What is the best Gibson Les Paul? (our top Pick)
Gibson Les Paul Studio
When it comes to Gibson Les Paul electrics we're looking for something that is reasonably affordable, but also maintains the feel, tone quality, and aesthetic Les Pauls are known for. The Les Paul Studio strikes the best balance between overall quality and an affordable price tag.
With a guitar series like the Gibson Les Paul, the best option is not simply going to be the most expensive or the cheapest. So we're staying away from the $5000 models, which are technically the best Gibson Les Paul options in terms of quality. Instead, we're going for a much cheaper price range with a balance of quality and an affordable price tag.
Our best Gibson Les Paul recommendation is the Studio model.
When you can find where highest possible quality and lowest possible price meet up, that's where you have your best option - within a brand - that will work for the largest number of people.
That's the Gibson Les Paul Studio.
So instead of giving you a list of top Gibson Les Paul electrics, we're focusing on the single best option and elaborating on that guitar.
Read more: Best electric guitars for the money
In this section we've built a compare table with several of the honorable mentions listed below. Use the buttons to see each guitar side-by-side. Also note that we partner with retailers like Sweetwater to support ourselves and make it easy for you to buy gear. If you want to support us, we might get a commission if you shop through these links.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Gibson Les Paul Standard '60s
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson Les Paul Special
Compare More Electric Guitars
You can search for more electric guitars in our database here and add them to the comparison bar at the bottom of this page, Gibson or otherwise.
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You can hear in the demo that the Studio definitely has that Gibson "bite", also a ton of versatility. It's not as naturally percussive as something like a PRS McCarty, but it can handle/produce a wide range of tones,. depending on additional gear in your rig. It captures the signature Les Paul tone while also giving you a ton of variety.
Les Paul Studio Notable Features
While there are a few different variations of the Les Paul Studio, we'll focus on the most typical "de facto" Mahogany version. We like the Smokehouse burst finish, but there are actually quite a few to choose from. Some notable features include the following:
- Separate top piece over solid body design (all with modern weight relief)
- Mahogany/Maple tonewood (body is Mahogany, top is Maple)
- Nashville tune-o-matic bridge and Grover tuners
- 490R and 490T humbuckers
We would love to see the Gibson Burstbucker pickups in this guitar instead of the 490s. The 490s aren't bad, but the Burstbucker sets are in a lot of the nicer Les Paul models. You also might notice that the finish and carving isn't quite as pristine as in the nicer models, but it still looks great. These are small complaints, yet go a long way in keeping the price of the Studio so low. Otherwise, everything that makes a Gibson Les Paul an attractive option is intact in the Studio.
Since we're only recommending one Les Paul, this section includes some of our honorable mentions, including the three guitars listed in the above comparison table.
There are actually a lot of decent Gibson Les Paul options in the $2000 to $3000 price range. But we think the Studio stands out as the best overall. It's the most flexible and gives you a true Gibson Les Paul experience at the lowest possible price. If you can afford that price point, we'd certainly recommend it over Epiphone.
Not that there's anything wrong with Epiphone, but wouldn't you want the real-deal Gibson version? If anyone tries to tell you they're "basically the same", that's simply not true.
For the Gibson treatment, the Studio is the best way to get there.
For those with questions or thoughts about the Gibson Les Paul Studio, or if you disagree with me in some capacity, feel free to drop a line into the comments section below. We'll see you there.
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