It is no secret that I am a fan of Lace Alumitones, that are featured on both of my current demo guitars. This made it a real treat when I recently enjoyed the hospitality of Don Lace, President of Lace Music, in their facilities in Huntington Beach, California.
I got to meet several members of staff, including Jeff Lace, who is in charge of the R&D. R&D at Lace seems to be in an excellent shape, which the development Alumitones, and the Helix neck profile prove. I had the opportunity to play both the original 20 degree twist neck and the more recent 10.8 degree twist and it was a revelation.
The 20 degree twist can be seen above. I always thought it would be ergonomic and I have prototyped it, but not played an actual instrument. The risk that I envisioned was that strings would fret out very easily when being bent “downwards”, i.e. towards the floor”, during normal play, but this issue was not at all as apparent as I thought it would be. Sure, it can happen, but for most styles of playing it will be fine. The more recent 10.8 degree twist is a closer compromise that will fit any playing style while still offering excellent ergonomics. I can’t wait to implement this in a EGS guitar and perhaps combine with fanned frets as well.
Overall, the Lace demo room was full of interesting builds and prototypes, including custom finishes for Alumitones that hold plenty of promise for color coordinating with my bridges.
Above, you can see the miniscule bobbin for an Alumitone. I look forward to exploring these possibilities in the future.