The NS Design CR-4 Electric 4-String Viola, designed by Ned Steinberger, has a remarkable tonal range due to its innovative Polar pickup system, which is able to selectively capture the string vibration favored for both bow and pizzicato technique with stunning brilliance and sensitivity. The violist who prefers the elegant tone of a fine acoustic will not be disappointed, and for those who wish to explore new sonic territory, the sky is the limit.
The solid-body NS Viola incorporates the familiar performance features of an acoustic instrument, including a removable body segment to provide the left-hand reference position of a traditional instrument. Traditional string spacing and scale length facilitate the transition from the acoustic instrument to the world of electronic music. Direct amplification and recording capabilities allow the violist to experience something totally new, yet savor something very special... the timeless magic of the viola.
Solid Maple Body and Neck: The NS Viola is crafted of solid maple, with an elegant flame maple face. This lightweight solid-body design transfers the full spectrum of sound to the pickup without feedback, and is very stable even with changes in temperature and humidity. The ergonomic shoulder and chin rest provide comfortable, stable support, and a removable treble side bout is included for left hand position reference. The solid ebony fingerboard is hand graduated for consistent string articulation.
Polar Pickups: The NS Viola features the Polar bridge-mounted piezo pickup system. The Polar pickups can sense either vertical or lateral string vibration. Set in the vertical mode, plucked notes are remarkably even and sustained. In the lateral mode, the pickup has unparalleled sensitivity in the direction of the bow, with more attack when plucked. Attack and decay can be effectively controlled with the Polar™ pickup system.
Active Electronics: The dual mode preamp allows the player to choose between two very distinct tone qualities. The first mode delivers the full frequency response of modern low impedance electronics, for a rich, full-blown “electric” sound. The second is balanced to produce the frequency response of the traditional viola, for a more “acoustic” sound. A three-way toggle switch allows the player to select the desired pickup and electronics options. Additional controls include volume and individual bass EQ & treble EQ controls.
Precision Tuning Hardware: Remarkably precise and stable tuning is accomplished entirely behind the bridge, in the manner similar to the fine tuners of an acoustic instrument. Standard viola strings are clamped securely as the string is tuned. No headstock scroll or tuners are required, so the balance point of the instrument is back toward the shoulder for optimum playing comfort.
Case: This awesome violin comes complete with a well-made fabric covered hard foam core case made specifically to fit the CR-4. The padded, form fitting interior cradles and protects the viola. It holds 2 bows, shoulder rest, output cable, and extra gear, with lock and key.
- Instrument Type: 4-String Electric Viola
- Length: 518 mm (20.4")
- Width: 116.8 mm (4.6")
- Thickness: 51 mm (2")
- Weight: 775 grams
- Scale Length: 366 mm (14.4")
- String Spacing: Bridge 18 mm (0.7") Nut 38 mm (1.5")
Construction: Straight grain quarter-sawn solid European maple body and neck, with a flame maple face.
Finish: Traditional amber (light maple) stain with polymer top coat.
Body Reference Bout: Black-dyed maple bout on treble side provides standard violin reference. Easily removable for unrestricted neck access.
Fingerboard: Hand-graduated ebony.
Bridge: Black-dyed maple, height adjustable via screws on back of body.
Strings: NS Electric strings by D'Addario strings are provided. Compatible with standard viola strings.
Precision Tuning Hardware: 40:1 fine tuners are mounted on the body behind the bridge for precise, stable tuning. Automatic string clamping allows for quick, easy string changes.
Pickup: The Polar directional piezo pickup system responds selectively to either lateral string vibration (for dynamic bowing) or vertical string vibration (for remarkably even and sustained plucked/pizzicato sound, like a mandolin).
Active Electronics: Dual mode preamp allows the player to choose between two distinct tone qualities: (1) the extended frequency response of modern low impedance electronics, for full-blown "electric" sound, and (2) active electronic shaping to replicate the frequency response of the traditional violin, for a more "acoustic" sound. A three-way toggle switch allows the player to select the desired pickup and electronics options.
Controls: Volume - Treble EQ - Bass EQ
3-way Switch for Polar pickup: Forward-vertical string vibration (for sustained pizzicato) - Center-lateral string vibration, full frequency for arco - Back-lateral string vibration, "acoustic" timbre for arco.
Chin and Shoulder Rests: Ergonomically designed to support the instrument securely without the left hand. The padded shoulder rest is fully adjustable for height and angle. Knobs are located within easy reach of the right hand so adjustments can be made with the instrument in playing position.
Case: Fabric covered hard foam core, 81cm (32") long, 21cm (8.5") wide, 14 cm (5.5") high, 2.7 kg (6 lb) loaded weight. Padded, form fitting interior. Holds 2 bows, shoulder rest, output cable, and extra gear, with lock and key.