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Epiphone has a dilemma: how do you give the Les Paul a face-lift without buggering up its major selling points? The boys reckon the new Prophecy EX is the answer, touting it as “tradition meets innovation”.
It’s an LP, but not as we know it. Epiphone clearly wants a slice of the shred pie, furnishing this axe with 24 frets (two more than standard), a SpeedTaper neck with go-faster D-profile, aggressive blade inlays and EMG active humbuckers.
That’s the ‘innovation’ part; the ‘tradition’ comes from a bound mahogany body, sumptuous maple top and set mahogany neck. And no, you won’t find this model in a Gibson format.
Like all LPs, the Prophecy is absurdly heavy; not ideal for shredders, but the weight is offset by a neck that plays noticeably faster than standard. The best news is that a familiar 24.75-inch scale means the expressive bends that are integral to LP performance are still at your fingertips.
Purists will froth, but if you’re open-minded, you’ll have fun.
Those same purists will argue that LPs have to feature PAFs (or their equivalent), and it’s true these EMGs cost you some of the buttery character of a standard LP when you play clean. Here’s the flip side: crank the Prophecy and the thickest, darkest, most aggressive tone in the group spills forth, cementing the impression that this axe will delight players who worship Zakk Wylde, but bemuse those whose tastes are more textbook.
Pros: fast feel, mental tone.
Cons: the purists won’t be happy.