Lace Sensor Red Silver Blue electrical values

Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by Antigua, May 25, 2021.

  1. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

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    The Red bridge / Silver middle / Blue neck set is a combo that's said to sound good by many people in internet postings, and Billy Corgan has this set in several of his main guitars during the 90's, though in the 00's he had a deal with DiMarzio, and most recently has a sig model with Reverend that uses their own humbuckers.

    The Red is meant to mimic a hot humbucker, it has an inductance similar to a JB. It doesn't sound as dark as a JB, to me, but that might have more to do with the bridge pickup placement in a Strat, than the electrical values. With a loaded resonant peak of only 1.8kHz, it discards a lot of high end. It's pretty close to Little '59.

    The Silver neck pickup as an inductance of 3.6H, and it's similar to a Tele bridge pickup. Lace claims it's based on a hot 70's single coil, but I'm not sure what that might be in reference to.

    The Blue neck pickup is supposed to make you think "P.A.F.", although it has a lower inductance and a higher resonant peak than a Little '59, to which the Red Sensor is closer.

    They all sound pretty good to me, but I have to run the treble and presence higher on my rig for the cleans, similar to what I would with humbuckers. I installed these with 500k tone pots, but it's recommended they be used with 250k, just so that when you have the knobs at "10", you get a smooth roll off at the 2 to 3kHz resonant peak, and no +5dB amplitude bump due to the higher Q factor, that make them sound somewhat shrill. I just roll the tone back a bit to get the 250k sound because sometimes is fun to get that high Q factor, even if it sounds kind of nasty in the clean settings. Using them for cleans might even require an EQ pedal, if the amp can't supply enough treble by itself.

    I didn't buy these for a long time because I already bought the Gold and Hot Gold in years past and I didn't really care for them, but I like these a lot better already. I played the entirety of Siamese Dream with my jam buddy earlier, just to see how they faired. R/S/B Lace Sensors -> green russian Big Muff -> Marshall half stack, and sure enough, use the same gear, get the same tones. I might have been able to get the same tones by combining caps with the Golds to bridge the resonant peaks down to the 2kHz range, but I think the extra voltage output of the red and blue is helpful.

    In the past I've also run SSL-4's and SSL-5's, which are similar electrically, but I feel the Lace Sensors are smoother, maybe due to having much less string pull, and quieter. They also compared electrically to Rails and "Little 59's", but where as those pickup involve a lot of steel, causing eddy currents, the Lace Sensors' rubber ferrite has very little eddy current action, so they result in a higher resonant Q factor than those blade style humbuckers. I'd say the R/S/B Lace set retained a more aggressive sound than what I'm used with rails and Little '59's. All in all, where as the Golds and Hot Golds just seemed like anemic Strat pickups, the R/S/B set really bring something different to the table, although I can't really say "new" since they're around thirty years old now.

    The higher capacitance might be partly due to the way the lead wires are twisted together. I should have unwrapped them, but I didn't.


    Red Lace Sensor
    - DC Resistance: 14.887K ohms
    - Measured L: 8.762H
    - Q @ 1kHz: 2.75
    - Calculated C: 236.5pF
    - Gauss: 250G (rubberized ferrite)

    Silver Lace Sensor
    - DC Resistance: 7.378K ohms
    - Measured L: 3.632H
    - Q @ 1kHz: 2.53
    - Calculated C: 217.5pF
    - Gauss: 250G (rubberized ferrite)

    Blue Lace Sensor
    - DC Resistance: 12.753K ohms
    - Measured L: 6.852H
    - Q @ 1kHz: 2.63
    - Calculated C: 226.7pF
    - Gauss: 250G (rubberized ferrite)

    Red Silver Blue Lace Sensor
    Red unloaded: dV: 11.9dB f: 3.32kHz (black)
    Red Loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 3.0dB f: 1.79kHz (blue)
    Silver unloaded: dV: 11.1dB f: 5.48kHz (red)
    Silver loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 5.0dB f: 3.03kHz (green)
    Blue unloaded: dV: 11.7dB f: 3.94kHz (pink)
    Blue loaded (200k & 470pF): dV: 3.3dB f: 2.03kHz (black)




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    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  2. SurfsUp

    SurfsUp Senior Stratmaster

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    Great review!

    That's my favorite set right there. I love the R/S/B Sensor's in my Plus Deluxe. The Blue being hands down my fav single coil of all time.

    I've played Golds. Hot Golds. DiMarzio's. Silver Lace Sensor (I'm talking neck pups here) & N3's. While I like the all, the Blue Lace Sensor is home to me. Smoky, mild, woody mellow tone. To me (and this is of course TO ME) it's my go to SRV pickup.
     
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  3. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

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    A Blue Lace Sensor was the first aftermarket I ever bought in the late 90's, but at the time I was disappointed that it didn't turn my Strat into a Les Paul, as is sort of implied in the marketing. Then I bought a Little '59, which had a similar claim, and that didn't work, so I bought an Epi Les Paul, and that did the trick. But all these years later, I appreciate a high inductance single coil for what they are.
     
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  4. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

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    I bought a '93 Plus Deluxe in early '94, but couldn't gel with the Red in the bridge, so eventually put a Gold in the middle, moved the Silver to the neck and the Blue to the bridge.

    I tried installing Lace on some other guitars and I didn't like them as much, until I realized that my '93 had a TBX tone control on the middle and bridge - I think that was really the secret in making those pickups sound clearer and more "straty".
     
  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Nice review. My favorite set that I've come across is the Rainbow set with a TBX on the bridge and the middle not connected to a tone. When I put that pickguard into that guitar it just sings.
     
  6. CapCrunch

    CapCrunch Strat-Talker

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    I guess I need more Strats just so I can get this set on it!

    Or Red/bridge, Blue/neck for my Tele, pseudo TelePlus!
     
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