Pacifica 502V review by Yamaha

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Yamaha: Pacifica 502V

Price paid: $ 440

Purchased from: Yamaha

Features — 9
The Pacifica 502V is a discontinued model from Yamaha, as production run was limited. My example was made in 2014 in Indonesia, where many of Yamaha's other guitars are made. Jumbo 22 fret neck, 350mm fretboard radius, rosewood fingerboard, tinted maple neck, Grover locking tuners, alder body, Wilkinson tremolo bridge, two Seymour Duncan Alnico-V P-90 pickups, three-way pickup selector, and master volume and tone. The neck on this guitar feels great. The tinted neck is not sticky, yet protects the neck from sweat and dirt. The rosewood fingerboard is smooth and the frets also feel great.

Sound — 10
I play mainly blues and classic rock. The P-90s are brighter than humbuckers, yet not too piercing and higher output than single coils, making them perfect for anything from cleans to heavy crunch sounds. I run my guitar through a Tubescreamer, MXR Distortion, EHX Chorus and Memory Toy, into a Roland Blues Cube set for a nice crispy clean. The P-90s on this guitar are stacked, which means there is almost no hum. Rolling off the tone will give creamy lead sounds and the pickup selector in the middle position gives snappy strat-like twang.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar action was set high from the factory, which some people may not like, but I personally prefer slightly higher action as I don't play ultra fast, and sometimes play a bit of slide, which requires higher action. I did adjust the pickups slightly as they were not perfectly aligned with the strings. The neck and body were fitted very well and there were no problems there. The neck was beautifully finished and the fretwork is perfect. However, the tremolo bridge became loose after a while and produced a rattling sound when strumming chords. I slotted a piece of paper under the bridge which fixed the problem, but is not ideal.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar, as with most Yamaha's, is generally built like a rock. I don't think anything will fail or give way at a gig. The only problem I have had so far is with the bridge, but I am sure a quick fix will solve that. The guitar is well finished and seems very durable. I have owned it for two years now and have brought it out for a couple of gigs. So far nothing has given way. The finish still looks brand new. You can be sure to depend on it for any gig. This is one of the reasons why I think this guitar makes for a great guitar to buy second-hand as it is very reliable and should not have any problems, even when purchased second hand.

Overall Impression — 9
This was my first serious electric guitar after messing around on a Squier Strat which I have already sold. I also own an Epiphone John Lennon-inspired Casino with a naked finish and a Fender '50s Classic Series MIM Strat. Even though I love my Casino and Strat, I always come back to this guitar for gigs or even just practice at home. It is the kind of guitar that is a tool that you can be comfortable with just chucking around. It also helps that it has a small body, which some believe results in slightly less sustain, but more portability. I highly recommend this guitar as a second-hand buy as the value you can get is insane. I have seen these guitars going as low as 280 USD used, so if you do see one, it's worth taking a look.

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