Many players have contacted me and been curious about how the EGS guitars sound with “normal” pickups. Johan Lundgren of Lundgren Guitar Pickups kindly lent me a pair of Heaven ’57 humbuckers for a test.
Getting this done was not as straight-forward as I had hoped. The Alumitones are a few millimeters smaller (36 x 65 mm) than a regular humbucker (38 x 68 mm), and for aesthetical purposes I had cut the pickup cavities as close to the original Alumitones as possible. This meant that I actually had to get the router out to enlarge the holes for the test. Another interesting fact is that the two Lundgren pickups weigh 250 grams and the two Lace pickups weigh 90 grams. With the EGS#1 guitar weighing in at about 2kg, it still results in a fairly light instrument, but the increase in weight is quite large percentage-wise.
You will have to judge the results for yourself. The larger frequency response of the Lace pickups allow them to be equalized into any type of sound using tone controls and effects, but the clips are recorded with the same settings on the amp.
Some comments from Jonas – his personal views and reflections:
- The Alumitones have a “sparkle” on the high end and the “punch” is high in the tonal register.
- The Lundgren pickups have their “punch” much more in the mid-range.
- The Lundgren pickups have a warmer and muddier sound.
- When playing the Alumitones, he feels he has to hold back a little – they have a tendency to “break” when picking hard. With Lundgren pickups, he feels more “relaxed” and un-inhibited.
- The EGS guitar still responds very quickly with the Lundgren pickups, but the attack is slightly less intimidating than with the Alumitone.
- Jonas’ verdict: “the EGS guitar really comes together with the Lundgren Heaven 57 pickups. Having said that, in something like the sound clip featuring Joe Pesce from FUZZ Guitar Show, the Alumitones beat the Lundgrens hands down.”
- My verdict: “As with anything on an instrument, the choice of pickups is very subjective. Material choices, design features, and electronics all have to blend together to form a complete instrument that resonates with its player. Both of the tested pickups have their merits. I am offering my customers a choice of whatever pickup type suits their playing style and genre the best. The Lundgren pickups turned out awesome in this particular instance, so I am definitely keeping them on. In the niche of ergonomic guitars, design and innovation, Lace Alumitones will continue to be my first choice.”
Slightly distorted sample: