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Formerly Audio Optics. Instruments currently produced in Carpinteria, CA. Distributed by Lightwave Systems, Inc. of Carpinteria, CA. Instruments previously manufactured in Japan by Tune Guitar Technology Co., Ltd. Lightwave pickups currently built in Carpinteria, CA. Previously built in Santa Barbara, CA.
The Lightwave pickup system uses a patented new technology of optical scanning in their innovative pickup designs in place of the older magnetic field system. The design team at Lightwave Systems spent ten years creating and perfecting the system, which is composed of optical/piezo sensing elements for each string. The company plans to release their own bass, electroacoustic and electric guitar models, retrofit kits for popular instruments, or as an OEM system for bass and guitar.
According to the company, here is how it works: a string of any composition is illuminated by an infrared light source, so that the string casts a shadow on a pair of high speed photo detectors. When the string is vibrated, the size and shape of the shadow changes in direct proportion to the frequency. This modulates a current passing through the photo sensors - and the current is then amplified. The Lightwave pickup works with any string composition, is totally immune to hum and buzz, and has no self-dampening of string sustains. For more information, contact Lightwave Systems directly, or visit their website.

From Blue Book Publications:

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