Price paid: € 329
Purchased from: Thomann
Sound — 10
The EMG pickups sound absolutely amazing. Seriously, none of my other guitars have sound that comes even close to this. Sure, my Ibanez XPT700 with its DiMarzio D Activator pickups sounds also great, but it can only compete with the clean sound of the EMG pickups. The sound of the EMGs is at the same time very rich, full, bright, colorful and heavy. Distorted power chords and palm mutes sound "clear", yet extremely heavy. I've yet to notice any noise or muddiness. I play mostly metal, but also some bluesy and lighter types of music. The EMGs are perfect for both really low and really high notes, and for shredding. Active pickups are often being criticized for bad clean sounds. I can't agree with this. Still, they are essentially metal pickups.
Overall Impression — 10
As mentioned, I play mostly metal and this is The Guitar for that type of music. I'm using mine with the Boss MT-2 distortion pedal. If my guitar was stolen or lost, I'm definitely get either the same again, or at least another one with the active EMG pickups. I'm really blown away by them. Compared to my Ibanez XPT700, the SG Prophecy Custom EX was only half the price (329 vs. 727 euros), but feels just as solid and high quality. Even sustain is equally good. I think some people might wish for a whammy bar. Personally, I rather take the fixed bridge, since I already have other guitars with whammy bars. And for the price I paid, I have no other chance than to give this guitar a full 10.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I could definitely see myself using this guitar live. It doesn't feel cheap in any way, both the hardware and the build quality feel solid and it sounds better than any other guitar I owned before. That is not to say, though, that I'd ever play live without a backup, regardless of the equipment.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
After unpacking and tuning the guitar, it sounded already great out-of-the-box. I didn't adjust the pickups or action, since there was no need to. The Tune-o-matic bridge also means very fast & easy tuning, as there are no extra springs and parts making it unnecessary complicated (cough, FR tremolos...). Of course, this also means there is no whammy bar, but I rather choose quicker tuning & string changing. The build quality is really high. The guitar feels solid and looks great. The only reason why I have to reduce a point at this part, is that there were some spots in my guitar, where the paint from the body had slipped a bit on the side of the neck.
Features — 9
My SG Prophecy Custom EX was made in 2009 and in China. Being manufactured in China, I was first a bit worried about the quality. Completely unnecessary! This guitar is top quality and sounds great. It has 24 frets, Tune-o-matic bridge and active EMG 81 (neck) & 85 (bridge) pickups. Also included are 3-way selector and volume & tone knobs. No accessories included and no whammy bar.