Making my pacifica sound like a strat help

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by slhguitar, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. slhguitar

    slhguitar Member

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    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Newmarket, Ontario
    I have a Yamaha Pacifica that I would like to modify to general strat specs. It is already a solid alder body, with a maple neck & fretboard. The pickups go HSS, like all pacifica's (to my knowledge). I would like to have a single coil in the bridge position, and I was wondering how easy the wiring would be, and if I would need to modify the rest of the wiring, or if I could just do a straight swap. Also, are there any other components that contribute greatly to the sound of the guitar? Thanks for the input.
     
  2. atomheartmother

    atomheartmother Senior Member

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    You might as well just swap out all of the electronics as they're pretty cheap. CTS pots are only $4-5 and CRL switchs are only $10. Orange Drop caps are maybe $1.

    These are generally a bit pricier than if you got the parts individually from a local shop, but they're excellent quality.

    http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Strat---Modern-Wiring-5-Way-Switch-P1167C153.aspx

    http://www.acmeguitarworks.com/Strat---Blender-Wiring-5-Way-Switch-P1168C153.aspx


    I'd personally go with the Blender kit if you've got a few extra bucks and don't mind deviating slightly from the traditional control setup (I'd never own a Strat without the Blender setup...two tone pots is redundant). The Blender kit is actually much easier to wire up as well.

    If you can't/don't want to do the work yourself, you can get prewired kits from the same place for maybe $20 more.

    The difference in tone between these components and the stock components probably won't be a night/day difference, but they will improve your tone a bit (and add some cool tones if you go for the Blender kit) for relatively little money.

    If you're low on cash, you could just use the current electronics and just directly swap in new pickup(s). But with lower priced import guitars, I just go ahead and swap all of the electronics when putting in new pickups.

    The pickup(s) you put in depend on what you want to spend. GFS (www.guitarfetish.com) make good quality pickups for cheap. Otherwise, I really like Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups. They are great vintage sounding pickups, but are a bit smoother on the top end. Perfect!
     
  3. lord preset

    lord preset Member

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    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    One problem with Pacificas is that generic Strat replacement pickguards don't fit. It looks like they would but they are different. Switching to a SSS configuration may require a custom pickguard. You may want to consider a single coil PU in a humbucker package - maybe a GFS Dream 90 or similar.
     
  4. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    What model do you have? One of the lower end ones that have a full size pickguard covering all pickups or one of the higher end ones with a pickguard for single coils and a mounting ring for the bridge humbucker?

    If it's the latter, then I'd recommend a P90 in humbucker size. Another option would be to install a humbucker that you can split in the bridge position. This is what comes on the newer Pacifica 612V and 812V models, the bridge pickup can be split with a push/push switch in the tone pot.
     

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