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Should You Buy a Gibson Or an Epiphone Les Paul?

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Epiphone Les Paul

Deciding between buying a Gibson or Epiphone Les Paul is ultimately yours. It all comes down to your budget, tastes, and the music styles you prefer playing.

The primary distinctions between guitars are the wood, pickups, and other hardware. All these factors contribute to the sound produced by each instrument.


If you’re thinking of investing in one of rock music’s iconic guitars, chances are you have some questions about whether it’s worth spending the money on either Gibson or Epiphone Les Paul. Prices for both can be quite high so it’s essential to know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.

Both companies produce quality instruments, but there are some key distinctions between the two that you should take into account. Most notably, Gibsons tend to be more expensive than Epiphones.

Gibsons typically cost USD 700 for basic models and up to about $3000 for more premium options. An Epiphone Les Paul can also be had at a lower cost, often for less than $500.

Another significant distinction between Gibson and other brands is their use of higher-grade wood, meaning their models tend to sound better over time – especially the SG and 335 models.

These guitars are renowned for their midrange-heavy sound and are typically constructed out of mahogany, a dense and heavy material that gives them a tremendous strength.

Gibson models typically feature a thicker body and small chambers in the mahogany for weight relief, helping keep them from becoming too heavy for you to play – especially if you aren’t used to playing such heavy instruments.

Epiphones boast a more lightweight design due to the use of sustainable materials and less rosewood for their fingerboards.

If you’re on a tight budget, an Epiphone Les Paul is worth considering. They come in various models from the budget-conscious Special Tribute to high-end Slash Les Paul and custom versions too!

The Epiphone Les Paul Special I is their most affordable model, costing around $150 and featuring a basswood body, bolt-on neck construction, and either dual humbucker or P90 pickup configurations.

This is an ideal entry-level option for guitarists who want to learn the fundamentals of guitar playing while still having a high resell value. More expensive models offer higher quality standards, making them suitable even for experienced players.


A guitar’s tone can make or break it, so pay close attention when purchasing a new instrument. If you’re shopping for a Les Paul, the tone should also be one of your top considerations.

When it comes to guitar sounds, there are a few factors that can be attributed to its materials of construction and the electronics installed. Gibson uses only top-of-the-line woods such as mahogany or maple for their guitars.

Mahogany offers a rich tone, while maple tends to be more neutral. Additionally, how wood has been treated can affect how it sounds.

One important element in the tone of Les Paul is its pickups. Many players report that Gibson Les Pauls sound clearer, brighter, and more dynamic than Epiphone models.

The Gibson Les Paul Standard comes equipped with Burstbucker pickups, considered one of the finest on the market. These pickups are an updated recreation of Gibson’s famed PAF pickups from the ’60s and ’70s renowned for their output, response, and clarity.

Epiphone Les Pauls uses Alnico Classic humbuckers, designed to reproduce the sound of vintage humbuckers. These pickups boast Alnico V magnets for added clarity, slightly higher output, and enhanced mids and highs.

No matter which pickups you select for a Les Paul, it’s essential to be aware that they will significantly impact its sound. A high-quality humbucker can enhance an already great guitar’s already great tone while cheap ones won’t only sound worse but also be less responsive when playing strings.

When selecting the tone of Les Paul, the finish is also essential. Gibson models are coated in either satin or gloss nitrocellulose lacquer that reacts differently when exposed to moisture and light. This can make an enormous difference in the guitar’s sound as different types of wood react differently when exposed.


Build Quality

When shopping for a guitar, the build quality should be taken into account. This will determine how well-built and durable the instrument plays and sounds over time.

One of the major distinctions between Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul guitars is in their wood quality. Gibson uses genuine mahogany, which is far better quality wood and tonally richer than Epiphone’s cheaper tonewoods. This results in a more pleasing sound and higher overall value when selling your instrument.

Contrastingly, Epiphone opts for cheaper tonewoods such as poplar or alder which, while being less costly, do not produce a pleasing sound when played. This is due to the lack of warmth and clarity that mahogany produces when played with a pick.

Gibson guitars boast higher-grade hardware components than Epiphone, such as their ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and Grover Rotomatic tuning heads. By comparison, LockTone Tune-o-matic and Grover 18:1 tuners that come standard on many Epiphone models are far inferior alternatives.

The necks on these two guitars differ significantly. The Gibson has a thinner profile with more of a “SlimTaper” profile, making it more comfortable for some players to hold onto.

Another distinction is the fingerboard material. Gibson offers rosewood ‘boards, while Epiphone offers Indian laurel as a more sustainable alternative to rosewood.

Though not a perfect substitute, the Indian laurel ‘boards on Epiphone guitars were quite satisfying to play and felt good under our fingers.

Finally, if you’re searching for an electric guitar that looks and sounds fantastic at an affordable price point, an Epiphone Les Paul is your best bet! However, if longevity and great tone are what you’re after then Gibson should be considered.


When purchasing a Gibson or Epiphone Les Paul guitar, there are various customization options to choose from. These include different neck profiles, pickup options, and finishes – each of which can enhance your playing experience significantly. You must determine which features work best for you before making a final decision.

Customization is the practice by which companies take customer preferences into account to craft products tailored to them. This helps increase sales, foster loyalty among customers, and boost brand exposure at the same time.

For many years, the Gibson Les Paul series has been a go-to choice among rock musicians. This guitar offers high-quality construction with classic looks and plenty of vintage charm – making it the ideal guitar to get your hands on!

One of the most iconic models of this guitar is the Les Paul Custom, introduced in 1954 and still popular with rock royalty today. You’ll often spot this model draped over players’ shoulders during performances.

Its sleek design, legendary sound, and unique appearance have made it a beloved instrument among players worldwide; however, ownership can be costly. The Epiphone Les Paul Custom does an admirable job of recreating this classic guitar at an accessible price point.

Another popular option is the Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute, which takes all the essential elements of the Standard model and adds some unique details for a distinctive look. This guitar boasts a slim-taper 60’s neck profile, genuine ebony fingerboard, and vintage-style hardware. Plus it has 2 P-90 pickups as well as a two-tone translucent sunburst paint job similar to that seen on original Gold Top models.

Both Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul guitars come in an array of colors. Both models are constructed from solid wood, though the Epiphones tend to be lighter than Gibsons due to their lighter construction. Furthermore, both guitars are quite affordable which makes them great options for beginners or newcomers to the world of electric guitars.

If you’re searching for a guitar, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom or Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute are great choices. These reissues offer all the features of their original counterparts at a fraction of the cost with some concessions to keep prices low.

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