Lightning II Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between
the original Lightning and Lightning II?
Quite a few features were added to Lightning II. Some of
the more signifigant are:
- The original Lightning housed the electronics and optics
in the same box, requiring that the box be mounted on a stand. Lightning
II remotes the optics, and houses the electronics in a separate half rack
cabinet. This results in simpler editing, an unobtrusive optical pickup
(the remote head), and easily viewed displays of zones and preset numbers
(now contained in the remote).
- Lightning II exhibits subtantially increased operating
range, through improvements in electronics, optics, and wand design.
- Lightning II wands utilize replaceable batteries, and
transmit for many more hours before requiring battery replacement (15 hours
versus 2). The new wands are dual range - for patch design or relatively
close playing, use the low range and your battery will go for around 60
hours. A blinking L.E.D provides ample advance warning that the battery
is about to expire.
- The number of internal, RAM based presets has been increased
from 12 to 30. Fixed presets are increased from 3 to 30.
- Lightning II accomodates a memory card, which can store
an additional 30 presets per card. These cards make great backups, provide
immediate access to an unlimited number of presets, and additionally facilitate
the transmission of presets between users.
- Lightning II contains a synthesizer, faciltating demos
and augmenting the performance possibilities. We still regard Lightning
as basically a controller, but that built-in synth does come in handy.
- Numerous software improvements (too many to list) are
incorporated into Lightning II.
Can Lightning I be upgraded to Lightning
- Unfortunately not. The expense of implementing the required
changes would approach the cost of a new Lightning II. The one exception
is the improved Lightning II wands; these can be substituted for the original
Where can I see a Lightning II?
- That's a hard one. Musical instrument stores are reluctant
to deal with alternative controllers (or alternatives to anything, for
that matter), so a trip to your local guitar center probably won't pan
- A few learn of Lightning from friends and associates
that already have one, but for most, that's not too likely.
- Others first see Lightning used on stage - musicians
and dancers are often happy to show people the instrument - try checking
out the stage after the show.
- While not the same as a personal encounter, reviewers
do try to provide reasonably accurate and unbiased assessments, and product
reviews may provide useful third party input. The original Lightning was
reviewed in the September, 1991 issue of Keyboard; Lightning II was reviewed
in the August, 1996 Electronic Muscian.
Suppose I buy one and don't like
- Return it! The last thing we need is a dissatisfied customer.
We insist that you return it within two weeks, unmodified, undamaged, and
packaged as you received it. We will return your cost less $50 to cover
Those "infrared batons"
that Forrest Tobey used to buzz in the new millennium resemble Lightning
wands. What gives?
- They are Lightning wands, specially modified
for strenuous Times Square duty.
If we haven't answered your questions, please give us a buzz.
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