Things You'll Need
- Soldering iron
- Shaving brush
- Replacement pickups
- Wire trimmers
- Plastic-safe contact cleaner
- Replacement Strings
The Peavey Raptor is a budget electric guitar. The Raptor is loosely modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, but lacks the build quality or premium parts. Customer reviews describe the Raptor as good value for money and durable. Depending on the model, the Peavey Raptor either has one humbucker pickup and two single coils, or three single coils. You may opt to upgrade the wiring or pickups in your Raptor, to improve the sound. While the Raptor is a cheap copy of a Fender Stratocaster, it is not wired in the same way. The Raptor’s wiring is relatively easy to access.
Remove the strings. Use a string winder to loosen them, then slide the ball end out of the bridge. Take this opportunity to clean and polish the neck of your guitar.
Unscrew the scratch plate. The pickups and wires are attached to the underside of the scratch plate, so by unscrewing it and laying it on its back, you can access the entire wiring layout. You don’t need to unscrew the pickups to do this, unless you intend to replace them. The black wire that connects the volume potentiometer to the output jack is quite long, which means you won’t need to disconnect it to examine the wiring.
Inspect the wiring. Check for loose connections or solder blobs. If you spot a loose connection, melt the solder joint and disconnect the wire. Leave the joint to cool, brush away any dust or solder material and reconnect the wire.
Disconnect the red, blue and yellow wires that link the pickups to the five-way pickup selector switch. Your new pickups will come with wiring attached, so use your soldering iron to remove the existing wires. Unless you are replacing all of the wiring, leave the wiring that connects the pickup selector to the potentiometers intact.
Clean the potentiometers with a plastic-safe contact cleaner and cotton cloth. Turn the dials and toggle the pickup selector to distribute the cleaner. While you have access to the electronics, you should use the opportunity to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated on or around the potentiometers. You’ll notice that most crackling sounds will disappear after cleaning the pots.
Fit the new pickups in place and solder the wires to the five-way pickup selector. The neck pickup is connected to the top terminal of the pickup selector switch. The middle pickup is connected to the middle terminal and the bridge pickup connects to the bottom terminal.
Replace the scratch plate and put on a new set of strings. Then test the guitar.
Be careful not to yank the scratch plate when removing it as this can damage the wires.
Consult the wiring instructions that come with your new pickups if your are changing the pickup layout. The wiring layout for the Raptor is quite basic, but if you opt to replace a single coil for a humbucker, you'll need to modify the guitar and the wiring.
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