Modding my guitar

Guitar Tricks Forum > Tone and Effects > Modding my guitar

Dave-H

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Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 26

Hi guys, I am planning to mod my Pacifica with all new parts. It's an HSS with one volume and one tone. I am going to install Wilkinson pick-ups, HSH, with a genuine Switchcraft selector, full size CTS pots adding a third control, as well as replacincing the flimsy bridge with a heavy, Wilkinson, roller bridge. I know that Strats have 2 tone controls, but I am wondering if two volumes might not be a better idea. I'll also be splitting both Humbuckers.

#1

Hi guys, I am planning to mod my Pacifica with all new parts. It's an HSS with one volume and one tone. I am going to install Wilkinson pick-ups, HSH, with a genuine Switchcraft selector, full size CTS pots adding a third control, as well as replacincing the flimsy bridge with a heavy, Wilkinson, roller bridge. I know that Strats have 2 tone controls, but I am wondering if two volumes might not be a better idea. I'll also be splitting both Humbuckers.

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1113

Quite a project!

With a neck and bridge humbucker, two volumes certainly increase versatility, but also complexity in operation. It's a KISS vs technical bells and whistles decision. WIll you use it? How easy will it be to use it? Where you locate them so they can be easily operated on the fly is important.

For me, ultimately it'd be triaged yes/no dependent upon whether the routing accomodated it ..unless you have means of doing a neat routing job yourself if necessary?

I've got two volumes and single split on my Harley Benton SC Custom modern Les Paul clone. I find a single tone control is adequate with the three way Switchcraft type selector.


Check with Steve in the Guitar Tech forum about fitting a roller bridge and its impact upon stable intonation. You may change your mind, ...or not?

♪A little better all the time♫

#2

Quite a project!

With a neck and bridge humbucker, two volumes certainly increase versatility, but also complexity in operation. It's a KISS vs technical bells and whistles decision. WIll you use it? How easy will it be to use it? Where you locate them so they can be easily operated on the fly is important.

For me, ultimately it'd be triaged yes/no dependent upon whether the routing accomodated it ..unless you have means of doing a neat routing job yourself if necessary?

I've got two volumes and single split on my Harley Benton SC Custom modern Les Paul clone. I find a single tone control is adequate with the three way Switchcraft type selector.


Check with Steve in the Guitar Tech forum about fitting a roller bridge and its impact upon stable intonation. You may change your mind, ...or not?

♪A little better all the time♫

Dave-H

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 26

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Quite a project!


Check with Steve in the Guitar Tech forum about fitting a roller bridge and its impact upon stable intonation. You may change your mind, ...or not?

Actually, the Bridge will be a heavy Strat bridge with roller saddles, so that is actually optional. The Pacifica saddles are really quite good. I just wanted to get away from the cast saddles that come with the bridge.

I will be wirng a new pickguard for it. The guitar is black metal flake, and the plain balck guard doesn't do it justice, so I am going with black pearl.

The Pacifica body has plenty of room for all I want to do.

Yamaha Pacifica body

#3

Originally Posted by: manXcat

Quite a project!


Check with Steve in the Guitar Tech forum about fitting a roller bridge and its impact upon stable intonation. You may change your mind, ...or not?

Actually, the Bridge will be a heavy Strat bridge with roller saddles, so that is actually optional. The Pacifica saddles are really quite good. I just wanted to get away from the cast saddles that come with the bridge.

I will be wirng a new pickguard for it. The guitar is black metal flake, and the plain balck guard doesn't do it justice, so I am going with black pearl.

The Pacifica body has plenty of room for all I want to do.

Yamaha Pacifica body

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1113

Black Pearl pickguard will dress up an opaque Black Metal Flake body nicely if the latter is subtle.

Which Pacifica model is it? 012, 112J or V? The PAC112V's bridge itself is fine unless incessant vibrato use or divebombs are your thing. If not, an alternative would be to replace only the saddles with GraphTech TUSQ saddles and put the savings towards a pair of GraphTech string trees and a GraphTech TUSQ nut. I think you'd enjoy a tangible performance upgrade and superior value out of that. GraphTech kit should be very affordable in your neck of the woods.

Korean manufactured Wilkinson kit is very good IME&O. I'd buy them anytime with confidence. Think Gotoh performance on a budget. It's my go to for replacement hardware and quality PUPs without spending silly money. I've fitted their tuner mechs, saddles, & several sets of PUPs as replacement upgrade parts.

Is it just looks looks you're wanting to replace the OEM saddles for?

I couldn't comment on the fitment on a PAC012, but the PAC112V's saddles aren't bad performance wise in case you've experienced some problems. I don't think they are the cast junk pot metal as you'll occasionally see on really cheap PRC made bridges and parts. I literally use my original PAC112V every day. I have four Pacificas including a PAC612VIIFM with Wilkinson bridge and GraphTech saddles for basis of comparison.

I haven't suffered any intonation issues with that PAC112V's saddles subjected over the past three years to constant quasi daily use. Other than intonation and adjusting saddle heights and radii, the only maintence I perform on them is to lube the saddle grooves with a smear of Inox every few months. JFI. I run .9s on all my Pacifcas. Tried .10s. Prefer and went back to .9s.

All the best with the project. Great guitar made even better.

♪A little better all the time♫

#4

Black Pearl pickguard will dress up an opaque Black Metal Flake body nicely if the latter is subtle.

Which Pacifica model is it? 012, 112J or V? The PAC112V's bridge itself is fine unless incessant vibrato use or divebombs are your thing. If not, an alternative would be to replace only the saddles with GraphTech TUSQ saddles and put the savings towards a pair of GraphTech string trees and a GraphTech TUSQ nut. I think you'd enjoy a tangible performance upgrade and superior value out of that. GraphTech kit should be very affordable in your neck of the woods.

Korean manufactured Wilkinson kit is very good IME&O. I'd buy them anytime with confidence. Think Gotoh performance on a budget. It's my go to for replacement hardware and quality PUPs without spending silly money. I've fitted their tuner mechs, saddles, & several sets of PUPs as replacement upgrade parts.

Is it just looks looks you're wanting to replace the OEM saddles for?

I couldn't comment on the fitment on a PAC012, but the PAC112V's saddles aren't bad performance wise in case you've experienced some problems. I don't think they are the cast junk pot metal as you'll occasionally see on really cheap PRC made bridges and parts. I literally use my original PAC112V every day. I have four Pacificas including a PAC612VIIFM with Wilkinson bridge and GraphTech saddles for basis of comparison.

I haven't suffered any intonation issues with that PAC112V's saddles subjected over the past three years to constant quasi daily use. Other than intonation and adjusting saddle heights and radii, the only maintence I perform on them is to lube the saddle grooves with a smear of Inox every few months. JFI. I run .9s on all my Pacifcas. Tried .10s. Prefer and went back to .9s.

All the best with the project. Great guitar made even better.

♪A little better all the time♫

Dave-H

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 26

Thanks for the tips, ManXcat! I am replacing the bridge because the trem bar was broken in shipping and the counter weight is pretty skimpy. Obviously, I don't use it, but it would be cool if I could, My guitar is an EG112C2. The Saddles are stamped steel, just like Fender saddles, but I hear rave reviews of roller saddles, and they are cheap. I have no plans to throw away the Pacifica saddles, If I don't like the rollers, it's easy enough to swap back. I suppose I could just replace the weight on the Pac bridge, but I like the look of the Wilkinson uploaded image

Since I would have to take the bridge off to fix it anyway, why not just replace it? I wonder if it would be worth swapping to a 2 post bridge instead of the screwdown bridge.

Glad to hear my choice of pick-ups doesn't suck. I am debating whether to go with a hotrail at the neck, or just recut the pick guard to accomodate the Alnico 5. I know this sounds like a lot of work and money to put into a Pacifica, but as much as for the sound, I am doing it just to see if I can, and get a better guitar in the process!

#5

Thanks for the tips, ManXcat! I am replacing the bridge because the trem bar was broken in shipping and the counter weight is pretty skimpy. Obviously, I don't use it, but it would be cool if I could, My guitar is an EG112C2. The Saddles are stamped steel, just like Fender saddles, but I hear rave reviews of roller saddles, and they are cheap. I have no plans to throw away the Pacifica saddles, If I don't like the rollers, it's easy enough to swap back. I suppose I could just replace the weight on the Pac bridge, but I like the look of the Wilkinson uploaded image

Since I would have to take the bridge off to fix it anyway, why not just replace it? I wonder if it would be worth swapping to a 2 post bridge instead of the screwdown bridge.

Glad to hear my choice of pick-ups doesn't suck. I am debating whether to go with a hotrail at the neck, or just recut the pick guard to accomodate the Alnico 5. I know this sounds like a lot of work and money to put into a Pacifica, but as much as for the sound, I am doing it just to see if I can, and get a better guitar in the process!

manXcat

♪It's getting better all the time♫

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 1113

The EG112 was Yamaha's entry level model Pacifica superseded by the PAC012.

It had an Alder body according to Yamaha's code and the original spec. although I've seen and heard of some later EG112s allegedly being Agathis bodies. As the first digit denotes Alder, technically, it should be Adler. Otherwise it was 012 spec, but with truly rubbish tuners. The block on the 012 bridge has even less mass than the one in the 112V, and it's nothing to shout about. If I did a lot of vibrato work, I'd replace the 112V's, but I don't, and I have the 612VII for that should it become a requirement.

So yer ditch that bridge. Buy a Wilkinson. You won't be disappointed.

The benefit of putting in the work is the knowledge, experience and confidence gained. The reward is definitely worth the effort in my book, and provided you stay within your personal doable remit, it's fun if you find that kind of thing fun. I do.

♪A little better all the time♫

#6

The EG112 was Yamaha's entry level model Pacifica superseded by the PAC012.

It had an Alder body according to Yamaha's code and the original spec. although I've seen and heard of some later EG112s allegedly being Agathis bodies. As the first digit denotes Alder, technically, it should be Adler. Otherwise it was 012 spec, but with truly rubbish tuners. The block on the 012 bridge has even less mass than the one in the 112V, and it's nothing to shout about. If I did a lot of vibrato work, I'd replace the 112V's, but I don't, and I have the 612VII for that should it become a requirement.

So yer ditch that bridge. Buy a Wilkinson. You won't be disappointed.

The benefit of putting in the work is the knowledge, experience and confidence gained. The reward is definitely worth the effort in my book, and provided you stay within your personal doable remit, it's fun if you find that kind of thing fun. I do.

♪A little better all the time♫

Dave-H

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 26

Since most of my work is going to be in the body, I didn't mention I will also be installing Wilkinson Locking tuners and a Brass nut. My nut seems to be cut improperly. The #1 string is cut too far inside. Not too far inside, but far enough that it is difficult to fret the first fret on the "B" without interfering with "E". Frankly, if I had handled this guitar before buying, I probably wouldn't have bought it, but the price was so good, the difference beween what I paid and what it is worth, will go a long way toward paying for my upgrades. Reverb lists this guitar with similar finish grade for about $140.00

#7

Since most of my work is going to be in the body, I didn't mention I will also be installing Wilkinson Locking tuners and a Brass nut. My nut seems to be cut improperly. The #1 string is cut too far inside. Not too far inside, but far enough that it is difficult to fret the first fret on the "B" without interfering with "E". Frankly, if I had handled this guitar before buying, I probably wouldn't have bought it, but the price was so good, the difference beween what I paid and what it is worth, will go a long way toward paying for my upgrades. Reverb lists this guitar with similar finish grade for about $140.00

matonanjin2

Registered User

Joined: 08/11/17

Posts: 209

Thanks telling us about your modding project of your Pacifica. I hope that you are going to keep us up to date on your progress and I am going to follow it with interest.

I'll try not to make this too long (and boring). My learning journey started with a Yamaha Pacifica Santa brought me after I retired. After several months of practice I reasoned that I wasn't yet playing like Carlos Santana was because I had a cheap guitar. So I bought a Gibson Les Paul and Fender Blues Junior amp. After a few more months (and still not playing like Carlos) I picked up the little Pacifica and it played great!

I decided that I would mod the Pacifica and bought a set of Texas Loco Iron Gear Pickups, . I reasoned it plays nice but it could use some help with tone. The problem is that I have had them now for months and have procrastinated installing them.

Maybe your progress will motivate me to get them installed! I hope so. My Pacifica is also the HSS model.

#8

Thanks telling us about your modding project of your Pacifica. I hope that you are going to keep us up to date on your progress and I am going to follow it with interest.

I'll try not to make this too long (and boring). My learning journey started with a Yamaha Pacifica Santa brought me after I retired. After several months of practice I reasoned that I wasn't yet playing like Carlos Santana was because I had a cheap guitar. So I bought a Gibson Les Paul and Fender Blues Junior amp. After a few more months (and still not playing like Carlos) I picked up the little Pacifica and it played great!

I decided that I would mod the Pacifica and bought a set of Texas Loco Iron Gear Pickups, . I reasoned it plays nice but it could use some help with tone. The problem is that I have had them now for months and have procrastinated installing them.

Maybe your progress will motivate me to get them installed! I hope so. My Pacifica is also the HSS model.

William MG

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Joined: 03/08/19

Posts: 985

Hi Dave,

an ambitious project. I have a 112 V. I enjoy the guitar at times, but it had 1 issue that you may or not have: frets.

The frets have a very square shape. This was not important to me at the time of purchase, but as I have advanced, it has stood out as a major issue. I took profile pics below of the Yammie and my Godin Progression Plus - which is a gem to play. Especially when sliding between double stops.

My Pacifica has a very square profile on the frets, while the Godin has a much rounder profile.

The Godin is my "go to' guitar to play as it is simply the easiest to play.

I took a look at my other guitars - Squires and Epiphones - and all have a rounder fret profile, and to be honest, they all see more playing than the Yammie.

Frets can be rounded if you have the tools/skill.

Anyway, just some input from a fellow Pacifica owner. ManXCat has a good point: will the mods be used? As the owner of the guitar this is something to consider, however, perhaps at your age you just want to experiment. All very cool no matter what you decide.

As manonanjon2 says, keep us posted and have fun!!

uploaded image

uploaded image

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

#9

Hi Dave,

an ambitious project. I have a 112 V. I enjoy the guitar at times, but it had 1 issue that you may or not have: frets.

The frets have a very square shape. This was not important to me at the time of purchase, but as I have advanced, it has stood out as a major issue. I took profile pics below of the Yammie and my Godin Progression Plus - which is a gem to play. Especially when sliding between double stops.

My Pacifica has a very square profile on the frets, while the Godin has a much rounder profile.

The Godin is my "go to' guitar to play as it is simply the easiest to play.

I took a look at my other guitars - Squires and Epiphones - and all have a rounder fret profile, and to be honest, they all see more playing than the Yammie.

Frets can be rounded if you have the tools/skill.

Anyway, just some input from a fellow Pacifica owner. ManXCat has a good point: will the mods be used? As the owner of the guitar this is something to consider, however, perhaps at your age you just want to experiment. All very cool no matter what you decide.

As manonanjon2 says, keep us posted and have fun!!

uploaded image

uploaded image

"If it sounds cool, it is cool!"

Mike O

Works for me!

Dave-H

Full Access

Joined: 09/30/19

Posts: 26

William MG I am confused about your fret problem. My guitar has nicely rounded, very smooth frets, evidence that at one time they were well polished.

#10

William MG I am confused about your fret problem. My guitar has nicely rounded, very smooth frets, evidence that at one time they were well polished.