned Steinberger, and after reacquainting myself with their line (especially the OMNI Bass!) I decided to make them part of the Gollihur Music family. I now carry the CR series basses and bass cellos, the models that feature both magnetic and piezo pickup elements, active preamps, and a host of truly gig-worthy features. The CR4M and CR5M are full-scale electric upright basses; the "OMNI Bass" is a short (34" - like electric bass) scale, very versatile five string instrument that has many of the same features in a more compact design.

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Check Out the FAQ Resources That Apply to This Product:
   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!
Hello Bob,

I'm just dropping you a note to let you know about the NS Bass Cello recently ordered from you.

I received the instrument on Monday, having placed the order on the prior Thursday afternoon. I'm located in Alaska, so I was quite surprised to have it in hand so quickly! I have no access to NS instruments here, and was deciding between the Bass Cello or the CR5M bass. Thank you so much for taking the time to discuss and describe the playing characteristics of both basses over the phone. Getting 'legit' input from a player who has tried both instruments was invaluable to me. This type of service is worth its weight in gold! And your pricing is unbeatable.

I've found my one-stop bass shop. I look forward to doing business with you again.
Ray B
I just bought a fiver fretless Omni from Gollihur Music on a whim that it might be cool to add to the collection. I'm having a hard time putting this bass down at night to go to bed. Actually, this is the first bass I can actually play while I lay in bed! The Boomerang Strap System works perfectly. Ergonomically the bass feels like its a part of my body and allows both hands to make smooth position transitions. The pickup system is brilliantly designed too and sounds great. The overall construction is perfect and everything is adjustable on the bass and easy to accomplish. The only thing I changed was the strings - I put on some Thomastic JazzBass flatwounds because I needed a little more tension. IMO the string change probably takes away a bit of the "traditional DB" flavor of the instrument, and the arco tone does suffer too. I own an Azola EUB that has a beautiful arco tone so I'm not wanting in that department . With the OmniBass I am looking for more crossover potential and experimentation. With the TI flatwound strings the tone I gain in the magnetic pickups is very expressive and blends well with the piezo side too. After tweaking the truss rod for the added tension and making some pickup and bridge adjustments the bass is singing in a very distinct way.


UPDATE: I have toured with the omnibass for 3 weeks now and I am really happy with the bass. Feels and sounds great. I learned that if I play it with a pick it can get a nice p bass tone so I don't have to carry a bass guitar for my gig. Of course the fretless/upright tones are beautiful and right on the money. I also flew four times with this bass and it went in EVERY overhead luggage compartment, even a puddle jumper.
Robert H (April 2011)