Price paid: $ 210
Sound — 8
Well this started off as my first electric guitar and it sounded amazing to me at the time....but then after the years I realised (this was when I started getting into heavier styles of music) that the Humbucker pickup was quite crap so I replaced with a DiMarzio DP103 I think (PAF Anniversery Edition, Bridge) which instantly solved the issue of not enough output whilst still having quite a lot of versatility. The middle single coil I keep unused unless I'm mixing it with the bridge or the neck. The 5 way really gives a lot of variety. The neck pickup is great for the price that it is, doesn't get noisy (apart from 60s cycle) or muddy with distortion, a very smooth all rounded sound, with very open and just generally pleasant sound. I won't mention the sound of the humbucker because thats for a different review. This still is my number one bring to any situation guitar, whether from gigging to jammming. I've played it through I Marshall JCM 800 and 2000, Kustom Hybrid Tube, and my lead guitarists set up of a Zakk Wylde overdrive runnign into an Orange Tiny Terror and the tone has always been more than satisfactory. It also deals greatly with FX and I play it through it my Boss ME-50 and pocket POD when travelling, which is of course a completely different ball game, however it still sounds fine. My dispointments are the lack of balls that the old humbucker had and the fact that the tone knob does very little to change the dynamics, just muffles and chokes the tone quite badly. Otherwise, yet again, great for the price.
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything from metal to prog to blues to rock to the occasional funk. I've been playing for 5 years and had this guitar for 4, I now own a Dean MAB1 and an Ibanez S series 7 string. I think if it were stolen or lost, I would buy another one, just because I could afford such a great guitar...however I would be desolated, this guitar has seen me improve and change as a guitarist, and has rarely disappointed me. I compared to some Samick entry level guitars, slightly more expensive and have fonud them to be superior looks wise, but not tone and feel-wise. Overall I feel that this has been one of the greatest purchases I have ever made, for multiple reasons, as well as for making me really love the guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have played this guitar live many times for different types of gigs, and it has been truly great. HOWEVER, I have one warning about this guitar, change the input, please, for god sakes. It breaks very easily. I changed mine and tightened the screws on the volume and tone pots and no complaints at all. I have gigged with it without a back up, but mostly for the one or 2 song shows, otherwise for larger sets and festivals I usually have two alternating guitars, for different tunings etc. The finish is the cheap type thats applied very thickly, therefore proving to be indestructible for over 4 years. Also this guitar has great tuning stability, I have used various tunings from drop A to Standard and everything in between.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Puah, this was a long time ago, I definitely had to adjust the humbucker, but left the single coils untouched for the most part. I recently switched to a bottom Heavy top Light set and had to file the nut a bit to compensate. During my first years the action felt great, but as I fiddled with string gauges and became a better and more experienced guitarist I changed it to suit my needs, there is minimal fret buzz. After several years the pickup selector became very noisy, however it isn't a great issue. There were no flaws on the guitar and I was very pleased with it.
Features — 9
Right, first off this is a Yamaha Pacifica 112J, so I chucked the review in here. I don't know exactly when this was made but I am told it is now produced in China, however my model was produced in Indonesia. 22 frets, rosewood fretboard, bolt on maple neck, solid Alder Body, Medium Jumbo frets, mine was black with a white pickguard, H/S/S configuration, pickups by Yamaha, non locking Yamaha tuners, 1 volume, 1 tone, 5-way blade selector, Vintage Tremolo (non floating) In essence a fat Strat copy. It came with a gig bag compliments of the store. Some decent features there and for the price I got for it brand new I can't complain at all.