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Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by claire, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. claire


    Mar 19, 2003
    Hi guys,

    Do either of you (MM/SL) use basses with Lightwave pickups on a regular basis? Michael, I've seen you live 4 times, and all of your basses seemed to have magnetics... I'm just curious if you have found the LW to be a useful new tool.
  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Hi Claire,

    I have a Zon Lightwave fretless, but I haven't used it a lot. It's a beautiful instrument, but the sound is unsual and in my opinion, requires the right situation.
  3. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    unusual?? what do you mean, does it sound to clean? does it sound like a piano?
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Hi Samie,
    I've played one of these Lightwave pick ups on an SEI 5 string fretless.

    Top summarise they give a stupidly clear sound. Outrageously stupidly almost hazardously clear! I cant highlight this enough!
    The low end is really really really clear - unusually so - personally I thought the sound was amazing - jaw dropping in fact, but I'm sure Michael is right when he says "the sound is unsual and in my opinion, requires the right situation".
    It just doent sound like 'normal' electric bass because itls so clear and so would stand out like a sore thumb in many situations. Imagine trying to play fat motown lines on a moden 18V active bass with brand new steels... then times that by a pretty big number!

    Also, the IceTone piezo pickup that comes with the lightwave is super super sentitive - so you get maximum finger noise, scrapings and scratches and all sorts.

    I just fell in love with the bass I tried with this lightwave system, but I came to the conclusion that I'm not even vaguely a good enough player to a) warrent such extravagence and b) make a bass that is so reactive and sensitive sound any good! :D

    I'd recmmend trying one out if you see one - they're amazing sounding, but at the same time would highlight a zillion poor techniques.. . if you have them that is?!
    ...and in many cases would just be difficult to make 'fit in' with a band.

    That's my 2ps anyway :)
  5. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    The Lightwave has a more acoustic sound than magnetics. It makes you realize how much magnetic pick-ups color the sound! I'd describe the sound of the Lightwave as being pure, full and woolly, without the midrange peak we're used to from magnetics. It has enormous low end and with the addition of the ceramic transducers, a lot of clarity. It doesn't react in the same way magnetic pick-ups do, so I find I alter my technique a bit when playing it.
  6. Rana Ross

    Rana Ross

    Aug 19, 2000
    My wife Rana Ross has a couple of lightwave basses and yes the things are clear as a bell on the low end. Clean technique is required depending on the sound you're after. One is a fretless that does sound very acoustic, the other is a standard 5-string with a newer generation of pickup than the fretless - she used it on one of the songs on her solo CD and it is a very nasty sounding funk/slap bass. It really surprised us.

    They're worth checking out, and it's kind of cool not to sound like everyone else...

    John Ross
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'd have thought that pretty well sums up your playing, Michael - especially the solo stuff. Fascinating and amazing but quite a long distance from 'usual' :cool:

  8. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    thought i'd chime in here.

    i agree with MM that certain sitches can certainly scream for LW's.

    i have 3, 2 fretless and one fretted.

    my Zon fretless LW is equipped to drive my Roland V-Bass.

    MUCH better response than the GK2B pickup the V-Bass came with.

    Even the Roland REP at NAMM 2003 was blown away by the Spalt/Magma LW equipped with the V-Bass mod.

    nice stuff!!!

  9. whats the web site again. i remebr they were going to put out a newer smaller modle.