Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Review - Killer Guitar at a Killer Price!

By R. S. Rasnick

Even people who play "Guitar Hero" know that the Gibson Les Paul is a symbol of rock and roll might. However, guitar players from a mixture of music genres (blues, rock, jazz, and country) have cherished the Les Paul for its power and versatility.

The trouble for many of us, though, is that Gibson Les Pauls are a bit on the costly side.

The average street cost of a new Les Paul is well over $2,000, which is hardly pocket change. What's a Les Paul buff to do?

Consider the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus!

Even though it says "Epiphone" on the headstock, the instrument sounds, feels, plays, and looks like a "real" Gibson Les Paul, just several hundred dollars cheaper. This made-in-Korea Les Paul model even includes Les Paul's signature on the headstock. But how does it compare to an American-made Gibson Les Paul?

We reviewed a transparent Blue Les Paul Standard Plus Top, and I have to say the instrument has one of the most stunning tops I've viewed in this cost range. The figuring is absolutely exquisite, and is terrifically complimented by its creme-colored binding and chrome hardware.

Suffice it to say, that that the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top is one extremely attractive instrument.

When I first played the Epiphone, I couldn't help but compare it to my own Gibson Les Paul Standard. I have to say that I was really impressed with the Epiphone. The neck was fast easy to play, reminding me somewhat of a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard. It was quicker in many ways than my own Les Paul, which was a pleasant surprise.

The fretwork overall is very well done, though perhaps not as good as my Gibson. The rosewood fretboard had a really nice feel to it, and the frets were smooth and well-polished overall.

The alnico classic pickups have the classic Les Paul bite out of the bridge pickup and a smooth, round tone from the neck pickup. All The Same, I normally swap pickups out of most standard instruments and would probably do the same here.

I think a Duncan JB and Jazz would sound great in this instrument, but the substitutes would be more of a preference than a necessity.

These pickups sound great and might be what you're looking for without the need for substitutes. They did tend to squeal somewhat at high volumes, but not annoyingly so.

The compromises in a model such as this instrument aren't easily obvious. Epiphone saves money by having a veneer flame top glued to non-flamed maple. Likewise, where Gibson Les Paul Standard bodies are made from a single mahogany slab, the Epiphone mahogany body is laminated, as is the neck.

Surprisingly, these cost-cutting measures allow the Epiphone to weigh even less than its Gibson counterparts. For the price, the Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus is a great sounding and easily playable Les Paul for a minute fraction of the cost of the Gibson equivalent. - 31840

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