Yamaha PAC112 - Natural Satin : King Loudness's user review
"Killer beginner guitar"
The Yamaha Pacifica 112 is one of the best beginner level guitars that can be bought in my opinion. Yamaha has a longstanding tradition of quality and their guitars are consistently quite easy to play, feel great and have tones that put them well ahead of their price range. This particular model has an alder body, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, sealed chrome tuners, a standard tremolo bridge (non locking) and three Yamaha pickups (a humbucker and two single coils). This model also has a very groovy natural finish, though it's available in many other colours too. These guitars are typically built in Taiwan, as are many other Yamaha guitars.
The design of this guitar is fairly nice. It's a bit different from a Strat, but I do find it easier to get around and play on. The guitar is reasonably light and sits well on the body. The contouring is good and the upper fret access is definitely superior to a traditional Strat (though not as a good as say, an Ibanez or Jackson). Getting a good sound out of this guitar is pretty easy. Though the stock pickups aren't exactly the quality of higher end models, they do have a decent enough tone to play on, especially if you're just starting and you can go from clean to mean fairly easily.
This guitar is nice in that it sounds great both clean and distorted. Having the humbucker at the bridge is great for being able to go from brighter and more trebly single coil tones to a heavier and thicker tone for rock music, and also cut down on the noise. It sounds great both clean and distorted and works well for a variety of musical styles to my ears. I've tried everything from jazz to blues to classic rock to shred on this guitar and it responds quite well to each of them. Even through cheaper practice amps the guitar has a nice sound that is free of being buzzy or muddy, definitely a good sign in a cheaper instrument. With a pickup upgrade I'm sure it would sound even better, but as is it's not bad at all.
All in all I think the Yamaha PAC112 is a great buy for anyone looking for a quality instrument for not a lot of money. To me these guitars blow away any Squiers or Jay Tursers, etc, in the price range and they're just a better buy all around. You can find this guitar for as low as $100 used if you're smart at shopping. Unfortunately Yamaha products don't have a great resale, but that just makes it easier to pick up one of these from someone who doesn't know how good a guitar they've got.