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Yamaha is not all that popular in guitar community, at least not when it comes to electric guitars. With that said, their Yamaha Pacifica 112V is by far one of the best and most capable beginner guitars one can get at the moment.
One quick glance at this guitar will tell you what type of aesthetic Yamaha was going for. The body shape they’ve used for the Pacifica series of guitars is relatively unique, but similar to a Strat. Tonewood of choice is Alder. Interestingly enough, that’s the same wood Fender uses for all of their guitars. The neck is bolted on and made of maple.
This particular model comes with a rosewood fretboard, which is generally the only option for the Pacifica series. Everything on this guitar is put together nicely. When you pick it up, it simply feels solid and well built.
The type of electronics Pacifica 112V brings is probably the only thing that is obviously different from a Strat. Instead of three single coils, you get two single coils in the neck and middle position, along with a humbucker at the bridge. Here’s why this configuration is actually great. Beginners often feel limited by single coil pickups, especially if they want to play heavier genres of music.
Having that one humbucker at the bridge offers additional versatility which is something you want in an entry level model. The quality of the pickups is decent, to say the least. These are in-house made pups but are definitely among the better in their category. Pickups are wired to a single Tone and Volume knob, along with a pickup select switch.
Hardware is another point where Yamaha clearly borrowed some solutions from Fender. The bridge is a synced tremolo design with six fully adjustable saddles. These bridges are not something you really want on an entry level guitar, mainly because they need to be of certain quality in order to work and not mess up the intonation.
However, the one Yamaha installs on these Pacificas is rather decent. If you don’t abuse it too much, it will work pretty well. Tuners fitted on this guitar are your average die cast variety. They are pretty precise, but you definitely don’t want to push them too far. Overall, the hardware is on par or even better than what most guitars in this price range have to offer.
Viewed through the prism of beginner electric guitars, Yamaha Pacifica 112V packs a decent punch. That humbucker at the bridge position is capable of dealing with gain-rich distortion just fine, and is fairly clear. Once it’s time to do some pore precise work on a clean channel, you will notice that this guitar sounds wholesome.
It’s not as defined as a much more expensive model would be, but it keeps up just fine. Middle and neck pickups are great when you want to muddy up the tone a little, especially with a nice layer of overdrive on top. The overall theme of this guitar is versatility and that is reflected through its tone as well.
While Yamaha Pacifica 112V may not be the best guitar in the world, it’s one of the best beginner models you can grab. Not a lot of people even know about this guitar, which is truly a shame. If you are looking for a well-rounded entry level guitar, make sure to check out the Pacifica line. You are bound to find something that works for you.