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ZON Lightwave fretless 4 vs. ZP2D pups w/ piezo bridge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Zonplayer, Jun 22, 2001.

  1. What is the overall tonal characteristic differences between the two? I have heard that the Lightwave can achieve a big fat almost upright like tone but lacks the overall punch and focus in the lows. I realize this is subjective but I am interested in opinions and experiences from all perspectives before purchasing one.
    My optimal setup would have pups that could be turned off or somehow used in conjunction with the Lightwave System.
  2. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I've owned both in 5 string versions. I currently still own a Zon LW fretless with the new upgraded LW electronics w/mid control and a "Mag Emulator".

    It's hard for me to put "tone" into words (Fred is MUCH better), but for me, the difference between the two is that the Zon Sonus w/piezo had the "traditional" fretless bass tone in spades plus the modern sounds and an acoustic tone with the piezo. Of course, you could blend all of that infinite ways to produce just about any tone you could want... except that of a Lightwave.

    The LW is a different animal. At least the one I have has a very unique tone that I guess could be compared to an URB (or an acoustic or hollow body)but with amazing sustain and brilliant highs! It has a clear singing quality that I have never heard on a bass before. It is amazingly expressive - and I had thought my Zon Sonus was the most expressive bass I had played. The growl and "mwaah" is better than any other fretless I have played. It cuts through the mix easily and articulately.

    The lower register is different than a bass with magnetic PUs. I won't say which is better as it is subjective. It did take me awhile to get used this quality on my LW. Now, I think it sounds great.

    I've said this before, but I think the LW always sounds great but not always "right". I am getting a Sadowsky fretless made to compliment the Zon. To me, it will be the best of all worlds.

    Regarding a LW with magnetic PUs, I had asked for that when I had my Zon LW made. According to Joe Zon (and later the folks at LW), the magnetic PUs would always be pulling at the strings causing alignment problems with the LW sensors. It does sound like a very cool combination, though! I'm sure someone will figure it out.

    If you have the opportunity, you really should play both. They are very different but both very good.


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