Peavey Predator USA or Samick Valley Arts strat?

gdvsbp

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Hi folks, looking for some weigh-ins from those with personal experience. I learned on a strat many moons ago, and had since avoided because -- I don't know -- I didn't want to go back to my "starter" roots? Well lately I've had the itch to return to the S-type, but A) don't have a ton of cash to burn, and B) don't want to go bargain-bin. I've developed a love for older MIK guitars which makes the Valley Arts Samicks a shoe-in. I've also had good experience over the years with Peaveys (mainly on the bass side of things), and USA Predator prices are pretty reasonable.

Obvious question: why am I avoiding a Squier Standard or CV? Shrug; I have all Squier guitars right now, and the necks have been spotty. I'm looking for a neck I can just love right away. (I'm neck-obsessed at the moment.)

What would you choose? Personally I don't care about pickup or electronic quality -- I'll probably change all that anyway. More interested in neck/fret quality, and potentially parts-availability should I need to replace anything I can't hide under the pickguard.

Of course, there are none of either around here for me to try out in person, so I am eager to hear from those with real experience.
 
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gdvsbp

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Side note: I picked up a used Indonesian Samick strat from the '90s off of Reverb a couple weeks ago. It looked really clean in the photos, but upon arriving it had pretty uneven frets and a nut that somebody had apparently taken a razor blade to in order to lower the G string just enough to be unplayable. That's the origin of my recent neck-fear.

I've never replaced a nut before and have zero free time (new baby!), so doing repair work myself is out of the question for the moment and the guitar isn't worth the investment to have repaired by a pro. Eventually I'll replace the nut myself so I can get that practice, but now isn't the time.
 

schmee

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Funny, I ran across this Peavey Predator a few days ago. Premier guitar reviewed this particular higher end model as "better than the US Strat" at the time.
It's a '94 and inexpensive.... cool color too...
 

Chiogtr4x

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I have a 1990 Peavey Predator ( got new $169) and used it ( gigs and recordings) in my first Blues bands, before getting my first Fender in 1994.
It was a very good-sounding, pretty light-bodied Strat. A bite that I liked on all pickup positions...But mine had one issue:

The neck seems a little shallow, oval maybe?,
and has a pretty sharp edge, where the end/edge of the fretboard meets the 'shoulder/back of the neck. The wood is so hard- it never responded, even, when I tried to 'roll' the edge with a screwdriver ( round) shaft to blunt the edge. Hard Maple!

So by comparison to my other Strats and Teles, it hurts that web between thumb and index finger- sharp!
So I sort of stopped using it, but keep it at a ( lefty) buddy's house.
 

Jakedog

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A USA Predator is a very fine guitar. I’d take one of those in a heartbeat over any current squier. Really, over any Squier ever except the MIJ models.
 

24 track

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I found a lefty Preditor EXP Plus for 100.00 some kid bought it traded it in all it needed was a set up
the floyd rose was worth more than I paid for the guitar,I took out the peavey pickups and replaced them with Lace alumatones buckers, and the pots with CTS pots , this guitar is soooooo quiet , I use it for my test guitar when doing amp repairs as the only sound i hear is from the amp alone.

it should be known the guitar was absolutely fine before the mods but now is even better

P1011488_2.JPG
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gdvsbp

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Funny, I ran across this Peavey Predator a few days ago. Premier guitar reviewed this particular higher end model as "better than the US Strat" at the time.
It's a '94 and inexpensive.... cool color too...
I’ve seen that one… the color’s great, and I’ve got to admit to being intrigued by the double-single-coil humbucker business. A little above what I’m looking to pay, but nice to look at.
 

bendercaster

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My first guitar was a US Peavey Predator. It was a great guitar--poplar body with a maple cap and surprisingly nice sounding pickups. But, I played the crap out of it. Some stuff like frets and the nut are easy enough to sort yourself if you have the right tools. The problem I've run into in keeping it in gigable condition is that there isn't a standard fender drop in equivalent for the bridge and tuners, and I'd have to do some filling an drilling with new parts to really get it back in shape. For example, the knife edge on the tremolo is misshapen after 30 years so it doesn't stay in tune as well as it used to. Last time I played it at practice that skinny neck made my hand ache too.
 

gdvsbp

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My first guitar was a US Peavey Predator. It was a great guitar--poplar body with a maple cap and surprisingly nice sounding pickups. But, I played the crap out of it. Some stuff like frets and the nut are easy enough to sort yourself if you have the right tools. The problem I've run into in keeping it in gigable condition is that there isn't a standard fender drop in equivalent for the bridge and tuners, and I'd have to do some filling an drilling with new parts to really get it back in shape. For example, the knife edge on the tremolo is misshapen after 30 years so it doesn't stay in tune as well as it used to. Last time I played it at practice that skinny neck made my hand ache too.
Great input, that’s super helpful.
 

jvin248

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.

Get the Peavey Predator.
They are all about the neck! Peavey patented the design of cutting the neck board in half, flipping one side end for end to stop wood movement, routed in the truss channel on both halves, glued them together, then machine carved them on a gun-stock lathe a dozen at a time.

You'll want to upgrade the tuners if you are planning to gig with it (it was the days of the trapezoid tuners, they work fine if you are good about 'tuning up' but otherwise will feel less than premium). Upgrading the switch and jack to regular MIA brands is a good idea, and swapping out the pots for MIA brands just due to age would be a good idea.

.
 

iamjethro

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I have a 92 Predator USA. Love it. One of the "best" strat necks I have ever felt. I wound up replacing pickups with Rose Heritage, but after I had already placed the order and pickups had been sent, I messed with heights on the stock pickups and would have been just as satisfied leaving them in.
 

hopdybob

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don't set you on 2 brands.
if the feel is right, plays good en no fret problems its good, other things can be adjusted.
i have a cort, for me my number one.
have had yamaha, washburn, epiphone and other brands, but the cort is still around.

so if a guitar invite you to play on, thats the one
 

985plowboy

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My first electric was a Peavey “Reactor AX”. It’s the Tele knockoff.
My best friend had the Predator.
They were both fine instruments.
I’d not hesitate to recommend.
 

gdvsbp

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So happy to see all this Peavey love! That said… I got the Samick haha. I’d love to add a nice Predator to the stash one day, but today is not that day. I do appreciate all the feedback though.

I’ll report back with how it turns out once it arrives!
F5FADC3C-D1C9-4A56-A5B2-E92B743F7B25.jpeg
 
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tubejockey

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I once picked up that same guitar in red in a pawn shop for $60. All it needed was a truss rod adjustment and a fret polish. It played fantastic. That's a nice score.
 

gdvsbp

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I once picked up that same guitar in red in a pawn shop for $60. All it needed was a truss rod adjustment and a fret polish. It played fantastic. That's a nice score.
A little more than $60 for this one, but worth every penny. Showed up today. Didn’t have time to check relief or intonate or anything, just did a single pass of tuning and it already plays like a dream. Neck’s a little wider than I’m used to, and a bit flat in the grip, but man is it nice. Light as a feather, too!
 




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