Epiphone has debuted a massive line-up of electric and acoustic guitars at Summer NAMM 2018.
The catalog serves up five acoustics and 14 electric guitars, from Les Pauls to semi-hollows, in a rainbow of new finishes and configurations. It’s a long list, so we’ve picked out the best of the lot.
Les Paul Tribute “Prizm” Plus Outfit
Is it really an Epiphone showcase without some Les Pauls?
The Les Paul Tribute “Prizm” Plus Outfit is the most kitted-out electric among the new releases. It has a pair of Gibson USA ’57 humbuckers—they’re Alnico II reproductions of Gibson’s iconic PAFs—a carved AAA flame maple top, Grover locking tuners, Switchcraft electronics and Mallory-150 tone capacitors to thank for that. The pickups can also be run in either series or parallel.
Besides that, the “Prizm” is your familiar Les Paul. It has a solid mahogany body, 1960s SlimTaper “D” mahogany neck, and a 12-inch-radius pau ferro fretboard.
The guitar is available in seven colors, including the pictured Rainbow finish.
Prophecy Les Paul Custom Plus GX Outfit
Think of this as the modern, younger sibling to the vintage-leaning “Prizm.” The Prophecy Les Paul Custom Plus GX Outfit is built for progressive players looking for more heft out of their Les Paul. It has a SpeedTaper “D”-shaped mahogany neck with a satin finish, a flatter 14-inch-radius ebony fretboard, and 24 jumbo frets to distinguish it from your everyday LP.
For pickups, the Prophecy packs a pair of Gibson USA humbuckers: 490R at the neck and 498T at the bridge. The former has an Alnico II bar magnet, while the latter has a hotter Alnico V bar magnet that Epiphone claims will yield “enhanced highs and mids.” Both pickups have also been coil-split.
The Prophecy is available in three finishes.
Les Paul Ultra-III
And then there’s this Les Paul that isn’t just modern—it’s downright futuristic. The Ultra-III boasts Epiphone’s Shadow NanoMag active pickup system, which comes with a preamp and EQ, alongside the two, ‘traditional’ ProBuckers. NanoMag hides a pickup at the neck end of the fretboard that “captures the Les Paul’s subtle body acoustics and string harmonics,” according to Epiphone.
It has three outputs, too: two 1/4-inch mono, and a USB out to plug your guitar right into your computer, if you happen to love digital sims. There’s even a chromatic tuner built onto the bridge pickup mounting.
Meanwhile, a mahogany body with an AAA flame maple veneer top, SlimTaper “D”-shaped mahogany neck, and 12-inch-radius pau ferro fretboard bring this Les Paul back onto well-trodden ground.
The Ultra-III is available in five finishes.
Joe Pass Emperor II PRO
Good news for jazz cats: In addition to a new Vintage Natural finish, this archtop now sports a pair of coil-split, Alnico II ProBuckers. There’s a ProBucker-2 at the neck, and a slightly hotter ProBucker-3 at the bridge.
Elsewhere on the fully hollow guitar, you’ll find an arched spruce top, laminated flame maple back and sides, a 1960s SlimTaper “C”-shaped laminated maple neck, 12-inch-radius pau ferro fretboard, and a Graphtech NuBone XL nut.
And other than Vintage Natural, the Emperor II PRO comes in Natural, Vintage Sunburst and Wine Red.
SST Coupe and CE Coupe
Epiphone also launched two travel-friendly guitars: the SST Coupe and CE Coupe, which are steel- and nylon-string instruments, respectively. They have reduced body sizes and chambered bodies, which minimize feedback when they’re plugged into the PA.
And to that end, the guitars come installed with Epiphone’s Shadow Panoramic SH-148-HD pickup systems. It allows you to separately EQ and pan the top three and bottom three strings, and also includes an aux input and headphone output.
Both guitars are available in Antique Natural and Ebony finishes.
For the full line-up of guitars, check out epiphone.com.