Guitar Gear Review: Mojotone Lerxst Limelight HSS Strat Pickguard

The Lerxst Limelight pickguard is a must-have for Strat players. HSS or otherwise.

We all know the Canadian band Rush. Or at least, we better. LOL! We also all know Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. Or once again, we better! HaHa! An entire article can only just begin to cover Rush’s contribution to rock and progressive rock music. Their mark on popular culture is indelible and undeniable. Of that incredible legacy, today we are looking at a part of one of the more interesting pieces of gear in Alex Lifeson’s career. The Hentor Sportscaster. More specifically, the pickups in the Sportscaster. Highlights of the Sportscaster can be heard on “Freewill”, the Moving Pictures album, the Grace Under Pressure album, and so on.

The history and pedigree of the Hentor Sportscaster has volumes of documentation. So I’m not going to get in to that here. Plus, I’m a relative neophyte by comparison to the scores of experts on the subject. The abridged version is that it’s an ash body with maple neck and ebony board. The most commonly known variation is with the Floyd Rose double locking tremolo system. The HSS configuration is a twin-blade humbucker and two single coils with a 3-way toggle on the lower horn.

Here it is in action in 1981:

Rush – Red Barchetta (Live (1981/Canada)
Back in the Limelight

If you have the interest and the time, HERE is a link to a YT video of Lifeson discussing the inspiration to work with Godin and Mojotone to release a line of guitars based on the Sportscaster.

Mojotone has a history of working with Lifeson on his signature line of amplifiers and cabs. And they cannot keep the By-Tor driveboost pedal or the Snow Dog fuzz/octave pedal on the shelf. There is a history with Mojotone that makes sense for Lifeson to chose to move forward with Mojotone pickup wizard David Shepherd.

Mojotone Lerxst Limelight Front
Mojotone Lerxst Limelight Front

The Limelight pickguard is going on a 2023 MIM Fender Player Stratocaster Floyd Rose. Alder body, maple neck, pau ferro board, Floyd Rose tremolo. The pickguard is a drop-in, so the only connections are to the output jack. For regular Strats, the switch is a 3-way lever style in the more traditional placement near the control knobs. Switching configuration is neck, neck/middle, and bridge.

The harness consists of vintage taper 500k CTS pots, Mojotone Dijon .022uF tone cap, CRL 3-way lever switch, and Switchcraft 1/4″ jack. Strings are 09-42 with standard E tuning.

Points of interest include the control knobs being in a slightly more considerate position. This responds to preferences of a lot of players out there. The traditional placement doesn’t get under my skin as much as some players. But I do appreciate having that little bit of extra space near the bridge pickups. Also, the switching options might be away from the norm, but it’s a very quick and easy adaptation to be right at home with the tonal options. I’m liking it. But if you don’t, it’s an easy tweak to throw your own 5-way in there for a more traditional setup. However, I suggest sticking with it as-in.

Mojotone Lerxst Limelight Back
Mojotone Lerxst Limelight Back

Mojotone is knocking it out of the park with this set of pickups. This Limelight HSS set is not just a great product from Mojotone, I consider this set to be Best In Class. Right up there with the Hellbender humbucer set and the Premium Historic ’59 PAF as something that’s one-of-a-kind that cannot be touched.


The dual blade humbucker is an excellent voicing for this guitar. It’s also what a lot of players are looking for from this type of humbucker. Look, we all know what this bridge humbucker is. But in a ash body with a maple neck and ebony board, the usual suspect is going to take off the top of your head and jab you in the ear holes. LOL!

Mojotone relentlessly searched to find some of the best examples of this style of pickup from the era of the original. Then they built their new humbucker from the ground up. Choices are made to calm any semblance of stringent high end by using an Alnico 5 magnet and a plated surround. An interesting discovery is that the design of origin has room to spare. Mojotone is only using what is needed and the result is a pickup that is not quite as tall and will fit into more cavities.

There is an exceptionally balanced voicing at work here. The right amount of everything without being too much. It can crunch, but not be crunchy. You will get it to sing and to scream, but it won’t be scratchy. How about a resonant mid-range that purrs and snarls and growls and roars… all in ways that complement the neighboring lows and highs? It’s an amazingly versatile humbucker that I truly hope is released as a standalone item. Unless you dial in your tone with earmuffs over your ears or with icepicks in your ears, this humbucker straight-up has you covered.

Neck & Middle

What do you do for single coils to match that dual rail humbucker? In this instance, you pump up the jamz! LOL! In other words, you raise the roof! HaHa! Alright… you increase the output. The issue with many higher-output single coils is that they can lose the desirable complexity of the traditional single coil tone.

The resulting tone of the single coils is at least as impressive to my ears as what Mojotone is doing with the humbucker. These single coils are superbly matched to have a virtually unnoticeable change in volume from one switch position to another. Not only that, but still sound like single coils while doing it. There is chime and chirp and glass and even a bit of sass. They don’t push your clean amp channel too hard. In fact, I’m finding no need to alter my clean settings at all.

The flip side of that is how well these single coils perform on a dirty amp channel. And I do mean that I’m throwing heaping helpings of gain at these bad boys. They retain the clarity and all the hallmarks of a single coil pickup. And they do it without mushing out or folding under the heft of a rip-roaring high-octane dirty amp tone.

Mojotone Lerxst Limelight

Aliex Lifeson’s Lersxt Amps brand has given the thumbs up to The Journeyman Guitarists demos:

Alex Lifeson Lerxst Limelight Mojotone Pickup Assembly

#1. Yes, I know. Coil readings for the humbucker aren’t broken out per coil. HaHa! The dressing of the harness is a work of art and I cannot bring myself to crack it apart. #2. Yes, the neck and middle single coil pickups are the same spec.

Series – 12.189 K
Inductance – 6.056 H
Magnet – Alnico 5

Neck & Middle
DCR – 7.585 K
Inductance – 3.5595 H
Magnet – Alnico 5

Mojotone Lerxst Godin

This Limelight set is good for progressive rock and hard rock. Obviously. It’s also great for jazz, fusion, funk, djent, nu-metal, thrash, metalcore, classic rock, heavy blues, 80s rock, pop, country, and more. As of this writing, it only comes in black. The current option is for a standard trem route, but a Floyd Rose route is coming soon. But any player worth their salt should be crafty enough to make it work.

For reference, this Mojotone Lerxst Limelight HSS Strat Pickguard evaluation was conducted with the following: ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier. Physical cabs use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic 

Mojotone Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram