Epiphone Les Paul Studio

Here’s another of my posts about the guitars I’m doing setups on for a friend of mine; an Epiphone Les Paul Studio in Alpine White.

Mahogany body with carved Mahogany top
Mahogany set neck
Alnico Classic Humbucking Pickups, open coils, black
Pickup Selector Switch, Two Volume/Two Tone Controls
Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece
Grover Rotomatic tuners
Alpine White finish with black appointments

Action, Fit, & Finish:
This is one of the guitars I’m working on for my friend, and when I got it, the action was set pretty high and the guitar needed a good overall setup. The neck had far too much relief in it, as well. There were some ‘fret-outs’ that popped up here & there once I lowered the action, but after I’d taken out most of the neck relief, those magically disappeared. BTW, this guitar has the smoothest-operating truss rod I believe I’ve ever seen. This finish on this thing is magnificent; a clean, brilliant Alpine white. No issues at all with the fit of any of the parts. All seemed to be in perfect order. The Grover tuners are a nice touch; very, very smooth and accurate, making tuning an absolute breeze.

Tone & Playability:
I found this guitar to sound a little tiny bit brighter than most Les Pauls I’ve ever played, while still retaining the thick, creamy lows & mids typical of the breed. I like that, because I’ve always found Les Pauls to be just a little dark-sounding...but not this one. Once the setup was complete, the playability of this guitar is every bit as good, in my opinion, as its Gibson-branded brethren. In fact, I think the Epiphone Les Paul Studios are overall at least 95% of the quality, tone, and playability of the Gibson Les Paul Studios, for about ½ the price of the Gibson ‘Faded’ series.

Overall Impression:
I truly have nary a bone to pick with this instrument. There’s nothing about it that makes it any less than a true Les Paul. I’ve played Gibson Les Pauls, and I’ve played Epiphone Les Pauls, and I’ll be darned if I can feel, hear, or see a great deal of difference in them. So it isn’t that rare Gibby Paul, like Billy Gibbons’ ‘Pearly Gates’, which has that ‘something’ that sets it apart from others that may have been made on the very same day, but for the everyday working guitarist, this is a truly fine instrument. This guitar is a great value for the money. Given the quality of this guitar and the other Epiphone Les Pauls I’ve had my hands on, it would be very hard for me to justify the cost of a ‘real’ Gibson model.

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