Thursday, June 19, 2014

1989 Spector NS-2A Bass Review


Today we are looking at a sweet 1989 Spector NS-2A bass that is an attractive offspring of the relationship between Spector and Kramer Guitars.

Stuart Spector is a luthier that started his own company in 1974, and he introduced his most famous and popular bass design, the NS, in 1977. “NS” stands for Ned Steinberger, who helped design the bass. Later Ned would go on to found Steinberger guitars.

NS basses sold well, leading Kramer Guitars to buy the company in 1985. Kramer continued production of the NS, and introduced an imported line of basses that include the NS-2A we are talking about today. All of these basses were sold under the Spector name until Kramer went bankrupt in 1991.

So, this bass is a 1989 NS-2A, which is one of approximately 7000 that were built between 1987 and 1990. This is a neck through bass with the same body shape as the NS, with a carved top and a concave back. It is finished in a formerly gorgeous glossy black poly. It is a 25 year old bass that has been gigged, so it has the expected dings, chips and scratches.

The 34-inch scale neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays, and despite its age it shows very little fret wear. The headstock has the SSD logo, and the original Spector truss rod cover, anddo not forget that bad ass 1980s-issue brass nut. The neck is very playable and has a nice medium/low action.

This NS-2A has its original black hardware, and the finish has held up a lot better than it did on the late 1980s Fenders. The bridge looks to be the same design as they use today, and the Schaller tuners are a nice find on an import bass. By the way, an odd feature of these basses is that the serial number is stamped onto the pre-amplifier cavity cover.

The original Spector-branded pickups are long gone, and have been replaced with active EMGs that are routed through a 9-volt Haz copy preamp. This is my favorite configuration, and there are four control knobs, including treble, bass, volume and tone (I think)… This thing sounds fabulous, with lots of growl and a solid burp on the back pickup. If you are popping and slapping kind of player this is the instrument for you.

Lastly, this bass will not kill your shoulder and back. It weighs in at a bit over 8 1/2 pounds, which is not too bad at all.

So, I think this NS-2A is a winner -- it looks cool, plays well, sounds awesome, and lives up to what I expect from a Spector bass for boatloads less than I would pay for similar quality instruments. Right now these basses are still a fabulous deal, selling for $600-$700, so if you always wanted a Spector but are not rich you will not find a better value.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your informative post. I have the same model(serial #NS8661). Thanks for confirming the electronics/pickup brand. I love my bass!!