Price paid: $ 649
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 9
I got the Futura knowing I would be playing about 95 percent metal with it, and I do not regret my decision at all! Both of the EMGs dish out amazing tone and clarity. The 81 gives out bonecrushing intensity with incredible leads and makes any riff sound heavy, while the 85 delivers with really great cleans (don't let anyone tell you EMGs don't give good cleans, these people have no idea what they're saying) and warm distortion, perfect for soloing in the upper register. I run my Futura through a DigiTech Grunge Pedal and a Marshall MG30DFX and even on this crappy amp it sounds great at lower to medium volumes! When you stop playing it makes almost no feedback at all. My only complaint is that the 81 CAN be a tiny bit harsh if you're playing in like Standard or something, but then again a person wouldn't get EMGs intending to play in Standard, would they?
Overall Impression — 10
All in all I'm incredibly happy with this guitar. I've been playing for a little over a year and my style incorporates fast riffage and occasionally a crazy guitar solo and sometimes a clean section then back to the heavy riffage, and this guitar covers all of that very well with its heavier than heavy EMG pickups and neck faster than a sports car. I love the bodyshape, it'll certainly get you noticed if you're worried about that kind of thing. If it was stolen I'd either hunt down the thief and take it back or buy it again, because this guitar is perfect for my style in about every way. All in all, if you're considering getting this guitar stop considering and just GET IT! I guarantee you you will not regret it!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have no doubt that if I were to gig with this guitar it would fare quite well. It's well built, it isn't flimsy like some guitars in this price range and it doesn't feel like a toy when you hold it (not too light, not too heavy). The knobs are nice and tight, and don't feel like they'll crack off any time soon. The strap locks included with the guitar are really good, put them on and you're guitar's never going to fall on you. All in all, I wouldn't gig without a backup (I wouldn't gig without a backup in ANY situation) but if I had to, I could trust this guitar to pull through very nicely.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I was truly impressed with Epiphone's quality of setup when I received this guitar in the mail a few days ago. The action was perfect, not too high, not too low, and only a tiny bit of fret buzz, if any. The neck is incredibly fast and the rosewood must be extremely high quality because it looks and feels almost exactly like ebony. The pickups are perfectly adjusted, the tuners are nice and tight, there were no scratches on the finish when I received the guitar. Basically almost everything was perfect, except I suspect the nut was poorly cut because sometimes the strings rattle at the nut when you pluck them, but this isn't a huge problem for me and it's probably pretty easily repairable if it is for you. Overall Epiphone did a great job setting this thing up at the factory.
Features — 10
The Epiphone Futura Custom EX is a guitar from the new line of Epiphone guitars called the Prophecy Series, made in Indonesia. It has a 24 jumbo fret bound rosewood fretboard on a set mahogany neck with blade inlays and a speed-tapered neck profile, and the bound headstock is equipped with a graphite nut and Grover tuners. Moving down we have a mahogany body with a highly figured quilted maple top with two active EMG 81-85 pickups and a Tonepros Tune-o-matic bridge. It has two volume knobs (one for each pickup) and one tone knob with a 3-way selector. All in all lots and lots of fine features for such a low price.