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Gold Lace Sensor - A few Questions From a Noob

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by FuzzFace90, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    Hi everyone! I'm a complete noob to Lace pickups and have no experience with them, just stock Fender pickups. I've been interested in Lace Sensors for a long time, and I really like the tones that Clapton and Beck got from them in the 80s. I've decided I'd like a set of golds in my Strat. However, after reading countless threads, a consistent theme that pops up is that the new Golds don't have the same mojo as the old Fender-Lace labeled ones, though I haven't seen anyone state a definitive difference between old and new. Can anyone with experience using these pickups give me their opinions? Also, do I really need the Clapton mid-boost mod to get the most out of these pickups tonally? Side note: I've seen rave reviews for the Hot Gold's and they sound good on demos to me. How do they stack up compared to the standard golds? Thanks!!! :thumb:
     
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  2. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    51
    Nov 14, 2013
    Alabama
    The only question I can answer is: No you do not need the mid boost, but If you want it, it works great.
     
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  3. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    Thanks for the reply I ask because I heard the pickups were lifeless as some folks put it without the mid boost. i've also heard the Hot Golds go the sound sound of the mid boost without the mod. Particularly the 13K bridge.
     

  4. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    759
    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    High output doesn't equal life.

    I love my Fender Lace Golds. No mid boost. They are different from standard single coils. Shouldn't be compared to single coils.

    They do find a special way to push an amp or a transparent/full range overdrive over the top.

    I find the hot ones to lack some of the subtlety that I like.
     
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  5. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    Good to know! I like them for the very reason they are different than standard single coils, I'm looking to try a new flavor. Are your Golds older or newer?
     

  6. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    759
    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    They are from the "Fender Lace Gold" era. and I think mine are around 1999-2001.

    Others really hate some of the post-Fender ones. I cannot say if they are right, but I steer clear.

    Of note: I still miss my red/silver/blue combo from my first Fender. A Strat Plus Deluxe.
     
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  7. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member

    When I rolled my own Blackie clone, I went with a loaded PG that had hot golds in it. Didn't need to get the extra part with the mid boost. And the hot golds are plenty hot enough for me. I'll usually leave the volume rolled back about a notch or so, and when I want that extra edge for a solo I'll dime it.
     
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  8. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    I see the red/silver/blue combo pop up frequently in my searches. Seems like its been a very popular combination for a while particularly with the heavier tone guys like Corgan.

    Sounds good, the hot golds seem to be one of the few new lace pickups that gets consistently good feedback. I guess my main question is do they have the intricacies of the old gold's but with a little more "oomph?" Which bridge do you have the 6k or 13k?
     

  9. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

    759
    Sep 4, 2015
    New Jersey
    6k. I personally don't love hot Strat pickups.
     
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  10. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member

    No, they don't go into feedback unless you've got your amp cranked and/or standing too close to it. :p

    And I think 13K. Didn't put them on the multimeter when I got them.
     
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  11. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    Hahahaha nice, I guess I had that one coming. :D Thanks for the input I will look into Hot Golds. The shame of it is with these pickups I never seen them in person and don't know of any place locally that carries them so I'll have to be really diligent before purchasing. Good news though, I can take them right out though if I don't like them!
     

  12. T Bone Slort

    T Bone Slort "I have a cunning plan" Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Jan 7, 2014
    Gibsons British Columbia
    There are frequently original Fender/Lace Golds on Reverb.

    I absolutely love the original Red, Silver, Blue, set in my 91 Plus Dlx
    and if (or when) I get another Strat, I'll likely swap out the stock pups and put in a set of Golds.
     
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  13. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    I chopped open a Lace Sensor http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/the-guts-of-a-recent-vintage-lace-sensor-gold.385649/ and did electrical testing on a set of Hot Golds http://www.strat-talk.com/threads/lace-sensor-hot-golds-analysis-and-review.420171/ , so I'm fairly familiar with their design. They're essentially a regular single coil, borrowing the side wall design of a Fender Mustang pickup for noise reduction. The also use a rail style core and rubberized ferrite for the permanent magnetism, which produces a weaker pull, similar to AlNiCo 2, but without the inductance boost you'd get from the AlNiCo 2 allow. In either case you get less string interference from the pickup's magnetic pull. The coil is also very small, similar in concept to a Bill Lawrence MicroCoil. I'm not sure which product came first. They're not as revolutionary as Lace would have you believe, they're big on the marketing magic. Lace Sensors are/were a mashup of existing design concepts, hidden under plastic so you couldn't easily see what was going on.

    The criticisms of the newer Lace Sensors are especially vague. The only thing Lace changed was the mounting method, but the guts are the same as they were, same rubber magnet and steel side walls, same coil. The older Lace Sensors have a metal base where as the new ones utilize the plastic cover as a mount, similar to how Seymour Duncan does with their newer Little '59 and rail models. The lack of a metal base plate would actually cause the pickup to be a little tiny bit brighter, due to reduced eddy currents, but that's only in theory, I don't believe you'd actually hear the difference, based on having tested similar chunks of metal, such as Telecaster bridge base plates. People saying they've changed for the worse might be looking to blame their own failings on their hardware, and people on the internet like to repeat what they've read. The internet is a big echo chamber of opinion passed off as good information.
     

  14. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    So as long as it says Fender Lace Sensor it's an original set right? I've got my eye on a complete set of Fender Laces at the moment.


    Thank you very much for your detailed reply, your reply told me exactly what I wanted to know. I did not know that Lace's were essentially a mashup of existing ideas. The internet can be tough to wade through to get answers sometimes so I figured it was best to ask for myself. :D I've definitely gotten caught up worrying the minutia of tone before. And as soon as I was in a band setting none of the excessive energy I put into my tone mattered. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. Rastus

    Rastus Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 1, 2014
    Australia
    Yo,

    a1. My old Strat-Pus has the original 3 x Gold Lace Sensors, & they sound fine to me ! Possibly the best attribute, is the ability of the sensor to be moved as high or low as you like to find your desired sound, but without excess magnetism affecting string ring-out. In other words, lost more natural string sustain.

    The sound IMO is what a classic Stratocaster sound is all about. Clear tones with easy highs & full-body. There's NO revolution of new sound here...(The whole concept was / is evolutionary).

    a2. My Strat-Plus has a TBX-tone-control, that's notched for position-5, & beyond 5, adds its "thing"...I couldn't really hear too much difference in sound, so I just leave it in the notch on 5.

    a3. I hope a1 gives some idea of the "original gold" sound. I can't compare with the Hot Gold.

    Ciao,

    Rastus

    NB. I still find it unusual to not see pole-pieces, even after 28-years ownership lol.
     

  16. Rob Moreno

    Rob Moreno Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    268
    May 28, 2017
    Tokyo
    I'm a big fan of Fender Lace Sensor Gold pickups with mid boost. It's like having a compressor and a light tube screamer built right into the guitar. You can plug directly into an amp and get a wide variety of tones without any pedals. With the mid boost all the way up you'll get sustain for days.:D
     
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  17. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    I believe they sound like a classic stratocaster, and to my ears it brings out the "stratiness" more than most fender pickups. The thing that is appealing to me is how well they cut through high gain while retaining tone.
     
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  18. FuzzFace90

    FuzzFace90 Strat-Talk Member

    Is the mid boost mod easy to install?
     
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  19. T Bone Slort

    T Bone Slort "I have a cunning plan" Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    69
    Jan 7, 2014
    Gibsons British Columbia
    I, like you, set my bridge at 5 or 6. But unlike you I hear a noticeable difference when I dime it. My Plus Dlx doesn't have the treble boost so I tend to set my mid EQ on the clean side of my amp to 3 o'clock. My amp also has a built in treble boost on the clean side.
    On the dirt side and running through my Boss SD1 or my BD3 (or both) I keep the bridge on 10. :thumb:
     
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  20. Rob Moreno

    Rob Moreno Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    268
    May 28, 2017
    Tokyo
    IMG_0693.JPG
    I've never installed one. All my Lace Sensor Strats came stock with mid boost. I imagine it is quite difficult though. You have to carve out a cavity for the mid boost electronics.
     
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