Epiphone Les Paul Studio Review – 2021 Guide

Craig
| Last Updated: January 27, 2021

Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Epiphone has been making great guitars since 1873. Their largest draw has to be their accessible pricing, existing as a discounted counterpart to the Gibson brand. 

Here we review their Les Paul Studio guitar, breaking down all the specs and what you need to know before you buy.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind included
  • Dot fingerboard inlay for improved aesthetics
  • Alnico classic Humbuckers pickups used for improved sound
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PROS

  • Great Build
  • Lightweight
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Helpful Controls

CONS

  • Looks
  • Only the Basics

Epiphone Les Paul Studio Specs

  • Type of Guitar: Electric

  • Body Type: Les Paul

  • Number of Strings: 6

  • Tonewood: Mahogany

  • Orientation: Right-handed

  • Scale Length: 24.75”

  • Weight: 7-8lbs

  • Color: Wine Red, Alpine White, Smokehouse Burst, Ebony

  • Pickup Type: Epiphone Alnico Classic Plus Humbucker

Pros

What makes the Epiphone Les Paul Studio so great? Let’s look at the benefits:

Budget-Friendly

The Les Paul Studio was designed for those who want a Les Paul at an affordable price range. Whether you’re a beginner shopping for your first electric guitar or a seasoned player looking to add one to your collection, this guitar is sure to not break the bank. The price tag is arguably one of the largest sources of its popularity.

Great Build

Though this guitar may not have all of the bells and whistles found on other Les Paul models, this is still a solid build. In classic Les Paul fashion, you’re getting a solid mahogany body that will aid the tone you’re looking for in a Les Paul.

It’s hardware, while basic, will still get the job done! Here you’ll find a tune-o-Matic bridge and a stop-bar tailpiece that will aid you in all of your tuning needs. It also features a comfortable SlimTaper “D” neck for easy playability.

Helpful Controls

If you’re planning to gig with this guitar or take it to the studio, you’ll be sure to take advantage of its solid controls. The Epiphone Les Paul Studio is equipped with 2 volume, 2 tones, and a 3-way toggle pickup switch for easy adjustment on the user’s end.

Lightweight

If weight is an issue for you, this guitar may be the one for you! The Les Paul Studio comes in at around 7 lbs, making it much lighter than other Les Paul guitars on the market. If you’re a younger player who needs a smaller instrument or someone who regularly gigs and wants something more lightweight on the road, this could be a perfect addition.

Cons

Here are some negatives to consider before you buy:

Only the Basics

Though this lends to the guitar’s lower price point, you won’t find the same components on this guitar that you may find on other Les Paul models. Here you’ll find Epiphone Classic Alnico Humbucker on both the Neck and Bridge pickup and basic Grover tuners.

It is also important to note here that the Studio features an open-coil humbucker, where other models come with chrome-covered pickups, making it a little brighter and hotter than other Les Paul models.

Looks

Though this guitar is pretty, some users may not like the stripped-back aesthetics found on this model. Again, as this is a more “barebones” version of Epiphones other Les Paul models, you won’t find anything too fancy here. This model comes with no bindings or inlays, making it look much more sparse than other guitars.

Though they offer various color offerings, there are some more beautiful color options across other Les Paul models. (Though, the Goth version that the Studio comes in is highly sought after by some players.) The maple veneer doesn’t have the same look, or even tone, as other wood cap models.

What Are the Components of the Epiphone Les Paul Studio?

Body & Neck

As mentioned above, the build of this guitar is solid! Here you’ll find a great mahogany body with a maple top and rosewood fingerboard. You can expect a classic Les Paul tone out of this body. Plus, the SlimTaper design of the neck lends to easy playability.

Pickups

Epiphone’s Les Paul Studio comes equipped with an Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO Humbucker. These are a vast upgrade from the older Epiphone humbuckers, who often ran too hot for some players.

Here you’ll be sure to find some great tone and open sound output. In fact, these pickups are pretty comparable to Gibson ‘57 Classic humbuckers, though they do tend to sound lower in tone and get a bit muddy.

Bridge

The bridge and tailpiece combo on this mode makes tuning stability and string changing a breeze! On this model, you’ll find a LockTone ABR Tune-o-Matic bridge and Stopbar tailpiece.

The Tune-o-Matic gives the ability to adjust individual strings, allowing for supremely precise adjustments when needed. The stopbar here is also super effective, anchored into the guitar with adjustable, rotating bolts for custom string angle over the bridge.

Tuners

The Grover 18:1 tuners also aid in this guitar’s easy tuning ability! Grover tuners are known to work great and are a solid, dependable choice for all kinds of guitar players.

What Types of Music is the Epiphone Les Paul Studio Best For?

This guitar offers some great tones for a wide variety of genres:

Jazz

When playing on the neck pickup, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is entirely capable of producing the warm tones needed for those who like to play jazz. It can easily produce a more vintage sound that’s suited to the genre.

Rock

Like all great Les Paul guitars, this model is primarily a rock machine! The bright has a mid-range tone perfect for any rock song, ringing out notes clear and true. While the muddied tone here can hinder some cleaner genres, you can hit the right rock tone you’re looking for with ease.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Epiphone Les Paul Studio Suitable For?

This guitar would suit a wide variety of players, but it is most recommended for more intermediate players. A beginner electric player could use this as an affordable entry point into Les Paul guitars, but they may want to upgrade later on or struggle with the adjustments this model might need.

Intermediate players can appreciate this guitar as a chassis for upgrades and/or experimentation. Plus, its price point makes it ideal as either a second guitar for the studio or an option to take on the road for performing. However, this basic body will need extra care if you want it to last a lifetime.

What Makes the Epiphone Les Paul Studio Stand Out From the Competition?

As stated with most Epiphone models, the main differentiator here is, of course, the price. Epiphone is a brand known for providing accessible, affordably priced guitars, and the Studio is no exception. For a beginner Les Paul, it would be hard to find something around this price.

The basics of this guitar also separate it from the competition. Some may see the lack of expensive hardware and clean, basic design as a drawback. However, for some users, this simplicity makes this instrument much more approachable and ready for customization.

Comparison Overview

To dive further into what makes this guitar a unique entry on the market, let’s compare it to other popular Les Paul models with similar specs:

Les Paul Studio vs Standard

The Les Paul Studio is considered a stripped-down version of the Standard. Thus, you can expect to see some additions to the Standard that the Studio is lacking. The Standard model tends to come in better quality finishes and feature Gibson 57” Classic pickups, better in quality than the pickups found on the Studio.

Compared to the Standard, the Studio is more of a “workhorse” style guitar, with barebones meant for more basic playing.

Les Paul Tribute vs Studio

Epiphone’s Les Paul Tribute comes at a higher price point than the studio, but with it comes some better gear. Just like the Standard, the Tribute comes equipped with some upgraded hardware. Here you’ll find real Gibson pickups, a mahogany neck, and better pickguards.

These impressive features come at a cost. If you’re looking for a great quality Les Paul and have a larger budget, the Les Paul Tribute from Epiphone could be a solid purchase that doesn’t need much upgrading. However, if you want to go the bare bones route, the Studio is still a solid choice that can be upgraded over time.

Les Paul Studio vs Traditional

The Epiphone Les Paul Traditional is fairly similar to the Studio, but a few key differences could be a point of difference for some buyers. 

Like the Standard and Tribute, this instrument also comes equipped with the Gibson pickups and upgraded hardware not found on the scaled-back Studio. 

You’ll also find a coil-splitting Boost Switch here that isn’t on the Studio, which offers much more diversity in tones and sounds you’ll get out of this instrument.

Just like the other models, these features do cause a price difference. However, these can be worth it for some buyers who don’t want to shop for parts or upgrade their guitar themselves.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a scaled-back Les Paul that can still deliver, the Epiphone Les Paul Studio is an ideal match! Here you’ll find a solid body and gear that gets the job done, and at an even cheaper price point than other Epiphone Les Paul models.

People Also Ask

Still curious? Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the Epiphone Les Paul Studio:

How to Care For an Epiphone Les Paul Studio Guitar

Proper guitar care can help to extend the lifespan of your Les Paul Studio. Be sure to store your guitar in a hardshell case, especially while traveling, and store it in dry conditions. Regular cleaning of the neck/strings and polishing the body are also great steps for upkeep.

How to Date an Epiphone Les Paul Studio

As is the case with all Epiphones, the secret here is locating the serial number. Looking at the headstock on the Epiphone Les Paul Studio should reveal its serial number that, when looked up, will reveal its date and where it was manufactured.

Who Uses a Les Paul Studio?

As a more scaled-back guitar, the Studio is better suited for the studio/home than playing gigs. However, the Les Paul model is much favored among many famous players, including the likes of Slash and Bob Marley!

Is the Epiphone Les Paul Studio a Good Guitar?

Though this answer does vary on need and usage, the short answer is yes; the Les Paul Studio IS a good guitar! This machine still manages to deliver an incredible sound and look, all at an affordable price point. It is a solid choice for any regular player looking to explore Les Paul models or add some gear to their rotation.

How to Put Binding on a Les Paul Studio

Adding binding to a Les Paul Studio can come at a cost and would be best done by a reputable guitar center. However, there are some easy ways to DIY some faux binding for the proper look. Check out this article here to learn more about this process.

What is Les Paul Studio?

The Les Paul Studio is a guitar sold by Epiphone as a part of their Les Paul collection. This instrument is characterized by it’s scaled back hardware, leading to a lower price point and a simple-looking yet beautiful sounding guitar.

How to Lower the Action on a Les Paul Studio

Adjusting the action on a Les Paul Studio involves two steps. First, you need to turn the thumbwheels on your Tune-o-Matic bridge counter-clockwise, in small increments, measuring the action as you go. Next, adjust the saddles, watching for the curvature of your strings.

How to Change the Strings on a New Les Paul Studio

This process is also relatively simple. First, lay your guitar down, and tune your strings down until they can’t make a note. Then, unwind and remove them from the tuner. With the strings gone, you’ll want to take the opportunity to clean the neck and moisturize the fretboard.

Finally, you’ll insert your new strings through the tailpiece, running them up over the bridge to the tuner. Thread the string around the peg, turning until the tension is formed. Once attached, you can regularly tune your guitar!

How Thick is the Top on a Les Paul Studio?

The top on the Les Paul Studio is a maple cap, meaning it is a thinner sheet of maple that has been attached to the body, rather than a whole piece of maple. Typically, the top on a Les Paul, composed of the maple cap on a mahogany body, is ¾ inch thick.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.