Yamaha Pacifica 112 Review – The Hidden Gem!

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Review

Yamaha Pacifica 112 Review

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a Yamaha Pacifica 112 electric guitar.  The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is an “s-style” electric guitar.  The entry-level Yamaha Pacifica 112 is easy as playable as the Squier Classic Vibe or SX guitars without the fancy finish.

Guitarists on a budget have more options today than ever before.  Back in the day, looking at inexpensive guitars meant sacrificing something major. For those leaning towards buying a Yamaha Pacifica guitar, you’re in for some good news!

Fit and Finish

The Yamaha Pacifica 112 has a bare-bones approach to fit and finish.  The Alder wood body of the electric guitar looks almost unfinished and the c-shaped neck is very similar too. This doesn’t affect the sound or the feel of the guitar in the hand. I actually prefer a guitar with a lower gloss or Satin finish.  The dry feel of the Yamaha makes it fast and playable.

Fret Work

On the Yamaha Pacifica I tested, the frets were playable all the way up the guitar. The fret edges were on par with the Squier Classic Vibes so there’s nothing too sharp sticking out of the side of the guitar. Thankfully, Yamaha used larger frets on their Pacifica 112 so it will last long term.  One of the downsides of small vintage frets is they do wear down a lot faster.  You won’t have this issue with the Pacifica 112.

Pickups

The Yamaha Pacifica 112 features three pickups. The configuration is a humbucker bridge pickup and two single-coil pickups. Positions 2 and 4 are both noise-canceling which allows some buzz-free playing.  Having the Humbucker in the bridge also allows you to have a third noiseless position.  This means the only two positions that will get single-coil hum is neck and middle positions.

One thing I noticed is the pickup output is very well balanced.  For example, if you switch from the bridge to neck pickup the volume difference isn’t too prominent thankfully.

Is the Yamaha Pacifica for Beginners or Advanced Players?

The beautiful thing about the Pacifica guitars is they will suit anyone of any playing ability. I have a few friends in local cover bands who use these guitars live each and every gig. My friends play a mix of classic rock cover tunes and the tones are great on stage.

If you’re a beginner, this is a great option.  The reason why these are better than many other brands is they play well.  This means as a beginner, you won’t have any struggles trying to learn your craft.

Musical Styles that Work with a Yamaha Pacifica 112

A Yamaha Pacifica can be used for almost any genre of music out there.  I think they shine best with the following:

  1. Blues – These make great blues guitars thanks to the single-coil pickups in the neck and middle position. You can also get some really great humbucker solo tones in the bridge position.
  2. County – The pickups in the Yamaha Pacifica guitars are well suited to Country music.  The reason why is all three pickups are nice and bright and sound snappy with a clean sound.
  3. Rock – Want to play the hits? The humbucker will a bit of dirt will supply all the rock for anything from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin. For cleaner tones, you could easily pull sounds similar to Dire Straits, for example.
  4. Fusion – Being these guitars have a combination of usable pickups Fusion players will be able to enjoy it as well.

Who the Yamaha Pacifica 112 is NOT for

  1. Metal Players.  If you play metal, perhaps go for a full Humbucker guitar.  The single coils will not give you the sound you’re looking for.  Yamaha also makes some cool humbucker guitars you can find here on Sweetwater.
  2. Jazz.  Due to the voicing of the pickups, Jazz players might want to give the Yamaha Pacifica 112 a miss. The pickups are a bit too bright for most traditional Jazz tones.

General Yamaha Pacifica Specifications

  • Body Type: Solidbody
  • Body Shape: Pacifica
  • Left-/Right-handed: Right-handed and Left-Handed Available
  • Number of Strings:6
  • Body Material: Alder
  • Body Finish: Gloss Polyurethane
  • Color: Black
  • Neck Material: Maple
  • Neck Shape:C
  • Radius:13.75″
  • Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Inlay: Dots
  • Number of Frets: 22 Medium Frets
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Width: 1.614″
  • Nut Material: Urea
  • Bridge/Tailpiece: Vintage Style Tremolo
  • Tuners: Yamaha Die-cast Sealed
  • Neck Pickup: Yamaha Ceramic Single-coil
  • Middle Pickup: Yamaha Ceramic Single-coil
  • Bridge Pickup: Yamaha Ceramic Humbucker
  • Controls: 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone, 5-way blade pickup switch
  • Strings: D’Addario EXL120, .009-.042
  • Manufacturer Part Number: PAC112J BLACK

Yamaha or Squier?

Both the Yamaha and Squier brands make really nice guitars.  In Australia, the Squier Classic Vibe guitars are really expensive compared with the Yamaha guitars.  This might be a very simple deciding factor for those on a budget.  In the United States, both of these brands are way more affordable and it just comes down to personal preference.

If you are more into a guitar that has the fancy finish and Fender style headstock, then get the Squier.  If that doesn’t both you and you want a great value guitar that sounds and plays well, go for the Yamaha Pacifica.

Squier also makes their “Affinity” range of guitars which are much cheaper.  Comparing the Yamaha with the Squier Affinity Series of instruments I would opt for the Yamaha.  The Yamaha has better frets, better fret edges, better pickups, and better pickup selection switches.

This comment isn’t to belittle the Squier Affinity series guitars either because I do like them.  My experience in playing hundreds of guitars over the years that the Yamaha is a better instrument.

Final Thoughts

In closing, the Yamaha Pacifica 112 would make a good work-horse of gigging musicians.  It would also be an excellent beginner’s guitar.  It would also be a good second guitar (or third) for someone wanting these sorts of tones without spending a fortune on a Fender or Suhr.

My other recommendation for this price point would be Harley Benton. They make some really great instruments as well. Check out my review by clicking above.

Check out the range of Yamaha Pacifica Guitars on Sweetwater | Thomann