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New Fretless Lightwave!!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JPGT, Dec 10, 2003.


  1. JPGT

    JPGT

    Aug 19, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    Hi everyone! I scored this sweet fretless Lightwave Saber C on eBay just a few weeks ago, but only now got around to posting some pics.
    My impressions of the bass so far have been very positive. The swamp ash body is suprisinly light (probably due to the huge control cavity needed to house some circuitboards that look like they belong more in a computer than in a bass) and the neck profile is thicker/rounder than what I am used to, but it is a breeze to play.
    It came with nickel roundwounds but I swapped them out for Fender nylon tapewounds, and the only other modification that I made was to put on a thumbrest.
    As far as tone goes, this thing sings. It is very clear/brilliant sounding but doesn't lose the low end. Harmonics ring out like a bell too, and with the tapewounds, the bass has a very thumpy mwah sound.
    The only gripes I have about this bass so far is that to adjust the action and intonation, you pretty much have to take off the string. Other than that, the only other complaint that I have is that the volume of the bass when you flip the switch to the "cool" setting (equivalent to soloing the bride pickup), is about 25% louder than when in the "warm" position. Maybe those who have a little more experience with Lightwaves can help me out on fixing/explaining that one. Its not a big problem by any means, but I can see it being a tad annoying for recording/gigging.
    Anyways, I'll get around to posting some sound clips when I can, but here are some pics to hold you over.

    Thanks guys, let me know what you think!

    -J.P.
     
  2. JPGT

    JPGT

    Aug 19, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    Here's another:


    -J.P.
     
  3. Ilovepink

    Ilovepink Banned

    Nov 17, 2003
    California
    Great looking bass. I ma very curious about these. I know that they are pretty resonable. Were are they made? They look kind of like a Tune.
     
  4. JPGT

    JPGT

    Aug 19, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    They are made in the USA and from my experience the construction is top notch, then again it should be for a bass that would retail around $1400. The one that I got off eBay was the pilot model, and those you can usually find for anywhere between $350 and $650 depending on strings etc.

    -J.P.
     
  5. Stomniar

    Stomniar

    Dec 5, 2003
    Spring Hill FL
    Greetings, I am also interested in these basses. But then again, I'm interested in the basses at www.basslab.de too. Too bad I couldn't just get them (either company) to send me one to try... heh... One can dream... :) <p> I can't wait until you get some sound files on here, play some funk/slap bass for me, flea, or les claypool would be great. Heh he... <p>I did write the website of lightwave to ask them for some soundclips or what not, haven't heard from them yet as I sent it a little over an hour ago. How is the battery life? How is the feel of it, action, weight, and balance? Thanks :)
     
  6. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Congrats on your purchase. I have a fretted model that I'm happy with also.

    There's a quick intro of how these basses can sound at: http://www.lightwave-systems.com

    There are some other clips here:
    http://www.langcaster.com/Sounds.html

    Note, it's a different bass company, different woods, and I think the earlier version of the lightwave system, but it gives you a good idea. I found other samples someplace when I was looking to buy, but can't seem to find them at the moment.

    Marshall

    PS - Yeah, I don't know if there's anything to do about the volume difference between the cool and warm settings - I tend to use different settings for different songs, so it doesn't bother me.
     
  7. JPGT

    JPGT

    Aug 19, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    Here's a soundclip if anyone is interested. All controls were set flat, and it was recorded directly into my audiocard.

    -J.P.
     
  8. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    I also bought one of these recently from the manufacturer through ebay. The thing has a wonderful sound, varying from Jaco punch if you play down by the bridge with some midrange in the settings, to a really nice upright sound when you turn up the bass, down the midrange, and play up on the neck just like on a big ol' doghouse. Slaps and pops nice for a fretless, too, though I don't engage in such behavior in public myself. The Lightwave people talk about the lack of magnetic damping of the strings letting them vibrate freely, and this seems to be very true. Harmonics are just clear as a bell, and notes down in the low positions, especially, "sing" and mwah just like JPGT says, and sustain forever. Incredible bass for anywhere around $300 (which I got my Classica C 4 string for) to $600 even. Wicked good lookin, too.

    I have really wanted to put tapewounds on mine, too, but I am afraid the brass nut is cut too tight for them, and the covering would shred as it moves through the cuts in the nut. JPGT, did you have to replace the nut to use your Fender nylons? I think I want Labella tapewounds, or perhaps T-I jazz flats, and maybe even go for the nylon-core brasswound T-I acoustic strings, but I would also be very interested in having you post what the Fenders did to the sound, and how they went on.
     
  9. Stomniar

    Stomniar

    Dec 5, 2003
    Spring Hill FL
    Nice, I like it. I am definately interested in getting one. Must wait, however, for the funds to do so. Take it easy and keep playing. :)
     
  10. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Oh! Stomniar asked about battery life. So far, it seems like it lasts a good 15 hours or so, just as they say. I am afraid a little that the NiCads (I think they are) will not keep this up forever,(NOTE: I just went and read the manual again, and I was wrong when I wrote this. The batteries are NiMH, with what seems like a very good charging management circuit, so they should last next to forever). The bass works just as represented on the LightWave website, in my month of testdrive and trying to play in tune. :meh:

    Action: you determine that. Neck is straight as an arrow.
    Weight: light but substantial
    Balance: purty darn nice, if you ask me (sorry for the Americanisms, if you are from elsewhere). It doesn't hang just exactly like I want it (I want a fretless to hang more upright, like 45 degrees, and a fretted, on which I favor a pick, like a guitar, slung high and horizontal), but in comparison to other more conventionally-shaped basses I have used, it's great. I love this bass more the longer I have it.
     
  11. JPGT

    JPGT

    Aug 19, 2000
    Carlisle, PA
    The Fender tapewounds I am using are: 58-72-92-110, and although they are a little bit thicker than the stock strings, I didn't have to replace the nut. I did have to adjust the action a bit though because the stock set were taperwounds and as such tended to be lower to the fingerboard.
    As for what the tapewounds did to the sound, it is subtle but noticeable. The stock strings tended to be very bright sounding, but not tinny. The tapewounds aren't necessarily as bright, but they are much thumpier, especially on the E and A strings, and with lots of punch. They give it a more upright vibe, and still maintain the characteristic mwah sound. The sound sample I posted a few posts back was recorded with the tapewounds and with the eq flat, so that should give you a pretty good idea of the sound (and oh yeah, pardon my intonation, I'm still working on it ;-) )
    -J.P.
     
  12. 7flat5

    7flat5

    Nov 28, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the string info, J.P.

    Re: intonation: nothing to apologize for, it's a lot better than I can manage at this point, but this is a new challenge for me. You don't see me posting clips--you are the brave one. Nice playin.