Peavey Raptor EXP restoration
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.
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 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.
ĐJukka Korppi 2015