Gibson guitars are great (in most cases, anyway).
The company’s legendary Les Paul model is one of the most sought-after guitars on the market, and has been since the 1950s. There are many different Les Paul variations, but they all have one thing in common: they are expensive.
The average guitarist can’t afford them. And some even claim they cost so much that they’re not worth it at all.
One of the reasons they say that is Epiphone. This Gibson subsidiary produces lower cost versions of Gibson guitars that still sound and play great. Two of their best selling instruments are the Les Paul Studio and the Les Paul Standard.
What’s the difference between the two? Read on to find out, and to figure out which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Epiphone Les Paul Studio Vs Standard
- 1.1 Epiphone Les Paul Studio
- 1.2 Epiphone Les Paul Standard
- 1.3 Differences Between The Epiphone Les Paul Studio And Standard
- 1.4 Epiphone LP Standard Vs LP Studio: Similarities
- 1.5 Advantages Of The Epiphone LP Studio
- 1.6 Advantages Of The Epiphone LP Standard
- 1.7 Why To Get An Epiphone Les Paul Studio (Deluxe) Guitar
- 1.8 Why To Get An Epiphone Les Paul Standard Guitar
Epiphone Les Paul Studio Vs Standard
We’ll begin by giving you a brief overview of each guitar model (including the Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe variation), and then getting into the differences. After that, we’ll help you figure out which of these two electric guitars is better for you.
Epiphone Les Paul Studio
As mentioned, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a cheaper version of the Gibson Les Paul Studio model. The term “studio” means that it is a somewhat stripped-down guitar. This makes it more affordable and not as flashy, which some prefer for the studio.
This doesn’t make it worse. You get the same quality features in terms of tone and performance. It is only some stylistic features that have been removed. For instance, it doesn’t have the binding and the color patterns are much simpler.
That’s exactly what you get with the Epiphone version as well: a somewhat stripped down version of the flashier Epihpone Les Paul. Their version of the Les Paul Studio uses mahogany for the main body, with an arched maple top.
This is accompanied by a mahogany neck and a wonderful Pau Ferro fretboard. The neck has the SlimTapper “D” shaped profile, providing a fairly comfortable performance.
The fretboard has wonderful-looking trapezoid inlays. Just like the Gibson Les Pauls, the Epihpone has a set-in neck and body construction, which is a pretty great addition considering the price. The guitar has a standard scale length of 24.75 inches and a 12-inch fretboard radius.
Looking at the electronics, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio comes with the company’s Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers. Each pickup comes with the standard controls for volume and tone, as well as a 3-way selector switch. Whether it’s a clean or distorted tone, the guitar covers a lot of sonic areas, from brighter to mellower stuff.
Epiphone Les Paul Studio Deluxe Vs Epiphone Les Paul Studio
Epiphone’s Les Paul Studio also has a limited-edition deluxe version. Pretty much all of the features on these two guitars are the same, with the only noticeable difference being the tuners.
We have the same construction and the same stripped-down design. What’s also interesting is that the price of the Deluxe version is roughly the same, or cheaper, than the original one, depending on the store.
But there are a couple of differences between these two models, though there’s nothing substantial.
As mentioned, the two guitars have different types of tuning machines. The Studio version comes with the regular Grover tuners, just like you’d find on most Gibson and Epiphone guitars. The Deluxe version has unique vintage-style tuners. These are often referred to as the “Kulson” type of tuners and have that old school 1950s look.
The second difference is a slight difference in the pickups, but it is practically unnoticeable. Very few guitarists will even notice it. Overall, you essentially get the same guitar, with some minor stylistic differences, as well as a “Deluxe” added to the name. Whichever version you get, both are great instruments, especially considering the low price.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Epiphone’s arsenal is filled with copies of classic Gibson guitars. The other Les Paul we’re taking a closer look at for this comparison is the Standard model which comes in a few different variants. These instruments have some of the classic recognizable stylish features that make them look very slick and “stage-ready” compared to the stripped-down models.
So let’s get into it and see what’s so special about them. They have the standard body configuration with mahogany and an arched maple top. However, they have an AAA flame maple top with the standard arched design.
There’s also the mahogany neck with a set-in construction with the body. Equipped with an Indian laurel fretboard, it comes with nice-looking trapezoid inlays and a total of 22 frets, which is standard for almost all Les Paul guitars. Both the neck and the body have the cream binding that you see on all of the Gibson’s as well.
As for the hardware, there are some differences between the various Epiphone Les Paul Standard models. Some of them come with Grover tuners, while most have the vintage-style tuners, just like the ones we described above in the Studio Deluxe model section.
The pickups may also differ depending on the exact model. Some have Epiphone’s Alnico ProBuckers, like the Standard ’60s and Standard ’50s models, replicating the tone and feel of those old Gibsons.
And then there’s the Epiphone Standard 1959 model that comes with a Gibson Burstbucker 2 in the neck position and a Gibson Burstbucker 3 in the bridge position. The wiring, capacitors, and pots can also differ, but are generally always done quite close to what Gibson is doing.
Differences Between The Epiphone Les Paul Studio And Standard
There are some obvious differences between the Studio (Deluxe) and Standard Les Paul variants. The first is the overall design. It’s pretty clear that the Epiphone Standard series puts more emphasis on the overall design, with the bindings and more eye-catching finishes. The materials differ as well, with the studio featuring AAA flamed maple tops.
The electronics are also different, with the Les Paul Standard including not only better pickups, but also quality wiring and additional nice touches, like better capacitors and pots. Obviously, these features make the price noticeably higher.
Epiphone LP Standard Vs LP Studio: Similarities
Aside from the basic Les Paul shape, both of these Epiphone models have the standard set-in construction and practically the same type of hardware.
We have Grover tuning machines on some of the Les Paul Standard variants, while most of them have the vintage-styled ones, just like we have on the Studio Deluxe. And although the Standard variant has objectively better electronics and pickups, you get roughly the same types of tones on either model.
Advantages Of The Epiphone LP Studio
The most obvious advantage of the Les Paul Studio is the price. You get a pretty awesome guitar for the price level. You have the set-neck construction and a very comfortable neck. It’s all accompanied by a nice set of humbuckers.
Aesthetically, it’s much simpler than the Standard, but it still looks pretty great. Learn more in our complete review of the Epiphone LP Studio.
Advantages Of The Epiphone LP Standard
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard, in all of its variants, is an obviously superior instrument to the Studio and Studio Deluxe models. It is one of the best Les Paul copies available and sells for well under $1000.
Looking past the skin-deep aesthetics, the instrument has some other great features, including the vintage-inspired neck design and electronics that provide a better tone. Although there are two different pickup variants, both of them give a little more of that sparkle, with expressive high-ends.
Why To Get An Epiphone Les Paul Studio (Deluxe) Guitar
While both the Studio and the Standard are good choices for anything from blues up to heavy metal, the Les Paul Studio is the cheaper variant. That goes for the Studio Deluxe as well. Despite the low price, it still has some quality features, with most of the cost savings coming from a stripped-down design.
Although the “Studio” label might give you the impression that it’s not aesthetically-pleasing enough for live shows, it’s actually still a great-looking instrument, for any occasion. It is the perfect model, if you want to keep it budget-friendly and simple.
And it has some features you don’t usually find on electric guitars in this price range. Overall, the Les Paul Studio and Studio Deluxe models offer one of the best combinations of price and quality on the market. That is a big reason we named it the best metal guitar for beginners.
Why To Get An Epiphone Les Paul Standard Guitar
As we all know, Gibson guitars can get expensive. That is why many guitar players looking for mid to high-priced electric guitars are moving away from this legendary brand, and looking to Epiphone, with its more accessible prices.
And the truth is: Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitars are as good as some lower-priced Gibson Les Pauls, despite being noticeably cheaper. This goes for all of the Epiphone Les Paul Standard variants.
They all come with well-made electronics, wiring, pickups, and hardware. If you’re a fan of Gibson, but aren’t ready to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a new guitar, then the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is the way to go. You just can’t go wrong with these guitars.