Price paid: $ 230
Purchased from: Guitar Ranch
Sound — 7
When I first started playing this ax, I was just starting out, and so had no idea what other guitars sounded like. I still play it today, and must say, it's got a much fatter tone than I like. I use Ernie Ball. 11 "Not Even Slinky" strings, and even using the bridge pick-ups, it doesn't seem to have much sustain, nor does it give much "bite" in its clean tone. Hard rock tunes with solos and such just don't seem that great on the Predator unless I've got the treble turned up a hair or two on my amp (which is also a Peavey, 400w).
Overall Impression — 6
I only got to play this guitar during its prime while I couldn't actually play that well. Now I play it, and I see that, while it does a decent job of spanning the genres of rock I like and play (hard, metal, general), it's not the best it could be. The neck's size isn't good for soloing, nor are the humbuckers on it. I do wish I had done some research before buying it, instead of being a green guitar-player, and going to the shop and just randomly picking out a guitar, and going "This one's nice!" If I bought it today, I know I could enjoy it, but only as long as it could last. Past that to the pawn shop, I have to sadly admit.
Reliability & Durability — 5
This is the area where the Predator really, really disappointed me. Being my first guitar, I knew it had to be an investment that would last me. Unfortunately, it's slowly starting to deteriorate. So far, the finish on it is the only thing lasting great. From the selector Switch breaking off, to rust on the hardware screws, and even the output jack becoming so loose that sometimes I lose sound mid-song, the durability of this guitar now has me wishing I had gotten something more long-lasting, even if it didn't have as high a quality. Now, I must be honest I do put it through a lot of work and travel, by playing about an hour of every day and taking it almost everywhere with me. However, I have also taken very good care of it, keeping it safely secured while travelling and not bashing it against anything. And still, it's having these problems. I'd almost say it lasts as well as one of those starter-pack guitars.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This Peavey is pretty easy on the eyes, mine is a "Cherry Red" or something like that. It's got an almost glittery look. Everything on it when I first bought it was set up great, I found myself loving how close the strings were naturally to the body, without there being any of that buzzing noise that my acoustic seemed to get. Since I've now been playing for a while, I know much more, and know that, off the shelf, the Predator is a great play.
Features — 7
The Peavey Predator is the first electric guitar I bought and got much time with, and looking back, I think it was a pretty good purchase. It has a licensed floyd rose trem with locking tuners, which wrecked havok upon my early learning days as I tried to tune my guitar in the many drop tunings (I've since had it closed, due to my playing style not calling for much whammy drops). Its controls are simpler compared to a Strat - one volume, one tone, and a 3-way selector to move between the humbuckers at the bridge and neck positions.