History of Pacifica Series
The Yamaha Pacifica 112V is a Stratocaster inspired budget guitar. The guitar launched way back in 1990 as part of Yamaha’s Pacifica range of affordable electric guitars. Designer Rick Lasner, who was one of the senior designers of Yamaha USA used to work for Ibanez previously. The Pacifica series was said to be designed as an extension of his design work for Ibanez in the past.
Unlike other affordable electric guitars in the 90’s, the Yamaha Pacifica were made from single piece wood. The Pacifica 112 V specifically was made up of alder.
Pacifica 112V: Guitar Specification
As we discussed earlier, the Pacifica 112V is made out of single piece of wood, in this case alder. It was Fender who first used alder for their guitars way back in the 1950’s. The trend has since been carried forward by many other brands. The alder body has a clear and rounded tone. It has a good mid range with better bass response compared to other types of bodies. Yamaha was focused on showcasing that they were using quality material for their guitar bodies. At the price range of Pacifica series, this was a welcome move. There were various color options that highlighted the body such as violin sunburst and sating yellow. Some opaque color options include black and raspberry red. The guitar shape has few noticeable changes from classic Fender Stratocaster such as sharp body curvature and long and narrow cutaway horns.
The Pacifica 112V comes with a maple wood bolt-on neck. The neck has a rosewood fingerboard with a subtly done satin finish for extra smoothness—the neck feature standard C shaped curve, which is reminiscent of its Fender inspiration. The smooth neck is ideal for fast players and comes with 22 frets compared to 21 frets in Fender models. Another pretty little modification over its counterpart.
The initial Pacifica models had ceramic pickups which were overhauled for the better Alnico pickups in the 2000’s. The alnico pickups are great for heavy and punchy tones. The pickup layout is a standard HSS (Humbucker, Single, Single). The Humbucker is the bridge pickup and provides a nice punchy tone when using overdrive. Another welcome feature is the coil split ability of the Humbucker by pulling at the tone knob. A common issue with the HSS layout would be the slight noise that gets generated from the single coils. However, this issue can be addressed using Humbucker in combination with the other pickups. For clean sound similar to Fender, the single coil’s combo gives the best results.
The overall hardware used in the Pacifica 112V are of decent quality for the price of the guitar. Inline tuners work well to keep the strings in tune barring aggressive use and extreme bending of the strings. The tremolo bar provided with the guitar is not the most ideal one for professional users. The bar tends to detune more often, so only light use is recommended. Overall not bad for the price we pay.
There is a 3 ply layer pick guard which is not available in other guitars in the price range. That’s a welcome change in design and showcase the Yamaha’s focus on building a value for money guitar with carefully selected design elements. The knobs in Pacifica 112V are of decent quality. The guitar has pickup selector with 5 different combination modes. There is a tone control knob and a master volume knob. All the knobs are made using dome topped type metal which are knurled on the sides. The output jack port feels solid without any loose parts and gives good output without any noise.
The scale length in the Pacifica 112V is pegged at 25.5″, which is another similarity with its counter part, Fender Stratocaster. The length of the Pacifica 112V ensures a punchy and strong tone which consists of a well defined and fat low ends. Even the mid range of the Pacifica 112V feels whole and complete with an overall warm tone. The body’s overall combination made up of alder coupled with the maple wood neck and HSS layout pickup gives the Pacifica 112V a very solid and stable sound quality. With a combination of the pickups, the Pacifica 112V can mimic the tonal depth of Fender Stratocaster at almost less than half the cost. Overall a very good combination.
Overall Look and Feel
The overall look and feel of the Pacifica 112V feels very premium for the price we pay for it. The guitar play smooth and is ideal for fast solo player. It is also a good guitar for blues and jazz players. The pickups are noisy (single coil ones) when used solo, for the exception of the Humbucker. But the problem can be easily sorted by using the single coils in combination with the Humbucker. There are total of 5 pickup selector modes. This include one each for single coils and the Humbucker and two combination mode.
Who Should Get The Pacifica 112V
The guitar is ideal for a beginner and intermediate guitar player. It is good for practicing, and we get a tremolo bar in the price range. It is a very good introduction to the world of professional guitar playing at a subsidized price. Not to say that a professional cannot be using the guitar. With the right mode and little bit of tweaking, and the right amplifier, the Pacifica 112V can really deliver excellent sound. The guitar has the potential to deliver tones which can be used for professional mixing and production.
The strong build quality, alder body, and the alnico pickups are some of the guitar’s great features.
The cons of the guitar would include the sub-par tremolo which is definitely not made for professionals. The single coil noise is another negative for the guitar, something a professional player would not prefer. Although the tone preference varies from player to player, some players do complain about the thin tone of the guitar, but that may not be the case for you.