Yamaha PAC012 Review (2024)

yamah pac012
Editor's Pick
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

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The Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012

Yamaha guitars are very known in the market because of its quality and playability.

The Pacifica Series was first launched in 1990, which was inspired by the individuality, performance, and versatility of the California scene.

The series has been designed in order to accommodate various genres and playing style.

In the Pacifica Series, the PAC012 is a gem in Yamaha’s beginner’s guitar. It has everything a player needs in an electric guitar. Plus, its quality is undeniably a Yamaha quality.

Impressive Workmanship

For those who are new to the guitar, its design is more like a Stratocaster with the huge pickguard.

However, if you look closely, the Yamaha guitars has its own unique quality, especially the double cutaway body.

It may look like a Fender Strat, but, it comes with defined edges and deep curves that contribute to its better sound quality.

Yamaha uses Agathis for the body and bolt-on maple for the neck. Agathis falls between Alder and basswood and it produces warmer tones.

Although this is not a quality wood, it’s resonant and durable enough, and it’s the best pick, considering its price.

The uncommon Sonokeling fretboard comes with 25.5 scale length and 22 medium jumbo frets.

It comes with a glossy finish which, for some, might not be great for sliding up and down the fretboard. It is available in various color options including black, red metallic and dark blue metallic.

Basic Hardware, But Works Fine

Though the hardware is a bit basic, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is lacking anything.

From the beginners’ point of view, a simple hardware setup should be enough to start playing a chord or two.

Complicated configurations make newbie overwhelmed by the setup, itself, rather than the sound it’s capable of producing.

It has the Yamaha die-cast tuning machines on an unpainted headstock. Although these tuners are not the greatest, it keeps the strings in tune pretty well.

The tremolo bridge comes with chrome plating – pretty decent, stable and durable.


Versatile H/S/S pickup configuration

Yamaha strayed away from Fender and Squier pickup configuration. Instead of three single-coil pups, it only uses two single pickups each at the neck and in the middle. A humbucker is the one seen at the bridge position.

This pickup system is the famous H/S/S configuration. It’s connected to the five-way pickup selector switch, a single master tone knob, and a master control knob.

Great Playability and Tone

With better pickups and setting, along with the tuners, this entry-level guitar sounds better than its price.

The humbucker in the middle plays a great role in the quality of the sound it gives, pushing the single-coil pups aside. However, the five-way selector gives access to more pickup combinations for versatility.

The pickups, tuners and the bridge tremolo work pretty well to give the Yamaha sound from this low-cost guitar.

You can access and play jazz, blues, rock, latin, vintage rhythm and blues, even hard rock out of PAC012. It’s indeed very versatile.


Quality Guitar at an Affordable Price

I usually don’t stress out the price as a barometer for guitar choice, but this one is a great investment.

It’s like the Epiphone Les Paul Special IIif you want a Gibson Les Paul or a Squier Deluxe Stratocaster if you want a Fender Strat. This is like an expensive Yamaha guitar offered at the lower end of the spectrum.

What Every Aspiring Guitarists Need

A Yamaha guitar is not like a Fender or a Gibson, it’s Yamaha. It has a great sound quality, amazing construction and great electronics completely different from the big names in the market.

While Yamaha is a big name too, the PAC012 is the guitar that speaks of quality beyond its price.

Whether you are a beginner, an intermediate player, or a guitarist who have gone through different concerts, the Yamaha PAC012 can give you more than your guitar can.

It is versatile enough to let you play any music style across all genres, at the same time, giving you the durability and great sound quality.


  • Impressive construction and quality build
  • Frets were smooth and finished
  • Tuners hold tune pretty well
  • Feels so solid and not so cheap, at all
  • Great starter instrument


  • Buzzing on the E string
  • Needs a little bit of setup
  • A lot of other alternatives


The price, the quality, the build, the sound, everything is great. No questions about that.

The basic pickups can even bring this guitar to the next level, way beyond more expensive guitars.

However, sometimes it’s disappointing if you want to buy it, but can’t because it can go out of stock.

So, I’ll suggest you go to its brother, the Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V.

At least, when you go online or to a local store, you got more option should the PAC012 is not around.

This is just my suggestion to help you bring the best low-cost Yamaha guitar home.

After all, if you really want a Yamaha, you’ll never go wrong with the Pacifica series.

But, if you need more than a Yamaha, my suggestion doesn’t matter to you, anyway.


Editor's Pick
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you.

Yamaha continues to impress us with great quality construction and solid guitars.

But, now, it has even offered us a real deal in its Pacifica PAC012with all the great features at a very affordable price.

Is it worth it?

You’ll never know that you’re even buying a guitar with its price. You don’t need to touch your hard-earned money or your savings in the bank to have the PAC012.

It definitely gives you more with the money that you can afford to spend on anything.

With that being said, it’s very clear that this thing is worth every dime you spend. Its quality is unquestionable.

However, the question would be, is this really the guitar that suits your needs?

Body and Neck
Sound Quality
Value for Money
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Hi there, I’m Charles, chief editor here at The Guitar Junky. I'm a professional guitarist, and have over 10 years experience in playing guitar, piano, and other music instruments. When not working, I love playing with my two lovely kids. Read more about our team of music experts here.
yamaha-pacifica-series-pac012-reviewQuick Review <p>The <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Pacifica-PAC12-Electric-Guitar/dp/B0002GZWRI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=theguitarjunky-20&linkId=3ec805ce2a223780a385ed0ae8708582" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"><strong>Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC012 Electric Guitar</strong></a> features an agathis body, on-bolt neck, sonokeling fingerboard, a vintage tremolo, and a 5-position swtich that provides a wide range of sound from clean to heavy distortion. Aside from brand recognition, versatility, performance, and price are what makes this guitar great for beginners.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Pacifica-PAC12-Electric-Guitar/dp/B0002GZWRI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=theguitarjunky-20&linkId=3ec805ce2a223780a385ed0ae8708582" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"><b><span class="td_btn td_btn_lg td_round_btn" style="background-color: #ff9900; color: #000000;">VIEW NOW ON AMAZON</span></b></a></p>


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