Pacifica 102S Review

manufacturer: Yamaha date: 09/05/2016 category: Electric Guitars
Yamaha: Pacifica 102S
Comes with 2 single-coil pickups and features a solid alder body, lightning fast maple neck with a bubinga fingerboard, a 3-position pickup selector, single-coil pickups, controls for master volume / tone, and chrome hardware.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (4) pictures (1) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Pacifica 102S Reviewed by: Mosquitocoil, on october 24, 2003
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Purchased from: Bought Used

Features: This was my first electric. Okay, as far as features go, this guitar doesn't have frills, nor does it need them. 22 fretIt's your basic tele-copy, although I hate tele's, this one really was a nice change. Natural finish, as most 102s' seem to be. Bridge is string-thru, which is how i like it. Two single coils, 3-way-switch, volume, tone controls. Bridge pickup is the only one i use, more about that in 'sound'. Chrome plated bridge shines nicely :) // 8

Sound: As it was my first guitar, i used it for pretty much everything. I ran it through my zoom 707-gfx and Peavey Rage 158. I've also run it through a couple of Peavey bandit 112's and some Fender stage amps, a laney of some sort, a Boss GT-3 and blah blah blah, they all give the same sound: clear! Like i said, i only use the bridge pickup. The neck one's really bassy and's good for maybe if you wanna play heavier sounds through a clean channel, but i use my disto's and stuff, which sound ***t with the neck p/u. The bridge p/u gives the same clarity any Fender does, maybe better! It's good for any style of music, and good to learn with. I play mainly nu-metal, hard rock, some funk and stuff...suits it ALL. Doesn't make extra noise unless i'm at the computer :\ Overall, very impressed with the variety of sounds you can get from the clean guitar, so im giving a 5 // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Bought it second hand, so it was good when i got it. I had to adjust the height of the neck pickup, but that's a personal thing now, isn't it :) Plays nicely. Finish is beautiful, like every 102s - woodgrain and doesn't scratch easily. The pickup selector can make a little snap when you change between pickups, but only through the clean channels. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Machineheads = tight! Very reliable, never de-tune unless i hit the headstock against stuff...which i do alot (even then it's pretty stable!) Strap thing i've learnt about buttons is it also depends on the strap. i had a stupid Fender strap that was good, but kept coming off my Pacifica. I got a Dunlop strap and it's solid as all hell! It's even hard to remove when I want to now :) This baby will last for another 1000 years, give or take 50 :) Solid construction, machineheads won't detune...string-thru body, what more do you want? // 10

Overall Impression: If someone stole it, I'd buy a 7 string cause I've almost got enough money for a good one! But for the concept, yeah i'd probably buy another pacifica. Been playing maybe what 2 years or somethin? I wish it had the cutaway an RG had, or like the pacifica 112, but when i bought it I didnt know any better. If you want something that will last forever, even with minimal servicing, this is your best bet in my opinion. Good for beginners, even better for slightly accomplished players, go get one now! I would give 4.5, but since I can't, I'll give 4 // 8

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overall: 8.8
Pacifica 102S Reviewed by: UG Team, on october 24, 2003
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Price paid: $ 400

Features: Taiwanese made (I think), two single coils, 22 frets, tele style. As has been said before, it's alder-bodied, with a darkwood (bubinga?) fretboard. The headstock has a string tree for the high E and B strings - makes the G look very high coming off the nut to the tuner. Features? Well, everything I need, nothing I don't (I have an Epiphone Les Paul for the crunchy stuff, and a Fender acoustic for those unplugged moments). I'll give it an 8 - it's not dripping with frills, but, for a tele-style guitar, it has more or less everything you need (a second string tree on the headstock to catch the G & D would be icing on the cake, but is probably unnecessary apart from cosmetic reasons). // 8

Sound: Yamaha have done a good job on the pickups (well, to my ears at least), as neck/bridge/both combinations give three distinct sounds, which can then be shaped by volume and tone. Volume doesn't seem to cut in until about 5 (but maybe that's because I'm just not playing high gain enough at the amp end). I play mainly through a Korg Pandora and headphones (I live in a terraced house with seemingly paper walls), the rest of the time using a Peavey practice amp. I tend to have a preference for neck pickup sounds, but the bridge pick up has a nice edge, which although lacks the crunch of my Epi LP, has more attack. The two guitars complement each other quite well, I find. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Revelation. My first guitar was an Epiphone Les Paul, which cost twice as much as the Yamaha. So why, pray tell, does the Pacifica knock the Epiphone into a cocked hat in terms of Action, Fit and Finish? Set-up from the box was near spot on - the intonation was perfect, according to my ears AND my electronic tuner. I lowered the action slightly, which necessitated adjusting the intonation - both steps were a breeze. The guitar is finished in a dark-brown stain over the alder. The neck is much lighter (maple?), and the fingerboard is a nice, earthy brown with nice grain. I have to say that, looks wise, it wasn't my first choice, but looks went out the window when I actually played it against the opposition. The neck joint looks solid, the finish is exemplary. It has to be a 5. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig yet, and I've only had the guitar a fortnight, so it's a bit early to talk about reliability/durability. It hasn't broken yet ;-) Nonetheless, it seems solid and dependable. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing just over a year, and also own an Epiphone Les Paul. The Epi was over twice the price of the Yamaha, but is not as good an instrument. This guitar (and it's brothers, the RGX, 120s and 112) proves that you don't need to spend more than 200 pounds to get a quality instrument. I love the sound and the feel of this guitar. The neck is superb, so that even I sound as though I can play fast! The favourite feature probably has to be the neck, although the principle reason I bought it was for the single-coil pickups. In truth, I'd actually set out to buy a Fender Mexican Tele - I had my heart set on a white one with a maple fingerboard, but then I tried the Yamaha, at half the price, and even though it was the wrong colour, after playing the two there was no contest, especially considering the price differential. This kind of leads on to the wish list - I wish it came in white with a maple fingerboard, but I'd also like to see that second string tree I mentioned above. If it were lost or stolen, yes, I'd buy another in a second. In fact, this guitar has made me a total convert to the Yamaha cause, and were my entire house ransacked, I'd replace the Epiphone with a Yamaha guitar of some kind too. // 10

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overall: 10
Pacifica 102S Reviewed by: UG Team, on october 24, 2003
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Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Bought Used

Features: This guitar has almost no features, leaving the player to provide the tone. I like that, as I play several different styles and by changing my right or left hand technique, I can get just about any sound I need. The pickups do help, as I couldn't expect that bridge pickup twang from a Les Paul, but other than that, you're on your own. Though, there is one really nice feature on the 102 that I thought was great for the money. It has an alder body! If I had gone for an actual Fender tele, I would've had to pay anywhere from six to eight hundred bucks for the alder body. I can't afford that, so I bought this one for a hundred bucks from my guitar teacher and I can't really see much difference in tone between this and an American Strat I had the privelage to play (That's my next guitar. I loved it.) The only real difference was neck shape, which I have to take off for. The necks on Yamahas (and I've played other Yamaha models) just aren't thick enough. I know it sounds strange, but I consider a big neck a blessing, as long as it's not too big. The neck on the American Strat is what I would consider close to perfect, so that's my basis for comparison, and the neck on the pacifica just can't come close. It's not a fault, though, so I won't take off major points. Just one because that extra girth in the neck gives me something to hold on to. I have moderately large hands, by the way, so if you have small hands, this one might be right for you. // 10

Sound: As I said, this guitar can make any sound I feel like having it make. This is good, as my style ranges from folk (I use my acoustic for that) to Guns 'n' Roses. The stuff between that includes Buddy Holly, Beatles, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Slowhand, the Vaughan Brothers, old funk and motown tunes, Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, Travis Tritt, and some newer punk and alternative shit (and I emphasize shit) to make money on gigs. The guitar can do all of these sound well, except for the two extremes in my range of styles. The folk isn't a problem; that's what I have an acoustic for, but I can't get Slash tone out of the guitar. Don't get me wrong. It ain't me as a player. I can get damn close to the right sound. The problem is the way the guitar disorts. Single coils just don't handle distortion like humbuckers do. Now, overdrive, on the other hand, makes the Tele sing. The neck pickup under a slight overdrive from my tubescreamer (not my amp. Peavey distortion is for wannabe metal heads.) produces a fat tone very similar to what you'd expect from a Gibson ES. Actually, it does that clean, but the overdrive helps it out a little. The bridge pickup, with the same amount of Drive is a bit different. In case y'all didn't know, the Tele bridge pickup is over wound, making for both a jump in volume and easier distortion when you Switch to it. When I put the bridge pickup under the tubescreamer, it sounds like a Vintage tele- pure treble, but can still honk out those solos on the bass strings. Clean, it gives a perfect sound for licks from "Sweet Home Alabama" or those pedal steel bends for country. Now, the sound with both pickups together. Well, it does cancel hum, but there's a hell of a lot more to it than that. I think this position is the closest I've ever heard to the sound of angels' wings. And that's just clean. Overdriven (only slighly. I hate heavy anything), I can get Clapton, Stevie Ray, and even some Les Paul tones. All in all, a great sound, save for the lack of Slash tone, but that ain't what it's made for. A well- deserved ten. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the guitar used, so I wouldn't know about factory set-up, but I will say that I like high action. I'm a goddam slide player! (in addition to all the other fun stuff I play). // 10

Reliability & Durability: Are y'all kidding? The thing's a tank. I could beat a guy to death with it, hose it off, and sing about it at my next gig. The only thing I'd worry about is the finish. My belt buckle has no trouble putting scratches in it. Points off for that, but, again, minor problem. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing for a few years, in bands and otherwise, I practice four hours a day, sometimes more, and I'm a serious jazz player (to the point of getting into my school's GREAT jazz band. They went to Europe two years ago.), so I'd say my opinion can be trusted. That being said, the Pacifica gets an overall nine. It would have been a ten before I played the Strat, but I've since learned that I like fat necks. The only other thing I wish it had, besides a massively large and fat neck is a third pickup, but, hey, that's why I'm saving money for a Strat. However, I still won't sell this one. It's sort of good to have a backup, and I like the sound so much, that selling it seems like a dumb idea. // 10

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overall: 6
Pacifica 102S Reviewed by: Maxwell1981, on september 05, 2016
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Price paid: $ 157

Purchased from: Sam Ash Music Co.

Features: At nearly two inches thick, the Pac102 is without question the fattest solid-body electric guitar I have ever played. It has a tummy-cut contour, but what it really needs is a contour for the forearm; playing a flat guitar this thick is uncomfortable without one. The alder body and maple neck appear to be finished not with any nitro or poly materials, but a waxy, almost oil-like finish. This opens up the natural sound of the wood, which is great, but it seems cheap - the finish on the neck is starting to wear off after just four months. The fretboard is scalloped past the 12th fret - an amateur post-purchase mod done by the previous owner.

When I first found this guitar at the store, it was used. The headstock logo was gone. It looked like a Telecaster, but no, the cutaway was too dynamic and sharp to be a normal Tele. I was convinced for a while that I had picked up an amateur builder's project. I'm not disappointed that it has turned out to be a Yamaha, but I am disappointed that I own guitars of similar price which have held up much better than this one. // 5

Sound: Telecasters are up my alley. I like them for their brightness and twang. Being a guy interested in stuff like Captain Beefheart and Pere Ubu, a sharp, bright tone is something I need. I can't tell you about the stock pickups, because this one had been outfitted with GFS Fatbodys. It still has the snap and twang of a Tele, but it's missing a lot of the brightness and glass. It sounds dark and woody - I attribute this to the thin finish and the thick body. Noisiness is about what one would expect from a Tele.

This guitar is run into blues overdrive and phase shifter pedals, both from Boss, and then into an Orange amplifier. Even with the gain turned up all the way on the drive, the clunk and pop cut through, never lost. The darkness of the tone means that rolling back the drive pedal's tone can create a very thick, sludgy fuzz, great for covers of early Rush tunes such as "Working Man." // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: For all intents and purposes, there are no structural problems with the instrument. Strings are nice and low, potentiometers are great. Since I bought mine used, it had signs of use, including small tents and dings here and there. Thankfully, there was nothing like cracking or splitting. The nameless tuning machines hold well. The one minor problem is that the tone and volume knobs are swapped, a la Eddie Van Halen, who had a volume control marked "Tone." But since there are only two knobs on the guitar anyway, it doesn't really matter. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is built like a tank. You could throw it against a wall and it wouldn't so much as dent. Whatever strap buttons are on it (possibly aftermarket) are incredible. Your strap will not budge from there. A guitar like this was made for gigging in terms of construction. You can count on it to hold up. It's whether you WANT TO that matters. If I had to gig with it, I would, but it certainly wouldn't be my first or even second choice. The finish is disappointingly cheap and vulnerable for a brand name with such a great reputation. If you want a relic'd guitar on the cheap, just play one of these things nonstop for a few months! // 6

Overall Impression: The Pacifica 102S has the looks and the characteristic twang of a Telecaster, but that's about it. It's not a friendly guitar in terms of sound or construction, and it's not a good choice if you move quite a bit up and down the neck - if you do much more than "cowboy chords." On that note, this guitar might find use in the hands of someone who plays country or, if paired with a fuzz, stoner rock, and needs an inexpensive fiddle. Even then, however, one can do better. A Squier Telecaster would be a better choice at the same price. Buy that instead. // 5

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