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Packed with innovations that improve playability, expand versatility and make it the bass to beat.
Meticulously crafted in the Czech Republic, the CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar embodies a breadth of experience, insight, and design brilliance that only Ned Steinberger can bring to the creation of a new classic. His approach to the RADIUS, as with every new instrument, was to re-explore each facet of a bass guitar, leading to innovations such as the Fusion neck, the Diradial body design, the NS tuning system, and the NS/EMG pickup system. However, what makes this instrument most remarkable is its seamless integration of feature, form and function. The sensuous lines of the RADIUS are balanced and refreshing, which is exactly how it feels to hold and to play it. Most of all, the RADIUS is, by design, the most sonically dynamic, versatile and exciting bass available today.
NS Fusion Neck
The RADIUS features a bolt-on one-piece maple neck with an embedded continuous carbon fiber core and adjustable truss rod. This combination has the natural feel of wood, but the core provides enhanced sustain and definition to each note. The fingerboard is ebony, with a 35" scale and familiar 15" radius. Heavy conventional tuning machines are replaced by an aluminum headplate with ball-end string mounting slots, custom produced for NS Design by Hipshot. (The tuning system is integrated into the body.)
NS Diradial Body
The RADIUS' maple body, with flamed maple top, has a convex back radius, which provides enhanced contact and stability against the torso. The front of the instrument is more tightly radiused, which, in combination with the general wedge shape of the body, shifts it into more comfortable orientation with the right hand. The distinctive horn provides a natural grip, and the configuration of the body cutaway provides easy access to the highest frets.
The instrument as a whole is perfectly balanced, no downward dip of the neck, giving the left hand unprecedented freedom. Combined, the shape, balance and light weight of the RADIUS, just 8.3lb., make this instrument exceptionally comfortable to play.
NS Patented Tuning System (US Patent 6,528,710): Based on a design originally created for the NS violin, the RADIUS has a self-clamping, precision tuning machine, built into the body.
This fast, simple system accepts any standard single-ball end, full-scale bass guitar string. No tools are needed: simply rotate the knurled knob to change a string or tune the instrument.
NS/EMG Integral Pickup System
NS Design and EMG have collaborated to create this integrated piezo and magnetic pickup system. It features an 18V onboard preamp, which provides extraordinary dynamic headroom. The active electronics are combined with the NS bridge-mounted Polar pickup system, the marriage of which puts an exceptionally broad, musically rich spectrum of tone at the player's fingertips.
The controls on the RADIUS bass give the player full ability to shape and mix the magnetic and piezo output: Master Volume, active Treble cut/boost, active Bass cut/boost, rotary magnetic/piezo pickup blend, 3-position magnetic pickup selector switch, and 3-position piezo EQ switch.
Bridge & Saddle
Custom crafted for NS Design by Hipshot, the aluminum one-piece bridge and saddle assembly provide full height and angle adjustment, allowing the player to precisely tailor the action and tweak the intonation.
What more could you want in a bass? Order today.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about NS Design CR5 RADIUS Bass Guitar:
It's true this is pricey, but at a certain point in life you have to treat yourself to something special, right?
I've always liked the idea of a headless bass. I own one of the Ibanez headless basses and really appreciate its reduced weight and size onstage. I play in both a rock cover band and a jazz big band. I've been using the Ibanez for rock and a Warwick fretless acoustic for jazz. I wanted a 5-string that could do it all. If it looks super cool, that would be a plus.
I was intrigued by the NAMM videos demonstrating the Radius bass, in particular its piezo pickup. I ordered the black one with frets.
The bass came perfectly setup. The first thing I noticed is how comfortable it is to wear. The radiused back and relative light weight make for a bass I could wear for 4 sets. The second thing was how there are no dead spots on the neck, where notes aren't as loud as elsewhere. Next, the low B string is not muddy and has a defined tone that makes it completely usable.
Three days after getting the Radius I had a jazz big band gig. I normally sit on a stool, but the Radius made me want to stand and swing on my feet. My wife said she's never seen me have that much fun. Despite its untraditional appearance, the guys in the band gave me hi-5s for its sound. The piezo has a switch to filter our some of the treble and I got a satisfactory upright tone that I think could be even better with more acoustic-type strings.
In the rock band, this bass kills. It's got so much tonal control that I can go from a reggae sound to a great slap tone and anything in between. The drummer noticed too that I was having a blast.
A great bass helps define your sound and you can't put a price on happiness. I'd say the cost is the main obstacle here. I'm going to have to sell 4 other basses to pay off the credit card I used to pay for the Radius and it's worth it. Why have a collection of beaters when you can have one Rolls?