Basses with lights

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 5, 2004.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Who here has those little lights up and down the side of the neck? Do you use them, and find them useful? Do they fulfill an essential functional need, or do they just look cool?

    What about aftermarket mods to put lights on a bass? I heard there was a company in England that does this (Sims?), has anyone used them, and if so what experiences have you had with them?
  2. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    Adrian has lights on the side of his NS and God willing, so will I :D
    The other ones that I've seen in this forum are the GB basses from UK :)
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Well, I'll tell you why I asked. I'm having some issues with my fretless on dark stages. I'm thinking lights would be helpful. I'm wondering though, what happens if one of those LED's ever burns out. Can they be replaced?
  4. Rusty Chainsaw

    Rusty Chainsaw

    Oct 15, 2002
    The Cronx
    I've got SimS LEDs on the front and side of my Sei Bass neck. They do look cool as hell (full-on showbiz!) but they're also useful for seeing where you are on the neck on a dark stage, where the muscle memory may fail you! :D

    That's my excuse anyway... :p

    Russ :bassist:
  5. rusty


    Mar 29, 2004
    That really depends on the system that is being used - in Adrian's NS, Carey actually routed fibreoptic cables to the side of the neck to act as the lights. The LED's stay in the control cavity, so changing them shouldn't be an issue.
    From what I understand about LED's, they hardly burn out... well, actually for all intent and purposes - they don't burn out. So that really shouldn't be an issue for you.
    I think lights for fret markers are useful esp on dark stages - especially if you have a BN5 with ebony fb with black fretmarkers... ;)
  6. Status, Shuker, Sei and Overwater and Zoot all use SIMS LED and controllers and i believe most of the other makes also use sims

    They are usually around £300-600 dependin on if u want side, front or both....

    GB uses SIMs LEDS but have designed their own controllers which are more sophisicated than the standard ones...but again around the same price..!!!

    Down the side...they are extremly useful...on the F/B well its a show off but its darn co0l....hehehe..!!!!!


  7. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    lights are cool for dark stages - justified I think.

    (Now I just need to book some DARK church gigs, and then... :D )
  8. Although not related to LED fretmarkers my Jazz Bass is pre binding so the fretmarkers on the top are pearl and they're in the maple, not the rosewood fingerboard. Because of wear and dirt and stuff, the fret markers are pretty much invisible for the 3, 5, and 7 frets. I took a really cheap way out and took some "attaboy" stars (you know, like when you were in grade school and you learned how to tie your shoes and got a gold star) and placed them at 3 and 5 since those are the biggest reference points for me, especially in the dark.

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    I know Warwick will add them as a custom option but your going to really pay for it. I have also seen alembics with LEDS.
  10. I have an Opus (local luthier) 5 sdtring fretless with side led's. The guy I bought it from had them put in so he could see in the dark during church in the dark orchestra pit... They are cool, but the battery pack is separate and plugs into the bass which kind of sucks...
  11. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    ZenBass, that clip is way too cool! Doesn't that get confusing, if the lights move like a runway when a plane's about ready to take off or land? He he, I've never seen that before, that's a super cool feature. :)

    Yeah, the reall need for me is just to get that initial positioning. When I'm on a dark stage, and I can't see the fingerboard or the markers, I have to play a note or two to locate the right position, and that's getting to be a no-no. If I could just flip the lights on for a second and orient, I could turn 'em off again and everything would be fine. That would be way preferable to having a cheater light on stage.

    So is that typical of the Sims lights, that they're done with fiber optics? That would certainly alleviate my concern about replacement. If you can just open up the back of the bass and pop in a new LED, that would be easy enough. I was worried they'd have to remove the fingerboard to replace them.

    You're right, LED's have a good long life, but they do go bad. Seen plenty of that, been into electronics for a long time. I've ordered up a new Roscoe with LED's, I'm not sure how they're going to work it with two batteries and an 18 volt preamp. Hopefully there won't be a need for an external battery pack.
  12. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    I ordered my Alembic Mark King standard with side neck LED's (they were the free upgrade that month) and IMHO I wish all my basses had them. That first time you're on a dark stage with colored/muted lighting that either makes the dots invisible or you can't get them highlighted makes them worth it. Mine are bright enough to see in direct sunlight. I wish the upgrade was less expensive, I'd get more of them for sure.

    Here's the kicker though - the Alembic preamp takes one 9v. The lights take four. :rolleyes:
  13. I've seen a weird little device that attached to the headstock of your guitars head that somehow notices when you're pressing down, then it shines a bright red laser light across the fretboard. I'm not sure where I saw it, but I know it exists, might be worth looking into.
  14. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City

    My four string Alembic has red side LEDs. My five string Alembic has amber side LEDs. When I got the four string, the LEDs didn't work. I knew that from talking to the seller. I sent it to Alembic, along with a fairly sizeable check, and voila, my red lights are back. (Roxanne!! You don't have to turn on your red light)

    sorry 'bout that :smug: :p
  15. I have Red LED's side markers on my Fretless - but I had them placed at the actual fret location ... 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 11 (easy to find the octave), 13, 15, 17, 19.

    Def' worthwhile in a fretless, and the location works great, for me.
  16. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I have a solution for the dark stage problem, but I just haven't had time to implement it.

    I'm going to find some glow-in-the dark stickers. It doesn't matter what shape. I'm going to take a single hole-punch, and use the circular punches as stickers over my existing side dots. Then I'll be able to see my positions when the lights go off, and I don't have to add batteries. :cool: I did this with regular white stickers, and those alone were a big help.
  17. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It just shines a beam down the length of the strings, so when your fingers go into that beam, they light up.

    Aslo, does anyone know where to get the fiber optic wire? I want to install some on a bass of mine. Any help is apprecitated
  18. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,
    I've wanted to have LED's installed for a while but shipping my basses off to SIMS in the UK was out of the question. 600.00 US for teeny lights just seemed a bit steep. There is a recent thread by Paul A from the UK that provides a doable cheaper solution. He said he would post the schematics at some point,hopefully in the near future.
    But I will confess to what I have been doing on the cheap. OK, don't laugh....... I've been using those stick on glow in the dark ceiling stars for kids rooms,as side markers. No foolin....just put them in a hole puncher for paper and voila, stick them over the little side dots. I replace them every few weeks if they start to get loose. Some brands glow longer than others so you've got to experiment a bit. But it works for me and it will just have to do for now. You can find em in toy stores and some home decorating shops. Oh ya, just make sure you get them under a bright light for few minutes before hitting the dakened stage.
    Happy Times,