Gibson Les Paul Studio VS Standard (Comparison)
Our pick: Gibson Les Paul Studio
We'd argue that the Standard, while a great guitar, doesn't do enough to justify the increase in price compared to the Studio. In fact, the Les Paul Studio is one of the highest-value guitars on the market, hard to beat in most one-to-one comparisons.
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This is a quick comparison of the Gibson Les Paul Studio and the Gibson Les Paul Standard, particularly the '50s version. Note that there are other versions of the Les Paul Standard - namely the '60s and Slash signature models - but this comparison takes into account the general roster of features while focusing specifically on the '50s model since it's one of the more popular options.
In this comparison we'll look at the two guitars to decipher: Which one is better? Are they more ideal for particular situations?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
For a quick look at the specs of both instruments, use the compare tool below, and then read on for more details about each guitar.
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Gibson Les Paul Standard VS Les Paul Studio Comparison Tool
Gibson Les Paul Studio
Gibson Les Paul Standard (50s model)
As you can probably tell from the price, the Studio is a more stripped-down version of the more expensive Standard and Custom Les Paul models. While this doesn't mean it's a poor-quality guitar, it's certainly in a lower quality tier than the Standard.
Let's look individually at both instruments.
Gibson Les Paul Standard ('50s model)
The '50s and '60s Les Paul Standard models ship with Gibson Burstbucker pickups, which are (unfortunately) missing in the Les Paul Studio.
This alone will cause some reduction in price.
At $2500, the Standard is roughly $1000 higher than the Studio, though sounds appreciably similar and doesn't deviate significantly in the specs sheet, outside of the pickup upgrade.
We see some nuanced reduction in hardware quality (Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge with a Stopbar to the ABR-1), but there just isn't a ton of substance that sets the '50s Standard apart from the Studio.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
In the Studio, we've already mentioned the downgrade in pickups, and the modest shift in bridge hardware.
We do get Grover tuning machines and the same Les Paul Mahogany body and Rosewood fingerboard that we see in the Standard. Outside of the lack of Gibson Burstbuckers, there isn't much to complain about on the Studio's spec sheet.
To us, the Studio is a solid baseline model that could, perhaps, be upgraded later with a standalone set of Burstbucker pickups, if desired.
Again, there's not enough downgrades in the Studio to really make us want the Standard model more.
Summary of Comparison
If you're trying to justify the extra $1000 in the Standard, the Burstbucker pickups could account for a small chunk of that. But there's a lot of nuance in play here that makes the Standard's upgrades harder to spot. It's also just an issue of mystique and the historical appeal of the Standard series.
The Studio is made to be a more economic and budget-friendly guitar, yet Gibson has done it without taking too many shortcuts.
If you really value the vintage appeal of the '50s Standard, then it might be worth the investment for the historical value and for the Gibson Burstbucker humbucker set.
Otherwise, we'd recommend saving the money and going with the Gibson Les Paul Studio.
If you have questions about either guitar, feel free to drop them in the comments section below and we'll do our best to assist.