Epiphone Les Paul Standard
the legend for one-fourth of the price
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard does not only look and sound like a Les Paul - it really is a Les Paul. The biggest difference between Epiphone's and Gibson's Les Paul is the price. Epiphone as the only manufacturer beside Gibson who's licenced to build these legendary originals knows how to unify high quality and low prices.
If you're busy read this short summary...
- The Epiphone Les Paul Standard features a mahogany body with maple top, 2 humbucking pickups, a Tune-o-matic bridge and mahogany neck in the 24 3/4" measure - everything after the legendary Gibson Les Paul Standard.
- It looks just like its original except some details. It's elegant, sexy and simply beautiful.
- This guitar provides the classic Les Paul sound - warm and broad but with a cutting definition.
- The playability is excellent. Low action, a sleek and speedy neck and stable in tune - the perfect beginner guitar.
- The Les Paul Standard won't let you down. Thanks to very good craftsmanship there's no need for a backup guitar.
- The price lies between $450 and $650. A amazingly good price for quality guitar.
The body of the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is made of mahogany and a maple or flame maple top and has cream-colored bindings. In opposite to a Gibson the solid body is laminated and not crafted from one slap of wood. This brings the advantage of a lower weight (and makes it less expensive).
The mahogany neck is glued on and has rosewood fingerboard - the typical Les Paul features. With its slim shape and the short 24 3/4" measure this neck suits perfect for beginners and children's hands. Additionally the trapezoid fretboard inlays lent to an authentic appeal.
Hardware pieces are all made of chrome. The Stopbar tailpiece, the Tune-o-matic bridge and the vintage style tuning heads are almost the same as on the Les Paul Standard's roots in the 60s.
Electronically the Epiphone Les Paul Standard has two Alnico Classic humbucking pickups and individual volume and tone knobs for each pickup. The 3-way pickup selector switch completes the package.
For detailed information about the Epiphone Les Paul Standard's features click here.
From a distance, the Epiphone version looks just like the original. Them main cosmetic difference is the headstock due to the different brand name inscription (obviously...) and a slightly different shape. A closer look, however, reveals more distinctions. Unlike the Gibson version, the Epiphone has a three-piece neck and a two-piece body.
Apart from that and some other finish details the Epiphone Les Paul Standard has the authentic look of its much more expensive version. For thousands and thousands of musicians the Les Paul design is the most beautiful one on earth.
Choosing between the finishes ebony, honey burst, heritage cherry sunburst, trans amber, trans blue and vintage sunburst you've got many possibilities how your Les Paul should look like.
What initially impressed me about the Standard was its unplugged sound, which is quite resonant and almost piano-like. This promises a sustained round sound when plugged in. And when I actually did, it didn't disappoint me.
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard provides on both Alnico Classic humbucking pickups a warm and broad clean sound. The tone also comes in a good definition and sustains for a long time due to the glued-in neck and the guitar's bridge construction. While the bridge pickup gives you a smooth cutting sound the neck pickup gives you a deep, dark, fluid tone.
With more gain the Les Paul Standard easily nails some very pleasing crunch and overdriven lead sounds. Turning the gain up the pickups show their weak spot. Both pickups have the tendency to squeal when running through a high gain channel. Fortunately they can be exchanged if you want to improve your sound. But for a beginner these pickups are more than just fine.
All in all the most impressive thing about the Epiphone's tone is the combination of fatness and bite that is such an important part of the legendary Les Paul Standards. Don't hesitate to plug it in a Marshall DSL50 and you'll be surprised how near you can get to the sounds of Jimmy Page or Slash.
One area where the Epiphone Les Paul Standard rivals with its Gibson version is its playability. The neck is smoothly finished and has a very comfortable and sleek feel. The nice shape allows you to play everything from jazz chords to funky riffs. You can even throw your fastest runs at it with ease.
Epiphone stands for excellent craftsmanship. Even tough their Les Paul Standard is produced overseas the guitar comes with properly set frets, low action and tuning is sure and stable.
Thanks to is low weight compared to other Les Paul models you'll be able to play long sessions without killing your shoulders. When the guitar is also set up well then this is a perfect beginner guitar.
Like I said above the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is solidly built guitar. It's definitely a guitar that withstands a lot. On stage this is doing its job very well. It shows its reliability all over the world.
Worth for your money
The prices lie between $450 with the ebony finish, $550 with the plain top finish (with a maple top) and $650 with the plus top finish (with a flame maple top).
To get a guitar with all the qualities for this price is just amazing. Thanks to Epiphone you don't have to sell your car to get a real nice Les Paul.
Overall rating and final words
When your a beginner then this may be the best possible guitar for you to start with. Great playability, a stunning look and a legendary sound for only a few hundred bucks. Epiphone makes here an amazing offer.
And there's definitely more in the Epiphone Les Paul Standard. Even as a pro you will be amazed by excellent craftsmanship and a great feel of the neck. And there are many possibilities to develop some gorgeous sounds even for a pros ear.