Lightwave Sabre C 4-string Reviews
$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