Yamaha Pacifica 120SD

My first electric guitar, purchased for around £200 with money I earnt at about £1.50 a hour! I remember getting on the bus to visit Music Bay in Cheriton (which sadly seems to not be there any more).  I had no idea what I was going to buy, so being ridiculously shy I mooched around for a bit. Then pointed and said “That one please”. I didn’t haggle, the store owner seemed to do that all by himself 🙂 Which was very nice of him.

I love this guitar, but it’s been shit for the past 20 years. Why? Because when I was at university I stored it in my wardrobe assuming this extra level of security would prevent it being stolen (HA HA). I came back one day and it had tipped out of the cupboard and landed on the neck leaving a crack in the body. Sadly this left the strings out of line and the guitar unable to stay in tune for even one song.


Mostly it’s been ignored. Until recently when I’ve tried to make it usable again and documented this on video.

It also seems to be well loved on Harmony Central and Ultimate Guitar

For a guitar that existed in the days before now, when budget guitars of varying quality are everywhere, this really was a gem. I was lucky, I could have ended up with something horrendous.  I’m sure I’ve read a Matt Bellamy connection somewhere, his signature guitar (Cort MBC) does have a similar shape.

As for the specs:

MASSIVE Yamaha Logo on the headstock, rather than the usual Pacifica one.
Telecaster style offset single cutaway alder or basswood body
Bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret bubinga fingerboard with pearl dot inlays
Six-on-one-side tuners
Hard tail bridge with individual saddles
No pickguard
Two humbucker pickups
Two knobs (volume & tone)
Three-way pickup switch
Antique Sunburst (or “Horrible Sunburst” I’ve seen it mentioned as), Black, or Yellow Natural/Natural Satin finish,

There’s some interesting discussion on this blog about it, and here’s a video of a man with better skills than me playing it:
Yamaha 120SD demo