NS Design NXT 4 String Viola

UK/EU Price:  £999.00 - Inc. 20% VATExport Price - USA/Australia/Worldwide: £832.50
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The NXT Series Viola

Crafted to exacting standards in the Czech Republic, the NXT Series 4-string Viola, embodies elegance, advanced ergonomics and full-spectrum tone fused into an instrument for the musician who needs an adaptable, affordable instrument that offers exceptional amplified and recorded performance quality and extraordinary freedom of expression. 

Freeing the violist from the limitations of an amplified acoustic viola and based around a comfortable 16" viola string scale, the NXT models boast a host of unique NS features, at the heart of which are the Polar™ Pickup System and JackPot™ circuitry, bespoke electronics which deliver a beautifully balanced, rich signal, providing the widest range of expressive opportunities to the player.

Available with either a flame maple Sunburst or Satin Black finish, the NXT features a sleek, ergonomically designed maple body, patented precision tuning system, adjustable-height bridge, the super-comfortable NS Custom Shoulder Rest and ships complete with a premium quality custom hardshell case.

Polar™ Passive Pickup System


This system employs piezo components so that string vibration is converted directly to electrical signal. Vibration from bowing is different from vibration from pizzicato, and the beauty of the Polar Pickup is its ability to respond optimally to both. A toggle switch allows the player to select between bowing or pizzicato mode for desired dynamic range, sustain and clarity. The Polar Pickupis also self-powered, which eliminates the weight and bulk of batteries and power circuitry.

The Polar system is driven directly by the vibration of the strings, enabling it to produce a full spectrum of sound with power and clarity. (By contrast, an acoustic viola's amplified performance is heavily dependent upon the resonant capabilities of the body of the instrument).

The NXT Viola - set up with F-C-G-D, Octave, or even G-D-A-E strings - delivers the entire range with full richness of tone. A convenient switch beside the volume and tone controls allows selection between heightened arco and pizzicato pickup sensitivity, expanding the tonal palette even further, virtually free of wolf tones.

JackPot™ Circuitry


Conventional passive volume and tone controls inevitably siphon off a portion of the output signal, even at the maximum setting. The JackPot circuitry includes a special rotary switch which, when turned fully clockwise, sends 100% of the instrument’s signal to the amplifier. The result is a fuller, richer tone, with more power, detail, and overall intensity.

Custom Shoulder Rest


This instrument is one of the lightest performance electrics on the market, and comes equipped with the NS Custom Shoulder Rest whose malleable padded aluminum base can bend and mold to the surface to the chest and shoulder and is designed to be physically formed by the player to fit the body perfectly for maximum playing comfort. The Custom Shoulder Rest features a foam-padded malleable aluminum base, which the player can bend and mold to the surface to the chest and shoulder. A wide range of height and angle adjustments can be made while the instrument is in playing position. The ergonomically contoured ebony chinrest is designed to work in tandem with the Custom Shoulder Rest for control, comfort and security. 

For even greater player versatility, the NXT also accepts NS Design's revolutionary optional Balanced Shoulder Rest, which replaces both the supplied chin and shoulder rests and effectively "floats" the instrument in the desired playing position.

Patented Tuning System


This remarkable system (US Pat. # 6,528,71) provides exceptionally easy, precise and stable tuning. Mounted entirely behind the bridge, its location shifts the balance point of the instrument closer in to the player’s body, for an even lighter feel and enhanced comfort. Standard viola strings will fit the NS Viola, although specially formulated NS Electric strings from D'Addario are recommended.

Adjustable Bridge


The adjustable bridge can be readily raised or lowered with convenient set screws: high and powerful, low and fast, or string height anywhere between.

Controls


Self-powered piezo circuit with high impedance output, no batteries required. Volume control and Tone control (treble roll off). Incorporates the JackPot, by which the Volume control disengages the ground when turned fully clockwise, sending 100% of the instrument’s signal to the amplifier.

Flight Case Included


The NXT Series Viola ships with a fabric covered flight case, featuring a form-fitting, hard foam core that also holds 2 bows, shoulder rest, output cable, and extra gear, with lock and key. Dimensions: 80cm (31.5") long, 25cm (9.75") wide, 14.6 cm (5.75") high, approx. 2.3kg (5.1lb) loaded weight.

Get The RIGHT Amplifier for your NS Instrument


Designed by British audio electronics guru Phil Jones, the CUB AG-100 is a sophisticated acoustic instrument amplifier with a wide frequency response, exceptional hi-fidelty sound, transparent tonal reproduction and diminutive frame - the perfect partner to the NS Design range of violins, violas and cellos.

"for acoustic endeavours and small rooms, or a monitor for lower volume gigs, you're unlikely to find anything that sounds better at any price or size"  Guitar World • June 2007

  BUY HERE • ACOUSTIC CENTRE PRICE JUST £365

 NS Design NXT Series 4-String Viola

Construction Solid, straight grain maple body & neck, with maple face (Black model) or flame maple face (Sunburst model)
Finish Black Satin or Sunburst
Body Reference Bout Black-dyed maple bout on treble side provides standard viola reference; Removable for unrestricted neck access
Fingerboard Hand graduated ebony, featuring asymmetric curvature designed for enhanced left-hand playing ease
Bridge Black-dyed maple; Height adjustable via screws on back of body
Pickup NS Polar™ bridge mounted, directional piezo pickup system, switchable between arco & pizzicato modes
Electronics Self powered circuit with high impedance output
Controls Volume / Tone (treble roll-off)
Tuning Machines Precision 40:1 fine tuners mounted behind the bridge; Automatic string clamping for quick, easy string changing
Length 58.5cm (23")
Width 11.7cm (4.6")
Thickness 4.9cm (1.92")
Weight 650g (1.69lbs)
Scale Length 36.6cm (14.4")
String Spacing @ Bridge: 38mm (1.5") / @ Nut: 18mm (0.7")
Strings NS Design/D'Addario Medium tension, stranded steel core (NS410); Compatible with standard viola strings
Accessories Contoured Ebony Chin Rest; NS Custom Shoulder Rest with fully-adjustable, malleable aluminium base
Case Fabric covered, form fitting hard foam core; 80cm x 25cm x 14.6cm (31.5" x 9.75" x 5.75"), 2.3kg (5.1lbs) loaded weight

The NS Design Passive JackPot™ Potentiometer

U.S. Patent No. 8,253,007


All NXT Series instruments now boast an exciting new performance feature by Ned Steinberger, the NS JackPot potentiometer.

Whether you know it or not, your volume and tone pots are robbing tone from your instrument even when they are turned up full. The JackPot is a combination potentiometer and rotary switch which is able to completely bypass the instruments' volume and tone circuitry, producing a stronger signal level, greater warmth, and more overall intensity.

How the Jackpot works


Conventional controls reduce the volume level by bleeding a portion of the output signal to ground. Rotating the knob counterclockwise increases the portion that is connected to ground, thus reducing the output level until it is fully grounded and the volume is zero. However, when the knob is rotated fully clockwise for maximum volume, there is still a portion of the signal that bleeds to ground, and as a result the output level never reaches the full level the pickup would achieve if it were wired directly to the output jack.

The JackPot’s rotary switch clicks open when the knob reaches the end of its full on (clockwise) rotation. The open switch lifts the ground to the pot, eliminating the load on the pickups and allowing the full signal to reach the output jack. When the knob is rotated counterclockwise, the ground to the pot is reconnected so the pot returns to standard operation. In this mode the sound and function are exactly the same as an ordinary control.

With the JackPot, players can run full on, with the pickups wired directly to the output jack, yet still have a trusty volume knob to back off instantly to a lower level when needed.

The NS Design Polar™ Pickup System

THE POLAR™ PICKUP SYSTEM allows the player to select the direction of response to control attack, sustain, and bow response characteristics. The result is an exciting new dimension in string instrument performance, featuring:

  • Powerful dynamics
  • Rich, full sound
  • High sensitivity to the bow
  • Sustained pizzicato
  • Extended versatility

As a player, you may not think about the direction your strings are vibrating, or even be aware that string vibrations on a musical instrument are polarized in relation to the fingerboard and the motion of the plectrum and bow. Yet direction is one of the most significant factors influencing the tone and response of a stringed instrument. In fact, instruments from the violin family are different from the lute or guitar in large part due to the effects of string polarization.

The bow drives the string back and forth in the direction of the bow, while at the same time it suppresses the up and down vibration. You can see this effect with the naked eye by watching the wide excursion of the lowest strings when bowed. From the front, you can see a wide lateral pattern of string vibration, but looking from the side you can see almost no pattern at all. Instruments in the violin family have a tall bridge in combination with an asymmetrical support structure of bass bar and sound post that efficiently translate the sideways motion of the bowed string into sound.

The Polar pickup responds with a high degree of lateral sensitivity and vertical rejection that is tailored to mirror the polarity of the bowed string. The result is a remarkably dynamic, rich tone that responds effortlessly to the bow.

The Polar pickup takes this concept one step further, and is able to switch from lateral to vertical sensitivity, which is ideal for pizzicato. Unlike the violin, a flattop guitar or lute respond in the vertical direction, to minimize the plucked attack and store energy for longer sustain. With the touch of a finger, the polar pickup can switch from lateral to vertical mode. In the vertical mode the attack is controlled for a sustained, singing pizzicato response. The lateral mode has the opposite effect, and the plucked response is extraordinarily percussive, like a traditional bowed instrument, only more so. This dual capacity allows the player to control attack and decay, adding new expressive potential to the violin family of instruments.


NS Design EU, CR and NXT Series violins, violas, cellos and basses are all equipped with the dual-mode Polar Pickup System. 

On EU and CR Series instruments, active bass and treble EQ controls combine with the Polar pickup options to provide tremendous tonal range. Additional magnetic pickups, switching and associated pre-amp circuitry vary from model to model.

NS Design CR Series


Double Bass • Omni Bass • Cello • Violin • Viola

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NS Design NXTa Series


COMING SOON! Double Bass • Omni Bass • Cello • Violin • Viola

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NS Design WAV Series


A new super-affordable electric violin design featuring NS Design's Polar Pickup System

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NS Design CR Series Radius Bass


The ultimate evolution in Ned Steinberger innovative approach to electric bass guitar design

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An affordable take on Ned Steinberger's radical new electric bass guitar design

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