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The concept for the ‘headless bass’ soon followed. Ned wanted to develop and instrument that was not constrained by conventional design precepts, using new materials for the tonal properties they imparted. More importantly, he realized that the head was not essential, the tuners providing better balance when placed on the body of the instrument. This led to the establishment of the Steinberger Sound Corp. which successfully developed and marketed headless graphite instruments to world wide acclaim. The Steinberger Bass received numerous awards, including the coveted Design of the Decade award from the Industrial Designer Society Of America.

Ned didn’t stop with the bass. He soon after introduced the Steinberger Guitar and the TransTrem™ – a unique transposing vibrato unit that allows strings to remain in tune with each other rather than detune randomly. Among those who recognized the utility of the TransTrem was Edward Van Halen, who frequently played a TransTrem-equipped Steinberger guitar. Ned’s company, Steinberger Sound, was eventually sold to Gibson Musical Instruments in 1986. This allowed Ned to return to instrument design and innovation rather than having to run a guitar company, yet he stayed involved and remains as a design consultant for Gibson and Steinberger.

Today at NS Design, Ned’s passion and dedication to innovation continue undeterred. With new patents on the double bass and violin, the full NS family of concert string instruments advances the state of the art. The remarkable Polar™ pickup system provides unparalleled response, control, and richness of tone for both bow and pizzicato technique. Excellent balance and light weight make the instruments a joy to play. Full control of extensive on-board electronics and interchangeable support structures for the bass and cello provide unprecedented versatility to meet a wide variety of performance requirements. The same qualities, beautiful tone and flawless playability, that make these instruments the choice of the most accomplished musicians, also make it possible for the student player to achieve a higher level of performance.

In addition to NS instruments, Ned continues to design products for other companies. Collaboration with David Gage of New York City has led to the development of The Realist™ transducer for acoustic string instruments. Other designs include electronic tuners, tuning hardware, structural systems and accessories for companies such as D?Addario and Martin.

NS Design, based in Nobleboro, Maine, has a small but dedicated staff turning design into reality, handling instrument production and sales via our growing network of domestic dealers and international distributors. All CR and EU model NS instruments are made in the Czech Republic in partnership with the NBE Company, where a long history of fine instrument making and modern technology are brought together to produce instruments of the finest quality.