Peavey HP2 Review
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  1. #1
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    Default Peavey HP2 Review

    So I found an awesome deal on Reverb for a Peavey HP2 and I just couldn't pass it up. I got the Deep Ocean model with Floyd Rose. In case any of you were considering getting one, I thought I might do a brief review and share some of my thoughts about it...

    I should also note that I got the guitar used (although it was in very good, almost like new condition). There is always the possibility that some of the issues I have had with it were caused by the previous owner, but for most of them I am willing to bet that they were present from the factory, and were probably a factor in the previous owner not wanting to keep it.

    If I had to summarize it very quickly, I would say it's a gorgeous guitar and is fun to play, but I have some serious concerns about Peavey's quality control and craftsmanship. Some points below:

    -As far as construction, it is pretty much identical to the old Wolfgangs. Same neck and neck radius, same body shape... I personally really like it and find it quite comfortable and fun to play, just like the old Wolfgangs.

    -The pickups are NOT the same as the original Wolfgangs. I measured the bridge to be about 16k and the neck about 13k (I cant remember the exact numbers). The bridge pickup sounds very similar to the Wolfgang, but is brighter, cleaner, and lower output. It is like they took the original pickups and removed a fair amount of low end, so they are not nearly as dark sounding. Chugging on the low strings with the bridge pickup does not work quite as well as the Wolfgang (IE it does not "djent" as well). It still has the nasal, kind of "wah wah pedal" sounding high mids and treble that the wolfgang bridge pickup had, but I actually like that sound so it is a positive for me. Since these are lower output, I had to use some washers under the base plates and get the pickups quite close to the strings to get a similar level of drive out of them. Overall I like the Wolfgang pickups slightly better, but I like these too - they are different, but not worse per se.

    -This guitar has push-pull pots that split the pickups. The neck pickup sounds good (but not fantastic) split, but I don't really care for the sound of the bridge pickup split.

    -Now for some of the quality issues. Firstly, the neck pocket angle is bad on the particular guitar I got, and without raising the bridge the strings buzzed like CRAZY. I had a tech install a block in the spring cavity so that I can raise the bridge without it floating, and it plays nice now.

    -I am not sure if this is normal or not (I don't think it is), but the neck appears to have too much of a back bow in it naturally. When the guitar arrived it had eleven gauge strings, and the truss rod nut was loosened basically all the way (I could twist it with my thumb with no effort). Even then, with the rod fully loosened and the heavy gauge strings, it only had lass than .010 of relief! Fortunately this has not turned out to be a problem so far and I have gotten it set up and playing well.

    -There are some blue spots on the binding, like they got paint on it and then clear coated over it, which means that this must have come like that from the factory. Also, if you look closely under the right lighting, the paint has a noticeable "orange peel" effect. Pretty disappointing for such an expensive guitar.

    -The neck pickup cavity was not routed large enough, and the pickup is literally wedged into the cavity. When I added the washers to shim it I had to pull with a lot of force to get the pickup unwedged and scraped some of the paint off. This also makes the pickup rest an angle - the top of the pickup was slanted at about a 20 degree angle compared to the top of the body. This was partially remedied by the washers.

    -The screw holes for the strap buttons appear to be poorly drilled, and combined with the natural softness of basswood this has caused problems with the strap buttons. Once I screw the screws in to a certain point, they merely spin in place without getting a firmer hold on the body, and they keep coming unscrewed with time. The top horn has gotten so bad that I can literally pull the strap button out with my fingers and not much force, rendering it basically useless.

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  3. #2
    Runnin' With The Devil
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    Oof that's a pretty scathing review. So definitely not the same QC standards as before.

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    Romeo Delight
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    Of course it is possible I just got a dud. I have not played any other HP2s and for all I know most of them might be quite high quality, but I would definitely recommend playing and inspecting one in person before buying it! Despite all the problems I have had with it, I still like the guitar; I am quite stubborn and determined to fix all the issues with it and make it a great guitar.

    I also should mention that despite the functional problems, I got really lucky with this guitar as far as the visuals go. It is GORGEOUS. Other than the orange peeling and spots on the binding (both of which aren't that noticeable unless you are really up close and looking for them) this particular guitar looks much nicer than other Deep Ocean HP2s I have seen pictures of. The flame top and finish are particularly beautiful on the guitar, and the neck has a ton of birdseye in it - MUCH more than some other HP2 necks I have seen. I will try to post some pictures at some point.
    Last edited by speates; 12.04.18 at 02:18 PM.

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    All those issues are a major bummer. Hopefully you can make the guitar work for you though. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

    Also, did you talk to a tech about the truss rod? If the wheel is just free spinning then there might be a mechanical issue with the truss rod, no?

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    Big Bad Bill
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    I thought those wheel truss rods were two-way adjustable, or maybe I'm confusing with another guitar.
    If they are two-way, maybe it's just in a neutral position.
    Maybe try turning it CCW, and see if it starts tightening. If it does, you should observe it removing the back bow.
    (If it is one-way, it will only get looser, and not snug up)

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    Thanks for the review, Speates! Funny you mention the orange peel issue, because there was a used stop tail Deep Ocean model on Reverb a few months ago that had the same problem. The seller had made a Youtube review of the guitar and in it you can see closeups of the orange peel (about halfway through):



    Doesn't surprise me that the pickups are different. When the original HP Specials came out in '05, they were based on the WG pickups but they had to tweak them to sound better when they were split...which involved making them brighter.

    That's a shame regarding the neck pocket angle/neck backbow/neck pickup cavity.

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    My second hand tobacco burst, no maple cap peavey wolfie special was my main guitar for a plethora of years. The only thing I've ever changed was the bridge with another NOS bridge because my sweat had literally rotted most of the original. (It has the nickname of "Wolfie" and all my friends and musician friends called it that)

    I finally bought the grey maple quilt evh wolfie standard when they came out and it has become my number one. I got rid of the tone pot and made it double volume so I could kill switch it with the pickup toggle. I put a brass block on the trem, gave it brass springs, a brass spring claw, and added titanium string blocks in the saddle and it has been a very reliable guitar. (Its called "Smoke")

    Hopefully the HP2's increase in quality or EVH buys up what they can and calls it Wolfgang 2 or something because I'd love to have one that has good quality control. Wolfie was a bad ass solid as a rock guitar and hearing about the HP2 issues makes me think about Ed's involvement, and his story of taking apart the Peavey and putting back together in the board room.

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    Has this guitar gone the way of the dinosaur already? I was online earlier today looking at something on Sweetwater, and out of curiosity, I thought I'd see what the retail cost was for the HP2.... and nothing. So then I went onto Peavey's website, and didn't see any mention of it there either (I only see the Raptor series on the website). Anyone have any ideas what happened? When it came out, it looked like an interesting Wolfgang alternative (QC issues notwithstanding).

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    My guess is that when Ed left Peavey, they had all these bodies and necks left waiting for production. The math lines up that Peavey had a 10 year non-compete clause or something like that, and when that time frame was up, they slapped these together and threw them out the door as fast a possible. They weren't making any new ones. Peavey is on their last legs it seems. They make very few products (if any) in the USA anymore and I doubt they have any true luthiers on staff. This was just a last gasp money grab.
    Last edited by Eddie's Littler Monster; 04.09.20 at 11:55 AM.

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    I actually bought 2 different HP2’s this year (used, but they looked brand new at first glance). I had high hopes for this model, and they were both terrible. The first one I got, White with a Floyd, the neck wasn’t even in the pocket, the screws weren’t screwed in all the way. After fixing the neck, it wouldn’t stay in tune, I couldn’t figure out why. Also, the pickups just lacked any punch. I was expecting something hot. Sent it back. Thought maybe it was a lemon.

    The second HP2, a white hardtail, thought I would avoid the Floyd all together since I couldn’t get the other one in tune. This one had frets popping out of the sides of the neck. It also had issues with the finish, the white color was dull in some areas and seemed like it was unfinished in others. I was super disappointed. The pickups were also very dull on this one as well. The MIM Wolfs are way better than the HP2 in every category.
    Last edited by ScottyBHarris; 04.09.20 at 12:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joezlo View Post
    My second hand tobacco burst, no maple cap peavey wolfie special was my main guitar for a plethora of years. The only thing I've ever changed was the bridge with another NOS bridge because my sweat had literally rotted most of the original. (It has the nickname of "Wolfie" and all my friends and musician friends called it that)

    I finally bought the grey maple quilt evh wolfie standard when they came out and it has become my number one. I got rid of the tone pot and made it double volume so I could kill switch it with the pickup toggle. I put a brass block on the trem, gave it brass springs, a brass spring claw, and added titanium string blocks in the saddle and it has been a very reliable guitar. (Its called "Smoke")

    Hopefully the HP2's increase in quality or EVH buys up what they can and calls it Wolfgang 2 or something because I'd love to have one that has good quality control. Wolfie was a bad ass solid as a rock guitar and hearing about the HP2 issues makes me think about Ed's involvement, and his story of taking apart the Peavey and putting back together in the board room.
    Preach.
    I got a first year wg standard. Didnt like it.

    I got one this year. Quality seems way up. The neck feels amazing. It sounds better.

    Definitely an option I would suggest to anyone now. Not sure on the roasted maple necks yet, havent tried it.

    Put the saved money from a special into some new SS frets.

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    Thats a damn shame.

    I remember seeing they were coming out with these and I was impressed. The price point was excellent for the guitar they said they were producing.
    My man, when you are fantasizing, don't go for attainable, you can get attainable at the local Applebee's. - Dave's Dreidel

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    Quote Originally Posted by MF5150 View Post
    Thats a damn shame.

    I remember seeing they were coming out with these and I was impressed. The price point was excellent for the guitar they said they were producing.
    Bite the bullet EVH.

    Offer SS at 1200.

    Prices on standards trail by, what, 200 now over the special? Set something apart please.

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    Romeo Delight
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyBHarris View Post
    I actually bought 2 different HP2’s this year (used, but they looked brand new at first glance). I had high hopes for this model, and they were both terrible. The first one I got, White with a Floyd, the neck wasn’t even in the pocket, the screws weren’t screwed in all the way. After fixing the neck, it wouldn’t stay in tune, I couldn’t figure out why. Also, the pickups just lacked any punch. I was expecting something hot. Sent it back. Thought maybe it was a lemon.

    The second HP2, a white hardtail, thought I would avoid the Floyd all together since I couldn’t get the other one in tune. This one had frets popping out of the sides of the neck. It also had issues with the finish, the white color was dull in some areas and seemed like it was unfinished in others. I was super disappointed. The pickups were also very dull on this one as well. The MIM Wolfs are way better than the HP2 in every category.
    It really is a shame. All the ingredients for a great guitar are here, but the quality control seems lacking. I've read/seen reviews elsewhere and supposedly others have had better luck with their HP2s.

    I actually like the pickups (although not quite as much as the Wolfgang), but they are lower output than the original Wolfgangs and really want to be closer to the strings. Putting washers under the legs to shim them and get them closer helped mine substantially.
    Last edited by speates; 04.10.20 at 05:05 PM.

 

 

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