Photo 1 — Though it could present a challenge when palm muting, the bridge-integrated optical pickup on this Tom Lieber Spellbinder bass is almost fully shielded from ambient light.

Photo by Milo Stewart Jr.

Traveling beyond the world of pickup magnets to an optical galaxy for musicians.

I wrote a column touching on optical pickups a few years back ["Piezo and Optical Bass Pickups," October 2012], but every once in a while a new or upgraded concept enters the stage that warrants digging deeper. So, to refresh, what sets optical pickups apart from standard magnetic pickups?

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