Lightwave Sabre C 4-string Reviews 5

$700 at a guitar show. Played it there and found it very light and comfortable with great tone with all knobs at center detent [couldn't figger out all the knobs and there was no manual]. Came with bag.

Very light and comfortable with great tone plus it looks VERY cool, all blonde woods with no paint or stains, and a big empty space where most basses have pick-ups. Has individual gain and 'color' adjustment for each string. I like the frequency sweep control for the mid-range knob. Neck is very easy on my hand and bass is very well balanced on a strap. Tone is amazing: Always sounds like a stringed instrument, never just some electric ax whose only role is to get the speakers to move maximum volumes of air. It CAN do that, but it can do so much more, and it sounds very musical doing it.

String height adjustment is tedious since the strings must be off the saddles to do the adjusting, plus the optical sensors in each monobridge must be readusted when saddle height is changed. Tone controls are somewhat unconventional, but at least it has normal bass and mid boost-cut knobs and a mid-sweep. [Once you get adjustments to taste, it's pure joy to play, both for playing ease and the sound you get.]

Bolt-on neck, faster than a Fender Jazz, being 1.5 inch at the [brass] nut and slightly closer spacing at the bridge [18mm instead of 19mm]. Rod access is at the headstock. Half-sawn rock maple neck with ebony stringer. Mine has a fretless maple board but rosewood or ebony is also available, as are fretted necks. Body is swamp ash, a one-piece top side and a one piece back side with a an ebony "barrier" layer between them. Hard satin finish on body and back of neck. 24 non-frets [25 on the G-string] Head is 2+2 tiltback, made seperately and set in at about the 2nd fret. Body is double cutaway with a good long top horn [strap button is at the 12th fret]. There is a huge access panel on the back full of stuff that you had best check at www.lightwave-music.com because I can't describe it. You should also check the above site for explanation of the optical pick-up system but I can tell you here that it reads the strings about 1.5 inches from the saddles, plus there is a piezo system and a blender knob for the two systems called the "Ice Tone" knob. You can get this system to sound like almost any bass guitar you've ever played, including classic magnetic systems like P-bass, etc. There are five knobs and one switch on the outside plus many more requiring tools to access. BATTERY: Runs on 9v NiMh pack hardwired inside, but it's just velcroed in a roomy cavity for those who might wish to alter or upgrade from there. There's a wallwart charger, and you can play while charging, but at 15 hrs playing per 1 hr recharge, that hardly seems critical. There's a very visible "2 hr warning" topside to warn that recharging will be needed and a two-color "charging/fully-recharged" indicator on the backside.

This is a very cool ax for the price of an upper model Fender or a similar bass, and is of special interest to those who value tone sometimes described as acoustic or organic or natural. Fretless players take heed, you may be blown away. I can think of a few improvements but none of them are absolutely necessary to enjoy playing this ax or to trusting it for long gigs, and the price is very reasonable for the bass as it is. Since it is versatile, and a pleasure to play, and it seems to be well-made [USA built, BTW] considering the real price of $1250 retail for new ones, I rate it a '5'.

Golem rated this unit 5 on 2005-03-28.

Write a user review

� Gear Review Network / MusicGearReview.com - 2000