Price paid: $ 20
Sound — 9
The Sensor-Gold is best known for it's classic '50s galssy bell-like Stratocaster tone and so, they were used exclusively by Fender from 1987 up to 1996. It's 5.8K resistance/output can be used in all positions: bridge, mid, and neck. This particular model was favored by legends such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Buddy Guy. There are still Fender-branded Lace Sensors, now called NOS or new old stock. Initially, I thought they were "weak" (the output); however, they start to Shine when you crank your tube amps, the breakup is glorious and the designed output is perfect, way better than hotter PUs at high volumes. The biggest difference from other single coils is that the coil is surrounded by metal barriers which blocks electromagnetic interference such as power line (60 cycle) hum. This design, along with the Micro Combs that replaced the traditional bobbin allows the use of "weaker" magents that are "sensing", resulting in less magnetic pull, but more focused filed on the strings. Less pull means more sustain and more accurate pitch due to less dampening. This model works extremely well with Fender tube/valce amps and those known for superior "cleans". Obviously, nobody will use this model for "modern" metal.
Overall Impression — 9
The design allows the minimization of the 60 cycle hum. Is it totally gone? Not if you hold it in front of your amp; however, the quietness compared to the old school single coil PUs is very noticeable indeed! I've installed a full set of NOS Fender-branded Lace Golds (bridge, mid, and neck) on a favorite Strat and in combination with my Fender Hotrod Deville, it's very easy indeed to come close to Eric Clapton's tone. When played through gainier amps like the Mesa Boogie RoadKing or H&K tube amps, I can get Blackmore's (Deep Purple) tone.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Pickups are so compact they're close to bullet-proof. The only failures will probably be due to the user yanking/jerking the wires while doing replacements/upgrades. Otherwise, these should outlast their owners.