I remember seeing the promotional photos for the original Lace Cybercaster years ago and immediately falling in love with the cool aesthetics which somehow looked both futuristic and classic at the same time. Perhaps more aptly named Son of Cybercaster, while this imported incarnation does share some very high end features of the original such as a solid double bound mahogany body sandwiched between a stunning rosewood top and back, it doesn’t sport the 10.8 degree twisted helix neck of the original California made model.
The Lace Cybercaster seems to throw the best features of the traditional classics into a blender and mix them together into something unique and new. The bridge assembly features the oversized bridge plate of the Tele and master volume and tone while borrowing the inset top mounted jack from a Strat and dual humbucker and 3-way toggle from a an LP. The unique shape of the Cybercaster looks as if it might be uncomfortable and more about style than function. However, the guitar is excellently balanced standing up or sitting down. Weighing just shy of 7 pounds was the icing on the ergonomic cake!
The axe is adorned with an extremely nice 25 ½” scale maple neck with a satin finish and a rosewood fret board. The neck is thin but doesn’t have the modern U shape you might expect from a thin neck; definitely more like a slightly flattened C shape and super comfortable. Fretwork is immaculate. The extended cutaway provides excellent upper fret access which is only hampered at the highest frets due to the heel of the bolt on neck design; though it is rounded nicely providing about as comfortable joint as you’ll find in a standard 4 bolt- with-backplate design. The headstock features a slightly fin-like curve on which the smooth action sealed tuners reside which held nice and tight.
The unique style of the Cybercaster will likely scare away those more lemming than leader, but I feel it’s exquisitely beautiful from a design, playability, and tonal perspective...
I plugged up the Cybercaster though a Tech 21 Trademark 60 and direct using a Boss GT-10 using headphones and though a large PA. The Lace USA Hemi humbuckers have a hot output with a fairly balanced PAF-like tonal response with an extended high end which is achieved using vintage winding and barium ferrite magnets. Clean, the guitar has great sustain and a defined high end sparkle with excellent string to string balance. At maximum gain levels, the Hemis exhibited a fair amount microphonics even at low volume. Those who like their gain on 11 will definitely need to dial things back a bit. Though to be fair, due to the beefed up output you won’t need as much gain as you would with a standard humbucker. Due to that extended high end, the pickups are extremely versatile and very responsive to both the volume and tone pot. Rolling the volume knob back a bit the pickups retain their chime and become more single-coil like while rolling off the high end slightly brings the tonal response closer to that of a traditional humbucker. Additionally, Lace has generously included a puch/pull coil split on the tone knob. Split, the tones were good with a nice spank and jangle if a touch on the thin side. I certainly had to make adjustments to the amp to really benefit from the split tones. Surprisingly, with certain amp settings I actually thought the bucker with the volume rolled back sounded more like a traditional single coil than using the coil split.
The unique style of the Cybercaster will likely scare away those more lemming than leader, but I feel it’s exquisitely beautiful from a design, playability, and tonal perspective and a prefect fit for those looking to play outside the box.
Price: ~$500 USD
Pros: Excellent playability, light weight, unique cosmetics.
Cons: Pickups a little microphonic at high gain settings.