#1
I bought a Yamaha Pacifica PAC120H recently. (Yeah, I know. But it's a long story.) Just noticed something odd. First thing I noticed was that when I played a 0-2 power chord (open 6th string, 2nd fretted 5th string) sounded terrible. Strange, because I had just carefully tuned it.

So I found all the open strings were perfectly in tune. And all the strings were fine at the 12th fret. The 12th fret harmonics are fine as well.

But here's the problem: At least some of the strings (I did not check each one) are off on the lower frets. I'm using DGCFAD tuning. So for example, the D (6th) string is tuned perfectly to D when open. First fret, though, is not a nice D#, it's on the borderline between D# / E. Second fret should be an E, but it's showing on the tuner as a low F. And so on.

The 5th string is tuned to G when open. First fret gives me something between G# / A. Second fret is nearly an A#.

On each of the strings, things start to improve at the 8th fret, then they're in perfect tune again at the 12th fret or so.

Is this just a piece of shit that needs to be returned? Seems to me the low fretwires are misplaced. Correct? Again, the 12th fret and 12th fret harmonics are almost spot-on (e.g. 6th string shows a D on the 12th).
Last edited by heterodox at Dec 8, 2016,
#3
Thanks, but it's running the OEM 9-42 strings, so shouldn't it work fine that way?

I just returned it to EADGBE, and not surprisingly, the song remains the same. The 6th string goes from E to a high E# at the first fret, etc.

The action is really low at the low frets, so I can see those being too high. But if the nut or frets are whacked, this damned thing is going on a ride in a big brown truck.
Last edited by heterodox at Dec 8, 2016,
#4
That's pretty light for the tuning, try tuning the two low string up to E and A, and see if the intonation problem goes away. With the way necks are mass-produced these days, I would be very surprised if there is anything wrong with the fret location.

A high nut is easily fixed if that is the problem.
#5
High nuts are common and pretty easy to fix. With light strings like that there's a definite possibility you're pressing too hard (hence why heavier strings could help if you don't have an especially light touch and don't want to spend time developing one).
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#6
Yep, I edited my previous post to mention I brought it back to standard tuning. The issue remains. It came with these strings and if it's out of whack under standard tuning, I have to think it's messed up.

Someone else in an Amazon review of the PAC120H claims the frets are misplaced as well. (I am aware that some people who post reviews are out of their minds.)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3UONPSZ9E6EDE/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B012DGFAHQ

I'm definitely far from being a "semi-pro" as that review alludes, but as I mentioned, I easily noticed that a 0-2 power chord sounded like shit. Even as a beginner, I don't want an instrument that sounds terrible. Not sure why anyone would think otherwise.

Wouldn't the low action at the first fret rule out a high nut?

Just tried pressing as light as possible while getting a clean note. They register lower (i.e. more accurately) than before, but they're still high.

I think I need to get into a store and check out some other guitars and see what's what. Thanks.
Last edited by heterodox at Dec 8, 2016,
#7
Quote by heterodox
Yep, I edited my previous post to mention I brought it back to standard tuning. The issue remains. It came with these strings and if it's out of whack under standard tuning, I have to think it's messed up.

Someone else in an Amazon review of the PAC120H claims the frets are misplaced as well. (I am aware that some people who post reviews are out of their minds.)


The frets aren't misplaced. But they may not be level and/or your setup may be out of whack. Frets not being level is a reasonable cause for taking the guitar back; a bad setup is not.
#8
I've checked the truss rod (the neck is barely concave), the action (just high enough to prevent buzz), and the intonation (fine per the 12th fret check). I'm not spending hours messing with or paying someone else to mess with a $300 guitar, so I guess it's bye-bye to this thing.

Thanks for the advice, all.
#9
Do not use harmonics to intonate a guitar. Use the fretted note at the 12 fret and the open string.Also make sure you tune in playing position. Yes gravity can effect a guitar neck,
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#10
OK, then by that standard, same as by harmonic, the intonation is spot-on or very close.

I'll probably keep this thing and use it as a secondary guitar. I'm soon to buy a hopefully-non-piece-of-shit Ibanez. And if I'm lucky, I'll get one that hasn't been altered by a scumbag who I'd like to pummel into a coma.
Last edited by heterodox at Dec 11, 2016,