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Lightwave and zon

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mheintz, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    I've been perusing all things Lightwave and I emailed Zon. Zon no longer carries the once heralded Sonus Lightwave. I believe that the Zon Sonus Lightwave did not have the second, supposedly improved, version of the Lightwave system, but the reviews that I read of the instrument were actually quite good. I was also interested in the new Lightwave basses that came out in July 2004. They were, by all accounts, much better than the first prototypes that were sold on ebay. (Which, although not amazing instruments, were fantastic deals.) The lightwave site hasn't been updated in quite some time, and I can't seem to contact anyone at Lightwave. Any news on why zon stopped offering the lightwave? Any news on lightwave basses or lightwave systems? Any news on other luthiers using lightwaves? I've seen a few custom basses with lightwave on talkbass, e.g. a nice JAF, but no major luthiers.
  2. tiefling


    Aug 19, 2003
    Washington DC
    While I don't have any personal experience, I’ve heard that the lightwave systems are unreliable….batteries not charging or cutting out completely. I started asking questions a few months ago when I noticed a large amount of lightwave basses on the used market.
  3. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    The new system might be unreliable, but all of the used basses that I have seen on the market were the first prototype, which was originally sold on ebay. I haven't seen any custom models or new lightwaves for sale. I have seen a couple of the ebay prototypes with new electronics. The ebay prototypes were exceptional deals, between $350-$500. The newer basses are supposedly much better instruments, but again, I haven't seen any.

    Some respectable luthiers, like Jens Ritter, still offer lightwave basses. See, e.g., http://www.ritter-basses.com/ritter-basses-baesse/ritter-basses-raptor.htm

    Anyone try a high end bass with Lightwave?
  4. Dirty Road Cola

    Dirty Road Cola Guest

    Sep 8, 2000
    Gainesville, FL
    This is all speculation, so take it as such: I believe Zon stopped offering the Lightwave because Lightwave started producing its own and liqudating them on eBay for ridiculous prices. There was no incentive for Zon to continue producing them if people were going to call them and ask, "So why is your lightwave so much more than Lightwave's bass?"

    That said, I believe there is a used zon lightwave for sale at Bass Central.
  5. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I haven't any trouble like that with mine.
  6. i have a Matt Pulcinella Guitars Lightwave Level 5. I love the sound but can't get used to the playability of it. It's for sale for a great price if your interested.

    MPG Lightwave Level 5
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    No! Thats stupid! You're stupid! STUPID YOU!

    I just dont think thats a realistic reason. Using that logic people would ask why a standard Zon is so much more than a Fender.
  8. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Yes, you might be right. The ebay lightwave basses were of lesser quality than the zon, but the new lightwave basses released in July '04 may have been a challenge in that they were 1/3 the price for a fairly high quality bass. Lightwave was clearly selling the new basses as a marketing tool. Presumably, the zon lightwave uses the s1 version of the electronics and not the new s2 version, which supposedly has a much better piezo system. The zon lightwave and the lightwave basses available on bass central again appear to have the old electronics, but I emailed them to confirm. I'll keep you posted...
  9. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    I saw your posting for this instrument. Does it have the s1 or s2 electronics?

    If it has the s2, maybe you could describe the playing as I have yet to read a reliable review of the s2 electronics.
  10. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    love mine.

    not that i'm reliable.

  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    mine does.


  12. it has the s1 electronics, before i bought it i asked the same questions about the sound. the response i got was that it sounded like a pbass on steroids, which is a pretty accurate description.
  13. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Very Nice bass fhodshon. Unfortunately, it looks like they no longer carry it.

    Now here is something interesting. There appear to be two companies. Lightwave Systems and Lightwave Music. Lightwave Systems builds the pickups and Lightwave Music sells basses. Neither site appears to have been updated in a while. See http://www.lightwave-music.com/About/index.htm and http://www.lightwave-systems.com. I have tried to contact both. So far, I have had no luck with Lightwave Music sales manager Jim Johnson, Lightwave Music's 1-866 number, sales@lightwave-music.com or the Lightwave Music forum.

    I filled out the contact form at Lightwave Systems, but they appear only to offer price quotes for basses of other Luthiers. I'll keep you posted.
  14. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    Thanks for the info, but I'm keeping my hopes up for trying a bass with s2 electronics. I have no idea whether there is a dramatic difference or not.
  15. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    mheintz: try calling the direct # in Carpinteria.

    ask for Chris or Keith and tell 'em fred sent ya.


  16. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    I called. Thanks a bundle. The company has apparently undergone some significant changes. I spoke with Keith, very nice guy. I'll be speaking with Chris later.
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    My JAF has the s2 system and I only have good things to say about it.
    Lightwave doesn't have the best email following in the world but after a while and a big push from fhodshon (thanks again !) I got exactly what I wanted, which was quite an unusual setup.

    Electronics and controls still need a bit of tweaking but that's to be expected since I've so very picky with the tone of my instruments. I'm not impressed by the passive tone setting actually. I need to experiment with other values.
    The basic tone speaks by itself. Deep, warm and even all along the range. It cuts through anything like it was warm butter.
    It misses a bit of craziness that the piezos bring in, more than you could wish actually.

    It's only 1 month old so there isn't much I could say about reliability.
    32 hours of playing without going back to the wallwart is a big lot. I find the concept much more practical than batteries.
  18. 4string4ever

    4string4ever Guest

    Apr 18, 2004
    Orlando, Florida
    Firstly, anyone who may have the urge to make a negative comment, do everyone a favor and CONQUER THAT URGE.

    Now, I am having a lightwave installed on my new DP CUSTOM, which I expect to be delivered in 3 or 4 weeks or so. Review to follow.
  19. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    the two Lightwave sites are different aspects of the same company. Keith is an engineer, bassplayer and designer of the optic system, as I remember it.

    I bought mine when they first came out after seeing a Sonus on ebay after the fact and contacting the seller. He told me Lightwave was now making their own basses but they didn't even have a site at that time and I got mine from the bottom-end or some such place.

    I'd never heard one and ended up contacting Keith trying to figure out if the bass was designed to sound the way it did. Nobody in the area had a Lightwave system to even compare it to. Lightwave ended up with the bass when a ground issue developed and did some other upgrades while they had it. Great people and never had any problem since but I rarely play it and have never been able to get into that bass.
  20. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    That's interesting. I have since contacted a number of luthiers. Mike Tobias and Matt Pulcinella also no longer carry the lightwave systems. One dealer indicated that some luthiers had problems with the system. However, those particular luthiers may not have used Lightwaves in years or may have used previous versions of the system.