Magazine article Strings

The NXT Big Thing

Magazine article Strings

The NXT Big Thing

Article excerpt

NS DESIGN NXT4 CELLO

Following the elegant, stripped-down contours of instrument designer and manufacturer Ned Stein berger's line of electric stringed instruments, NS Design has unveiled the newest addition to its line, the NXT4 electric cello. The NXT Cello is crafted in the Czech Republic with an ebony fingerboard, a maple body and neck, and includes Ned's unique Poiar piezo pickup system.

The NXT series differs frwom the more expensive CR line in its passive electronics and finish. The NXT instruments includes an elemental and intuitive contrai layout: volume, tone, and a two-position switch that selects between pickups optimized for arco and pizzicato playing. The NXT Cello's back, sides, and neck are finished in satin black, with a choice of finishes for the top, including amber-finished flamemaple caps or a black top, for an all-black instrument.

One feature of the NXT Cello that may be new to many players is the ability to tailor the instrument's setup easily and quickly. Our test cello arrived with its bridge set low, which made pizzicato playing effortless, but our testers found their bows brushing against the instrument's sides, where the C-bout would be on an acoustic cello. This was remedied with a few twists of a screwdriver through the instrument's back, which raised the bridge to a more comfortable bowing height. The neck also has a truss rod, which is very common in electric guitars and basses and helps to adjust the instrument's neck to environmental changes.

Traditionalists may bristle at the fingerboard dots, but our testers, who included a professional cellist and a violist who dabbles in cello, found the dots useful for navigation as they adapted to the NXT's stripped-down design, which dispatches many of the cello's traditional tactile guiaos, such the upper bouts and neck heel.

Our pro cellist, Jessica Ivry of the Real Vocal String Quartet, took the NXT to rehearsals with her string quartet, where she had mixed feelings about the included tripod stand. …

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