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Optical pickup? A DIY Lightwave?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by atracksler, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. atracksler


    Oct 30, 2007
    Came across this in my internet perusing:


    Now the bass they make is Fugly, and it is really ugly too, and did I mention it's ugliness?

    Buy is the pickup idea solid? would it work to build a real bass around something like this? It seems like it would be easy to make something more elegant... heck a piece of mahogany decking would be more elegant....

    Anyway Thought I'd ask if this had any merit, or is it just a dead end?
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I built a few back in the 70s when I first saw this idea floated in a magazine. I might even still have some of those photodetectors kicking around. They can sound very good, or not, depending on how well you can isolate ambient light sources and lots of other fun stuff to work through. FWIW, I used differential pairs of detectors to kill common-mode noise, and at the time my amp circuits were just way too rudimentary to fully leverage that idea.

    Have fun!
  3. freatles


    Jan 9, 2014
    My opinion is that the "idea" is great.

    But I wouldn't try to replicate this. I'm sure it will work, but afaics it's not really transducing what I want a "pickup" to (string displacement vs output waveform).
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have a lightwave setup that is going to be used on my next build.
  5. What is the price range for a lightwave setup?
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I bought it second hand, I don't think they will sell you the set up by itself.