Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V Review

Yamaha has always been one of the best bang-for-buck guitar companies. The guitars are well constructed, affordable, play very well, and last a player their whole life. The Pacifica PAC112V is one such example. Check out Kevin’s Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V review and see if it’s for you.

If you’ve read my guitar reviews on this site, you will notice my affection for Yamaha Guitars. I seem to recommend them with reckless abandon and give them high scores.

It’s all with good reason. Yamaha has always been, pound for pound, one of the best bang-for-buck guitar companies. The guitars are well constructed, play very well, and last a player their whole life. I’m not just talking about their high-end guitars, either. Their affordable ones, such as the Pacifica PAC112V, are just as good as their more expensive ones.

The Specs

Like with the Gretsch G5220 I previously reviewed, you are getting a lot of great features for a ridiculous price. The body is made of alder, a tonewood often used by Leo Fender for its balanced tone and decent weight. The model I checked out was finished in Sonic Blue, which had a striking hue.

The bridge is a vintage-style tremolo with a block saddle. While my test guitar didn’t come with the tremolo bar, the bridge was very secure, with no movement forward under the most considerable string bends. It should be said, though, that most vintage-style tremolos, such as this one, will knock a guitar out of tune with a lot of use.

The neck is made of maple, sporting a rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium frets, set on the body with four bolts. The neck itself has a nice, fat feel. The tuners are die-cast and feel solid. The satin finish on the neck is also very smooth and unobtrusive to those wanting to wail up and down the fretboard in true rock fashion.

The electronics feature a set of Alnico V pickups in an HSS configuration. These are controlled via a five-position blade switch, one volume and one tone control. The tone control is also a push-pull switch for the bridge humbucker, splitting the coils and giving you additional tonal options.

Looks 4.5/5

The Sonic Blue against the white pickguard and rosewood fingerboard is striking. The looks aren’t subtle here!
The fit and finish were excellent. My only gripe is a minor cosmetic flaw on the body at the neck joint, where some wood or paint may have slightly chipped. This is oh-so minor and doesn’t affect the overall appearance (mainly since it was in a spot that no one – apart from the player – will see).

I don’t expect a perfect guitar for the price, but I want a playable, great-sounding guitar. For that reason, the minor flaw is easily forgivable. It would be harder to take if this were a multi-thousand-dollar order from the Gibson Custom Shop, where anything less than perfection (especially for the cash) simply won’t do.

Build Quality – 4.5/5

Solid as a rock! Everything is well put together, the neck pocket is solid, the electronic components feel sturdy, and (apart from the minor chip mentioned above) the finish was spot on! The frets were also well dressed and crowned, with nary a sprout to be found along the edge of the fretboard.

The only aspect I can’t comment on is how sturdy the tremolo system is. That said, the guitar, played as it was presented, had no problems staying in tune as I gave it a strum and a pick.
The neck had a bit of a bow in it, but that’s an easy fix.

Playability – 4.5/5

This guitar was just fun to play! I’m a fan of decent-sized necks, and this one felt excellent on the hands. The finish on the neck certainly didn’t get in my way as I played some choice runs and chords.
The action was higher than what I like straight off the shelf. This can, however, be easily corrected with a setup.

This Pacifica is a gigable guitar that will not hinder novice players. It is a guitar they can grow with.

Sound – 5/5

The electronics did give me a lot of tonal variations. The humbucker was nice and meaty, and the single coils offered beautiful clarity and chime. Surprisingly, even with a fair amount of gain, the single-coil pickups were surprisingly quiet; a little bit of that 60-cycle hum, but nothing that wasn’t annoying or loud, which can’t always be said for guitars at this price range assembled with cheap components.

Value for Money – 5/5

You really can’t beat Yamaha in this department. With solid tonewoods, great electronics and fantastic build quality, this guitar delivered excellent value for the money. Compared to other instruments in this price range, you wonder how Yamaha can do it or why others cannot.

Overall Rating – 24.5/25

With a minor cosmetic flaw keeping it just shy of a perfect score, the Yamaha Pacifica PAC112V delivers a lot of guitar for a budget price. New players will have a fantastic instrument to learn on and which will grow with them, while gigging musicians have a show-ready instrument to take when they want to leave some select instruments at home.
Grab one or two or five (at that price, why not!) You’ll be happy you did!
Thanks to Daniel Sauvé at Steve’s Music Ottawa for letting me try this guitar!

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