NS Design CR4 Cello

List Price:  £3,035.00UK Price:  £2,925.00 - Inc. 20% VATSave:  £110.00 (4%)Worldwide:  £2,437.50

Delivery:  Free Shipping to UK / Selected EU Destinations


In Stock  

In Stock

NS Design Frame Strap SystemNS Design Frame Strap System
NS Design Traditional Cello End Pin StandNS Design Traditional Cello End Pin Stand
NS Design Custom Flight CaseNS Design Custom Flight Case


The solid-body NS Cello, designed by Ned Steinberger, is now available in the acclaimed CR Series. This remarkable instrument, available with 4, 5 or 6 strings, is able to produce the delicate and precise tones of its acoustic parent, as well as create exciting new sounds through the tone shaping geometry of its innovative NS Polar™ piezo pickup system.

Solid Maple Body & Neck

The CR Cello is crafted of European maple, with a flame maple face. This solid-body design develops a rich multi-dimensional tone free from the constraints inherent in an acoustic instrument. The traditional cello scale length and neck shape have a familiar feel, while the small body allows full access to the upper register. A brass escutcheon pin on the rear of the neck serves as a reference point corresponding to the heel of an acoustic cello. Solid construction provides structural stability to resist changes in temperature and humidity.

NS Polar™ Pickup

The NS Cello features the NS Polar bridge-mounted piezo pickup system. The Polar pickups can sense either vertical or lateral string vibration. Set in the vertical mode, plucked notes are remarkably even and sustained. In the lateral mode, the pickup has unparalleled sensitivity in the direction of the bow, with more attack when plucked. Attack and decay can be effectively controlled with the Polar pickup system.

Ebony Fingerboard

The solid ebony fingerboard is graduated for each string for ideal playing action. Cascading dot markers provide an attractive and precise reference for fingering/intonation.

Active EMG Electronics

The dual mode preamp allows the player to choose between two very distinct tone qualities. The first mode delivers the full frequency response of modern low impedance electronics, for a rich, full-blown "electric" sound. The second is balanced to produce the frequency response of the traditional cello, for a more "acoustic" sound. A 3-way toggle switch allows the player to select the desired pickup and electronics options. Additional controls include volume and individual bass EQ & treble EQ controls.

In addition, the NS Cello features an internal headphone amp circuit with mini-jack output, allowing for silent practice or self-monitoring.


The use of standard cello strings and scale length establishes a familiar starting point for the cellists journey to the electric world. From there, anything goes. The energetic response of the NS Cello can be tamed to deliver a traditional cello tone, or set loose to explore new territory.

Interchangeable Support Systems

The NS Cello, as with all of Ned Steinberger's concert instrument designs, features a common mount that allows the use of a range of interchangeable support systems, to suit any playing style, in any performance environment.

  • Tripod Stand - Supplied as standard equipment, the CR Tripod Stand provides stable support, with full height and tilt adjustment. The stand folds down to fit in the gig bag.

  • End Pin Stand - An optional End Pin Stand offers the cellist a more traditional position, similar to that of an acoustic instrument. Using the additional NS End Pin Stand Conversion Kit, the End Pin Stand can be attached to the Tripod Stand to hold the instrument upright for on-stand performance or when not in use.

  • Cello End Pin Stand - Provides the traditional cello points of contact and position, and is the best choice for cellists who have an animated style of playing while seated, or who play the instrument at a more horizontal angle.

  • Frame Strap System - A light frame structure is supported by a single guitar style strap extending over the left shoulder,  holding the cello in the correct position for both pizzicato and arco styles, whilst allowing full mobility with amazing comfort.


The NS Cello is supplied with a sturdy, nylon gig bag with handle and shoulder strap featuring a padded inner case for the instrument and a zipper pouch for the tripod stand. It also has a bow compartment and storage pocket with room for accessories. Measuring only 99cm (39") long and 18cm (7") in diameter, and weighing 5kg (11lb) with the instrument and tripod stand, the bag will fit in the overhead luggage compartment of most commercial aircraft.

An optional aluminium edged flight case is also available, measuring 136cm x 28cm x 27cm (53.5" x 11" x 10.5"); weight 22.2kg (49lb), fully loaded with instrument & tripod stand.

Construction Solid, straight grain rock maple body, neck & peghead
Finish Flame maple face with traditional amber stain and polymer top coat
Fingerboard Ebony, with asymmetric profile and cascading dot reference pattern
Bridge Pickup NS Polar™ directional piezo pick-up system
Electronics 18 volt active circuit by EMG; Mono output
Controls Volume Control • Switch for Polar Pickup Balance (between pizzicato / arco modes) • Treble EQ • Bass EQ
Headphone Amp Internal headphone amp circuit with 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone mini-jack for silent practice/self monitoring
Truss Rod Neck relief is adjustable above the nut located with hex wrench
Tuning Machines 18:1 ratio, fully encased worm Schaller gear tuners; black finish
Length 94cm (37")
Width 14cm (5.5")
Thickness 9.5cm (3.75")
Weight 2.5kg (5.5lb)
Scale Length 69.5cm (27.36")
String Spacing At Nut CR4 : 2.4cm (0.94") • CR5 : 3.0 cm (1.18") • CR6 : 3.3 cm (1.3")
String Spacing At Bridge CR4 : 4.8cm (1.9") • CR5 : 6.1 cm (2.4") • CR6 : 7.1 cm (2.8")
Strings NS Design/D'Addario Cello Strings • Medium tension, stranded steel core (NS510)
Stand Braced steel, fully adjustable, standing tripod design; Weight 3.2kg (7lb)
Gig Bag Nylon Gig bag with handle and shoulder strap, padded inner instrument case + compartments for stand, bow & accessories • Dimensions :  99cm (39") long x 18 cm (7") diameter • Loaded weight approx. 5kg (11lb) inc. stand

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.

All NS Design instruments are 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.


CR Series

Sophisticated and versatile instruments, built to deliver outstanding performance.

NXTa Series

Featuring innovative, custom built, high performance, battery-free active electronics.

WAV Series

Affordable passive instruments featuring NS Design's Polar™ Pickup System.

Matthew Schoening Demonstrates the Expressive Power of the NS Cello


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