Lace Huntington

Tuesday, September 30, 2008| by Will Chen

Lace has a reputation as one of the premier after market pickup manufactures with their noiseless single coil Strat replacement pickups being the choice of many guitarists including none other than Eric Clapton. With the Huntington series of guitars, Lace provides their take on the rest of the classic Stratocaster design.

Our review model features Lace’s new transparent white finish which subtly displays the basswood body’s wood grain. It looks fantastic. Upon picking up the guitar for the first time, I was shocked at the Huntington’s light weight which is among the lightest I’ve ever experienced. Being so light, I was expecting the guitar to be neck heavy, but that wasn’t the case. The guitar balances beautifully.

The medium profiled, C shaped, maple neck has satin finish and was extremely comfortable. Coupled with the nicely crowned and dressed medium jumbo frets on the rosewood fretboard; this is one impressive neck. The uniquely cool headstock is tilted back 15 degrees to focus vibration to the graphite nut and features three-on-a-side tuners. A couple of the tuner’s action was just a bit on the stiff side, however tuning stability was superb. One of the key areas companies sacrifice to bring down the cost of a guitar is the pickups and electronics and I wondered if that would be the case here. With Lace’s reputation, I was eager to give the Huntington’s pickups a whirl.

I auditioned the guitar using a Peavey Vypyr 30, a Digitech GNX3000 into a Behringer B212A, and a Tech 21 Trademark 60. The Powered By Lace pickups are hot and incredibly well balanced and complementary, quite a feat with a single-single-humbucker configuration where the hotter humbucker output typically overshadows paired single coils. The Huntington is a tonal chameleon adept at pretty much any style I threw at it from hard rock to funky jazz. Chording sounds full yet retaining good string to string definition and notes just seemed to sustain for days. While it doesn’t quite offer up the low end whallop of some higher gain humbuckers, the bridge does serve up articulate highs with a low mid growl aggressive enough to spit out some palm muted riffage with authority. The neck pickup is sweet as honey with an extremely smooth top end; perfect for legato runs and bluesy soloing. That famous “in-between” sound of the two and four positions is here in all its glory extending the Huntington’s tonal palette to include tight and shimmery funk rhythms. I was additionally extremely impressed with the sensitivity of volume pot changes. Rolling back the volume knob reduced the output of the guitar into vintage territory without significantly altering the tonal response. Very well done!

The Lace Huntington is a hard axe to fault with and a very attractive option for anyone seeking an affordable and high quality Strat alternative. The current MSRP is $299.99 USD but will incease to $329.99 USD in 2009.

Street Price: ~$175 - $235 USD
Pros: Great neck and pickups, light weight
Cons: None

Filed Under: Lace, Reviews