Jumbo Sunshade - Ezine

 
Music Gear Review -
Peavey Generation Custom EX Electric Guitar
 
I took my son to a pool party and one of the older kids who lived there was out on the back porch playing his Peavey guitar through his Peavey practice amp.

The kids' father paid $200 for the guitar and amp.  The guitar was a new Custom Generation EX.  The amp was a used Transtube; probably early '00s (i have an amp just like it).

The EX sells for $200, but i checked and you can get 'em for around $175 on eBay.  Either way i have to say that this is a great deal based on how well the EX sounds and plays (for a lower-priced instrument).

In addition to the (bearably) noisy pickups, the guitar also sports a transducer and on-board acoustic modeling (analog) circuit.  I'm not a big fan of the piezo sound, but for $200 nobody could complain!

 


The Peavey Generation Custom EX is made to look like a Telecaster.  This one was black with a black pickguard, maple neck w/rosewood fretboard (22 frets; no inlays) & Grover tuning gears.  Add in those two cheap-looking chrome-plated humbuckers this is just a GREAT combination in my opinion.  Strings come up through the back of the guitar; nice.


 

The five-bolt neck heel is curved and the cutaway is huge.  My hand hit the heel around the 16th fret.  It was weird (but cool) playing high up on this Tele-style guitar without having to bring
my whole hand around, which is what i have to do with my Tele.  This guitar was actually easier to play up there than my Strat; at least while sitting down.

 


The intonation was off and i know this is an easy fix but i didn't say anything because i didn't want to get into setting up this kid's guitar.  And his guitar had a hard time staying in tune, but he had just put new strings on, and each stringpost had this little ball of twisted metal (this should be everybody's first lesson, i swear)!
 
The Custom EX is heavier than you might expect it to be with its oversized electronics cavity.

The body is alder.


I've come across plenty of low-priced guitars that played really well, so this wasn't a huge surprise to me.  As with most of these types of guitars, sometimes they come from the Asian factory playing perfectly fine; other times... not so much.
This guitar had .10's on it and the action wasn't too low for my taste; there was room to get it alot lower.  It felt great and i didn't have to fight it anywhere on the neck (even full barr chords).

Obviously it's hard to do any critical listening through a practice amp and an 8" speaker.  Most amps like this impart so much of their own processed sound; the Peavey amps definitely do.
I use my own Transtube amp alot so i was completely familiar with that tone.

The clean sounds from both pickups were great.  I'm not saying this based on the price tag; they just sounded really good through that amp.  The bridge humbucker was twangy enough and the neck bucker sounded really punchy and smooth.

The distorted sounds were classic Peavey practice amp, which people will either love or hate!  I didn't like the balance between the two when distorted though.  Whatever you dialed in on the amp to make the bridge pickup sound best was not the ideal setting for the neck pickup.  With distortion the neck pickup was alot less punchy compared to how it sounded when playing clean.

The Custom EX's pickups aren't the quietest pickups in the world, but... what was that price tag again?  :)

I would've loved to hear this guitar through a 2x12 and a real amplifier.


 

Acoustic Modeling
Ok so here is the big deal.  The Peavey Generation Custom EX has a piezo pickup and this guitar does

acoustic modeling by way of an analog circuit and blend control.  Since there is only one volume and tone control for the electric pickups, adding another knob and switch isn't a problem - they're not in the way at all.  Of course you can choose either the electric or the acoustic sounds, but you can also blend them out of the mono jack.  Awesome.

I would never expect to get a "great" acoustic sound out of a piezo in a solid-body electric, let alone through the 8" speaker of a practice amp.  Having said that; to my ears this Peavey guitar's acoustic modeling sound was as "good" as any piezo could sound through that setup.  I can't say this enough:
Getting a piezo (and acoustic modeling) in a $200 guitar is just a really really great deal.

 

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