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The Difference Is Clear

We created the LightWave Optical System to give musicians a non-intrusive, absolutely transparent pickup that allows the purest and most natural sound from string instruments. Conventional pickups interfere with string vibration. The LightWave Optical Pickup System uses our patented infrared light technology to detect string vibrations, the first and only of its kind. Our pickup ‘sees’ the vibration of the string without affecting string motion in any way. It harnesses the pure power of light to deliver accurate, full-range sound.

How It Works

The LightWave technology utilizes light sensing electronics to “see” the vibration of the string, enhancing the strings’ true voice by eliminating the magnetic influence or “pull” on the metal strings. As a non-contact sensor, optics do not interact with the movement of the string. Instead, they provide a flat, even response throughout the tonal spectrum of the vibrating string, producing a sonic foundation that accurately represents the instrument and the musician. This allows the string to vibrate naturally, resulting in the most powerful and responsive method of string transduction ever developed.

How It Works

The LightWave technology utilizes light sensing electronics to “see” the vibration of the string, enhancing the strings’ true voice by eliminating the magnetic influence or “pull” on the metal strings. As a non-contact sensor, optics do not interact with the movement of the string. Instead, they provide a flat, even response throughout the tonal spectrum of the vibrating string, producing a sonic foundation that accurately represents the instrument and the musician. This allows the string to vibrate naturally, resulting in the most powerful and responsive method of string transduction ever developed.

How It Works

The LightWave technology utilizes light sensing electronics to “see” the vibration of the string, enhancing the strings’ true voice by eliminating the magnetic influence or “pull” on the metal strings. As a non-contact sensor, optics do not interact with the movement of the string. Instead, they provide a flat, even response throughout the tonal spectrum of the vibrating string, producing a sonic foundation that accurately represents the instrument and the musician. This allows the string to vibrate naturally, resulting in the most powerful and responsive method of string transduction ever developed.

Music at the Speed of Light

The optical pickup is a proprietary type of transducer which utilizes an infrared emitter and an array of photodetectors for each string. The emitter casts a shadow of the string onto the photodetectors. As the string vibrates, the size and shape of the shadow changes accordingly and modulates a current which passes through the photodetectors. This current is the analog electrical signal which represents an accurate depiction of the vibrating string.

LightWave Pickups
LightWave Pickups

Music at the Speed of Light

The optical pickup is a proprietary type of transducer which utilizes an infrared emitter and an array of photodetectors for each string. The emitter casts a shadow of the string onto the photodetectors. As the string vibrates, the size and shape of the shadow changes accordingly and modulates a current which passes through the photodetectors. This current is the analog electrical signal which represents an accurate depiction of the vibrating string.

Music at the Speed of Light

The optical pickup is a proprietary type of transducer which utilizes an infrared emitter and an array of photodetectors for each string. The emitter casts a shadow of the string onto the photodetectors. As the string vibrates, the size and shape of the shadow changes accordingly and modulates a current which passes through the photodetectors. This current is the analog electrical signal which represents an accurate depiction of the vibrating string.

LightWave Pickups

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 give you a new palette of subtle nuances and unique tonalities. Playing chords, heavy fingerstyle or slap styles, screaming leads, tight intervals, complex voicings or harmonics on your LightWave instrument will be a revelation. You hear an openness, transparency and dimensionality unlike anything you have previously experienced.

Willcox Atlantis with Artist

Natural Sustain

Since the Optical Pickup System does not interact with the strings and because it is capable of much greater sensitivity, the strings sustain naturally. 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 vibrations from the string are like ripples upon water that gradually get smaller over time, and the optical pickups can effortlessly read these vibrations far beyond the capacity of human hearing. Because of these traits of the optical pickup system, our instruments do not require greater mass to achieve higher levels of sustain. This means that with our light weight instruments, you can play longer and with less strain without having to give up the tonal qualities a heavier instrument will normally give you.

Willcox Atlantis Guitar Graphtech Bridge

Silence is Golden

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 breakthrough for recording: virtually noise-free, extraordinarily transparent sound. Even with your amp at high volume, you experience amazing dynamic range and sensitivity – loud notes will be loud and clear, while soft notes and subtle nuances are not masked by hum or buzz.

Willcox Atlantis Guitar Graphtech Bridge

Silence is Golden

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 breakthrough for recording: virtually noise-free, extraordinarily transparent sound. Even with your amp at high volume, you experience amazing dynamic range and sensitivity – loud notes will be loud and clear, while soft notes and subtle nuances are not masked by hum or buzz.

Willcox Atlantis Guitar Graphtech Bridge

Silence is Golden

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 breakthrough for recording: virtually noise-free, extraordinarily transparent sound. Even with your amp at high volume, you experience amazing dynamic range and sensitivity – loud notes will be loud and clear, while soft notes and subtle nuances are not 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 augment the actual sound of the string, as opposed to the odd response curves and background noise found in conventional pickups.

Saber VL Bass Controls Closeup

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 augment the actual sound of the string, as opposed to the odd response curves and background noise found in conventional pickups.

Saber VL Bass Controls Closeup
Saber VL Bass Controls Closeup

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 augment the actual sound of the string, as opposed to the odd response curves and background noise found in conventional pickups.

IceTone™

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 augment the actual sound of the string, as opposed to the odd response curves and background noise found in conventional pickups.

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