Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio
Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio

Goth Les Paul Studio, LP-Shaped Guitar from Epiphone in the Les Paul series.

Mythrandir1 04/19/2015

Epiphone Goth Les Paul Studio : Mythrandir1's user review

« Simply a gem! »

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Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
This is the first guitar I bought and even though I have a Fender Strat lying around nowadays, this is the one I use for every music style I play. It is more than worth the price and I won’t exaggerate if I say that this guitar can be placed against some of the higher grade guitars which cost three times as much.
Before I continue, I need to mention that I have modified my Les Paul by changing the stock bridge pickup to a Seymour Duncan SH4 and I will separately discuss how this guitar behaves with its stock setup as well as with the SH4, which is probably the most commonly used upgrade in any LP. There was nothing wrong with the stock pickup; the replacement was a simple matter of taste which was also influenced by that little fanboy who lives inside all of us when it comes to our idols.


As the name would suggest, this guitar is covered in a black satin finish which gives it a dark, somber look to it, while it lacks the standard fret inlays, except for the 12th fret which has the Roman numeral XII to add to its design. This is a solid body guitar, all in one piece built out of mahogany which gives the guitar a rich, warm tone. The neck is smooth with fast action, while being rather thick like most Les Pauls, especially when compared to typical Stratocasters which have skinny necks. The Tune-o-Matic Bridge used on this guitar is very simple and practical in design, making it extremely easy to adjust the guitars intonation, while its simplicity in design helps with a little extra boost of sustain when playing. This Epiphone boasts to have Grover tuning pegs, which hold the guitar in tune quite well if the stringing has been done correctly, even though I did have to grease up the interior of one of the pegs because it kept slipping during the tuning process.

The guitar comes standardly equipped with 2 open coil Alnico V Humbuckers, which certainly give the guitar a darker, warmer sound keeping in tone with its visual design. It has 2 tone knobs and 2 volume knobs, from my knowledge using the 250k potentiometers, and a 3 way selector which is placed above the neck pickup like on most LP’s.

The placement of the 3 way selector has always bothered me though, even if it’s in a typical location for a great number of guitars. Sometimes when strumming chords with a bit too much enthusiasm I accidentally hit the selector and switch from the bridge pickup to the neck one, completely throwing me off. This happens rarely nowadays, but I still wish the selector would be placed on the lower side of the guitar’s body, like on Stratocasters for example.

Meanwhile, I’d like to warn you to invest in a proper strap locking system. The stock strap pins are usually bad on any guitar, but many have ruined their LP through accidents. When I first played in a stand-up position, due to the guitar’s weight I assume, 1 of the pins slipped out but fortunately I managed to catch the guitar before it fell on the ground. Many people damaged their guitar in this way, so invest in Schaller, Fender or Dunlop strap locking systems to avoid any risks.

It’s also worth mentioning that replacing the guitars pickup with the SH4 was easy and straightforward and literally anyone can do it. There’s enough room to work with and it is extremely easy to follow the schematic. While performing this operation you might want to consider shielding the guitar’s inner cavity with copper or aluminum foil or tape, it helps to reduce any leftover hum or buzz, even though in my case this guitar didn’t buzz at all when plugged in.


I mainly play 80s hard rock, punk/ pop punk and progressive metal. This guitar certainly has the versatility to handle all of these genres but it clearly excels on the metal side. The stock Alnico’s along with this entire setup will give you a warm, dark, bassy sound. I find it perfect for anything involving heavy distortion, but for a cleaner sound I prefer the Stratocasters richness in mids and highs. There is no sign of random humming or feedback coming from the pickups. I did experience some heavy sympathetic vibrations (when you play a string and others vibrate along with it)… more than normal, and it turned out that the nut wasn’t cut and lubricated quite right and it caused this type of hum to be more pronounced than normal. With just a bit of filly and adding some graphite (from a pencil) the problem went away mostly. Some humming will exist though, all guitars have it to some degree and it is quite manageable. You can find ways to reduce it and learn to play cleaner in order to try to eliminate it as much as possible, but it’s actually barely noticeable. Back to the tone itself, as said before, these pickups favor the lower frequencies and will make your guitar sound very warm and alive. Natural and pinched harmonics sound great, while incorporating dead note chugging in your playing will also be fun with this kind of beefy sound. All of this I do using the bridge pickup, therefore I can’t really say much about the neck pickup because I never use it at all.

Moving on to the Seymour Duncan SH4 pickup, I must say it was a nice upgrade that gave me just what I wanted. I bought this pickup because of loving progressive metal, especially Tool’s guitarist Adam Jones which uses this SH4 and because I wanted more mid and high frequencies in my sound for this style. The warm quality of the guitar’s body certainly complements the SH4 which is a high output pickup with rich frequencies overall. It’s highly versatile for any style of music and now I get even richer pinched harmonics while my dead note chugs feel more aggressive. The sustain added by this pickup is simply phenomenal and it was certainly worth the upgrade.
I must warn you, however, if you want this pickup or any other upgrades for that matter and you only have a solid state practice amp, don’t bother. I noticed that with small solid state amps all guitars and pickups basically sound the same. A Gibson will sound like the cheapest Epiphone and so on. Invest in this pickup if you own a tube amp and if you want more mids and highs in your tone mix as well as simply a more powerful sound because the stock pickups focuses on the lows a lot more.

Guitar Setup and finish

I had to adjust my guitar’s intonation and action and most likely you will need to as well. They don’t all come the same, but in my case the action was extremely high while the intonation was somewhat off. Other than that I needed to also make a very small truss rod adjustment because of a slight fret buzz problem. Performing all of this can be done easily and gives you the chance to learn more about your guitar so don’t be afraid to learn how to set it up yourself. As for the finish, I find it to be of great quality, my guitar is 3 years old and while I banged it a couple of times, the paint still didn’t chip off. The only “problem” is that because of the matte finish, you will see every single dust particle and piece of dead skin on it. It is somewhat fun to see how much pick dust you can gather in the bridge area after a while. It’s easy to clean though, so it’s not a problem. Your fingerprints will also still like crazy to the pickguard. I have no idea why, but literally every print gets stuck to it… but again, it’s extremely easy to clean.

Reliability and Durability

This guitar is highly reliable and it’s great for any situation, including for live performances. If you aren’t a gym goer or an experienced Les Paul user, you might have some shoulder or back problems if you play for too long because it is still quite a heavy guitar. I have experienced no neck dive problems at all and the guitar seems solid enough to resist for quite a few years. The only weak part I find, as mentioned before, is the strap pins. They come out easily out of the guitar and if not careful you might drop it, so invest in some quality strap locks as soon as possible.

Overall Impression

I bought a great guitar at a perfect value and I turned it into my dream guitar. Even with the SH4 addition, this guitar still maintains some of its natural deep, dark sound and it’s simply perfect for the genres I play. I used to play my modified Fender Strat for Pop Punk and Punk before I modified this guitar, but nowadays the Fender is decorating my bedroom’s wall most of the time. This Les Paul certainly is everything I need and I simply love how it looks, feels and sounds. It’s my first, and the relationship is special, therefore I will certainly recommend it to any single beginner or pro on a budget looking for a good deal. Despite all the tiny issues I encountered and small adjustments I had to make over time, I am giving this guitar max rating because it’s a gem that needs only a bit of polishing in order to shine and you shouldn’t regret buying one.