Peavey Raptor EXP restoration

First impressions

Headstock pictureI have no idea when this guitar was made but I think itīs an older one before "Plus" was added to the name. Current Raptor Plus EXP models have a totally different looking logo.

Anyways, this is an interesting guitar since unlike other low budget strat copies this one has guts to look different. Body shape and pickguard are different and output jack is at the side, not on top.

guitar as it cameThe Raptor came looking like this. It is dirty, pickguard is held in place with just two screws and one of saddle adjustment screws was replaced with a self-tapping screw! I also got a plastic box containing some old strings, knobs and rest of pickguard screws.

This guitar surely has seen better days but I cannot complaint since it was given to me as junk.

So, what have we got here? The neck looks allright. Itīs straight and truss rod adjustment seems to work. Frets are not too shabby and fretboard has no cracks. Tuners were a little loose but a screwdriver took care of that. Things are looking good so far!

wiring pictureThe wiring was a mess. I removed most wires (which were loose anyway) and did the whole thing basically from scratch. Not too complicated with just one tone and one volume. Too bad that the humbucker has only one wire - I would like to add a splitting switch.

After fixing electrics I installed some strings. I lowered the strings to more playable level and did a quick tuning and intonation adjustment. The guitar works but the pickups sound a little strange, kind of muddy or muffled?

Well, I can worry about that later. This guitar is definitely worth saving. Good neck and the body is "real" wood, not plywood.

Next: a major cleaning operation

I took the guitar apart for a proper cleanup. I let all plastic parts soak in warm soap water, a damp cloth was enough for the body. I disassembled the bridge for cleaning and luckily found a fitting screw to replace the ugly self-tapping thing. The fretboard got my usual Zippo fluid & gunstock oil treatment. I also polished the frets, one was a little high and needed some filing.

After putting the guitar together I installed new 10-46 strings and did a basic setup. The guitar looks quite nice now and it plays ok. Still Iīm not very impressed, the Raptor is a beginnerīs guitar and it somehow lacks the feel of a proper instrument. And those pickups still sound awful in my opinion. If I decide to keep this one it would definitely need new pickups and tuners. I just donīt know if I want to spend any money on this.

Raptor after cleaning frontRaptor after cleaning back

ĐJukka Korppi 2015
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