Hi all, I just bought a Yamaha Pacifica 112J and wanted to know if a professional setup is really needed. I saw a few videos how to do it yourself, but sure about the whole tone check and whatnot. im sure i can figure the neck and frets out.. Really what is the most important thing to setup with a new guitar and are there are quick cheap important updates i should do?
Generally, guitars are going to need a setup one way or another. As long as you're careful and make sure you know what you're doing, what difference is it going to make if you do it yourself?

I normally make sure I get a setup free with the guitar when i buy it (unless it's bought online).
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
yeah i bought this off craigslist, but the person said it was never really played and it sure seems that way.
It might not be a bad idea to have someone check your work to make sure you've done everything correctly, especially if it's your first time around. If you can do a good setup, though, there's no reason to pay for one.
Most guitars benefit from being set up professionally, even brand new ones. A good set up may make your guitar play like butter.
My Pacifica only needed a few little tweaks to get it nearly right - not as good as a pro set-up on my J Team Ibanez (which really really needed it) but good enough. It really depends on how close the guitar is to being right - and how fussy you are too. If you're happy with it after a bridge and rod tweak then fine. If it needs a re-fret and a neck re-set then go to a pro.
All guitars need a good setup.

You can do it yourself. You learn as you go.

Get the neck relief right. Adjust the bridge saddles for action.

That's the main things.

If you have dead frets it might need the neck leveled or a fret polish. You could do this yourself if you are ambitious.

Since you just bought the guitar it might be wise to play it for a few weeks to see what it needs.
Last edited by Virgman at Jan 28, 2014,
i think the frets are fine, but thats just a quick glance. As far as the bridge, everything i have seen is checking the tone by ear.... there has to be a better way right?
What? No, a setup is mostly about neck relief and intonation. You need to measure and adjust those things first before you start tweaking the tone. Bridge adjustments are generally about playability and intonation, not tone.

I'm not sure what you're referencing. Look at the setup thread here, follow those instructions. There are thousands of set by step setup tutorials online, there's no sense in stumbling through it blindly.
Your guitar may already be okay in terms of playability. If so, no further setup is needed. That's a fairly rare occurrence, however, and if the playability isn't where you like it, or if you have buzzing frets or instances of "fretting out" when you bend notes, etc., then you should set it up (or have it done by a professional.

Probably the best $15-20 you can spend on your guitar is the purchase of a book like "How to make your electric guitar play great" by Dan Erlewine. It's available on Amazon. Read it a couple of times and then check it against your guitar to see what you'd like to change.
Thanks for the book tip. I was watching a few youtube videos on how to do it. One the guy would strum a string then again on a lower fret and figured out if the bridge needed to be adjusted. ill have to look more into it when i get a chance.
Check the intonation by checking the tuning on the open string and at the twelfth fret if its good and if the guitars not buzzing anywhere then you dont really need a set up. If its off there's no real harm in trying to fix it yourself.