Hi all,

I'm looking to replace the pickups on my Yamaha Pacifica 112V. Does anyone have any recommendations? I mainly use my guitar as accompaniment for vocals. I'm looking for pickups that are an all-round improvement on those that came with the guitar. No budget.

Last edited by thickofit at Nov 27, 2016,
Can you explain what you think is wrong with the ones it has? Can you do some side-by-side comparisons with other guitars? The reason I ask is because "more" isn't the same as "better". I've got some fancy pickups, but the very cheap ones that came in my Peavey as as good as any to my ear.
i know you said "no budget" but i'd be wary of spending too much- maybe you're not aware of it, but with some of the more expensive boutique/handwound pickups, you could easily pay so much that you could likely just buy a better guitar for what they cost!

what country are you in? that affects prices and what's easily available etc.

i'd be inclined to say something more on the lower output side of things, though i may not be thinking of the same thing you are when you say "accompaniment for vocals", so if you could list some more specific examples of what you want, that would help a lot.

also what amp(s) are you using? that's very important too.
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Yep. We need to know what style you want to play, and a realistic budget: some pickup sets cost $90, and some pickups cost $200 apiece.
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Quote by Tony Done
Can you explain what you think is wrong with the ones it has? Can you do some side-by-side comparisons with other guitars? The reason I ask is because "more" isn't the same as "better". I've got some fancy pickups, but the very cheap ones that came in my Peavey as as good as any to my ear.

Thanks for the response!

I don't think there's anything *wrong* with them, but I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if they happened to be the finest pickups around - and the ones best suited to my needs.

I've done some reading online, but it's usually people saying "I want new pickups because I want a more bluesy/metal/rock sound." I'm not looking to tailor my sound to one specific genre. I use my guitar mostly as an accompaniment for vocals - a bit like solo Billy Bragg, Courtney Barnett, etc.
You may need to do more research online, and listen to various pickups out there. There are pickups that have more/less output, or are EQ'd differently than what you have. The only thing your description might narrow it down to is that you probably don't want ultra-precise high output metal pickups.

There tends to be a knee-jerk reaction regarding pickup swapping, but it pays to take a few deep breaths before you embark on it. It really helps if you can do some side-by-side comparisons of different guitars and pickups through the same amp, to give you some indication of their strengths and weaknesses. - Easy for us that have half a dozen guitars, not so easy for a beginner. Even then the idea of relative pickup performance is slippery, because it will also depend on the amp. - My Epi VJ is a lot more forgiving of the shortcomings of pickups since it was modded with tone controls and a better speaker, among other things.
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 28, 2016,
Honestly it doesn't sound like you need to change pickups, it sounds more like you're reacting to the weird amateur guitarist obsession with changing pickups. If you can't really pinpoint anything wrong with your current pickups and, more crucially, don't have a specific reason for changing them there's really no point.

Pickups aren't cheap, and quite often they don't make a huge difference to your sound - certainly as a piece of gear they're one of the worst value purchases around. Unless you know exactly what's wrong with your sound and what you want to change about it more often than not it's the emperor's new clothes. Sure, you'll tell yourself there's a world of difference but deep down you know you've spend £200 to achieve something you could've done by fiddling with your amp settings.

Like I said, this is a weird obsession with amateur guitarists, and I'll hold my hand up as being guilty myself in the past - look through the EG forum, how many threads will you see where someone recommends a guitar along the lines of "I'd recommend an Epi Les Paul Standard but you'll want to change the pickups.", or equally "I'm going to buy an Ibanez RG350 and I've heard the pickups aren't that great so was wondering what I should change them to".

It's all bollocks! You can't recommend changing pickups in a guitar someone doesn't even own, you need to know what the guitar can do with the ones it already has, and if there's a shortcoming you've identified that can't be fixed any other way then sure, look at pickups. In my experience it really is an amateur thing, all the gigging pros I've ever met really couldn't care less about aftermarket pickups, they just wanted a reliable guitar and bought ones that already sounded the way they wanted.

Don't get me wrong, if money really isn't an issue then go for it, it's just that in my experience most people don't have cash to burn and the money you're thinking of dropping on pickups would most likely be better spent on another piece of gear -maybe a compressor could come in useful for your style. Or, y'know, stuff like food. Or hookers and gin.
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After 13 years of playing electric guitar, I finally swapped out the stock pickups in two of my guitars, and boy what an insignificant difference.

Everything you said is spot on.

There are certain pickups that really can drastically alter your tone (basing this off a few high quality youtube videos), but for the most part, stock vs something like DiMarzio or SD is just some enhanced clarity or output depending on what you get.

And you can get much more pronounced "clarity" with something like a tubescreamer or EQ pedal before the amp, if that's your thing

Not saying pickups are worthless, but the difference between them has the least significant impact on your tone relative to everything else (pickups style [HB vs Single vs p90, etc], the guitar itself, amps, pedals).
Last edited by Ignite at Nov 30, 2016,