NS Design NS NXT4 Electric Cello Review

The electric cello is an instrument that can both complement the use of an acoustic cello or stand on its own. An electric cello of good quality usually costs north of $1000, so it is worth the time to do some research about the best models. The NS NXT4 from NS Design is an intermediate electric guitar worth examining.

Things To Consider Before Buying An Electric Cello

Electric cellos vary greatly in their electronics. Some of them have more advanced setups with preamps, tone controls, and effects, while others only have passive circuits and pickups. They also vary in size and shape, which affects how they feel and their portability.

The NS Design NXT4

The NXT4 is one of the midrange offerings from NS Design. The characteristic attributes of NS Design cellos are a thin, graceful body without bouts and high-quality electronics. The NXT4 has a body of maple and an ebony fingerboard without frets. It has NS Design's Polar Pickup, which can change modes to adapt to the direction of picking. That pickup is passive, so there is no need for batteries or a power source. It has a tripod with an option to replace that with an end point mount. Likewise, the instrument comes with a gig bag and there is an optional upgrade for an airplane-friendly hardshell case. The price point of the NXT4 is about $1500 depending on the location.

  • Passive Polar Pickup for versatile play
  • Attractive design
  • Good value
  • Limited tone controls
  • Lack of bouts is an obstacle for those used to acoustic cello
  • Knob placement is awkward for left-handed players

Features and Benefits

Pickup

NS Design NS NXT4 Electric Cello

The Polar Pickup deserves some attention. It is an unusual design that can switch between two modes: pizzicato, or plucking, and arco, or bow use. The switch is located on the side of the instrument next to the volume and tone knobs. You do not need to use the modes just for arco and pizzicato play-- experiment with them to see how they change the tone. The pickup provides a clean, accurate tone that sounds good on its own or with effects layered on top.

Controls

There are two different ways to control the sound: the volume knob and the tone knob. The volume knob affects the signal strength, and it will generally sound best turned up high. You can then control the volume using the volume control on the amp. The tone knob controls the treble end of the signal, providing a degree of customization for the sound before it hits the amp. The middle setting represents no change and turning the knob up boosts the treble, while turning it down cuts the treble.

Design

The NXT4 displays the characteristic NS Design look, with a thin, graceful profile that lacks the bouts or width of other cellos. It is a striking choice because it appears starkly different from an acoustic cello. The lack of any resonance chamber or sound hole is what makes this look possible, and it emphasizes the silent nature of the instrument.

Value

The NXT4 costs about $1500. That might seem high, but it is actually lower than most other intermediate electric cellos and significantly less than advanced models. The quality of the tone, the included gig bag and the other features all make this a good choice. The one challenge to overcome is the unusual shape for those coming from the acoustic cello environment, but it is not hard to adapt to the electric cello's profile with some practice.

Ratings

Design

5

Performance

4

Construction

4

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

Yamaha SVC-210SK Silent Cello

Yamaha SVC-210SK Silent Cello

Yamaha is the other big seller of electric cellos, along with NS Design. Yamaha tends to be more traditional in form with bouts and resonance chambers as the SVC-210SK shows. It has onboard reverb and a variety of ports, including aux in.

Comparison

Yamaha SVC-210SK

Price: $2770

Pickups: Active

Features: Reverb, aux in

NS Design NXT4

Price: $1500

Pickups: Passive

Features: Polarized pickup, treble control

NS Design CR5 Cello

NS Design CR5 Cello

NS Design's CR5 model is a step up from the NXT4. It costs $3100. For about twice the price, you get a significantly improved electronics set with the same polarized pickup and better tone control. The design and feel are exactly like the NXT4, so this makes a good upgrade if you like the NXT4. The improved pickups and electronics require a set of AA batteries to function.

Comparison

NS Design CR5

Price: $3100

Pickups: Active

Features: EMG polarized pickup, bass and treble control

NS Design NXT4

Price: $1500

Pickups: Passive

Features: Polarized pickup, treble control

Cecilio 4/4 CECO-4BK

Cecilio 4/4 CECO-4BK

The CECO-4BK from Cecilio is a budget option. It costs a fifth of what the NXT4 costs and comes with a gig bag, headphones, a bow, and an aux cable. It's ideal for people who just want to try out the electric cello, both those who have and who do not have previous acoustic cello experience. It does have its own set of bouts to make that transition easier.

Comparison

Cecilio 4/4 CECO

Price: $330

Pickups: Active

Features: Headphones, bow, gig bag

NS Design NXT4

Price: $1500

Pickups: Passive

Features: Polarized pickup, treble control

Final Thoughts

The market for electric cellos is competitive. From the least expensive options that come with all the accessories you need to play it out of the box to the models that cost thousands of dollars, there is something for everyone. If possible, try to find a store where you can try one out yourself before buying anything. Each of the models in this article has its own pros and cos, so think about what features mean the most to you and how much you are willing to pay.

Stephanie Su
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: