NS Design - CR4M Bass 4-String Electric Upright Bass w/ EMG Pickups Sunburst New

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NS Design

CR4M Bass

4 String Electric Upright Double Bass Sunburst EMG Magnetic Pickup Model

The video in this listing features the standard CR4 Model which is similar to the CR4M being sold in this listing.


These beautifully designed basses are crafted in the Czech Republic, a country with a long-standing reputation for quality upright bass building. It features a full-scale fingerboard with adjustable relief to suit varying players' preferences; the bridge height is also adjustable. The select ebony and amber-stained maple combine to make a very attractive instrument - it's obvious that a great deal of care goes into its creation.

Out of the box, the bass begs to be played, with comfortable action and great playability. Acoustically, the instrument vibrates well, and projects a surprising amount of sound for a solid-body. In fact, I found myself playing it for quite some time before I even plugged it in - it's that much fun to play!

Once I did plug it in, I had a lot of fun tweaking the amplified sound; the piezo pickup sounds very good (more on that later) and the EMG magnetic pickups give you the option for a more "electric" sound. And of course, the two pickup systems can be blended together to suit your particular taste. Please note that these basses are also available without the EMG magnetic pickups, I can get these as well. Personally, I think the magnetic pickups are a wonderful addition even if only blended in to support the piezo system.

The tone-shaping options on this bass are pretty impressive. Aside from a traditional two-band (bass and treble) EQ and the balance control to blend the magnetic and the piezo pickups, there is a special "PolarTM" control for the pickup. This control actually selectively changes the piezo pickup's response to either vertical vibration (for the sustained plucked sound, like an electric bass guitar), or lateral vibration (for dynamic bowing, and a percussive plucked sound) - and is sweepable between these two settings to allow you to dial in your sound. I actually got a fairly convincing upright pizz sound by fiddling with an in-between setting on that control and by rolling back the treble a bit. 

Three interchangeable support systems are available for the bass: the self supporting tripod stand, more conventional end pin stand, and shoulder strap assembly for full mobility. It also comes with a very nice gig bag with a separate compartment for the stand, as well as a bow pocket and accessory pocket.


  • MAPLE BODY AND NECK: The body and neck of the CR Series Double Bass are crafted of solid European hard maple, with a flame maple face. The neck has a traditional upright shape, but with extended access to the upper register of the fingerboard. The solid-body body design enhances sustain and clarity, and is resistant to the effect of changes in temperature and humidity.
  • EBONY FINGERBOARD: The seasoned ebony fingerboard is hand graduated to insure that each note is even and buzz free. An adjustable truss rod allows for precise relief adjustment for different strings and playing style. Small dots across the neck provide accurate position markers.
  • POLAR BRIDGE PICKUP SYSTEM: The Polar pickups can sense either lateral or vertical string vibration - or both! Set in the lateral mode, the pickup has unparalleled sensitivity in the direction of the bow. In the vertical mode, plucked notes are remarkably even and sustained.
  • EMG MAGNETIC PICKUPS: The low-impedance EMG pickups incorporate individually-adjustable coils and neodymium magnets. Each coil is buffered separately for a full sound quality with very low noise.
  • ACTIVE EQ AND MIXER: Controls include volume, a blend control for magnetic and piezo pickups, a toggle switch to select the mode of the Polar pickup, and individual bass EQ & treble EQ controls. The 18 volt power supply insures plenty of reserve overhead for full dynamics.
  • ADJUSTABLE BRIDGE: Two screws in the back of the body are used to adjust the bridge up and down. This allows the instrument to be set up to meet the requirements of many different playing styles.
    1. Tripod Stand - Supplied as standard equipment, the Tripod Stand provides stable support, with full height and tilt adjustment. The stand folds down to fit in the gig bag.
    2. End Pin Stand - An optional End Pin Stand offers the upright bassist a more traditional position, similar to that of an acoustic instrument.
    3. Shoulder Strap System - A light frame structure is supported by a single guitar style strap extending over the left shoulder. This holds the bass in the correct position for both pizz. and arco styles. With the Strap System to you can achieve full mobility with amazing comfort.
  • PORTABILITY: The padded tubular gig bag is only 137 cm (54") long and 18 cm (7") in diameter, and weighs 8.2 kg (18 lbs) with the instrument and stand. A storage area inside the gig bag has room for accessories. The loaded gig bag will fit in the overhead compartment of most commercial aircraft. An optional flight case measures 145 x 25 x 25 cm (57" x 10" x 10").

  • LENGTH: 132 cm (52")
  • WEIGHT: 4.8 kg (10.5 lbs.)
  • SCALE LENGTH: 106 cm (41.73")
  • STRINGS 4 or 5 (Low B or high C)
  • CONSTRUCTION: Solid rock maple neck and body, flame maple face
  • FINISH: Traditional amber stain with clear semi-gloss polymer coating.
  • FINGERBOARD: Macassar Ebony;
    • 4 string: 43.1mm (1.7") wide at nut; 89.0mm (3.5") max. width
    • 5 string: 47.6mm (1.875") wide at nut; 101.6mm (4.0") max. width
  • BRIDGE: Black phenolic; radius 7.9cm (3.1") string spacing 81mm (3.19").
  • NUT: Macassar Ebony; radius 7.9cm (3.1"); string spacing 30mm (1.19").
  • BRIDGE: The Polar™ directional piezo pick-up system responds selectively to either vertical vibration (for the sustained plucked sound, like an electric bass guitar), or lateral vibration (for dynamic bowing, and a percussive plucked sound).
  • MAGNETIC (for CR4M and CR5M only): Low impedance EMG™ magnetic pick-up system, with individually adjustable coils, and low-noise, hum-canceling pre-amp.
  • ELECTRONICS: 18 volt active circuit by HAZ Laboratories. Mono output.
  • TRUSS ROD: Double rod design. Accessible at nut.
  • TUNING MACHINES: Schaller 20:1 ratio, fully encased worm gear tuners; black finish.
  • STRINGS: Compatible with most standard upright bass strings. D'Addario stainless steel flatwound strings standard.
  • TRIPOD STAND (standard): Chrome-plated steel, fully adjustable, standing tripod design. Weight 3.2 kg (7 lbs.)
  • GIG BAG: (standard) Padded tube with handle and shoulder strap, 137 cm (54") long; 18 cm (7") in diameter. Loaded weight is 8.2 kg (18 Ibs.), including stand. Fits in the overhead luggage compartment of most commercial aircraft.

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