A lot happened in the 40 years between those two guitars. Not the least of which was the purchase of Epiphone by its primary competitor Gibson. The latter was the first to produce the famed “Les Paul” while Epiphone made it available to the masses as an affordable electric guitar in 1989.
Epiphone’s produced its first Les Paul solid body electric guitar the same year.
Review of the Epiphone Les Paul LP-100
The Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul is a budget version of its older brother, the Gibson Les Paul, but the guitar – along with all the other guitars in the Epiphone Les Paul series – shares almost all of the same visual characteristics.
Both the Gibson and the Epiphone Les Paul sport the same classic body style made of solid wood fitted with two humbucking pickups, two tone controls and two volume controls. The Epiphone LP-100 is cut from a single piece of mahogany wood topped with maple, complete with a single cutaway.
The biggest visual difference with the Epiphone Les Paul is actually quite hard to see: the size of the body, which is just a tad slimmer than its older brother. On the upside, though, that also means its a little bit lighter too.
Playability of the Epiphone Les Paul
What’s most impressive with the Epiphone Les Paul is its ability to deliver incredible playability within a budget.
Perhaps it has something to do with the slimmer design or even something as simple as the comfortable weight distribution of the solid body; either way, it doesn’t feel like a “beginner guitar” when you’re playing it.
The action along the fretboard is just right and allows for easy movement up and down guitar. The mahogany neck also allows for smooth sliding as you play your favorite lick.
As far as beginner electric guitars go, the Epiphone Les Paul LP-100 is going to be one of the best to play.
Plugging in the Epiphone Les Paul
Epiphone has equipped the Les Paul LP-100 with dual uncovered humbucker pickups complete with a tone and volume control for each.
When plugged in, the Les Paul has a reputation for having a fat, bold tone that stands out among most any other electric guitar. For beginners the fun starts when you start to play with the hundreds of options that the three-way switch and tone controls allow.
Of course, a lot of the tone depends on the type of amplifier that you plug your guitar into. Fortunately, the Epiphone Les Paul LP-100 produces a full sound with even a half-decent amp. There is no better way to motivate a novice guitarist than a beautiful sound!
Overall Impression of the Epiphone LP-100
You’re going to be hard pressed to find a better electric guitar for the price. So if the Les Paul is your style, the Epiphone LP-100 is going to be an excellent option for you. It doesn’t have fancy inlays and it doesn’t come as a “starter kit”. But, it will satisfy your need for a great electric guitar.
The LP-100 has what Epiphone calls the “classic look, sound and feel of a Les Paul”. This is going to be a reliable electric guitar at an affordable price point.
Other Epiphone Les Paul Options
I also wanted to mention that Epiphone produces the Les Paul at multiple levels of quality. This is something to consider if you want something a little better than the LP-100. And if you want something not quite as expensive as the Gibson Les Paul.
Most of the incremental improvements with these other options have to do with the electronics, specifically the pickups. The electronics are better suited for those who plan to play on stage or in the studio.
Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO
The next step up from the Les Paul LP-100 is the Traditional PRO. What you get with this is an upgrade in the pickups from Alnico to Pro-Bucker, a quality set of Grover tuners (which helps to keep your guitar in tune longer) and the option for coil tapping.
You’ll be adding a bit to the price. But, what you get in return is a guitar that is much better suited for performance rather than just practice. If you see yourself being on stage in the future, you might consider the upgrade.
Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-III
The Epiphone Les Paul Ultra-III takes what was great about the traditional PRO (upgraded Pro-Bucker pickups and Grover tuners) and adds one really cool element – USB capabilities.
Plug the Les Paul Ultra-III into a computer. Now you have the ability to simulate hundreds of amplifiers, pedals and effects. These features would have costs you thousands of dollars to buy otherwise.
Oh yea, and one more thing: they’ve hidden a guitar tuner into the bridge of the guitar. Nice.
Epiphone Les Paul Quilt Top
Finally, if you’re the kind of person who needs something just slightly different than everybody else, you will love the gorgeous quilted maple top of this Epiphone Les Paul Quilt Top.
All the typical upgrades – Pro-Bucker pickups, Grover Tuners and coil tapping – are also part of this guitar. So rest assured it will sound as good as it looks.