If you’re been reading any of the guitar magazines over the last few years, odds are you’ve seen that ad with the shirtless gentleman with a handlebar mustache about to bare knuckle fist fight. It’s a great logo, and “Bare Knuckle Pickups” is just about the greatest description for a brand I could think of. There’s really no thinking about what they well, or what their pickups sound like – it speaks for itself.
Today we’re going to review the “Mule” humbucker pickups because I’ve been researching some options for PAF ’59 pickups. There are so many options, Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio, and even original Gibson re-issue PAF ’59’s. PAF is the famous “patent applied for” name given the pickups first made famous in Les Paul guitars – and the SG’s and others. They had a 100% nickel silver baseplate, maple spacers, and nickel plated slugs, and Alnico magnets.
So the question is – could a modern pickup sound as good as the original ’59 PAF? I want you to see something that floored me, check out this video from a parts guitar with The Mule pickups installed:
here’s another video of The Mule installed in a ’59 burst replica:
I’ll warn you now – they cost about $300 (and they’re worth every penny).
This Lace Sensor Hot Gold 6K Dually Humbucker Neck Pickup is made by combining two Sensor Hot Gold single coil neck pickups.Lace has been building Sensor electric guitar pickups since 1985. Used exclusively by Fender until 1996, Lace Hot Gold pickups have the same specifications with the same great tone. Hot Gold Lace Sensor neck pickups are designed to duplicate an early Fender single coil pickup with a slightly hotter signal. Crisp top end and bell-like tone, the Hot Gold pickup uses the latest technology to provide excellent tone for today’s players.The Lace Sensors have a unique radiant Field Barrier system that surrounds both the coil and magnets, reducing annoying 60-cycle hum. The patented Lace Micro Combs replace traditional bobbins, yielding a wider tonal range and better string balance than traditional pickups.Unlike ordinary pickups, it generates 36 separate magnetic “sensing” fields that, in the areas where they contact the string, “read” the strings’ vibration. (Regular guitar pickups only generate anywhere from 4 to 12 fields).The Lace Sensor guitar pickup also has Radiant Field Barriers: metal slides that frame the inner core of the Sensors and perform two functions. The first is to shield the Sensor from the outside noise and 60-cycle hum. The second is to produce broader, yet more concentrated, umbrellas of sensing field than standard magnetic pickups.Less Noise, More Harmonics As compared to standard pickups, the Lace pickup reads a greater physical area of the string, while picking up less outside interference. This makes the signal-to-noise ratio nothing short of phenomenal for a single coil system. Also, a wider range of harmonic content is read by the Sensor, delivering a more complex tonal response.Increased Sustain, Truer Pitch Since it operates so efficiently, Lace Sensors can use much lower energy magnets than ordinary pickups, and this in turn brings about a whole new realm of properties. In regular pickups, the magnetic fields are so strong they physically dampen, or drag on, the strings’ vibration, reducing sustain and actually changing the pitch. But in the Lace Sensor, string dampening is virtually nonexistent. This means your sustain is increased dramatically while the string holds its true pitch for the duration of the note.Lace includes a three-inch mini data CD that includes all its latest wiring diagrams in color along with Lace’s most current pickup and guitar catalogs. Also includes a warranty card and other useful information regarding Lace Music Products.