Lace Sensor

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The Lace Sensor is a guitar pickup designed by Don Lace and manufactured by AGI (Actodyne General International) since 1985.

This line of electric guitar pickups was used exclusively by Fender from 1987 to 1996.

Lace Sensors are true single-coil pickups; however, internally they are different from classic single coils. The chief difference is that, like the pickups used on the Fender Jaguar, the coil is surrounded by metal barriers which are designed to reduce electro-magnetic interference such as power line hum. According to the manufacturer, these barriers also help concentrate the magnetic field, allowing weaker magnets to be used, which results in less string pull. Less string pull, in turn, means truer pitch and intonation, and superior sustain.


Four types of Lace Sensor pickups for Stratocaster were originally manufactured (denoted with an * following the model name), followed by five newer models, each with a different output rating and tone. Lace Sensors are also available for Telecaster, Precision Bass, Fender Jazz Bass and Jazz Bass V.


A Lace Sensor "Dually" is effectively a double-coil unit combining two Lace Sensor single-coil pickups in a humbucker configuration. Both coils of the pickup are wired individually and left that way, so that the user may choose whether to wire them up as a humbucker, or one of several other ways.

The humbucking Lace Sensors were used as a standard equipment material on the original Jeff Beck Stratocaster, the Telecaster Plus/Deluxe Plus and the Stratocaster Ultra, manufactured by Fender in the early '90s, as well on some Custom Shop models such as the Set Neck and Contemporary Stratocaster guitars.

Usually a humbucker needs to comprise at least two coils with equal output, in order to produce the noise-cancelling effect. Lace Sensors are able to use mismatched coils because as single-coil pickups they are low in noise.

Lace Alumitone[edit]

Introduced in 2007, Lace Alumitone pickups feature a new design which is aluminum based, rather than copper. The result is less resistance, higher output coupled to a "current driven design" as opposed to conventional voltage based pickups.

The water-jet-cut aluminum exoskeleton is then matted to a micro winding using 90% less fine copper wire. A low impedance/high impedance pickup is then created.

Sonically, the pickups produce more bass than traditional single coils, more volume, mids are slightly more than conventional pickups. Highs are balanced and articulate.

Notable users[edit]

A Nitro-Hemi Lace Sensor on a hand-made Girouard Guitar.
A Nitro-Hemi Lace Sensor on a hand-made Girouard Guitar.
  • Eric Clapton - The Eric Clapton Stratocaster with Gold Lace Sensors
  • Pete Townshend - The Eric Clapton Stratocaster with Gold Lace Sensors and customized with a Fishman Powerbridge (used from 1989–present with The Who)
  • Jonny Greenwood - A Fender Telecaster Plus with Red-Red dually in the bridge and single Blue in the neck.
  • James Burton - A 3-pickup Telecaster with Red in the bridge, Silver middle and Blue neck.
  • Buddy Guy - Used Gold Lace Sensor Pickups
  • Jeff Beck- Used one of the first Fender Strat models to have Lace Sensors a 1987 (Graffiti yellow Strat plus) that he requested to be made in that color for him.
  • The Edge used a few Lace Sensor-equipped Stratocasters on the Lovetown and Zoo TV Tour.
  • Ritchie Blackmore - One version of the Ritchie Blackmore Stratocaster featured two Gold Lace Sensors, one in the bridge and one in the neck position. This guitar was also available as a 'Roland Ready' model with an optional Roland GK-2A MIDI pickup. Blackmore Has used Lace Sensor pickups since 1993.
  • Francis Rossi - 3 Lace sensors are fitted in his trademark green Fender Telecaster, which has been his main guitar since he bought it for £70 in 1968.
  • Billy Corgan - Used a '57 Reissue Fender Stratocaster with three Fender Lace Sensor pickups, Blue in the neck, Silver in the middle and Red in the bridge position. Used extensively during the 90's on tour and in the studio.
  • Kim Deal - plays a '91 Strat Ultra live and in the studio with The Breeders (Blue Lace sensor in the neck, Silver in the middle and "Lace Dually" Red in the bridge). She offered a similar model to her sister Kelley for Christmas.
  • Bob Mould
  • Scott Gorham - Nowadays in his Fender Stratocaster
  • Dean Ween - Lace sensors in Neck and Middle positions of Stratocaster.
  • Aoi from The GazettE - Gold Lace Sensors on some of his custom ESP models
  • Malcolm Jones from Runrig - using his Fender Stratocaster with Lace sensor.
  • Matt Pike- Pike (of Sleep (band) and High on Fire) has signature Lace Sensor pickups, "Dirty Heshers".
  • Mastodon (band)- Both Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher of Mastodon have their own signature Lace Sensor pickups, the Hammer Claw and Dissonant Aggressor respectively, as of 2014.

External links[edit]