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PRODUCED: 1990 - 1998
TYPE: Twin cutaway solid body, active 4-string
BODY: Quilted Soft maple
NECK: 3-piece laminated Maple, neck through body, 24 medium frets
SCALE LENGTH: 864mm (34-inch)
FINGERBOARD: Pau Ferro, nipped oval-shaped mother of pearl inlays
HARDWARE: Gold plated brass bridge and M4-type tuners, brass nut
PICKUPS: Pair of active EMG Soapbars
CONTROLS: Volume, Pan & Dual Concentric active EQ of Bass and Treble
FEATURES: 18-volt on board electronic circuit, Graphite reinforced single truss rod, black-faced headstock,
FINISHES: Translucents including Red Wine (as here), orange, burgundy and natural
COMMENTS: For the uninitiated, the NS stands for Ned Steinberger who came up with the ergonomically designed concave body that was a total revelation to players when it was first introduced, as it simply melded into the player’s own body.
The first NS-Bass appeared in 1977 and was acknowledged not only for its design but also the dynamic sound. These handmade instruments soon became part of the Kramer Guitar Company in 1985, until that company’s demise in 1990. At that point Stuart started Stuart Spector Designs, and it’s from this SSD period (1995 in fact) that our example comes from.
Finally in 1998 Stuart regained the Spector name and trades as such, with the NS-4 still very much in demand. This particular colour combination of red body and gold hardware is a true delight to the eyes and really smacks of class.
The headstock joins the deep profile neck with a gentle volute-like bump, which gives extra strength to this vulnerable area, and the substantial bridge and pickups are neatly routed well into the body so as not to visually dominate this succulent presentation. With both a brass nut and a brass bridge mass the strings are exceptionally resonant and backed by the powerful on board circuitry - it’s no wonder this bass sounds simply fantastic.