What is the best Amp for a Gibson Les Paul? (our top pick)
Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
Not that I have anything against Marshall, but the Mark V 25 is just a fantastic amplifier (one of the best overall) and my favorite pick for pairing with a Gibson Les Paul. Even if you want more of a vintage tone, the Mark V can handle classic rock, aggressive modern rock/metal, and everything in between.
While price will play a significant role in which amp you get - especially after spending big on a Gibson Les Paul - we'd argue that the Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25 is your best overall option. If budget puts it out of the picture for you, we'll include some cheaper options in the paragraphs below.
But even for the upper-tier price tag, I think this amp is worth it, especially for pairing with a heavier style guitar like a Gibson Les Paul.
Though Marshall seems like a logical choice, I'll break convention here are go with something a little more modern.
Besides, most Mesa amps can do both modern and vintage exceptionally well.
For a Gibson Les Paul, I'd argue that you can't do much better.
Let's look at some additional options.
Hopefully you can tell that I'm making a recommendation based on some level of subjectivity. In other words, this is the amp that I would pick for a Gibson Les Paul, but it's certainly not the only viable option. Take it as a direction to go in, with a grain of salt. Also note that we use Sweetwater affiliate links to support ourselves, yet at no extra cost to you. If you click through the orange buttons and buy something, we might earn a commission and be very happy.
Compare the Mark V:25 to Similar Amps
Marshall, Diezel, and another Mesa will make up my recommendations in this table. For a Gibson Les Paul I wouldn't go cheap, and I wouldn't go Fender or Vox. Use this comparison table to look at these amps side by side. You can also add more amps to the table via the comparison tool launch button below.
Mesa Mark V:25
Diezel Big Max
Mesa Boogie Recto Verb 25
Compare More Amps
Use this button to launch a comparison sidebar, which will allow you to search and add more amps to the comparison.
The Mark V comes in several different versions, including a combo version and different wattage levels. The V:25 is what we're focusing on specifically, and that's reflected in the following pricing tools. They're updated in real time so you're getting the best possible pricing info from multiple vendors.
Prices are accurate as of Tue, December 05th, 2023.
Multiple Vendors Carrying the Mark V:25
Price Alert (lowest price among vendors listed)
Price History (lowest price among vendors)
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|
Mesa Boogie Mark V:25 Notable Features
There's a lot to like about the Mark V, regardless of which guitar you pair it with. Here's a quick list of features I think help sell the amp, some of which I've already alluded to.
- Internal amp load and speaker emulator
- Two tube-driven channels
- Graphic EQ (five bands)
- Full four-band EQ and gain controls for both channels
- Adjustable wattage
- Headphone out
- Direct out
- Reverb for both channels (lots of Mesa amps don't have reverb)
This is truly one of the more stacked feature lists we've ever seen for an amp, even at these higher price ranges. At the time of writing this the Mark V:25 amp head was about $1900. Check the pricing tools above to see if it has changed.
What are some brands that are cheaper?
Most of the amps that are on the level of a Gibson Les Paul are fairly expensive. Think $1500 on the low end and $3000 on the high end.
Some alternatives that are far cheaper include the following:
- Orange amps
- Hughes & Kettner
Of those four, I personally think you'll get the most value out of Blackstar. Hughes & Kettner would be a close second. Those two brands would also be better stylistic fits than Orange or EVH.
But all four are cheaper than the high-end options we've been talking about. If you're looking to spend less, any of these four brands are a good direction to go in.
What about Fender amps?
I typically recommend pairing a Fender amp with a single coil guitar of sorts, like a Stratocaster or Telecaster.
They can certainly work with a dual humbucker guitar like the Gibson Les Paul, but I would argue they're not an ideal choice, especially given their subtle and bluesy styled overdrive.
Looking elsewhere would be my advice, but here's some more Fender amp help all the same:
Read more: Best Fender amps
Should I go with a combo amp instead?
If you don't have - or don't want to buy - a speaker cab, going with the combo version of whatever amp you choose is a better choice. It'll be more expensive, but will save you money in the long run. However, I should note again that the Mark V:25 actually has a built-in attenuator, so you can run it without a speaker connected, either to headphones or a mixer/PA system.
Gibson Les Paul tone conventions
The Gibson brand has a pretty broad spectrum of tone. Traditionally it has had a classic rock bend, especially coming out of the '80s rock scene. But there are plenty of guitar players of a more modern and hard rock bend that have used Gibson Les Pauls for heavier gain levels that are completely outside of the classic rock context.
From the early 2000s on we've seen this pretty regularly.
Here are a few of note:
- Audioslave/Rage Against the Machine
- Creed/Alter Bridge
That's part of the reason I'm recommending an amp that can handle both styles pretty easily.
It sets your Les Paul up to handle high gain and less saturated styles.
I know it's not a conventional choice, but I'd argue for Mesa over Marshall. Fender amps are great, they're just not in the same style as the Gibson Les Paul. Remember, if you want to go a different direction, just view this for what it is - a suggestion. At the end of the day it's opinion, where beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Check out some of the alternatives we listed and the cheaper options if Mesa is outside of your budget.
If you have questions, I'll do my best to help with those in the comments section below.
I'll see you there.