Given its cost, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a very good beginner-level instrument at a competitive price.
The Gibson Les Paul Studio is perennially the company’s most popular model. At about half the cost of a Gibson Les Paul Standard, it’s easy to see why, since the model contains most of the features that make a Gibson Les Paul such a treasured instrument. However, at over $1,000, the Les Paul Studio is still out of the price range for many people, especially younger players. The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is an attempt to bring the spirit of the Gibson model to a more affordable level. At a list price of $349, it’s safe to say they succeeded. Let’s take a closer look.
The Epiphone Les Paul Studio features a mahogany neck and body with a carved top. The neck is set rather than bolt-one. The guitar sports two open-coil Alnico Classic humbuckers and a rosewood fingerboard. Chrome hardware is standard, as is the tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece.
For the price, we found this guitar to be a solid beginner-level instrument or even a guitar for an intermediate-advanced player who’s willing to provide a few upgrades. The action was good, though we did notice a few audible buzzes due to some high frets. The Alnico Classic humbuckers did a fine job of providing solid blues and rock tones. The volume pots were a little scratchy and could stand to be replaced, as could the pickup selector switch.
However, those are relatively inexpensive fixes and minor complaints. When you realize that the price of a new Epiphone Les Paul Studio is around $350 and that a used one goes for around $200, it’s hard to complain. Given its cost, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a very good beginner-level instrument at a competitive price.
Name of Gear: Epiphone Les Paul Studio
List Price: $606.00
Manufacturer Info: The Epiphone Company; epiphone.com
Pros: Inexpensive; good guitar for price
Cons: Noisy pickup selector; noisy pots; some high frets