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Yamaha Pacifica 112v Or Ibanez SA160 for a beginner?

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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I want start learning to play electric guitar and I have never played any kind of guitars before. I play piano and a wind controller (similar to a wind instrument).

I did my research and ended up with to electric guitars to begin with:
  1. Yamaha Pacifica 112v,
  2. Ibanez SA160.
Here are the specs of each:
Ibanez:
  • Radius 15.75"
  • Fingerboard Material Rosewood
  • Fingerboard Inlay White dots
  • Number of Frets 22, Jumbo
  • Scale Length 25.5"
  • Nut Width 1.692"
  • Nut Material Plastic
  • Bridge/Tailpiece SAT Pro II Tremolo
  • Tuners Ibanez machine heads
  • Neck Pickup Quantum single-coil
  • Middle Pickup Quantum single-coil
  • Bridge Pickup Quantum humbucker
  • Controls 1 x master volume, 1 x master tone, 5-way blade pickup switch
  • Strings D'Addario EXL120 (.009-.042)
Yamaha:
  • Body: Solid alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Construction: Bolt-on
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 22
  • Bridge: Vintage-style tremolo with block Saddles
  • Pickups: 2 single-coil and Alnico V magnet humbucker
  • Pickup switch: 5-Position with humbucker coil-splitting
  • Controls: Master volume, master tone
  • Hardware: Metal "Dome" knobs
  • Pick Guard: 3-Ply white/black/white
  • Scale Length: 25-1/2" (648mm)
  • Fretboard radius: 13-3/4" (350mm)
  • Warranty: Yamaha Limited Lifetime
  • Case sold separately
My budget for a guitar is not more than $500(preferably tax included). I can buy Yamaha for $30 less than Ibanez. Which one you guys think is a better guitar to have for a beginner?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Bubb for the help! I don't know how to play guitar. As said, I have never played a guitar before so I'm sure I will be unable to identify a good sounding guitar from a mediocre one....The Ibanez is about 150 more than Yamaha but I found a music store that offers me almost the same price for both. I'm just wondering if the extra 150 is because of the Ibanez name or there is a real difference between the hardware used in Ibanez?
 

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Guitars at that price point are all very similar in terms of quality, it really does come down to what feels right. Or since you might not have a sense for what feels good yet, go for the one that is so damn good looking that you always want to touch.

Also, try and buy used. The guitars you listed are selling for $200 and $300 on Kijiji right now, which leave some budget for a quality practice amp.


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I like Ibanez guitars or many of them but I would take the Yammie in this case. But you have to play it, not me.
 
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Guitars at that price point are all very similar in terms of quality, it really does come down to what feels right. Or since you might not have a sense for what feels good yet, go for the one that is so damn good looking that you always want to touch.

Also, try and buy used. The guitars you listed are selling for $200 and $300 on Kijiji right now, which leave some budget for a quality practice amp.


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Thanks Spazsquatch. I don't want to buy a used guitar since I'm not familiar with the issues a used guitar may have and I don't have anyone to help me in choosing one. I have handful of friends whom they all play acoustic/nylon but none of them play electric.

I like Ibanez guitars or many of them but I would take the Yammie in this case. But you have to play it, not me.
Thanks. I'll consider it for sure.

You can get similar Yamaha guitars used on Kijiji for $100 to $150.
Thanks Hammerhands. Pacifica 112v goes around 300 on kijiji. Pacifica 112j (the cheaper model) is around 150 used. But like I said I do not have the expertise to buy a used guitar. I have never owned a guitar and played one before.
 

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You might be better off to get a Squier or Epiphone in that price range. If you decide a guitar is not your thing they will be easier to sell. That said, both of the guitar's you mentioned are good guitars. Pick the one that looks the most appealing to you. Liking your instrument is important. Whatever you buy get the store to throw in a setup. It is important to have a properly setup guitar when you are starting out.
 

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You might be better off to get a Squier or Epiphone in that price range. If you decide a guitar is not your thing they will be easier to sell. That said, both of the guitar's you mentioned are good guitars. Pick the one that looks the most appealing to you. Liking your instrument is important. Whatever you buy get the store to throw in a setup. It is important to have a properly setup guitar when you are starting out.
For sure I will and many thanks for the advice Kerry. Are you suggesting the Squier purely from the selling point of view or you believe Squier is better than Pacifica 112v in general?
 

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They are very similar--and either one would be cool--it may also depend on condition.
 
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I like Yamaha and Ibanez.

In general, I think Yamaha is a bit more consistent with the quality of their products, but Ibanez guitars can be very high quality. The Ibanez will probably retain more value if you decide to sell it.

I was desirous of a green Yamaha Pacifica 402s a few years ago.

The push-pull coil-splitting, it may take a while to figure that out, but it would be great to have down the road. [Just leave it pushed in until you figure it out.]

If that's a pretty Ibanez, I would go with that.

If you have someone knowledgable that you trust who can go shopping with you, that would be ideal.

Used guitars have the same problems as used cars. You have to worry about breaks, especially if it looks like there has been damage to the structure, like around the top of the neck or the headstock, and where the neck meets the body or any cracks around the bridge. Wonky, noisy, and static making electronics, especially at the output jack and switch are annoying but can be fixed. Damage at the output jack can be a problem for years. On very old guitars the binding can be rotten and the fix for that could cost more than the guitar. Bad pickups, microphonic pickups. A truss rod that is at the end of its adjustment, but that's not easy to tell, other than the guitar may be setup with very high action. A twisted neck is bad. Worn frets, like flat spots or grooves in the frets is expensive, the guitar may be buzzing when played at certain frets. Broken or loose [lots of play] in the tuning machines is not uncommon and can be a problem. Worn screws on the bridge. Little replacement parts can be a problem to find.

Generally, nicks and general ugliness isn't bad, it just makes them cheap.

Let's see these guitars. I like the output jack on the Ibanez. It says it has a 3-piece neck, which could be good, depending on what they actually mean. I assume that's a silver plastic pickup surround. I like the body mounted pickups. A new player can scratch up a guitar with his pick.

Ceramic vs. Alnico pickups.



 

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Thanks Spazsquatch. I don't want to buy a used guitar since I'm not familiar with the issues a used guitar may have and I don't have anyone to help me in choosing one. I have handful of friends whom they all play acoustic/nylon but none of them play electric.
This forum has a few experienced members who live in Ottawa, who most likely can help you find the right used guitar (and amp) and save you some serious cash. The biggest thing with finding a guitar is making sure it's comfortable.
 

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This forum has a few experienced members who live in Ottawa, who most likely can help you find the right used guitar (and amp) and save you some serious cash. The biggest thing with finding a guitar is making sure it's comfortable.
Welcome to the forum @Jean_Abdou. and welcome to playing the guitar.

@Budda makes some excellent comments. It would be great if one of the Ottawa forum members could help you.

Comfort and appearance of the guitar are extremely important. It must appeal to you want to play it and feel great when you play it. Some may disagree that appearance is important. For me it is.

In addition, he also mentions the possibly getting help to find an amp.
This is VERY important. The amp is 60% of the guitar <> amp equation (IMO)
What is your budget for an amp?

Keep a few dollars extra for a patch cord, tuner (very important), possibly a case, etc.

Good Luck!

BTW...wind controllers are new to me...very cool!!


Cheers

Dave
 

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For sure I will and many thanks for the advice Kerry. Are you suggesting the Squier purely from the selling point of view or you believe Squier is better than Pacifica 112v in general?
Strictly from a resale point of view. It is unlikely you will get a guitar that matches you with your first guitar. A first guitar is more about making sure the guitar plays well and doesn't frustrate you while you're learning. If it also pleases you aesthetically that is good as well. Once you have some experience it is quite likely you will be looking for something different. All of the brands mentioned are decent guitars. Anything you buy new will lose around 50% of it's value immediately. Popular brands like Squier sell quicker. Everyone knows stratocasters and the name Fender. I agree with what others have posted about the amp. It is as important as the guitar. Make sure you include a decent amp in your budget. It will cost around $200 to $250 new.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Wow thank you SO much everyone for all your help. This forum rocks!

I like Yamaha and Ibanez...
Good points Hammerhands. I own Yamaha gears and am very satisfied with them. I also tend to pick Yamaha because Yamaha products have consistent quality (of course cheap Yamaha is cheap but it does what it is advertised to do).

This forum has a few experienced members...
Awesome I'll wait then. I'm in no rush to buy the electric guitar.

@Budda makes... This is VERY important. The amp is 60% of the guitar <> amp equation (IMO) BTW...wind controllers are new to me...very cool!!
Strictly from a resale point of view... I agree with what others have posted about the amp. It is as important as the guitar. Make sure you include a decent amp..
Thank you Greco and Kerry.

I'm a simple man who falls in love with the sound of his instrument, I will be playing for myself and alone. I like the black/white Strats, they go nice with my keyboards and they look good.

And yes wind controllers are cool and very expressive! I own a Yamaha WX5 and I like it so much! If there was a standard MIDI guitar that would play as good as keyboard or a wind controller I would buy that but unfortunately I haven't seen any satisfying version yet.

About your suggestions for an Amp and Effects, I'm planning to use my Yamaha MOTIF XF for now and buy an amp later if I'm not satisfied with the output sound's "character". MOTIF XF comes with new HD reverb effects and amp simulations as well as some beautiful VCM effects (circuit modeling). Since it's a hardware there is no perceivable delay. So it really worth trying them first and make my decision about buying an amp and effects later.
 

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How will the motif get enough signal from the guitar? You will probably want a designated amp once you try it with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How will the motif get enough signal from the guitar? You will probably want a designated amp once you try it with that.
In addition to the Yamaha's documentation, I have connected a bass guitar and a classical guitar to it directly and it was loud. There are three levels of gain adjustments.

There were some complains about MOTIF XF output not being loud, but to my knowledge, it relates to not knowing how to use it or there are some other problems in the setups.
 

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But does it sound like a guitar is supposed to sound? Having been in a band where a keyboard amp doubled as a guitar amp, it's better with the real thing. The good news is that with today's tech, the 30W practice amps out now are decent.
 

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I would suggest a guitar with a shorter scale of 24.75", instead of the 25.5" like in all the guitars mentioned above.. Easier to reach the lower fret area for a beginner.

If you look at the Epiphone SG Special with a bolt neck, it a very compact guitar, more so than any other SG model. Simple controls, one volume, one tone, one 3 position toggle.

Humbucker pickups are also a good thing. They are easier to get a rich sound out of them, even if your amp is not the best there is.

If you look at the used market for inexpensive guitars, there are much more 25.5" scale ones available that the shorter 24.75". That should tell us something.
 

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I bought a Pacifica for my son's first guitar and I purchased a used one myself. It has a narrow neck which I prefer to chunkier necks. I have no issue with the scale length. Great value new but especially in good used condition. I haven't played a Yamaha Revstar but it was mentioned here that the base models were going for a good price.
 
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