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NS Design CR5 Radius Bass Guitar - Charcoal Satin, Fretted Reviews

3.5 stars based on 3 customer reviews
Questions about the NS Design CR5 Radius Bass Guitar - Charcoal Satin, Fretted?

Questions about the NS Design CR5 Radius Bass Guitar - Charcoal Satin, Fretted?

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  • Blaine P.
    from New England November 11, 2015Music Background:
    Currently bassist at Manchuka

    Donna 2 Review

    NS Design Radius Fretted Bass Review:

    I was in Florida a couple years ago and just happened to visit Bass Central. They just happened to have the new NS Design CR5 Fretless bass there. I just happened to play and buy one. Although the Fretless is a brilliant instrument, it just won't do for all applications. Might have something to do with my intonation too...enter the NS Design fretted CR5 that I've had a little over a month now. First, Bret at Sweetwater.com got me a great deal, then got me the bass in a couple of days. I can't say enough about the amazing customer service at Sweetwater.

    On to the bass:

    Right out of the box, the CR-5 was perfectly set up and the intonation was right on. All surfaces were beautifully finished. The fret job was perfect and all joints were tight. The combination of the piezo pick up in the bridge and the 2 EMG magnetic pickups is brilliant - for rock and funk, use the EMGs and for jazzier stuff roll on the piezo pickup and you get a passible upright thump. Since the CR5 arrived I've played her with a funk/horn band, a smaller quiet jazz dance quartet and two rock bands, both for rehearsals and gigs. A couple things were consistent for each playing situation: all my band mates complimented me on the cool looks and the wonderful tone (played through a Mark Bass Jeff Berlin and a LMII with a MB410) and my CR5 was comfortable to play (balance, set up and weight) all night long. Also, playing in a 10 piece horn band, the headless configuration has kept me from whacking the tenor sax player (who is also the band leader) in the pecan. But I digress - i've only had this bass for a short period of time, but I couldn't be more pleased with the innovative job that Mr. Steinberger and his staff have done with this wonderful instrument. I have given my Modulus Q5 a break and it just might be a long one....

  • Ben
    from atlanta June 2, 2014Music Background:
    25 years pro experience at many levels.

    Amazing piece of engineering

    So far I am loving my CR5 Radius. I've been playing more traditional style basses (pbasses, stingrays) for the last 20 or so years. This is my first boutique style bass and this is also my first modern-voiced bass.
    First off the fit and finish are superb. The ebony fingerboard is very dark and uniform. The fretwork is excellent. The bass also came expertly set up with medium-low action and no buzz. And despite the single tailpiece/saddle, the intonation across all 5 strings is nearly perfect. I am really liking the satin charcoal finish, although it's not what I would call durable as far as repelling scratches- but then, this isn't really a bass that I would bash around.
    The ergonomics are really incredible. Every part of this bass seems to have been crafted with user-interface in mind. The radiused body, and pickups make it really easy to reach all the strings. The bass absorbs the 35" scale very well. I never feel like I'm having to reach for frets. The headless design and placement of the upper horn make neck dive 100% non-existent.
    This bass has a wide range of usable sounds. The eq is very musical, and a little goes a long way. If you boost or cut the bass or treble- you will hear a very noticeable difference in tone. Also the 18 volt preamp is LOUD. This bass easily has twice the perceived volume output of my stingray or my very hot p-bass. That being said, the sound is very tight and never sounds boomy to my ears. The piezo pickup is surprisingly useful and the toggle switch keeps it from getting zingy. I love the sound of it, but so far, in a band setting, i've ended up using the magnetic pickups.
    The B string on this bass sounds incredible. even with the stock d'addarios, it's deep and loud and full. not a bit muddy or floppy. I've been using the low D and C so much, I find that i have to remind myself to return to the A string every once in a while- lol.
    I haven't had to change strings yet, but the process seems very easy. The bass stays in tune very well. I do wish there was some kind of cover over the back where the strings extend through the body. Maybe one held on with a magnet, so that changing a string could be done without a screwdriver (you'd still need a set of dikes to trim the string end though). This is an extremely minor gripe and should in no way keep this bass out of consideration.
    All in all I love this bass. The gig bag is well made and protects the bass well (an extra pocket or two might have been nice though). The headless design has not given me a moment's problem- especially because there is a nice bump out at the end of the neck to give the feel of a headstock. In fact the only thing I had to change about my routine is that at home, I have guitar hangers on the wall instead of guitar stands and this obviously won't hang in the traditional way.
    Buy with confidence, you won't be disappointed. Way to go Sweetwater!

  • Customer
    from April 3, 2016

    Not worth it. Save your money!!!

    This didn't have what I needed for cutting through high end. I played two gigs with it and anything above an A off the 12th was not heard. The 18v system kept clipping the amp and board no matter what level I played at. It's definitely not worth the money. My Music Man knock off for 750 bucks blew it away. I had to use it at both gigs when the NS didn't cut it

Questions about the NS Design CR5 Radius Bass Guitar - Charcoal Satin, Fretted?

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