Yamaha Pacifica 611HFM

HAL9000HAL9000 Frets: 6289
edited February 2019 in Guitar Reviews
Guitar is an amber burst Pacifica 611HFM bought for £470 from Yamaha London back in November.

I had previously owned a Pacifica 311H which is the 611HFM’s less expensive sibling. For various reasons I never really bonded with it and I eventually moved it on. However, I kept reading good things about the 611 and finally got Ithe chance to try one out when I was in London one afternoon. 

Due to now having owned both, bits of this review will invariably end up comparing the two instruments - apologies if this isn’t particularly relevant to people.

The 611HFM is a hardtail with a splittable humbucker in the bridge position and a P90 at the neck. Both pickups are Seymour Duncans. Saddles and nut are by Graphtech, and the locking tuners are Grovers.

First impressions were good. The guitar looks to be well finished with no noticeable flaws or blemishes, and everything felt solid and well put together. Action was good straight out of the box, but intonation was quite a bit out. Nothing to worry about though - half an hour with a screwdriver would soon get that sorted.

Unplugged, the guitar is comfortable and surprisingly resonant.

Plugging in showed that, despite being superficially similar, the 611 is a very different beast to the 311. The 611’s pickups are much better balanced, and have a somewhat more ‘vintage’ flavour than those on the 311. My memory is that the 311 sounded more aggressive and a little harsh, whilst my new guitar just sounds more rounded, and is more articulate.The HB/P90 pairing is very versatile combination and covers plenty of possibilities. 

One of my issues with the 311H was the skinny neck which I struggled with. On paper the neck of the 611 appears similar but in reality it feels quite different. I know we’re all different, but for me it’s really comfortable and one of those necks you’re hardly aware that you’re playing. Radius is a fairly flat 13.75”.

Looking under the hood, the electrics are tidy. However the pots and switch look to be on the cheap side. They work well enough but will likely be replaced at some point.

I’d also say that my old 311H perhaps lacked a little something in the personality department. I know it’s still early days, but I honestly don’t think this will be an issue with the 611HFM.

Overall then a very nice versatile instrument with some different sounds from the usual Tele and Strat tones, and a useful addition to the arsenal.

I play guitar because I enjoy it rather than because I’m any good at it
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