What is the best amp for a Gibson Les Paul Studio? (our top pick)
The Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
The Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25 is our top pick for pairing with a Gibson Les Paul Studio because, like the Les Paul Studio, the Mark V spans a wide range of styles. It can handle both classic and modern rock without sacrificing quality on either end. The Mark V series houses some of the best amps overall, regardless of the guitar pairing in question.
A lot of Gibson Les Pauls are paired with Marshall amps, and we've included a couple in the honorable mentions table below. But I wanted to recommend an amp that could put forward a distinctly modern tone flavor while also being able to handle the vintage, subtle tones of bluesy classic rock.
For years, Mesa Boogie has shown that they are particularly good when it comes to this balance. They're known for their modern edge and smooth, studio-quality distortion, but they can handle just about anything.
Here are a few specifics we like about the Mark V:
- Onboard distortion negates the need for a distortion pedal
- Balanced tone profile between classic and modern
- Onboard attenuator and direct out for easy recording and even headphone use
Read the full review: Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
To be clear, the Les Paul Studio could be paired with a lot of other amps, and the Mark V could work with a ton of other guitars. But my two cents is that this guitar and amp make a particularly good pairing. If you disagree, we'll recommend some others in the comparison table below.
Compare the Mark V to honorable mentions
We've added the two Marshall amps I mentioned and the Diezel VH2 into the comparison table here. They're all fairly high-end amplifiers because I wanted to try and match the quality of the Gibson Les Paul Studio. If you're looking for some more affordable alternatives, we'll address that a few paragraphs down.
Note that ratings take into account pricing and value, not just overall quality.
Mesa Mark V:25
Compare More Amps
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Pricing Tables and Resources for the Mark V (includes head and combo versions)
The tables below update pricing for the Mark V in real time, from multiple vendors. Note that there are other vendors we haven't included, which is simply because we don't have agreements with them in place to pull pricing.
Guitar Center and Musician's Friend are two such places, and also good places to look for further price comparison - we just can't show it here.
Also note: We've included the combo versions of the Mark V:25 as well, which is a little more expensive.
Pricing from Multiple Vendors
Price Alert (follows lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History (lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History for Mesa/Boogie Mark Five:25 - 25/10-watt Tube Head - Black Taurus
|Current Price||$1,999.00||December 5, 2023|
|Highest Price||$1,999.00||April 4, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$1,899.00||August 3, 2022|
Last price changes
|$1,999.00||April 11, 2023|
|$1,899.00||April 11, 2023|
|$1,999.00||April 4, 2023|
|$1,899.00||August 3, 2022|
More on Marshalls
I've recommended two Marshalls in the honorable mentions table, and I get why a lot of people might prefer some kind of Marshall to be paired with the Gibson Les Paul Studio.
Because Les Pauls and Marshall amps have been synonymous for a long time.
But I find a lot of Marshalls just a little too bright for my taste, and I've always liked the Mesa distortion channels a lot better. Plus the Mark V has a built-in attenuator, which means you can actually use it without a speaker cab.
You can even use headphones.
So it's not that I'm hating on Marshall. It's more so that the Mark V is just a great option. To be fair, among the full Marshall and Mesa tube amp rosters, there are a ton of amps that would be excellent fits for the Les Paul Studio.
Read more: Best Mesa Boogie amps
I'd break it down like this:
- Marshall for classic rock and vintage tones
- Mesa for heavier styles, metal, and modern rock
Is the Mark V too expensive?
There are actually several different versions of the Mesa Mark V. The differences are the following:
- Variations in wattage
- Variation in form (head or combo)
The higher wattage and combo versions are more expensive. Though the Mark V:25 is one of the cheapest options and usually retails just a little higher than the Gibson Les Paul Studio itself.
I think that spending around the same price on your amp as you do on your guitar is a good move.
You don't want to get a great guitar and then cheap out on an amp.
Your amp has a lot to say about how good that guitar will sound.
I think the Mark V:25 is at a good price point.
What are the best features of the Mesa Mark V:25?
Here's a summary of the features we like about the Mark V:25 that have led us to recommend it for your Les Paul Studio:
- XLR output (CabClone DI)
- Onboard load-bearing attenuator (can turn speaker off)
- TONS of customization and EQ options
- Independent reverb controls for each channel
- Excellent onboard gain/distortion/dirty channel
- Great balance between modern and classic rock
What are some cheaper brands that could be a good fit?
The Marshalls I've recommended aren't too expensive. Particularly the DSL series stays at a comfortable price range.
But there a couple economical brands I'd recommend checking out:
- Hughes & Kettner
I've been really impressed with Blackstar lately. They do a lot of good work without a lot of cost. They're your next stop if you don't want to spend too high.
Read more: Best Blackstar amps
I've always been partial to Mesa amps, so there's subjectivity involved with my recommendation.
That said, I do my research and have used these amps. Take my recommendation and the honorable mentions with a grain of salt. If the Mesa Mark V isn't your cup of tea, look around in similar price ranges with similar specs.
I'd at least recommend holding out for an amp with two channels and a decent onboard gain.
If you have questions, drop them in the comments section below and I'll help out as much as possible.