Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Review – An Affordable Classic
I wish this guitar was around when I was first starting out – a classic design, wonderful sound and very playable. But it's by no means a starter guitar, and would suit a seasoned guitarist very well. For the price you pay, you definitely feel like you're getting more than you should!
If you can’t afford upwards of $10,000 for an original Gibson Les Paul 1952, this may be the next best thing. Epiphone's LP-100 Les Paul is crafted to look like the iconic classic and has great specs – but comes without that hefty price tag.
Let’s be clear – this is not an original Les Paul 1952. But the LP-100 is cut from the same cloth, and certainly has the quality you’d expect from the classic that inspired it.
The single cut-away body is mahogany with a maple top, and is much lighter and slimmer than the original – meaning it’s easier to hold when practicing, gigging and recording. There’s a bolt-on mahogany neck which has the Les Paul classic scale length of 24.75″, with a 1.68″ nut width. This neck features a lovely rosewood fingerboard, with 22 medium-jumbo frets and white dot inlays.
Looking at the various finishes, it comes in a choice of four classic shades that lend themselves well to the overall look of the guitar – Ebony, Heritage Cherry, Sunburst, and Vintage Sunburst.
In all, its considered construction means the LP-100 is a guitar that feels finished, as well as being pretty robust and capable of taking a knock – not that you’d want to damage it!
There’s no cutting corners when it comes to the LP-100’s hardware, and for under $300 you’re getting a great piece of equipment.
In addition to the premium 14:1 die-cast machine heads, the guitar has Epiphone’s patented LockTone Tune-o-matic bridge – for precise intonation on each string – and a StopBar tailpiece, which is great at keeping the guitar in tune.
Often found on higher-end models, these two come as standard on the LP-100. And neither of them have changed much since first appearing in 1954, which speaks volumes for how well they keep the guitar sounding.
As for things you can turn, twist and adjust, you’ll find four chunky plastic volume and tone control knobs – two for each pickup – as well as a three-position rhythm/treble switch. Perhaps not the most responsive of controls, but they do what’s required.
As we’ve discussed, the construction of this guitar makes it lighter than the original, so gigging with it won’t be a problem. It’s also easy to play thanks to the slimmer neck and medium-jumbo frets. You really wouldn’t be unhappy taking this guitar to the stage.
What about the sound? It’s good! A pair of uncovered 700T and 650R humbuckers produce the kind of audio you’d expect from a Les Paul – powerful and aggressive, with a good bite.
It’s strong and warm, especially in the mid-range, making it a good choice for the lead guitarist. You’ll find it’s pretty versatile and capable of performing well for most music styles, while the overall sound quality is something you’d expect from a guitar twice the price.
- A timeless, beautifully designed guitar, based on a real classic
- Durable, lightweight and well built
- Sounds like you’re playing a more expensive guitar
- Great value for money
- It may take some adjusting straight from the box to get a great sound
- The guitar doesn’t come with anything apart from strings, a hex wrench, and a poster