Purchased from: Melody Music
Sound — 10
When I started out with this guitar, I played everything from metal to country. I now play hardrock and metal more so, but I still play everything. This guitar stands up to all sounds. I have used several amps with this guitar. I have used it with my Peavey Backstage and Silvertone Smart III, as well as my friends Line6 Spider III and Peavey Bandit 112. On all the amps, minus the Bandit, the guitar sounded rich and full. To test all the amps I played a simple song I translated by ear, which I was not able to do on the Bandit because I was using it at band practise, and we had to get practising. I have never used any effects with this guitar, but I am sure that this guitar can take a beating.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing this guitar for two years, and has so far stood up to the backstage gigging I've used it for and my great uncle's retirement party. Most of the time I play hard rock and metal, but I can play stuff like Blink 182 and Nickelback and it works fine. If I lost this guitar, I would defintely get a new Raptor, but just in a different finish.(I have a sunburst finish, and I promised my rhythm guitarist in my band that I'd leave sunburst and natural finishes to HIM).
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have never fully gigged with this guitar yet, but I have played it thru a PA from backstage for a friends band when they had an amp malfuction and it sounded great. The hardware seems to be lasting, even after it falling off the stand a couple times, and after my amp and the guitar fell out of my van (the amp landed on the guitar). In the future, I plan to gig with it once our band gets off the ground, but until then, I plan to be doing a lot of birthday and retirement parties with this guitar. The strap buttons are extremely solid, but what I didn't like what that the guy Who owned the guitar before me, changed the stock buttons, and now I can't use a strap that has the strap lock function.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Like I said eariler, the action was dead on the way I wanted it when I got it. To date, I have never removed or adjusted the pickups, and the only time I have touched them was to make the sound of a Seagull (it's pretty easy to do). The finish was ok, but it wasn't the best, I had a few scratches on the back, but it was minor. My biggest hate about the finish could be that the cable input became very loose on me during band practise and later that night the entire input fell into the guitar. I easily opened the guitar up and fixed it myself.
Features — 8
The features for the Peavey Raptor EXP Plus are: several different finishes, tone and volume controls, 5-way selector, nice stock action setting. What I really love about this guitar is that it was the first guitar I ever got, and I still use it, and it fits any style I like to play. When I got this guitar, I immediately brought it in to the local music store where they replaced the strings. I had specifically told them I wanted the lowest action setting possible before my sound quality would go down. After they had restrung it, they gave it to me to try out, and it was prefect and they didn't even touch the action! I got the guitar with a cheapie Peavey Backstage amp, a gig bag, no strap, a tuner and a set of Peavey picks, which I immediately threw out because I like my Dunlop Tortexes.