New Toys

Light Wave Systems' LightWave Bass Pickup System

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The LightWave bass pickup system is based on optical scanning guitar pickup technology developed in the US. Instead of electromagnetic principals, this system uses a combination of optical and piezoelectric physics.

Each string is "watched" by a photo detector that measures the shadow cast by the string under infrared illumination. The string's vibrational energy is translated into an optical picture which is then converted into an electrical signal. In addition, there is also a piezoelectric sensor in the bridge that also detects other vibration components of each string. These two signals are then mixed with the blend and equalization from a bank of fifteen presets under control of the player. Since this method of pickup does not interfere with the vibration of the string (as do magnetic pickups), a purity of sound with a wider dynamic range is realized. Furthermore, there are no noises, hums, buzzing or interference from external electrical devices ever.

The LightWave bridge will replace standard bridge assemblies and contains both the optical and piezo pickup elements: one pair for each string. There is a circuit board that goes in the electronics cavity of the instrument and a connecting outboard interface box with a standard 1/4 inch output jack. Light Wave offers this system in four, five or six string models. This system will work with all types of strings.

For more about this new system, you can contact Light Wave Systems at: 805-684-3216 or E-mail: or Web to:

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