Electromotile outer hair cell (OHC) feedback provides the sensitivity and sharp frequency tuning of the cochlea. Basilar membrane displacements in response to characteristic frequency (CF) tones were measured with an interferometer at up to 15 locations across the basilar membrane width in the basal turn of the guinea pig cochlea. For CF tones, basilar membrane vibrations were largest beneath the OHCs; these phase-led vibrations beneath outer pillar cells and adjacent to the spiral ligament by ~90°. Post mortem, responses measured beneath the OHCs were reduced by up to 65 dB, and the basilar membrane moved with similar phase across its entire width. We suggest OHCs amplify basilar membrane responses to CF tones when the basilar membrane moves at maximum velocity.