Epiphone Les Paul Studio Review: All the Paul You Need?

The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is an entry to mid-level electric guitar, which takes inspiration from the classic Gibson Les Paul Studio.

I'm a big fan of Epiphone guitars (especially this model) as they give you a taste of the feel and tone of iconic Gibson models but without the eye-watering price tag.

Original Les Paul guitars are known for their powerful, rock-friendly tones, and I'd say this Epiphone Studio rendition is as close to the real deal as you'll get in this price range.

Overall, I think the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is an awesome guitar, that has the physical styling of a Les Paul and lets you create some classic Les Paul Tones.

That said, I would think carefully before buying one of these, as there are a bunch of other Epiphone models that might be more suitable depending on your guitar-playing style. For example, I prefer an Epiphone SG Standard when I want to play something with the capacity for higher tones.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio - Overview

Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Average Rating: 4/5

Why I Like It

  • It offers a genuine Les Paul experience without breaking the bank. It makes it accessible for players like me who want quality on a budget.
  • I'm fond of its no-frills design, which focuses on functionality over aesthetics.
  • The LP Studio tends to be lighter than other models, which I find more comfortable during long playing sessions or live performances.
  • Despite being a budget model, this great guitar still delivers a versatile sound suitable for various music styles, from rock to jazz, thanks to its decent pickups.

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • The pickups could be improved to offer a richer, more nuanced tone. You could easily upgrade them aftermarket - but they're pretty good for the price.
  • I'd like to see it with a whammy bar option. You could fit one aftermarket, but it's a bit of a pain.
  • The tuning stability and overall hardware quality could be improved, but it's still great.


There are some variations in specs between models, but these are the most common values.

  • Body Type - Solidbody
  • Body Shape - Les Paul Studio
  • Body Material - Mahogany
  • Top Material - Plain Maple
  • Body Finish - Gloss
  • Color Options - Smokehouse Burst // Wine Red // Ebony Black // Alpine White
  • Neck Pickup - Epiphone Alnico Classic Humbucker
  • Bridge Pickup - Epiphone Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker
  • Controls - 2 x volume, 2 x tone
  • Switching - 3-way toggle pickup switch

The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a guitar in the $500 range, that offers excellent value for money, and a range of features.

The Les Paul Studio is a more affordable version of the Les Paul Standard and offers a streamlined set of features for a slimmer price.

This Epiphone, much like its Gibson counterpart, has two humbucking pickups, a cutaway, a curved top, and an embellished rosewood fingerboard.

Known for their loud, visceral tone, Les Pauls are loved by guitarists across many genres, from swingy classic rock n' roll to jazz, and even more violent modern genres like punk, metal, and hard rock.

I think that Les Paul guitars are probably the second most recognizable and iconic style, after the Stratocaster. With the original models being released in 1952, they have a rich and extensive heritage spanning decades. They were named after their creator, and a pioneer in electric guitars, Les Paul.

This Epiphone variation is one of the more affordable authentic Les Paul variations, and gives you an accurate tribute to the classic Gibson Models.

They're well made, feel great, and sound fantastic... Let's explore this in more detail.

Epiphone Les Paul Studio Features & Benefits

Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Construction Quality 4/5

The Epiphone LP Studio’s construction quality really stands out in its price range. With its Mahogany body with a Maple cap top, and a Mahogany neck, it feels robust and well-built, something I noticed immediately when I picked it up.

The assembly and alignment of the components are well executed, with no apparent gaps or misalignments, which speaks to Epiphone's attention to detail. The inlay used on the fretboard material is attractive and shiny, and it feels very smooth.

However, I'd note that the hardware (tone controls, tuning pegs), while decent, is a far cry from the luxury of Gibson models or even the Epiphone Standard series.

This is one area where costs are obviously cut to keep the price down, but this is the natural tradeoff you make for the reduced price – and it's still great value for money.

Feel 4/5

All around, the feel of this guitar is refined, comfortable, and smooth.

The Slim Taper neck profile is a highlight for me because it makes the LP Studio incredibly comfortable to play, especially for those long jam sessions or gigs.

The weight is also more manageable than some other Les Paul models, reducing shoulder strain without sacrificing tone. It features an ultra-modern weight relief in the back, which makes playing guitar even more lightweight and comfortable, without reducing the sustain. A lot of early Les Pauls weigh a ton, which can leave your neck aching after a long session – I didn't experience this here.

On the downside, the plastic nut and basic tuning machines don’t feel as luxurious as they could, occasionally affecting the tuning stability and overall feel of fluidity when playing.

You might consider upgrading these, but it's not a huge issue and I'm just nitpicking – given that I've experienced playing multi-thousand-dollar Gibsons, which isn't a fair comparison.

Playability and Articulation 4/5

Playability is where the Epiphone LP Studio shines.

The action came set up quite nicely right out of the box, and the fretwork was impressively smooth, without any sharp edges. I found the action to be basically perfect for my playing style (I like it quite low) but obviously that's personal.

The neck's smooth finish allows for easy movement up and down the fretboard, facilitating quick playing and complex solos without much effort.

Articulation across the fretboard is consistent, and it handles both soft and aggressive playing styles, giving me the flexibility to play everything from jazz to heavy rock.

The response is dynamic, picking up subtle nuances in my playing, although the factory setup might need a little tweaking for those who prefer a lower action, different tunings, or strings with other gauges.

Tone Quality and Versatility 4/5

For a guitar in its price bracket, the Epiphone LP Studio offers a surprisingly good tone quality, thanks to its Alnico Classic humbuckers.

These pickups provide a warm, rich sound that’s quite versatile for various musical styles and sounds great through many amp styles and setups.

The clean tones are clear and vibrant, while the distorted tones have that classic, gutsy Les Paul growl that I love.

However, while it performs admirably across a range of genres, those seeking the nuanced tonal capabilities of higher-end models might find it slightly lacking in depth and clarity.

The versatility is very decent though, which I think makes it a great electric guitar for beginners and intermediate players who want a guitar that will sound good regardless of what genre they're trying.

Best Alternatives to Epiphone Les Paul Studio

While the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is clearly a fantastic guitar for many players, it might not be the perfect guitar for you. Several similar alternatives might be a better guitar for your needs.

Squier Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster vs Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Squier Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster

Squier Stratocasters are another popular guitar in a similar price range, although they can be picked up a lot cheaper than the Epiphone LP.

Strats take a different approach to LPs, giving more versatility and articulation, with less punch and thickness. My first electric guitar was a Squier Strat, and I used it for many many years until I could afford an upgrade.

These two musical instruments are probably the most iconic guitars of all time. The Squier Classic Vibe '50s Stratocaster has a bright, crisp, clear tone with a lot of jangle, that is perfect for blues, country, funk, and rock. While LPs have dual humbuckers, which create a richer, heavier, thicker signal, which is more suitable for rock, heavy metal, jazz, and blues.

Epiphone SG Standard vs Epiphone Les Paul Studio

The devilishly cool Epiphone SG is the LP's aggressive and unruly younger brother. These horned, red guitars are known for their lighter, thinner body, and distinctive double-cutaway. This offers easier access to higher frets and generally produces a slightly more aggressive tone, making it ideal for lead guitarists and styles requiring extensive soloing, such as rock and metal.

I really love SGs, I think they're very exciting instruments both visually and sonically. Their lighter, feedback-prone bodies can be harnessed for harder tones and more expressive, and dynamic soling.

Epiphone LP Standard vs Epiphone LP Studio

Epiphone LP Standard

The Epiphone LP Standard is a nearly identical model, just coming around 30% more expensive, with a few more features, embellishments, and higher-quality components.

If you can afford the extra cash, the LP Standard will give you a bit of a better experience. In terms of looks, feel, and tone, it's just slightly superior to the Studio. You get a nicer set of Epiphone Probuckers, higher-quality hardware and controls, and some extra decoration, making the guitar look even sweeter.

My notable mention as an alternative option goes to Yamaha's Pacifica 112V which I reviewed in detail.

Final Verdict

Close up of the Epiphone Les Paul Studio

I'd say that the Epiphone LP Studio would be the perfect first electric guitar for new players, and equally be suitable for intermediate and advanced players on a tighter budget.

It's versatile, powerful, comfortable to play, and looks the part too! There really isn't much to fault at the price, and I think this guitar gives you excellent value for money. It's a nice upgrade over the cheap basic models but still isn't too much cash to make it a scary purchase.

If you have a few more pennies to spare, the Epiphone LP Standard will give you slightly nicer quality, and if you're playing more aggressive genres, I'd seriously consider the Epiphone SG Standard instead.

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