I recently ordered an NS Design NXT4a electric cello. I’ve held off on my cello playing for years, because the older student model cello that I have is in disrepair. I found that it was going to cost a tremendous amount of money just to get it refurbished. Because I play and record with my band so often, I thought that I should consider purchasing an electric cello to help satisfy both my strong desire to play cello as well as bass and to have an instrument that I could record with easily when the time is appropriate.
I have not been disappointed by this instrument at all. It plays very well. Though it’s an integrated composite design, I don’t find that the neck and fingerboard feel any different to me than the cellos I have played in the past. The strings included on the instrument are responsive and have good tone. The pickup on the cello sounds true to tone. I can adjust the tone slightly, but find the middle range to be suited to a natural cello through my amplifier.
The amplifier I am using is a TC Electronic BH250 chained to a Trace Elliot ELF 1×10 speaker cabinet. I have as little or as much volume as I need with no sacrifice in tone. For now I’m not using any effects, but after I have practiced a bit more and am comfortable that my bowing and intonation are solid, I’ll likely add some pedalboard effects. I already have octavers, chorus and delay, among others, so I’ll try these when I’m writing my own material for the cello.
So, to that end, my biggest challenge right now is to get my chops back. I’m rehearsing 15-20 minutes a day. I am careful not to overextend because I don’t want to sacrifice quality over quantity in these rehearsals. Because I also practice bass, I have to be sure I’m not overexerting my fingers and wrists. The bowing is becoming more fluid and I’m getting some of my technique back. It’s been many years since I was proficient on this instrument. I’m happy I’m making progress!