Frequently Asked Questions

No. The LightWave Optical Pickup uses infrared LEDs and photodetectors.
We get this a lot. Actually, no! Each string’s signal starts out analog, and stays that way throughout.
Like you’ve never heard before. Players are impressed by the optical pickup’s depth and richness. It captures more lower fundamentals and higher harmonics than previously possible. You hear clearer double-stops and chords, and increased dynamic range – all without the hum and buzz produced by magnetic pickups. Unlike prior pickups that exert their own influence or color on the strings’ sound, our optical transducers faithfully reproduce each string’s natural harmonic content, and better reveal the sound of the instrument’s wood, and construction.
A clean signal source doesn’t imply that downstream processing is impeded in any way. In fact, having a superior quality starting point is advantageous for overdriving or effects, especially when you want the most organic sounding distortions.
No. Currently, our system is available only on our own instruments.
No, treat it as you would any active pickup output. It is low-impedance and can be directly connected to any amplifier rig, effects box, DI, or line input of a mixer/recorder console.
Yes. The standard 1/4″ phone jack delivers the expected analog instrument output, at conventional levels.
No. Just the opposite. You can experiment with new strings you couldn’t have considered before. Remember, the strings no longer have to be ferromagnetic. They don’t even have to be metal at all.
Any electric bass or guitar strings are compatible with our Saber Basses or Atlantis Guitar. Its all a mater of playing preference on the end of the user.
The Saber Bass is equipped with custom wound strings specially designed for us. The are comparable to a string made by Dean Markley, called the SR2000. The SR2000 strings are stainless steel wraps on a steel hex core. The gauges are .044, .060T, .078T, .098T, and .125T. These strings are widely available. You can buy the Dean Markley Sr2000 strings here:

The Atlantis Guitars are equipped with GHS Bright Bronze Ultra-light Acoustic Guitar Strings. The gauges are: 0.010, .013.5, .20, .26, .36, and .46.

Probably. The response from the pickup system is flat, and extends deeper than prior pickups. If you’re used to boosting the bass on your tone controls/EQ, you may want to back off on these to start. Caution is advised while getting used to the pickup’s powerful bass response.
Probably. The pickup system is very clean, responsive to dynamics, and revealing of good technique. It may bring out your style, nuances, and expressiveness more than ever.
Yes, we are. Any such problems you experience on stage or in the studio will be due to old-fashioned AC power corruption or ground loop problems (as between your amp rig and a mixing console). The pickup itself is simply not susceptible to the usual electromagnetic interference.
Unlike conventional piezo systems, iceTone™ is designed as a selective enhancer; you can use the optical pickup signal by itself, or dial in iceTone to add mids or mids and highs. The iceTone™ signal cannot be played by itself, however. The LightWave system’s master volume and tone controls affect both the optical and iceTone signals.
A tiny amount. The power status LED is a special daylight-visible, low-current device, and is an insignificant portion of the total system power draw. Its utility as an in-play battery status indicator more than makes up for it.
About 60 minutes for a fully-drained battery pack. And, you can play while the charger is plugged in.
The LightWave system is robust. It is designed to endure all of the demands of real musicians.

For setup quesitions about the instruments, i.e. “How do I adjust the optics on my Saber Bass?” or “How do I set up the GR55 with my Atlantis HexFX?” visit the Product Setup and Tutorials page.