Pacifica 112J review by Yamaha

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (61 votes)
Yamaha: Pacifica 112J

Price paid: £ 50

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 7
The Yamaha Pacifica comes with standard HSS configuration and although this is heavily modded it sounds very similar to how remember my old one too. All the pickups are okay but I would prefer them a little brighter and a little louder (then I might need a tone control). I find the tone etc good but slightly inoffensive - Great as an all-round guitar and better than the (full) price might suggest. I do get a bit of pickup from my watch even on humbucker only which is a surprise and on mine there is a bit of noise in the switch (but it is a heap).

Overall Impression — 9
As you can probably tell I am a real fan of the Pacifica 112 particularly the simple wood finished one. Appearance (and tone) is a bit more country than metal but they are really good guitars and very good all-rounders. My music taste goes from clean to heavy-ish overdrive (not metal) but even for me I find the pickups a little weak (although they are not bad for the price) and this is fixable relatively easy. If mine got stolen I would be gutted. I know its worthless but I have in my short ownership got really attached to it. I would replace it with another although maybe not immediately.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I reckon these guitars are one of the most durable around and they should withstand live playing every day of the week. Yamaha built their reputation on these guitars being better made than the opposition and this poor old example demonstrates this. The wood is hard enough not to ding too easily and the hardware is pretty good. It would be safe enough in a cheap gig bag most of the time. The strap buttons are well placed and it feels quite secure (and comfy) but I really don't like standing (even at home) without strap locks so I would recommend strap locks anyway.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Every time I pickup a Pacifica, even a heap like this one, it surprises me how well it feels. Although they have a sightly old school appearance when you sit and play they are so well contoured they just fit like a glove. Recently I have discovered too that they hang really well on a strap. This ones fretboard is green (The frets have anodized and the fretboard is dirty) but it still plays really nice (I am used to guitars costing 400+). Currently the tremolo is blocked which is fine for me. The tuners are all in a line which I find much easier to turn the right way than the Gibson way (despite owning many that are this way).

Features — 7
I bought a Yamaha Pacifica 112 on eBay that was advertised as a work in progress. I am guessing its about 15 years old. It used to be a plain wood variant but had been attractively wood striped. It came remarkably well setup albeit with the Tremolo locked up and no tone control. The strings are in poor condition and the fretboard needs a real clean but it has real character and plays much better than it should - a testament to how good these guitars really are (and also the genuine seller). This is my second Yamaha Pacifica 112. I bought a very good condition one two years ago so I could play in my flat and it reminds me of that. The only reason why I sold the old one was I needed the money to buy a Steinberger. They are very good allround guitars.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have a fender Strat, tele, PRS, Les paul, EVH, Carvin and many others AND I'm proud owner of a japan made Yamaha Pacifica SUPER guitar hater got to hate, a true classic
    I just got a 112j and I'm pretty impressed. It's on par with a mexi-strat qc wise and the pups are actually better IMO. I don't like how the volume knob is bunched up next to the bridge pup on a stock fender mexi-strat so I actually prefer my Pacifica over my fender. And I only paid $40 for it.
    I picked one of these up for well under a hundred, used, in nice condition but for some rust on the bridge saddles (apparently a common issue, no biggie) and I have to say for what I paid, I'm very happy - it has its own tones, the neck is comfortable and frets are accurate, the pickups are stronger/louder than my Squier Affinity fat-Strat (another great value for the money, IMHO). I had picked it up to get a basically sound guitar I could use to play with swapping pickups, kind of a beater. Now I'm not so sure - I really like it just as it is, so I'm on the hunt again for something else I can fart around with. Jeez I hope this doesn't result in yet another "you should have saved up and bought a $4000 whatever instead of wasting your money on this". There's no $4000 to be spent. With 2 kids in university, this Dad's toys need to be serious bargain-basement priced, and as far as I'm concerned, the Pacifica is a great little guitar at its price point, durable, comfortable to play, no glaring defects, stays in tune, and it sounds nice.