Yamaha PACP12 Review & Prices

Yamaha PACP12 Review
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  • From Yamaha's 2024 Pacifica Professional series
  • Made in Japan
  • 6 strings
  • 25.512"'' scale
  • 10" to 14" Fretboard Radius
  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Gotoh 510T FE-1 bridge
  • Slim C Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Medium Stainless Steel frets
  • Gotoh Locking tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 70
Sound 79
Build quality 87
Value for money 69
Overall Score 79
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Yamaha PACP12
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Locking Tuners
  • Made in Japan
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $2350, which means that the Yamaha PACP12 is around 6% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Tremolo bridge that are made in Japan.

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Videos

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Yamaha PACP12 meets 7 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Yamaha PACP12
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Yamaha PACP12's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Yamaha PACP12's 25.512" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Yamaha PACP12 Scale Length Comparison
Yamaha PACP12's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This scale is close to the popular 25.50" length but longer, which allows you to tune your strings lower while keeping the action low without causing fret buzz. This is useful for lower tunings, 7-string, or even classical guitars.

You want to avoid such a long scale if you don't plan to play in low tunings since the longer scale also means the frets are more separated, making it harder to play fast, especially for small hands. It's also harder to bend the strings.

Neck Profile

Yamaha PACP12 Neck Profile
Yamaha PACP12's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Yamaha PACP12's neck thickness is approximately 0.787'' (20mm) at the first fret, and 0.882'' (22.4mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Yamaha website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Yamaha PACP12 Fretboard Compound Radius
Yamaha PACP12's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Yamaha PACP12 has a compound fingerboard radius of 10" to 14".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Yamaha PACP12
This model
25.512'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.512'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
24.6'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Yamaha PACP12 Nut Width
Yamaha PACP12 Nut Width

The Yamaha PACP12 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Yamaha PACP12 has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

Finally, these are stainless steel frets. They're the best fretwire available. This means you won't need to change your frets since they should last as long as your guitar. Some people also feel easier bendings after swapping to stainless steel.

More with stainless steel frets:

Fret Size

Yamaha PACP12 Fret Size Comparison
Yamaha PACP12's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Yamaha PACP12's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 60
Chord Playability 80
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Fretboard

Alder Body: This is a lightweight type of wood that was popularized by Fender. According to them, it's a wood that offers a balanced tone but that favors the upper midrange slightly.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Yamaha. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Yamaha PACP12's configuration is HSS. If you play a lot with humbuckers in the bridge position, but would also love to have pristine cleans, this is a great configuration to have. The bridge humbucker will give you tons of output for playing distorted rhythm parts, while the single coils will give you a lot of tone options.

More with the same pickups

Yamaha PACP12
This model
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil Middle Pickup
Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil Middle Pickup
Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil Middle Pickup
Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Tremolo Bridge
Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil Middle Pickup
Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

It has a Coil Split option. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

Diagram

Yamaha PACP12 pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Yamaha PACP12's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 75
Sound 79

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Yamaha PACP12 is made in Japan. You should expect a high-quality guitar with excellent quality control. It can be compared to guitars made in the US, which is why they're also expensive.

Bridge

Gotoh 510T FE-1: This type of bridge allows you to change the pitch of the notes by pulling the bridge with the attached bar, which gives you better versatility. Also, since the bridge is not fixed to the guitar body, the bridge will move as you bend the strings. So you'll have to increase the distance of your bends to reach the same tension (note) compared to a fixed bridge. This allows you to perform smoother bends but will also make you slower. Finally, remember that this type of bridge requires a bit more maintenance than fixed ones, especially when changing strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The Yamaha PACP12 comes with locking tuners, which helps with tuning stability and makes changing strings a lot faster and easier. As long as they're high quality, these are the best tuning machines you can have. The only disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than normal tuners.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Yamaha PACP12 has a Ivory Tusq nut. This material is made to look, feel and sound like Ivory. It's made of organic polymers and doesn't contain oil or animal products. This is probably the highest quality nut you can get, so you can expect good tune stability and more clear tones when playing open strings. Most people seem to agree that it looks nicer than any plastic and even some bone nuts.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 86
Features 80
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 87

All Specs

Yamaha PACP12
General
Brand: Yamaha
Year: 2024
Configuration: HSS
Strings: 6
Made in: Japan
Series: Pacifica Professional
Colors: Blue, Burst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Alder
Bridge: Gotoh 510T FE-1
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Gotoh Locking
Fretboard: Rosewood
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Custom
Scale Size: 25.512"
Shape: Slim C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.787'' (20mm) - 12th Fret: 0.882'' (22.4mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 10" to 14"
Nut: Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Pickup Mods: Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Reflectone HH7b: Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Reflectone HS7m: Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Reflectone HS7n: Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)

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