Yamaha Pacifica 611 HFM vs 311 H


So, I fell in love with a guitar. Not an unusual happenstance, but I’m not sure why. I searched on Andertons for “purple” in the guitars, because purple, and the Pacifica one leapt out at me.

I don’t know why, I don’t like the look of P90 pickups one bit (unless they’ve been disguised as a PAF humbucker) and I’ve never been drawn to strat shaped guitars.


As is usual in these circumstances I set up an eBay search to keep me alerted

of any cheap ones that might appear and when looking around I also discovered the 311 series. Which, apart from the translucent paintwork, look identical.

Going by my guide on Yamaha Pacifica numbering it’s understandable why. The 3/6 being a guide to quality and the two 1s following indicating a humbucker and a single coil configuration. H meaning hardtail and FM at the end means flame maple. So that’s that…

But wait? What’s the actual differences 🙂


The Yamaha website states that “With the looks, feel and versatility of PAC611HFM built in as standard…” at the start of the 311H article! Well, thanks, that clears that up.

Let’s start with where they are equal. They both feature a bolt-on neck, 25.5″ scale length, rosewood fingerboard, same radius neck, 22 frets and an alder body (with the 611 sporting the flamed maple laminate top).  They also both offer the same Grover Locking Tuners, 3 way switch, master volume and master tone (offering a coil split push/pull toggle).

So far, so the same. Down to the I-can’t-decide-if-it-is-horrendous tortoise shell pick guard.

So the differences seem to lay in two places, the bridge on both is a hard-tail one but the 611 has a Graph Tech String Saver Saddle. Not really enough to get excited about. So it’s the pickups then?

311 has Alnico P-90 and Humbucker, where the 611 has a Seymour Duncan SP90-1n and a Custom 5 TB-14 humbucker.

I guess then it depends whether at £640 you think it is worth the extra £300 for the flame maple top and some fancier Seymour Duncan pickups (which cost around £150 together and you’ll have to fit them).

Damn, I think I’ve just talked myself out of the 611… but… translucent purple with a colour matched headstock!

611HFM comes in Translucent Black, Translucent Purple, Root Beer and a Light Amber burst

311H comes in Black, Vintage White, Red Metallic, Yellow Natural Satin


5 thoughts on “Yamaha Pacifica 611 HFM vs 311 H

    1. I believe the 311 has in house Yamaha branded pickups, the 611 Seymour Duncans. What difference this makes, I’m not sure.

  1. The 3 series just doesn’t compare to the fit, finish and quality of the 5 and 6 series. The Pac 611vfmx is the clear winner out of them all, which is the guitar I personally have. It has a custom-shop build and feel to it. The tonal versatility of it is endless, a real gig and studio workhorse! It looks and plays incredibly well, and I really dig the black metal pickguard with the black P90 along with its matte finish. This guitar beats the brakes off a MIM Strat and exceeds my MIA Strat on many levels. By far it has become my fav guitar, one I can’t seem to put down very long. Yamaha has a long history of building incredible guitars that are far superior over ones 3 times more expensive. If you must have Fender on your headstock then go for it, but if you want a better guitar without breaking the bank, go try out one of the Pacifica 5 or 6 series Pacs. You won’t regret it!

    1. Thanks for all this information, I’ve just found your comment in my spam folder. I frequently eye up the 611 hard tails because I’m not a trem user.

  2. chris i ama blind guitarist, the differences are huge,but 311 i just boughta 611 vfm,i have owned lp, fenders, prs, this isa modern high end masterpiece, that guy was right on if this guitar was made by fender ,orprsin america, would cost easy 2500,, also you need toknow that todo major string bends,a hard tail is not the thing, doing scale rips,fine,but doing bending, double stops, double stirng leads vfm, is the way, , the cry,squeal of 611 for blues,or fusionis farfar more away,and above 311,i would likea 311 to mod,but,, it hasa sweet sound, 611,country, country rock,southernrock, soft blues,hard blues, soft jazz,jazz fusion, hard rock,some mid metal,doesit alll,for 600, frankly there isnot comparision, youforgot about vfm, wilk bridge150, the string tension on311 is serious tight,not 611,that bitch bends,and stretches tothemoon,i actually havetobe veryverycareful rockingmy work becauseit almost bends toomuch, at some point,i am changing to bare knuckles, maybea high end goto bridge also remember you are hearing from oneofhteonly blind artists in america

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