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new zon lightwave 13-pin

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mikestack, Feb 24, 2003.


  1. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    I'm guessing at least some of you remember me from a while back when I ranted about my forthcoming Zon Sonus Lightwave with 13-pin output.

    Today it arrived, I never thought I'd be so happy as to be home from work with bronchitis, but today was a good day to be here when the FedEx guy showed.

    Suffice to say that after a good three hours of playing the bass, I'm madly in love. I haven't toyed much with the V-Bass yet as I'm growing accustomed to the instrument itself, but man, what a beast! I'll have more to report when I've had more time.

    I've only had a chance to get one good pic so far... understand that the only digital camera readily available to me is a rather poor quality one, so it takes a bit of coaxing to convince it to take a good picture. As I jostle more lights around to try and get better shots (it's really an outdoor camera, but there's still quite a bit of snow on the ground here...), I'll of course provide.

    mike
     
  2. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Roland GK-type output.
     
  3. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    yep, the 13 pin output will drive the Roland V bass and or the Axxon midi converter or even the upcoming Roland midi converter
    beautiful bass!!
     
  4. old_skool

    old_skool

    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    What are the controls on that thing? They look kinda randomly placed.
     
  5. Beauty. Keep us posted on the results driving the V-Bass.
     
  6. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    The controls make more sense if you think of the bass as a Lightwave bass with the 13-pin output.

    The knob closes to the neck is the volume knob for analog output, then clockwise from there is the bass boost/cut, then the mid boost/cut (concentric with mid sweep), then the iceTone blend. The switch clockwise from the iceTone blend is the mag'em switch. This is the LW standard control set and standard placement.

    The final knob is the "synth volume" knob (the slightly larger one directly below the G string), the switch closer to the neck is the step up/step down function (S1/S2), and the swich closer to the rear is the analog/blend/synth switch. This is the standard 13-pin control set.

    Hope this helps...
     
  7. Killdar

    Killdar

    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    ooooooohh....nice!

    can't 13 pins plug directly into sound cards and such? if thats the case I need one....a Zon lightwave that is ;)
     
  8. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    .

    mmmmm . . . don't think so. Unless you have a Roland or Axon guitar-to-MIDI converter built in to your sound card. :) (it's NOT a MIDI plug).
     
  9. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    Geshel is correct-- this won't go directly into a soundcard, although I can out my V-Bass directly into my soundcard (I actually use a Roland KC-100 as a monitor so that sits in between in my recording setup..)
     
  10. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    That is really nice!
    I want one too.
     
  11. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    very nice!

    congrats, worth the wait i'm sure!

    f
     
  12. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    It was worth twice the wait probably, which I can't believe I'm saying-- I was going nuts during the past couple of months!

    On an unrelated note, I thought I'd take the time to talk a bit about the bass in specific.

    Quickly, it's a fretted Sonus Lightwave 5 string with a koa top, matching headpiece, and additional electronics for 13-pin output, aimed primarily at controlling the Roland V-Bass (in my case).

    In terms of construction, this is really completely top notch. Joe's pics of the top didn't do the figure justice, nor do mine. It has a very subtle flame that is only apparent when it catches the light correctly. It shows more on the headstock for whatever reason.

    I found the neck very natural, I'm guessing I have the newer neck finish, because it's not exhibiting any of the "stickiness" that people talk about, but then again, I'm not 100% certain what's meant by that.

    The bass is easy to play, really easy. Action is VERY low, everything is smooth and simple. I like to play electric instruments (I play several instruments, electric and otherwise) acoustically for a while to get a feel for its properties. The Lightwave system is really colorless, I noticed minimal differences in tone other than what adjustments I made using the controls provided.

    I haven't observed much of an impact with the iceTone yet. I'm not certain if it's just me or what, but it seems to have very subtle effect on the tone. Remembering that this is a fretted, I'm curious if it's colors are less apparent than on a fretless.

    Speaking of the fretted issue, I know a number of people have expressed hesitancy for the Lightwave as a fretted bass solution-- I have to say, I'm happy with it. Sound is killer, just up the alley I'm looking for. Definitely not quite like what you'd expect a bass guitar, but very clean. Responds well to slap/pop style, revealing a nice metallic luster (no doubt due to the metal strings...) when played slap.

    I can get all sorts of subtle nuances out of this, some of them without trying. The only drawback is that the Lightwave hides nothing-- all the flaws in my technique (and there are many, I'm a relatively new bassist...) are readily apparent, at least to my ears.

    In any event, everything is top notch and the attention to detail of my requests, from threaded inserts for the control cavity cover screws to a spring centered switch for synth step-up/step-down (which oddly enough I only mentioned to Lightwave, never to Zon) to the top, the case, you name it, every desire I could have had has been met.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to experiment a bit with a couple things-- first trying to get some decent pics, second a bit of playing about with the V-Bass. I may try and record a sample, but I doubt I'll have the time.
     
  13. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    Oh before I forget, there was one thing that is a bit annoying about the bass (tragic, I know...).

    I'm guessing this was unavoidable, and I actually have this problem with my "Roland Ready" guitar as well.

    The Lightwave system only powers itself if it detects a plug in the 1/4" jack.

    Of course, when I run with the V-Bass, I have nothing in the 1/4" jack, so I end up having to put a cable in there anyway just to fill the space. It's not connected to anything, but my shortest one if 6 feet long, and having a tail is starting to get on my nerves. :)

    Any suggestions on how to fake the Lightwave into thinking something's there without going through much effort?
     
  14. adrian garcia

    adrian garcia

    Apr 9, 2001
    las vegas. nevada
    Endorsing Artist: Nordy Basses, Schroeder Cabs, Gallien Krueger Amps
    yes- buy a 1/4 plug and put it there- dont leave it there- only when you play- an adapter such as a mini plug to 1/4 inch plug should work as well--
     
  15. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    mike, just get a 1/4" plug and stick it in there.

    you could always call LW and see what they say.

    i don't find it an inconvenience.

    especially with my Lightwave/Roland config. i blend the 2 outputs.

    joe's a great guy and an amazing craftsman!

    my next lightwaves will be fretted!!!!!

    f
     
  16. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    Funny how sticking a 1/4" plug in there never occured to me. I thought about it but kept thinking it must be looking for some impedence. Thanks for the advice though guys.

    BTW Fred, I have a little switch that lets me blend my output. :)
     
  17. xush

    xush

    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    That is disgusting!
     
  18. mikestack

    mikestack

    Sep 17, 2002
    Boston
    Ahhh, life is good. :D

    BTW, turns out I'm not really as dumb as I look (type?), I just tried an 1/8"->1/4"
    adapter, and it does not power the Lightwave system.

    Interestingly enough, the Lightwave status LED blinks once when I put it in, but it doesn't actually take.

    Hmmm....
     
  19. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    None.
    my outputs are discreet.

    a result of the way LW modified my Zon for the GK output.

    i actually like this better...i have really flexible signal routing this way. especially when recording.

    i need to dust off my V-Bass and get with it again.


    f
     
  20. That's what we ALL like about you Fred. You're discreet with your outputs.