Are these new Epiphone Prophecy guitars potential Gibson-beaters?

It's been a very good year for Epiphone with its Inspired By Gibson (opens in new tab) electric guitar (opens in new tab) models, including the imminent 1959 Les Paul Standard (opens in new tab) and a batch of leaked guitars (opens in new tab). Now after their preview at NAMM, it's breaking out with its own distinctively contemporary take on classic guitar blueprints with the new Prophecy Series; a Les Paul, Flying V, SG and… an Extura?!

We'll get to that. Epiphone Prophecy models have surfaced before but this is the first time they've had a whole series. All these models share core specs of active Fishman Fluence (opens in new tab) pickups that have been designed with BurstBucker voicings – so very much an Epiphone / Gibson spin on the Fluence.

Epiphone

(Image credit: Epiphone)

The pickups offer three distinct modes; the BurstBucker's "a warm Patent Applied For vintage humbucker", a hot modern active humbucker sound, and a shimmering, hum-free, slightly overwound single-coil sound". These diverse tones are all accessed by push/pull volume and tone pots. 

Epiphone

(Image credit: Epiphone)

Hardware is good news too; Grover locking Rotomatic tuners, Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic, a Graph Tech NuBone nut (a nut that we wish most guitars would ship with as standard nowadays).

The deal is sweetened further by custom binding, ebony fretboard, jumbo frets, weight relief, and an asymmetrical SlimTaper neck. They featured craved heel joints too for improved access – though you don't really need it on the SG. 

All the models are 24-fretters too. 

Epiphone

(Image credit: Epiphone)

Satin finish (ooh we love a satin finish) options for the AAA figured maple tops are Red Tiger Aged Gloss and Olive Tiger Aged Gloss, or plain top in Black Aged Gloss. Parts of the inlays are even matched to the individuals finishes. Nice! 

All models are $899 / £799 and available now. 

Epiphone

(Image credit: Epiphone)

So if you're looking for a modern slant on classic Gibson designs, with specs that are easily Gibson-worthy, and arguably above, this is potentially a very strong showing for Epiphone. But one question remains for us…

Why the new 'Extura' and not an Explorer model? It's basically an Explorer with the narrower waist and deeper cutaway of the Gibson Futura. Simple as that. 

For more info, visit epiphone.com (opens in new tab)

Epiphone

(Image credit: Epiphone)
Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.