Sensor-Gold review by Lace

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.7 (162 votes)
Lace: Sensor-Gold

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.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I put Lace Golds on one of my Strats, and the 60-cycle hum evaporated. Good glassy clean tones, or push it hard on one of those tubivores made for Strats (I have in mind a Pro Tube Fender that I first heard 10 years ago and immediately purchased) and you may begin to doubt the spirit and utility of any other arrangement.
    I have two Fender golds and one red. I don't really like the red that much. They have their own sound, which is great, but to my ear, they don't sound like strat pickups. I wish they did, but I can't stand hum. I came from a humbucker world. :>
    i want these pickups in muy squier strats maybe i can get a kinda Blackmore's tone =D
    Great Review, mostly because it agreed with my view things...Go Figure! The biggest complaint I hear about Stats with Lace pickups is that they don't really sound like a Strat...and they are right. With a bit of fidling with the smooth taper pots, and properly setting the PU selecter, the spectrum of sound you can get from a Laced Strat is astonishing, and something you couldn't dream of getting on a standard Stat.
    Agree totally with the review. Have been using Lace Golds for 21 years in my Strat Plus. Installed them last year in my 2008 Am Std as the stock pups just didn't measure up. The Lace give Fat Strat tones with little or no hum. Equally good for clean or high gain.
    I installed a Lace SG pickguard w/ the new pots, caps, switches to get rid of the truly atrocious stock Vintage Noiseless pups. Observations: Gone is the hum, unless you really work at it. All pickups at all positions are useful. Alas, the quack is gone from positions 2 and 4 on the selector switch. Can anyone help me with this?
    Are LSGs are all the same? Is there any difference between pickups (in set of 3)? Cause i want to buy one and put it in a bridge position. I searched the web and there is no specific LSG bridge pickup. Thanks for help, in advance.