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NS Design WAV Electric Violin Review

The NS Design electric violins are some of the most powerful electric violins in the market today! They deliver bold and present sonics. And the quality craftsmanship of each instrument makes it easy and fun to play.

These instruments aren’t cheap though! The most affordable model is the WAV 4-string electric violin, which retails at $990.

We here at Great Violin Cases did a video review of this instrument to give you an idea of this amazing violin. After all, these electric violins may be hard to find at your local violin shop. And online images don’t really give you the “full picture” (pun intended).

In the video, we demonstrate some of the coolest features of the WAV violin, and some sounds tests to give you an idea of what the instrument sounds like.

Keep in mind, we did NOT use any kind of effects or filters. So what you hear is the most original sound of the violin itself.

The NS Design Violin Case

Because of the unique shapes, each NS Design violin comes in it’s own unique case. You can’t really use a standard violin case with these instruments because they don’t have the shape of a traditional violin body. Which means the NS violin would wobble around too much in a standard violin case.

However, you don’t need the most protective case for these instruments. Because they do not have a sound box made of wood, you don’t need to worry about temperature resistance.

Unique Shoulder Rest

These violins have really unique shoulder rests. They are fully adjustable, and the pad is like a soft metal you can bend, similar to a Bon Musica shoulder rest.

You use 2 dials to adjust and tighten the shoulder rest to your liking. This does take some getting used to, especially for violinists that are used to traditional shoulder rests.

Self-Clamping Tuning System

As mentioned in the video, one of the most advanced features of this violin is the self clamping tuning system. When the violin arrived, most of the strings were in tune. Which is quite rare for any violin that is delivered through mail.

The clamping system allows you to tune the instrument with more precision. You can find this level of precision with planetary pegs too, such as the ones on the Gewa Novita electric violins. However, the clamping system allows the violin to stay in tune for longer periods of time. We wish every violin had this tuning system!

Reference Bout

The reference bout is the black part sticking out on the left shoulder of the instrument. This is essential for classically trained violinists that are used to touching the body of the instrument for finger position reference.

This part can be removed though, if you wanted to get some really creative sliding on your fingerboard.

The Volume & Tone Knob

Here we start getting into the major difference between the WAV model, and the more expensive NXTa and CR models. The WAV model only has 2 knobs. One for adjusting volume, and one for adjusting the tone.

The volume knob is pretty self explanatory. The tone knob seems to adjust the brightness of the instrument, especially on the E string. As we turned the tone knob while playing the bottom strings, we couldn’t really hear a difference.

However, on the E string, we could hear the tone knob turning a warmer sound into a brighter sound. So this is really up to personal preference. Some violinists may prefer a bright and clear sound. Others may find it too shrill and prefer the softer and warmer tones by adjusting the tone knob down.

A Passive Pickup

The WAV violin uses a passive pickup. Meaning it does not require batteries. The NXTa model does require charging, and the advanced CR model requires batteries.

We won’t go into the technical details, but if you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out this article on passive vs. active pickups.

This is also the biggest difference in price. Passive pickups are not powered. So you need a more reliable amp or audio device to make sure a clean and powerful sound is delivered.

Active pickups are powered. And the advantage of that is you get a cleaner and more powerful sound coming from your instrument. Resulting in higher quality tones.

In our video, we record the sound of the WAV violin through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ($159). And we believe the sound is already powerful and clean enough for recording.

Simple & Affordable Setup

If you’re on a tighter budget, we suggest a WAV violin, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and Garageband; which is free on all Apple devices. With this combination, you’ve got a limitless amount of tones and effects you can experiment with.

The WAV violin delivers a clean and present tone. The Focusrite translates that clean tone to your computer. And Garageband can manipulate that tone through effects and filters to create unique and powerful sounds.

This simple setup is a lot more affordable than getting a high quality microphone, soundproofing your room, and holding your breath every time you play to make sure you don’t record the sound of your breathing.

Sound Test

The sound of the WAV violin is definitely present. And what we mean is that the sound is not wispy. Many cheap electric violins will have a wispy, airy sound that makes the overall tone very weak.

However, you can’t work with effects and filters on weak tones. It’ll only enhance the wispiness, airiness, and white noises you’re trying to avoid.

The WAV violin sound is full. It may not be your desired sound on its own, but you do need a full and present fundamental sound, so that your effects and filters can enhance that fullness.

Summary

Overall we’re very happy with the NS Design WAV electric violin. And we believe it’s a great violin for musicians that want to explore the world of amplified string instruments.

It’s definitely not the cheapest electric violin out there, but you’ll be much more likely to play and have fun with it compared to cheaper electric violins!


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