Compare Les Paul Guitars

Les Paul guitar

When Les Paul designed his namesake guitar back in the early 1950's, little did he know just how popular it would become... especially given its initially poor sales performance.

Today, however, you'll find the Les Paul guitar being used in every style imaginable, from jazz to heavy metal - a reflection of its sheer versatility.

Here, we compare the top end Gibson offerings as well as ESP, Epiphone and budget Les Paul copies, so you can find the best LP for your specific playing needs and within your budget. Choose your comparison criteria below...

It's useful to see how the more expensive LP's compare to their budget counterparts...

If you're on a budget of $500 or less, see how the lower-end Les Pauls compare...

Compare Les Pauls with other styles, such as Strat and hollow bodies...

Top 5 Les Pauls

Gibson

1. Les Paul Deluxe

2. Les Paul Studio

3. Les Paul Classic

4. Les Paul Supreme

5. Les Paul Traditional

Other (Over $500)

1. PRS SE Bernie Marsden

2. ESP LTD Truckster

3. ESP LTD EC-1000 Deluxe

4. ESP LTD EC-401

5. Epiphone Tribute Plus

Budget (Under $500)

1. PRS Tremonti SE

2. ESP LTD EC-256

3. Epiphone Standard LP

4. ESP LTD EC-50

5. Vintage V100

Les Paul guitar bodyClassic Les Paul body with dual humbucker pickups, single cutaway and arched top

What Makes a Les Paul Guitar?

Your typical Les Paul has a single cutaway, arched body, equipped with two humbucker pickups, three-way pickup switch, four volume/tone pots, a set-in neck and strung through a fixed bridge.

Players love the LP for its distinctively warm, fat tones (facilitated by the humbuckers and thick, mahogany body) and ability to smoothly handle high levels of gain and distortion.

It's probably the most popular choice for working musicians due to its unmatched reliability, exceptional playability and solid construction.

Gibson

The Les Paul Standard has been Gibson's flagship guitar since 1968, following a reissue due to high demand.

Gibson Les Paul headstockGibson Les Paul headstock

The modern Gibson USA Standard has been given numerous "upgrades", including a variety of lavish finishes, hotter pickups and coil tapping for a more mid-scooped tone.

For those who aren't bothered about the cosmetic bling of the Standard, there's the stripped down Gibson Les Paul Studio at half the price, which many contend is in no way inferior to the Standard in terms of sound and construction.

Gibson also offer deluxe, custom and modified Les Paul models, such as the semi-hollow body Supreme, the triple humbucker Peter Frampton LP and tremolo installed models.

Epiphone Les Paul StandardThe Epiphone Les Paul Standard

If you're looking for your own piece of Gibson USA history, we'll help you compare the many different models to find the right one for you.

Epiphone Les Pauls

Epiphone, which is owned by Gibson, offer low-cost yet authentic Les Paul models. Costs are cut on materials, cosmetics, electronics and factory labour (with most Epi's now being produced in China).

However, much like their Fender owned budget competitor, Squier, the quality of Epiphone's output has improved dramatically over the years. Higher end models such as the Tribute Plus have shown that Epiphone can cost-cut intelligently and put up a strong challenge to the Gibson "big boys".

Even at the low end, Epiphone's Standard LP is by no means a plank. It faithfully reproduces the Les Paul sound that many players seek, and perhaps only a pickup change away from being tonally indistinguishable from a Gibson.

Les Paul Copies

ESP EC-256 Les Paul CopyThe ESP EC-256

The Les Paul profile has become a timeless source of imitation from various manufacturers.

A popular copy is ESP's EC range, which pimps the classic LP spec with hotter pickups, optional floating bridges and lavish designs.

Ibanez also offer some exceptional quality, modernised Les Paul models in the form of their ART and ARZ series.

But you can also find more traditional budget copies from brands such as Agile and Vintage.

Comparing these cheaper copies to the "real deal" is a great way of weighing up price vs quality, and we help you do just that.

▲ Compare Les Paul Guitars