NS Design NXT5a Omni Bass

UK Price £1,980.00 - Inc. 20% VAT
(1 Review)
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crossover IN STYLE

The Omni Bass, with a familiar 34" bass guitar scale, is designed for the bass guitarist interested in adding the character and expressiveness of an acoustic double bass to their performance palette. Combining the tonal purity of an upright with the awesome power of a full-blown electric, the NXTa Omni Bass is the perfect cross-over instrument for players with a more conservative budget.

Available in 4 & 5 string configurations, with a choice of Amber Sunburst or Black Satin finishes, the NXTa Omni Bass is produced in the Czech Republic with the same meticulous care as NS Design's renowned CR Series and features the same, self-powered NS Polar™ Pickup System, which captures the essence of plucked or bowed playing with stunning richness, control and clarity.

The Omni Bass responds to the bow with a natural and expressive voice, combining powerful bass resonance with brilliant harmonics. Its strings are easily driven, making it possible for bassists with little bowing experience to add this beautiful dimension to their music. The battery-free, dual mode electronics ensure that the NXTa Omni Bass delivers a robust output and full-spectrum tone for the ultimate sound with any system, in any musical style.

34" Scale

The 34" scale length of the Omni Bass is the same as a standard electric bass. Tuned in fourths (E-A-D-G for the 4 string Omni Bass and B-E-A-D-G or E-A-D-G-C for the 5 string model), the fingering positions and spacing are identical to the bass guitar, and therefore immediately familiar to any bass player.

Solid Maple Construction

The solid maple body and neck, together with the graduated ebony fingerboard, deliver a rich, full tone that rings true for every note. The adjustable bridge and truss rod allow for low, fast action, or for higher string settings that encourage the traditional acoustic player to 'dig in' with gusto.

TransRadius™ Fingerboard

All fretless Omni Bass models feature the NS TransRadius™ fingerboard which employs a unique compound curve to provide the comfort and ease of a nearly-flat profile as the fingerboard approaches the nut, while transitioning to a curvature optimized for either plucked or bowed performance at the bridge.

For a left-hand feel which is familiar to an experienced bass guitarist the radius at the nut is 9.25", whilst at the end of the fingerboard near the bridge the radius is just 2" — large enough to maintain good string-to-string articulation with the bow, yet still comfortable for pizzicato (plucked/picked) styles. The transition from nut to bridge features a carefully calibrated asymmetric convex curvature, providing optimal fingerboard relief at each position and facilitates an even 'growl' from the higher strings and a clear, powerful lower register.

The result is a remarkably comfortable, even feel for every style of performance. Bass guitarists will find the Omni Bass even more inviting than ever as a "cross-over" instrument, whilst traditional upright players will find the TransRadius design familiar since many upright basses are designed with some degree of compound fingerboard curvature.

For even greater control, players can adjust the two-way truss rod to tailor the neck relief to their particular needs.

Cascading Position Markers

Dots for each semi-tone cascade across the fingerboard, a unique configuration that provides a clear visual fingering reference. The logical dot pattern is of critical value to the novice player, and an invaluable reference guide for the seasoned pro.

Polar™ Pickup System

The Polar™ Bridge Pickup System combines great sound with directional sensitivity for a rich and expressive response to both Arco and Pizzicato techniques allowing the player to optimize bowed response and to control attack and decay characteristics for plucking. The Omni Bass responds to the bow with a natural and expressive voice, combining powerful bass resonance with brilliant harmonics. The strings are easily driven, making it possible for bassists with little bowing experience to add this beautiful dimension to their music. In either mode, the deep bass and brilliant highs possible with piezo crystal technology give the instrument a beautiful, dynamic, and versatile sound. 

Dual Mode Preamp

All NXTa series instruments feature battery-free, high performance active electronics with new capacitor-powered custom circuitry designed  by Mi-Si™ Electronics Design, taking convenience, versatility and performance capability to an even higher level.

Active Mode
Using the supplied charger, the NXTa connects into any AC outlet for 60 seconds, powering the capacitor powered active circuit for up to 16 hours of performance time. The instrument can then be plugged straight into any low or high impedance device, no direct box necessary.

Since there is no signal loss over the full frequency spectrum of the instrument, the fundamentals of every note remain clear and strong, even with extra-long cables.

Passive Mode
The NXTa can be played in this mode when using a direct box or an amplifier with high impedance input. This mode provides performance capabilities identical to the original NXT.

Eco-Friendly Operation
NXTa instruments are battery-free, eliminating the hassle and cost of batteries while helping protect our environment.

Interchangeable Support Systems

NS Boomerang Strap System

Standard issue with the Omni Bass, the Boomerang Strap System fits comfortably over the shoulder just like a guitar strap, with two adjustable articulated arms and a pivoting hub allowing the instrument to be placed in virtually any position, accommodating all playing styles.

An alternative Frame Strap System offers full mobility and amazing comfort, with a lightweight structure supported by a single shoulder strap that holds the bass out from the body in the correct positions for upright pizzicato and arco styles.

The optional, self-standing CR Tripod Stand provides stable fixed support for the instrument. Virtually any angle can be set whether you prefer standing or sitting. Alternatively, an End Pin Stand provides a more traditional upright bass feel and is easily adjustable so that the instrument remains evenly balanced without support. With the addition of the End Pin Conversion Kit  the Omni Bass plus End Pin assembly can be "parked" on the Tripod Stand, holding the instrument upright for on-stand performance or secured when not in use.

NS Omni Bass Strings by D'Addario™

The Omni Bass is equipped with a dedicated string set developed in collaboration with industry leaders D'Addario.

Featuring a stranded steel core with stainless steel and tungsten windings, these precision polished, low-tension, flatwound strings are effortless to play and uniquely responsive, producing singing highs and a deep low register with greatly minimized finger noise.

The bright pizzicato growl provides an authentic traditional acoustic tone, yet these strings deliver plenty of sustain and drive when you need it. They also respond much quicker to the bow than traditional bass strings, so an expressive bowing technique is easier to develop and maintain. 

The Omni Bass is also designed to accommodate any standard long scale bass guitar strings, adding unlimited set up options for musicians who want to explore and create their own unique sound.


A padded gig bag is included as standard, featuring a stand compartment, bow compartment, accessory pocket, handle and adjustable strap. Loaded weight is 6kg (15.2lb) including stand, and it will fit in the overhead luggage bin of most commercial aircraft.

An optional custom flight case is also available to order, constructed from aluminum edged plywood and measuring 145cm x 25cm x 25cm (57" x 10" x 10") with loaded weight of approximately 18kg (40lb) including stand.

Construction Solid, straight grain maple body and neck
Finish Black Satin with maple face or Sunburst with flame maple face
Fingerboard Richlite™ hand graduated TransRadius™ fingerboard, intonation referenced with cascading dot markers & side dots
Bridge Pickup NS Polar™ directional piezo pick-up system
ELECTRONICS Battery free, with dual mode active/passive output
CONTROLS 2-way toggle switch for Polar Pickup System (selects pizzicato/arco modes) / Rotary volume control with push-pull selection between 'Active' and 'Self-Powered' output modes / Rotary tone control (treble roll off)
Truss Rod Single Action, accessible at nut for precise fingerboard relief adjustment
Tuning Machines 12:1 ratio, fully encased worm gear tuners, black finish
Length 111.8cm (44")
Width 15cm (5.7")
Thickness 10cm (4")
Weight 3.2kg (7lb)
Scale Length 34" (86.4cm)
Strings NS Design/D'Addario NS710 flatwound, medium tension, stranded steel core strings
Strap INCLUDED NS Boomerang™ Strap System
Gig Bag INCLUDED Padded NXT gig bag with handle, back-pack style strap and external compartments for bows, stands and accessories
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN New Bohemia Electric Corp., Czech Republic
NS Polar™ Pickup

All NS Design electric concert instruments are equipped with the dual-mode Polar™ Pickup System, a remarkable innovation that allows players 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 a rich full sound, powerful dynamics, enhanced bow sensitivity, sustained pizzicato and 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 differ 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 suppressing the up and down vibration. You can see this effect with the naked eye by watching the broad 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 which, in combination with an asymmetric support structure of bass bar and sound post, efficiently translates 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 specifically tailored to mirror the polarity of the bowed string. The result is a remarkably dynamic, rich tone that responds effortlessly to the bow.

The system also takes this concept one step further, being able to switch from lateral to vertical sensitivity, which is ideal for pizzicato. Unlike the violin, a flat top guitar or lute responds in the vertical direction, minimising the plucked attack and storing energy for longer sustain. 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 limitless new expressive potential to the violin family.

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

Customer Reviews
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1 Review:

The perfect bass guitarist's upright
04 October 2014  | 

I play lots of styles in lots of bands and have used guitars, upright basses and even U-Basses but, lately, have found myself in a difficult position. Having moved on to a five-string bass guitar for general use, I've found it increasingly difficult to transfer songs onto the 4-stringed upright or U-Bass for 'acoustic' gigs.

Enter the NXT5!

At last, a 5 string bass instrument with the scale-length, action and speed of a guitar but with the looks and style needed for 'acoustic' gigs!

At such a relatively low price I wasn't expecting the build quality or sound NS have delivered! The sound is beautifully balanced - even down to the low B string - and the simple controls actually give a full range of really useful tones. The tight radius at the bridge end means that you can use a bow although I haven't tried that yet.

If you need a portable alternative to an upright acoustic bass, need bowed sounds or just want to look super-cool, give the NS basses a try-out!