Sound — 9
I'd say this suits my style preety damn well. I play anything from Jeff Buckley, to Radiohead, to the Clash, to Muse to outright pop. I am also veering towards jazz and the blues more, and I find that the Pacifica deals with all of these execptionally well for a guitar of it's price. What really sets the guitar apart is the humbucker, what Squiers are missing (you know, apart from decent electrics:P) With the humbucker, I can play with a pretty large amount of distortion, without losing any clarity. I have a Fender Frontman 15, hardly the best amp ever, but it does it's job. My school also has one of these, and a Squier, and my Pacifica beats it hands down. while the Squier sounds muddy, however much you twiddle with hte EQ, it's a lot easier to get decent tone out of the Pacifica, which is exactly what a beginner wants. You can get a bit of moise, but to be honest, it's the amp, not the guitar, and I rarely (if ever) get feedback, another problem with Squiers.
Overall Impression — 9
I'd probably buy this guitar if it were stolen, because, for it's price, you really can't beat it. A must for beginners! What I love about the Pcifica is that I can always get some new pickups, and locking tuners, and have a guitar I can be proud of. When I do eventually get a new guitar, I think I will go for something quite different (I have my eye on a Burns Steer), as I think the 112 fulfils my needs at the moment.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I'm only really starting out writing my own material, but I'd definitdly use this Live, I don't think I'd need a back up. But I'm certain the Pacifica would sound great through a good amp, and with some good effects. I've never felt scared of the strap buttons falling out, and the finish has already lived through quite a few scrapes. I can't see myself encountering any problems with the hardware, but I might replace the pickups at some point.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was great, as were the pickups, and, in any case, if you're dissatisfied with the pickups, it's incredibly easy to adjust them. I couldn't fault the factory set up at all. Alder is a wood of reasonably good quality, and the tone is acceptable. Tuning pegs aren't locking, so it is likely that you'll have to tune up a bit, but thisisn't a problem if you just get a tuning pedal with true bypass.
Features — 9
I'm not sure when or where this guitar was made, but it was brand new when I bought it. As mentioned before, it has 21 frets a sonokeling (at least, that's what it says on the manual I downloaded) fretboard, and the neck is maple. Pearl inlays, and markers on the side of the neck too. It looks pretty much like any other entry level Strat copy, albeit, maybe a bit more angular, which I quite like. I rarely use the whammy bar, but it stays in tune with light usage. Not exactly suitable for dive bombs, but that doesn't worry me. Passive electronics, two singlecoils, and a humbucker at the bridge.