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Your Complete GUIDE to Peavey Predator Guitars [All Models!]

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Founded in 1965 by Hartley Peavey, Peavey Electronics Corporation is an American electronic company that designs, manufactures, develops, and markets professional audio equipment. 

For more than half a century, Peavy has maintained its position and status as one of the most respected and loved American-owned musical instrument companies. 

From making super bass amps to robust guitar amplifiers, Peavey is revered both in the contemporary and vintage musical instrument/accessory market.  

Peavey is a household name in the musical instruments world. It remains one of the largest audio equipment manufacturers in the world, with its headquarters in Meridian, Mississippi. The company’s estimated worth is about US$271 million. 

However, in the musical instrument world, especially guitars and bass, many people only know Peavey as a manufacturer of amps, combos, and speaker cabinets. On the contrary, Peavey goes way beyond manufacturing amps and cabinets.

On that note, we will talk about one of Peavey’s most loved lines of electric guitars which is the Peavey Predator. The Predator Series is a series of electric guitars made by Peavey Electronics

It has been in production since the year 1985. This is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top “horn” shape for adequate balance. There are basically seven models of the Peavey Predator, with different styles and makes of each model.

In this article, we will discuss all models of the Peavey Predator Series and tell you everything you need to know about these amazing guitars.

History of Peavey Predator Guitars

Peavey Electronics is a company known for its innovation in the music industry. The Predator series has been in production since 1985, making it a staple in the world of electric guitars. 

Peavey came up with a great series of guitars at a very reasonable price. That always sounds promising from the get-go.

The characteristics of the different models have varied through time, so bear in mind that not all Peavey Predators are the same, and pay special attention when wanting to acquire one. 

The first models featured an alder body and a maple neck with a dual humbucker, locking tremolo design. After a few years, the design was modified to include three single coil pickups, and later to the single-single-humbucker setup. 

As a reminder, humbuckers consist of two coils of wire wrapped around a magnet, and the coils are wound in opposite directions. 

This design allows them to “buck the hum” – hence the name “humbucker” -, as the electromagnetic interference picked up by each coil is cancelled out by the other. Singles are made of just one coil. 

Anyways, as a fun note, in 2007, Peavey Predators started selling the NanoValve Stage Pack, which was like a starter pack that besides including guitar hardware, it included a DVD with guitar tutorials.

Some of you ‘Zoomers’ and ‘mini millennials’ (Generation Alpha) out there might not have used this technology, but it was a fun and exciting time to be a musician! Then, along came Youtube and well… the world changed. 

But at that time the best way we had to actually get exposure to a lot of different artists and learn their techniques from the comfort of our homes, was to get DVDs. Anyway, let’s get back to our business. Let’s talk about the different Predator models that have been made.

There are 7 different models:

  • Predator
  • Predator AX
  • Predator DX
  • Predator Plus
  • Predator Plus EXP
  • Predator Plus HB
  • Predator Plus ST

They were initially made in the United States, but production expanded to Korea and Vietnam early on in the history of this series. Each model has its unique features and specifications. 

For example, the Predator Plus HB is built with dual humbucking pickups for raw power, whether you’re playing lead lines or rhythm grooves. 

It also features a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo, a world-class whammy bar that stays in tune and is rarely found on guitars in its price range. Steve Vai is one of the guitarists who made this system famous – it was invented by Floyd D. Rose in the late 1970s.

Here’s a video by a user talking about his Peavey Predator 1991. He did make some changes to the guitar but the essence of the Predator is still there. Here’s another video of an owner making some upgrades to his guitar. Let’s review each model.

Peavey Predator Guitars – All Models

Peavey Predator: The Original American-Made Classic

This model was produced in the United States during two separate periods and is known for having an alder body and a maple neck. The Kahler Flyer tremolo was used from 1985 to 1988, and the Power Bend tremolo was used from 1990 to 2000.

Predator AX: A Close Relative to the Original

The AX closely resembles the classic Predator but offers a couple of notable differences: a rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, 2 single coil pickups plus 1 humbucker pickup, volume and tone control, and a 3-position mini switch. 

The guitar is available in Black, Powder Blue, Red, Cream, or White finishes. It was manufactured between 1994 and 1995 and also includes upgraded sealed tuners and white pickup covers.

Predator DX: Similar to the AX, with a Maple Fingerboard

The Predator DX shares many characteristics with the Predator AX but is equipped with a maple fingerboard instead. It was also manufactured between 1994-95. The standard Predator open/covered tuners are used, and the pickups have exposed poles.

Predator Plus: A Significant Expansion of the Series

The Predator Plus represents a major development in the Predator series, inspired by the Peavey Wolfgang model. 

It is a “fat strat” H-S-S guitar (a guitar that combines elements of a standard Stratocaster model with a humbucker pickup in the bridge position) with a 25½” bolt-on maple neck featuring a dual expanding truss rod bolt. 

The guitar includes a rosewood fretboard, a short 3-on-a-side headstock, Schaller locking tuners, a Powerbend III chrome tremolo bridge, and a nut width of 1 11/16″ (wider spacing between the strings at the nut compared to narrower nut widths, providing a bit more room for finger placement and chord voicings). 

The body is made of solid poplar, and it comes with a pearloid pickguard. The Predator Plus is available in six colours: Black, Sunburst, Metallic Dark Blue, Titanium, Transparent Green, or Transparent Red.

Predator Plus EXP: An Offset Double Cutaway Design

The Predator Plus EXP innovates with an offset double cutaway body and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay. 

It is equipped with two humbucker pickups, the Floyd Rose tremolo we mentioned before, and black hardware. The guitar is available in Black, Candy Apple Red, or Metallic Topaz Blue finishes. This model came to the market in 2003.

Predator Plus HB: Raw Power with Dual Humbuckers

The Predator Plus HB is designed for raw power, with its dual humbucking pickups. It is equipped with a Floyd Rose double-locking tremolo, which is renowned for its tuning stability. You can incorporate savage bends and it will still stay tuned. 

The guitar has a 25-1/2 inches scale, body binding, and high-quality sealed, die-cast tuning machines. It comes in colours such as Gloss Black, Cobalt Blue, Metallic Gold, Metallic Garnet Red, or Metallic. However, this model was discontinued in 2002.

Predator Plus ST: The Newest Addition to the Series

The newest addition to the Predator series is the Predator Plus ST. It is available in six colours: Gloss Black, Candy Apple Red, Topaz Blue, Transparent Purple, Transparent Amber, and Transparent Black. 

The guitar features two Peavey custom USA-designed humbucking pickups and a three-way switch selector. 

The body is made of solid basswood with a premium AAA quilt maple top on transparent finish versions, along with binding for an enhanced appearance. The maple neck is bolted on with 5 bolts and has a 25.5″ scale length.

Where are Peavey Predator Guitars Made?

Initially, they were made in the United States. Specifically from 1985-1988 with the Kahler Flyer tremolo and from 1990-2000 with the Power Bend tremolo. 

In addition to this and overlapping with the time when they were made in the United States, they also started to be manufactured in Korea and Vietnam, and as per the latest information, they continue to be produced in these two countries, while the USA versions are discontinued.

The Peavey Predator guitars made in the USA are generally well-regarded for their quality and playability, often considered good value for the price while being a little bit better than the ones made in Korea and Vietnam, but the difference is not dramatic.

How Much Are Peavey Predator Guitars Worth?

For determining the price of a Peavey Predator, we searched for multiple examples, including only the ones that were in good shape, and we came up with an average across different marketplaces. Here’s the list that we took into consideration:

  • Peavey Predator SSS with Power Bend Vibrato 1990s White: $300
  • Peavey Predator USA 1992 Black: $325
  • Vintage Peavey Predator AX HSS: $300
  • Peavey Predator Plus Metallic Dark Blue: $375
  • Peavey Predator USA-Made Electric Guitar (1990s – Red): $350
  • Peavey Predator Plus EXP Floyd Rose: $299
  • Peavey Predator International Series: $199
  • Peavey Predator HHS 1990s Cherry Red: $200

With an average price of $293.75, this guitar is ideal for those looking to stay within a more affordable budget.

What Makes the Peavey Predator Special

One of the standout features of the Predator is its comfortable, C-shaped neck. It is simply very nice to play and hold, it sits in the hands effortlessly and allows you to play both chords and scales with ease. 

It is substantial without being bulky, and it is praised for its smoothness and durability. The guitar’s pickups are also noteworthy, delivering clear, singing tones that are on par with those of more renowned brands and models like the USA Fender Strat. 

However, depending on the model, some users have found the original pickups a bit feeble and have opted to replace them with a humbucker for a more incisive and heavy sound. 

It is very common to find users who actually upgrade some components because the overall build is simply amazing, and if you invest in some key components, such as the pickups, you’re getting a 10/10 guitar for an insanely low price!

It is accepted as a versatile guitar that can deliver a wide range of sounds, from big, round Strat tones to more incisive, heavy sounds when modified. It’s a great choice for budding rockstars or those on a tight budget who still want a quality instrument.

Despite its affordability, the Predator doesn’t compromise on build quality. It’s a solid, well-constructed instrument that’s built to last. However, some users have found that the guitar’s vibrato doesn’t hold tuning well when heavily used (this is normal in entry-level guitars). 

Of course, this excludes the models with the Floyd Rose. Finally, the finish on the neck may not be to everyone’s liking.

Pros and Cons of Using A Peavey Predator Guitar


  1. Quality Construction: The Peavey Predator is known for its solid build quality. It is made with a double-cutaway body, usually of alder or basswood, and features a bolt-on maple neck, which contributes to its durability and longevity.
  2. Affordability: One of the biggest selling points of the Predator is its affordability. It offers a good balance of quality and price, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those on a budget.
  3. Versatility: Especially in its dual humbucker pickup versions, the Predator can produce a wide range of tones, making it suitable for various music genres.


  1. Limited Upgrades: While the Predator is a solid guitar and many users do manage to upgrade it, its potential for upgrades is somewhat limited. The stock pickups and hardware are decent but not top-of-the-line, and replacing them can be a challenge due to the guitar’s specific design. Peavey uses proprietary hardware in the construction of the Predator. This means that the guitar’s parts, such as the bridge, tuners, and pickups, are specifically designed for this model and may not be standard sizes. As a result, finding replacement parts that fit perfectly can be challenging.
  2. Low-Budget Guitar: Although we are talking mostly about its strengths and we do find that it’s a great series, we still have to remind you, it’s a low-budget guitar. You will not get a 10/10 guitar with the Predator series.
  3. Quality Control: Some users have reported issues related to quality control, such as uneven frets or faulty electronics. However, these issues seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Where to Get A Peavey Predator Guitar

Consider that Peavey Predator guitars are no longer in production, but you can find a wide variety of used Predators for sale. Here are some marketplaces and local shops where you can find a Peavey Predator guitar:

Please note that availability might vary, so it’s a good idea to check these sites regularly or contact the sellers for more info!


After considering all this information, we can say that the Peavey Predator guitars are reliable, versatile, and affordable instruments that are perfect for beginners and more experienced players alike. 

Its solid construction, comfortable neck, and good sound make it a great choice for anyone looking for a Strat-style guitar without breaking the bank. It gives you a stable platform with a consistent tone, leaving some room for customization. 

While there are not many famous players that used any of the Predator models as their ‘go-to’ instrument, here you can find a list of musicians that use or used it in the past as part of their equipment for live gigs and recordings.

All in all, it’s a great bang for your buck and while there are no new Predator guitars, you can get a used one and see for yourself, even experiment with changing some of the pickups and see how much juice you can get out of one of these. 

We encourage you to do so since it will be a fun experience and also a great practice to get more familiar with the world of guitars.