Price paid: A$ 500
Purchased from: Mooloolaba Music
Sound — 9
I play all the usual metal/rock (Metallica, Pantera, Van Halen etc.), plus Red Hot Chili Pepper style cleans and downtuned hardcore stuff like Parkway Drive, straight into my Marshall AVT 100. The JB Humbucker makes this guitar what it is, it produces that awesome crushing overdrive sound like that of Dimebag, and heavy downtuned riffs. When you split the JB, the pickup transforms into a Fender-like single coil, and it is great for playing Hendrix and Frusciante. In this setting the guitar replicates the Strat Kirk Hammet uses in One. The two single coils are in no way bad, but definitely can't stand up to the JB. I use the neck single-coil for songs like Nothing Else Matters and it sounds good with some reverb. This guitar has great sustain and it produces really good harmonics. I use the whammy bar quite often for Pantera songs and it sound really good.
Overall Impression — 9
This is the best value piece of equipment I have owned. I got it half price so that was an added bonus. I upgrade from the Pacifica 012 and the difference is massive. I couldn't bring myself to play the 012 it sounded that bad compared to this, and the 012 is a good guitar in its own right. This guitar is great for anything distorted, and it handles clean pretty well so it suits what I play, which is anything that sounds good. I've been playing for three years so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about. I love the Seymour Duncan JB, it is probably one of the most versatile pickups you will find, especially since it can be split. I wish the single coils were a better brand since they are fairly bland and don't add much tone without effects. I chose this guitar, because for the price I don't think anyone could find a guitar that was a lot better. If I somehow lost possesion of this I would either buy it again, get the Pacifica 812, or upgrade to an Ibanez S series. All I wish it had was a trio of Seymour Duncans like the 812.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is rock solid. The straps buttons are fine. Tone and volume knobs are good. The locking tuners keep it in tune very well, although using the whammy bar puts it slightly out of tune. The finish looks like it will never wear, although the pickgaurd will probably need replacing eventually. It will withstand Live playing, but depending on how loose you have the bridge a backup would be a good idea, since it is hard to downtune if the bridge is floating.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I was quite surprised when I tested this in the shop that it was actually tuned. It was also fitted with long-life strings so it played perfectly when I bought it. All the pickups and action were perfectly adjusted, although I like to lower the middle pickup out of the way. It was also perfectly intonated. To this day haven't found a flaw in the original setup.
Features — 9
This natural coloured Strat style guitar was made in Korea like all the Yamaha guitars and it boasts an impressive list of features for its price. *22 Standard frets *Rosewood fingerboard (25 1/2 scale) *Bolt on maple neck *Maple top with Alder body *Custom Lo-pro vibrato bridge *5 way pickup selector *Master tone (with a push push coil split), Master volume *Seymour Duncan JB at the bridge and a pair of Yamaha Alnico single coils *Grover locking tuners