Re: New NS/Stick, "Lord Vader"
Thanks, guys! I've taken a bunch of pictures and a bunch of video, and then had some noodling time. I have several quick impressions.
Action = light
1. Action is so tiny and smooth and next to nothing. Better than my Railboard or Rosewood. Just the very lightest touch makes an instant sound. Maybe my Rosewood and Railboard need some setup truss rod corrections. But this was surprisingly easy to play. I had to really dial back a LOT of the strength I usually put into my Sticking and that was very surprising to me.
2. I like having the dampener at the top. It took me a second (actually 20 minutes or so) of fumbling with it to realize that it pushed down and back and then locks out of the way. I've used it open to tune the open strings with (and then checked at the octaves as well). That's handy to have the open strings. But I haven't really used that yet to play like a "real" bass guitar.
3. Tuners at the bottom are like my micro tuners of my locking-tremolo 6-string guitar. I lock the top with the hex wrenches and then never touch them again. You tune with the micro tuners at the bottom. These are not micro tuners but I have to say I vastly prefer them to head tuners. Also, I also have to check which tuner knob corresponds to which string, which I never have to do with the NS/Stick tuners, because they are attached to the bottom of each string and are difficult to confuse them.
4. Heavy gauge strings. I thought I would not like heavy gauge strings. I have always had medium on my other Sticks. But I love the feel of the heavier strings under my fingers.
5. Strap. I pretty much only play my Sticks sitting down with the good ole DBro Holder. I don't like standing up and playing. But with the strap, which looks and feels really high quality, I can stand and play with ease. I've been standing and playing and walking around the house and watching TV, all while comfortably noodling. Me likey.
6. Bass 4ths tuning. I can't rave enough about how awesome the bass 4ths tuning is. I had to break it down into sections and chunks just to deal with the awesomeness of it. I've always hated "guitar tuning," with that third tuning of one of the strings. I find myself using my pinky much, much more (and that's a good thing) than I ever do on my Sticks. I rock the 3-fingers on my fifths tuning, but the 4ths tuning has my pinkeys in the mix easily.
6.5 "Half crossed." One giant fretboard. Every octave and also my hands are just two strings and two frets away from each other. Go up 2 strings and 2 frets and another octave. Just beautiful. And it puts my two hands away from each other and out of each other's ways. And no left hand going one way while the right hand goes another.
6.75 No redundant strings. There's only 8 strings instead of 10 or 12 but every string is doing its work handling a range of notes from long B up to the top (I don't even know what the top note is yet). And no repeated strings from the melody side and the bass side. There are no sides--only a range of notes across the fret board. Like a piano! Sure, there are redundant notes--you can play a C here or up and over a string. But smooth regularity from top to bottom! (Your mileage and tunings could vary of course! I'm just digging bass 4ths!)
7.0 Can pick or strum or slap or tap. All that. I'm just tapping at the moment, but I had to try the strumming and the slapping. Man, very doable but you have to have just the lightest touch! I haven't played with a pick at all yet, though.
What are you running it through amp-wise? I find the NS is pretty forgiving, as long as it's not a cheap bass amp that starts losing it's frequency range past 3kHz.
And tomorrow, I play to plug it in! I have played it 3 hours so far today and have not plugged it in once. Soon enough!
So, my impressions so far are of a dream come true, which I would have said about my 10-string Rosewood and my Railboard without knowing that I could dream even higher! Or harder, or whatever one does to take one's dream up a notch.
It will take me a couple of days, but soon unboxing video, and then I plug it in and figure out what all the knobs and switches do! And then performance videos. And then maybe some lessons!