USA Peavey Predators...Ok Strat copies?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by carltonh, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Anyone have opinions on the USA Peavey Predators which were 22 fret Strat copies, 12" fretboard radius?

    I decided to get one off Ebay since including shipping and HSC it was $115 and in relatively good condition. That has to be the cheapest USA made Strat copy around.

    I think I'll put a Bill Lawrence L280, L200, and L298 in it. Any opinions on what could be interesting to do with a USA made "beater"?

    I guess I could go Yngwie and scallop the neck, or have the bridge upgraded to a Point Tremolo. Would it sound better with the paint stripped off and an oil finish put on the body? Other ideas?
     
  2. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Well, I guess I see why I got the price I did. No one thinks these USA Peaveys are worth commenting on. Someone's got to have some opinion, hasn't anyone ever played one of these?
     
  3. aquadog

    aquadog Member

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    Well, I never played one, but at 115, usa made, and a hardshell case, I don't really think you can go wrong.
    Thats even cheaper than one of those crappy squires that come in the packs from guitar center, and I don't see how it could be much worse than one of those.
     
  4. markman

    markman Member

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    I can't comment on one yet, but I also just bought one. I'm expecting mine soon . I've heard very good things about them.
     
  5. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    At the prices they are going for on Ebay, I thought I could buy one first and ask opinions later. I was afraid I might drive the prices up to .... horror of horrors.... maybe $200 for an American made Strat copy! :)

    The paint looks pretty thick, but it is on USA Standard Strats as well, so shouldn't be too bad. Mine will be maple fretboard with white body. The Yngwie treatment seems tempting, but I'd like to play a scallopped fret guitar before making one.
     
  6. roygbiv

    roygbiv Member

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    Funny I should stumble into this discussion today. Just got my 1991 Predator earlier this week. I had read about them over at Harmony Central and I decided to take a chance. I bet a few of us in this thread were bidding against each other on eBay!

    All I can say is I'm glad I did. I checked out every Strat on the wall for under $1000 at my local GC and Sam Ash. I found one Highway One that I thought was OK. Everything else was completely uninspiring--and one MIM Strat that almost left my fingers bleeding from sharp fret ends.

    This Predator plays better than almost all of the Strats at those stores. It is similar to the Highway One w/ maple neck that I thought was OK. The pickups actually sound pretty good, too. Nothing that'll make you say wow, but decent enough. And you can always swap 'em out anyway.

    For the money? If you can find one in good shape, it's a no-brainer for a MIA strat.
     
  7. vmann

    vmann Member

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    Hi Carl. I have had my USA Pred. for I would guess 10 yrs. When I first got it I had decided I would change the pups to active EMG's. Can't remember why I wanted them changed but remember seeing the EMG's for sale shortly after purchasing the Peavey. I remember thinking that the stock pups sounded pretty damn good, hot and noisy. Nonetheless, in went the EMG's and I have to say that it is one fine guitar. Why did I want the Predator to begin with?? Because I had played one in Mr. Entertainment music store here in Canada in the late 80's early 90's and thinking "this is one of the best necks I have ever played". Without a doubt, it was the neck that made me decide I would purchase one in the future.
    When I was gigging, it was my main guitar. With the EMG's it was a workhorse; a workingman's guitar. Now that I am just a bedroom practice player I have decided to let my local guitar tech
    clean up the rough fret edges, install a Kahler bridge without the locknut and add locking tuners and a compensated nut. I can't wait til I get her back. I miss those strat tones and when all is said and done it will line up against my Tele Plus with equal stature.

    Thanx,
    Jim
     
  8. The Eristic

    The Eristic Member

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    They are pretty decent. I'd hold out for a Falcon, though.
     
  9. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    How is a USA Falcon different than a USA Predator?
     
  10. roygbiv

    roygbiv Member

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    One thing I know for certain is that the tremolo is different on the Falcon vs. the Predator. I think it's a Kahler on the Falcon.

    Anyone know if a Fender strat replacement pickguard would work on a Predator?
     
  11. ArthurS

    ArthurS Member

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    So what does a USA Predator compare to, quality-wise? A MIM Standard, nice Korean Strat (think Lite Ash or G&L Tributes), or is it further up the quality ladder?
     
  12. ArthurS

    ArthurS Member

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    ?
     
  13. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I'll let you know when mine arrives sometime this week.
     
  14. roygbiv

    roygbiv Member

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    I think it's completely subjective. Unless you can pick up a guitar and try it, it's pretty hard to make an evaluation. With eBay, you just have to buy and try.

    First, I should say that I'm no Strat expert. I owned one MIA back 10 years ago but sold it because I just didn't like it enough to play it. I can't speak for the MIK models because I've only seen a couple and didn't fiddle with them too much. I've heard that the quality on the MIMs is spotty so you have to try a dozen just to find the "right" one. I went into Guitar Center and Sam Ash, tried a dozen, and couldn't find one that I liked. As mentioned above, I found one Hiway One that I thought was pretty decent.

    The build quality on my Predator is very good. The neck is completely different than a MIM strat, but I like it better. Mine has a beautiful smooth satin finish that I love. I've seen other reviews at Harmony Central that echo this sentiment. Body on mine is poplar with a pretty thick finish--it's a tank and has held up very well.

    I think the tuners look cheap, but they hold tune very well. I have banged on this thing for a week and I haven't had to tune it once. Graphite nut. The tremolo on mine works fine. The electronics are OK. The pickups won't knock you over, but I was surprised that I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I bought thinking I would swap them out, but I may keep the stock pups for a while and see what I can do with them. They do have a slightly distinct flavor that is kind of interesting.

    Overall, I'm happy with mine. Sure, it's kind of utilitarian but it gets the job done. For just about $100? Wow, great value...
     
  15. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    The first guitar I ever owned was an American Peavey Raptor. The Predator and the Raptor are the same guitar with the exception of the Predator's Humbucker in the bridge.

    You are right...the stock pickups are crap. I took mine out as soon as I was able to discern good tone from bad tone. I put in two SD Nashvilles in the neck and middle pickup positions and an SD single coil humbucker in the bridge. That really improved the guitar.

    I recently traded the guitar in to help with my American '52 Reissue Telecaster. I didn't get anything near what it was worth because I didn't put the stock pickups back in it. I should have replaced the new ones with the older ones and sold the SD's separately. Make a note to yourself in case you are thinking about trading it sometime.

    When all is said and done, it was a great starter guitar for me.
     
  16. roygbiv

    roygbiv Member

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    Actually, the Predators I am referring to are the early 90s MIA models that were SSS configs only, I think. Peavey was very much trying to emulate a classic Strat back in those days.

    I don't think the Predators had a 'bucker in the bridge until much later models. Most things I've read say that things started to slide downhill after the mid-90s (production went overseas). Then came the Predator Plus and EXP, etc., which are much different beasts.

    If you are looking for a good value in a classic Strat, then you have to look for the early 90's MIA Predators.
     
  17. ArthurS

    ArthurS Member

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    Are those the ones with the four-point bridges?
     
  18. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    Yes
     
  19. markman

    markman Member

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    Mine will be here tomorrow, white , maple neck and sss.
     
  20. Garrett Bagby

    Garrett Bagby Supporting Member

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    My first electric was a 93 Predator. Using my minute guitar knowledge at the time, I chose it over a Squier because it was 22 fret, made in the USA and seemed to be better quality.

    It was an okay guitar, but I quickly outgrew it and sold it for something else after about 9 months. Trem didn't stay in tune for anything, the tuners weren't all that great, or the bridge for that matter, or the pickups.

    But I think with a few upgrades, it would make a cool project axe. The woods and workmanship seemed good (remember I only had this as a beginner). I'm sure that set of BL's would be a good start!
     

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