1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Lightwave Saber VL/SL owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Deechord, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Deechord


    Jan 1, 2013
    Lebanon, TN
    I saw Ed Freidland's video's on YT. The optical pup's really intrigue me. Would like to hear your pro/cons. Do any of you gig with one? Do you prefer it over your magnetic pup basses? How has it held up overall, as a viable alternative to traditional basses? My inquiring mind wants to know.
  2. MrSaxoBeat


    Sep 13, 2012
  3. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales
    I love mine. The optical pickups really do capture the voice of the bass better, and you can use any string material, even Bronze!

    I find the Lightwaves to be extremely sensitive to touch, and the piezo system is one of the most sensitive I've ever played. So, if you are percussive in your playing, it will hear that as well. More then viable alternative. Lightwaves also have some of the thinnest, fastest necks I"ve ever played!
  4. Deechord


    Jan 1, 2013
    Lebanon, TN
    Thanks for the link. It seems to me that one would really have to have a very good technique. I'm thinking that this would NOT be an instrument for a beginning bass player.
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The Lightwave bass is identical in every way to a standard bass, with the exception of the pickup technology. There would be no reason at all for a beginner to shy away from owning a Lightwave. They look, play, and the controls operate exactly like a regular bass. The only thing that's anywhere near complicated is if you want to fiddle with the optics, which you should NEVER have to do.

    My Saber is light as a feather, plays like a dream, and sounds fantastic. The only drawback would be if you wanted a very deep or muddy tone. I've found the Lightwave to be more on the bright side. Closer to a Jazz than a Precision.
  6. The fact that you can put whatever strings you want on them is quite cool. I'm guessing that, if you did indeed want a very warm, round tone, you could put nylon strings on them, right? I see no reason why non-metal strings could be used. I've always liked bronze strings on accoustic basses too, so using them would be neat.

    I see no reason why it couldn't produce that sound with normal strings though. Doesn't it still have active bass and mid-range boost-cut?
  7. bassfran

    bassfran Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    I have a great luthier friend who had one in his shop once and I was able to put it through it's paces at a reasonable volume. I was very impressed by the optical p/up technology. The sheer purity of the signal is uncanny. It's dead quiet and you can hear every nuance of your playing.
  8. Deechord


    Jan 1, 2013
    Lebanon, TN
    Guess I'll save up for one!!!:) Maybe by the end of the year...LOL
  9. taowin

    taowin Not me. That's Louis Armstrong as a kid! Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    Berkeley CA
    Yesterday I bought a Willcox fretless 5 HexFX, picking it up at the factory in Carpenteria. Sales/customer service was exceptional. Chris Willcox who I met at the factory, and Paul, head of sales were fabulously attentive and generous.

    More to the point, I'm floored by the sound of this bass, the sustain, the aural range, lightweight, balance, accuracy and everything. I have several custom very high-end basses. I may end up dropping them for these. I have yet to hook up the HexFX (Roland GR-55 on order). I'll report back when I've had more than a day with it, but lord, these are some seriously under-sung, super-singing basses.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Before theaters started using digital projection equipment (that's very recently), the films' audio was encoded on the edge of the film and read by an optical sensor. Nothing wrong with it.
  11. pablomigraine

    pablomigraine Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 9, 2005
    New York
    VP & Managing Director - Willcox Basses
    Thanks dude! It was a pleasure!!

    ... not quiiite how it works, but we appreciate the sentiment!