Yamaha has been a favorite brand when it comes to beginner guitars for quite some time, and that’s largely down to the outstanding value they provide. One way to get even more value, though, is to opt for a kit like the Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack. This set was our top pick in our roundup of the best electric guitar beginner kits and deservedly so.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review, we take a closer look at this fantastic starter set to bring you even more detail. If you’ve been considering an electric guitar bundle and you’ve not yet made up your mind, make sure you read this review!
Who Is This For?
Being a starter set, the Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack is definitely aimed more towards the beginner end of the market. It comes with a bundle of accessories you’re likely to need if you’re just getting started in learning guitar, but if you’re an intermediate or above level player, most of this gear will likely be surplus to your needs.
The guitar that comes with the kit however is substantial enough to see you well past your beginner stage, and even into intermediate and advanced playing. It’s well equipped, and offers fantastic tone and playability.
Appearance / Features / Controls
Our test model came in a Blue finish, which is a great choice and looks fantastic. Other finishes available include Red, Black and Old Violin Sunburst, if you’re not into Blue. The quality of the finish on this guitar is surprisingly good for a starter kit, and it really looks much better than you’d expect.
It had a solid mahogany body, cut into a Strat style shape – It’s a Pacifica PAC012 guitar, so it’s not an exact clone, but it’s definitely heavily inspired by the Fender classic.
The bolt on neck was maple, and had a nice slim C profile neck. It was a very comfortable and forgiving shape, and one that beginners will get along with well. As we often find even with entry level Yamaha models, it even came with a rosewood fretboard. The fretwork was surprisingly excellent, with well finished frets and nicely rounded edges.
The electronics selection was good, with a ceramic humbucker in the bridge and ceramic single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions. Of course, being a 3 pickup model, it came with a 5 way selector switch, and it was also fitted with a single tone and a master volume control.
Hardware was all reliable, too, with good quality tuning machines, and a useable tremolo bridge.
We found that the bundled amp, the Yamaha GA15II was a solid performer. It was a 15 watt, solid state combo amp with one 6″ speaker. It had plenty of volume for practice, and it took pedals quite well, too.
As for the rest of the bundle, it came with a well padded gig bag, a Qwik Tune digital chromatic tuner, a cable, a strap, spare strings and a set of picks – everything you need to get going right away.
After getting this guitar unboxed, we were immediately impressed with the build quality. It was clear that it had been built with a stringent QA process, and that definitely carried over into the overall playability.
On the topic of playability, we found it to be great, not just for a beginner guitar, but in general. The action was nice and low, which made playing for extended periods extremely comfortable.
We found that the neck was one of the best features on this guitar. It was slim and C shaped, which made it really comfortable and easy to play. The back had a satin finish, which prevented hangups with sweaty hands, and made it surprisingly fast for a beginner model. The fretwork was also well finished, with no sharp edges or roughness on the crowns.
The pickups were hugely impressive considering the price of this set. The humbucker in the bridge was powerful and articulate, with thick, yet clear tones. The single coil pickups in the middle and neck positions were also excellent, and offered plenty of clarity and definition. With the 5 way selector switch, we had a lot of tonal options available, including all of the usual intermediate position quack. In particular, we loved position 2 (bridge/middle), which gave us some creamy blues tones.
The amp was a great performer; we found the clean channel to be really crisp and clear, with plenty of headroom for adding overdrive or distortion pedals. The dirty channel offered a nice range of tones, from a light crunch to some relatively heavy distortion.
Having a 3 band EQ allowed us to shape our tones with ease, and aux in was a nice touch that let us play along with backing tracks. We found that for practice or jamming with friends, this amp had more than enough volume, but should you want to practice quietly, it had a headphone out option, too.
Other Guitars to Consider
The Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack is an amazing bundle for anybody getting started, but it’s not the only one out there. If you’d like to take a look at some other options, we’ve listed a coupe of our favorite alternatives below.
This Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS Bundle comes from what is probably the most popular beginner guitar brand on the market. It features a genuine Stratocaster, and like the Yamaha, it comes in a HSS pickup layout. Again, like the Gigmaker kit, it has a 15 watt amp, and a great accessories bundle. It’s a very well made set with some excellent tones on offer, and is definitely a worthy competitor to the Yamaha.
The Epiphone Les Paul Player Pack offers something entirely different to both of the other options insomuch as it comes with a Les Paul guitar, equipped with a pair of humbucking pickups. Sonically, it’s at the opposite end of the scale to the Yamaha and Squier sets, with its thick double coil tones. It comes with a 10 watt Epiphone amp, and of course, all the accessories you’ll need to start playing right away.
Final Thoughts on the Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack
We absolutely loved the Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack. It was an amazing bundle with great build quality, reliability, and of course playability. The pickups were also hugely impressive considering the price of this set. The amp was also a great performer, and would serve you well as an at home practice rig even if you upgrade to a more powerful model down the line.
If you’re looking for an excellent beginner guitar pack at an unbeatable price point, the Yamaha Gigmaker Electric Guitar Pack is a fantastic choice. It stands out a little from the crowd, and you, or whoever you gift this set to, will get years of enjoyment from it.