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LightWave Optical Pickup

The LightWave Optical Pickup System uses LightWave System's patented infrared light technology to sense string vibration: the first and only of its kind for electric string instruments. Unlike conventional pickups that interfere with string vibration, the LightWave Optical Pickup 'sees' the vibration of the string without affecting string motion in any way. The Optical Pickup System was developed by LightWave Systems in order to create a non-intrusive, absolutely transparent pickup that allows a range of sound from the purest, most natural sound of the string to the most aggressive sound imaginable with the addition of EQ or signal processing. The key is that the Pickup System harnesses the pure power of light to deliver the accurate, full-range sound of the string.

The Voice of the String™

What you will hear is extraordinary: the sound of the strings, the sound of the instrument, and most importantly, the sound of your playing. You will notice a whole new sensitivity in the interaction between your fingers, the strings, and the instrument that will create a new palette of subtle nuances and unique tonalities. Playing multi-string chords, tight intervals, complex voicings and harmonics on your LightWave bass will be a revelation. You will hear an openness, transparency and dimensionality unlike anything you have previously experienced.

Long, Natural Sustain

Since the Optical Pickup System does not interact with the strings and because it is capable of much greater sensitivity, the strings will sustain much longer. In fact, the Optical Pickup will read string vibration for its full duration, fading in a pure, linear fashion into silence, without an abrupt ending or distorted artifacts. The decay rate is totally natural like the pedal sustain of a grand piano.

Extremely Low Noise - A Breakthrough for Recording and Performance

Unlike magnetic pickups which induce extraneous noise to the sound, the LightWave Optical Pickup System has virtually no inherent noise. As a result, you can play at any volume without annoying background hum or buzz. This is an absolute breakthrough for modern recording: virtually noise-free, extraordinarily transparent sound. Even with your amp at high volume, you will experience amazing dynamic range and sensitivity: loud notes will be loud and clear, while soft notes and subtle nuances will not be masked by hum or buzz.

Tone Shaping

If you wish to use EQ or signal processing to shape your sound, you can use any amount desired to create subtle or dramatic tonal variations without tonal artifacts. Since the output of the LightWave pickup is pure and transparent, you will be augmenting the sound of the string, as opposed to the inherent response curves and background noise found in conventional pickups.


This feature allows the blending of the tailored piezo transducers built into each individual string saddle to avoid the clack and harshness typical of piezos while integrating seamlessly with the LightWave Optical Pickup. The result is a smooth, natural sounding high frequency enhancement ranging from crisp high end to percussive presence. iceTone cannot be selected separately, but is added to the optical signal as the control knob is turned up.


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