REVIEW: Yamaha PAC1511MS Mike Stern Signature Model

The Yamaha PAC1511MS guitar has a thicker sound than a Fender Telecaster

Yamaha was established in 1887 as a piano and reed organ manufacturer. Since then, Yamaha has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments (including pianos, “silent” pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, cello, vibraphones, and saxophones), as well as a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals, and industrial robots.

OFF THE RACK

From the natural grained wood to a humbucker in the neck position, the Yamaha PAC1511MS Mike Stern Signature Model had me at the get-go. It’s a chunky feeling guitar but not to heavy. This guitar has a thicker sound than a Fender Telecaster, which is nice. It’s not to thin and also not to thick… nicely balanced.

The tone of the Mike Stern Model seemed more Jazzy than Country or Bluesy. That’s not to say the Mike Stern model cannot achieve other tones, it most certainly can. The neck has a great feel and is semi-fast. The solid ash, single-cutaway body and 7 1/4″ radius of the maple neck give the PAC1511MS the feel of a well-worn vintage instrument. A Seymour Duncan ’59 in the neck position gives a nice tight tone for chords, while the Hot Rail pickup in the bridge position gives great sustain.

THE SPECS

  • Ash body
  • Maple neck (7.25″ radius)
  • Maple fingerboard
  • 22 frets
  • Black dot inlays
  • Seymour Duncan Hot Rails (Bridge) and ’59 (Neck) pickups
  • Master Volume and Tone controls with 3-way switch
  • 25.5″ scale
  • Die cast tuners
  • Black/white 3-ply pickguard
  • Chrome 6-saddle bridge

THE LOW DOWN

This is a GREAT all around guitar. It feels like a faster version of the Fender Telecaster with a warmer more defined tone. The Seymour Duncan pickup combo is superb! The 59’ works well with the ash body, while the Hot Rail does not buzz in any way which is a nice touch given how Fender Tele’s can buzz like crazy. I would definitely add this axe to my collection. If you are a Telecaster fan, I would recommend that you give the Mike Stern Signature Model a whirl. It just might be what you have been looking for.

Pros: Great tone, great feel, Great pickups, 25.5” scale neck, Natural finish.

Cons: Pricey, In short supply.

MSRP – $1049.99

If you have any questions or comments –  just drop me an email or comment down below and I’ll respond back. Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

Nick Arrietta is a staff writer at SMG. Nick is a professional Music teacher from California and has been playing the Guitar for 24 years. Along with teaching music he is a touring guitarist, studio musician and songwriter. Email: nick@sharemyguitar.com

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  • Love this guitar for its tone on neck pickup.
    It’s also good, that Yamaha put 6-saddle bridge. Maybe “vintage” means something good, but not for me, when I’m talking about tele-style bridges.
    I agree, that this guitar is similar to Tele only by its shape, not tone.

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