NS Design Unveils NS Bass Guitar at NAMM 2012

NS Design Headless Bass Guitar - Fretless closeupNed Steinberger and company introduced the latest addition to the NS Design bass line with a new headless bass guitar design. The NS Bass Guitar features a new “patented self-clamping tuning system” that allows for using regular single-ball type strings. As you tighten the tuner, it clamps onto the string; loosening the tuner detunes the string and eventually releases it.

Built by luthier Jonathan Kelsey, the body is available with different woods and features chambers cut out to control the weight and balance. The neck, though maple to the touch, is carbon fiber for sustain and elimination of dead spots.

Pickups on the bass include a pair of specially arched EMGs and a piezo in the bridge. The EMGs can be selected via a switch, and a blend knob allows for blending the EMGs and the piezo for tonal variety.

The basses shown at NAMM were prototypes of the custom shop models made by Kelsey, which will be available in about three months. Steinberger said production models of the NS Bass Guitar should be showing up in late Fall.

Check out our exclusive video interview with Ned Steinberger and Jonathan Kelsey walking us through the features of the new bass at the 2012 Winter NAMM show:

NS Design Headless Bass Guitar Photo Gallery

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Share your thoughts

  1. He never played the bass. Bad demo.

  2. I agree with Scott. Play some notes on the bass so we can hear the tone. I’d like a 6 string that sounded like a Steinberger.

  3. arched pickup.. “the only bass to have them at this point” unless he is speaking specifically about those emg pickups.. the Carvin Bromberg Series bass has radius-ed pickups. Great looking bass though… cant wait to see what the production version looks like.

  4. Still have my 80’s XL2. Wish I was there to see this. Awesome.

  5. It’s interesting how NS perfected the Phil Kubicki headless design (ball end of string at headstock on Factor 4) this time around, ditching the classic Steinberger system. I’m curious about the slotted aluminum bridge piece. I can’t imagine there would be separate piezo crystals mounted in there. It might be similar to EMG’s acoustic guitar pickup design with a single strip of piezo film and one pickup lead. Heartfield (Fender) used to have radiused pickups back in the mid ’80’s so EMG is doing nothing too revolutionary there.

  6. It would have been nice to hear it, and to get an idea of the approximate retail price.

  7. Of course he didn’t play the bass… Ned Steinberger, surprisingly enough, is not a musician. He’s just a great instrument designer. As far as I know and understand, he doesn’t know how to play any instrument. He got into instrument design by accident by becoming associated with Stuart Spector back in the 1970’s. Before that, he was a furniture designer.

  8. This is what I have been looking for!

  9. Is the dude interviewing this guy Mickey Mouse or High Pitch Eric from the Stern Show?

  10. I have tried the fretless version of this at Musikmesse-Frankfurt last Saturday. Amazing, very versatile and a beautiful masterpiece.