JF-1 EXP review by Peavey

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (18 votes)
Peavey: JF-1 EXP

Price paid: $ 355.5

Sound — 10
I play mostly nothing but blues (John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and George Thorogood)with a little bit of rockabilly thrown in and I have to say this guitar suits me perfectly. I do not play with anyone else other than the odd guitar or bass so I don't have to compete with a drum set. As such I am running it through a Peavey Rage on the Vintage/clean settings with a Boss Distortion pedal for the Hooker/Thorogood growl. I find it has a very full, mellow sound to it that fits very well with the dark Delta style blues.

Overall Impression — 10
Others have complained about the tuners and the pickups but I have had no problem at all with either. If this guitar was stolen I would cry and most definitely buy another. This guitar sounds great, the fretboard is very nice to play and the red is, as I said earlier, absolutely gorgeous! The only thing I think was missing is that is never came with a case. I purchased a hardshell after it arrived.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Overall, for the price I paid, I don't see it having any problems standing up with a twice the price Epiphone dot or comparable Ibanez Alcore. I may want to put strap keepers on if I was doing any amount of stage work but other than that I think it would stand up fine.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I plugged it in straight out of the box and have never touched it yet. The only thing I changed was the strings and even then I never had to play with the intonation at all. The only flaw I have been able to find is there is a very tiny crack emanating from the 3 way Switch. It is not in the finish, looks like it may have split when they drilled the original hole.

Features — 9
The JF-1 EXP is a hollow body from their factory in china (EXP is Korean, has larger inlays than mine and has EXP on head). Mine was made in 2007, 22 frets, 22 3/4" scale on a 1 piece mahogany set neck. It has a rosewood fretboard and maple plywood body with a transparent red quilted veneer that is absolutely gorgeous. It has 2 humbuckers with a tone and volume control for each and a 3-way switch. It also has a tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece. Everything is plated in gold including the Grover tuners and the pickguard is black-white-black. I switched the strings over to D'Addario Chrome 11's and love them. The only thing bad I can say is it came with absolutely nothing, not just the case but I had to download a generic book from their website on top of it. Surprised it showed up with strings.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    FYI_I recently contacted Peavey with a question that has not been adequately addressed on any stream. The rep emailed me the answer to this question: what is the difference between the JF-1 and a JF-1 EX or Exp model? the answer is-just the lettering. There is no difference between the models. They are all built using the same materials and specs. This info came from Peavey corporate headquarters.
    Great guitar, I love mine. I put it through some abuse on stage but it is still intact and sounding like a dream!
    Played one of these in my local guitar shop-pretty sweet guitar!!
    I got one as a present and totally love it! I had to adjust the neck and, do a full setup after changing the strings it came with (which were thrashed!) I used Gibson Les Paul specs to adjust string height and pickup height and, now it sounds and plays like a dream. The funnly thing is that the truss rod was loose when I went to adjust the neck. I usually have a relief point of .004 to .007 of an inch, that I use a Stew Mac straight edge and feeler gauges to adjust. This time around the neck is basically flat straight across. On the 22th frett it has a incredibly slight run off like they are supposed to have. I got lucky with this guitar. The strings were set way high when I got it out of the box. I purchased an Epiphone Sheraton/Casino Dot case for it because, I did not like the Peavey cases offered for this fine guitar. I have a Chinese one also. As a rule I'm not a big fan of most Chinese musical products. That is why I feel I got lucky with this one. The pickups actually sound between very good to great! (I rate real PAFs as excellent!) The Grover-like tuners stay in tune and, are extremely accurate. I love the color (Transparent Red). The binding on this guitar is perfect as well. The neck feels and plays like butter. I have many guitars, some high dollar ones (my Statoaster Deluxe MIA with soft v-neck) and this JF-1 rates right up there with the best!
    FYI-These are semi-hollowbody guitars though many erroneously say it is hollow. Also, I recently read in a Harmony Central thread on the JF-1 that they are produced exclusively in China-that info coming from a Peavey product rep who had been contacted by an owner. I own 2-a sunburst and the transparent red. They are heavy but are a fine playing guitar. Too bad you have to order one to try one out: no one in our area stocks one to try out. The red one is now on backorder with some internet vendors. I love the red one. Bought it after trying out the sunburst model. The neck is one of the best I've played on. The frets aren't as high as the ones on the Epi Dot Studio I bought a few years back. Great access to the upper frets beyond the octave is a real plus. (I had an Ibanez AG75 that had a great neck but lousy upper fretboard access.) Though semi-hollow, it resists feedback very well and gets a nice sustain. I agree with others that the pu selector switch feels weak and the tuners on mine slip a wee bit-but those are minor issues in my estimation and an easy,inexpensive upgrade. I've purchased nearly a dozen electric guitars in the past 5-6 years looking for the one that suits me best: I believe I have finally found the one that does,to my wife's relief. I lean toward classic rock,blues, and jazz,anything but metal. This one can handle all the styles I like and will be a keeper! BTW-my sunburst model is up for sale for $299 on ebay or reverb.
    I've had this guitar for over a year now and, I've got a few other guitars since then. I'm now using this one in an open G tuning. This guitar has a wonderful warm tone to it! One of the pluses of this guitar is that it not only sounds good through tube amps but, even through a medium to lower grade solid state amps, the warm tone still shines through. It has a nice pronounced tone. There is nothing thin about the tone. Yet it is not muddy at all. I like to play Stones tunes through this guitar.
    One other feature of this fine instrument worth noting: the slightly angled set neck -15 degrees I think-surprisingly does make a difference in making it more ergonomically comfortable to play. (the set neck is slightly angled backward instead of a horizontally straight neck alignment ala most guitar design.) Most reviews do not discuss or address this feature. Nice design Peavey! Lastly-Try one before you buy one. Resale on these is slow as are most semi n hollowbody guitars these days. The older models have the block or crown inlays; the newer ones have the bow ties on the fret board.