Epiphone Les Paul 100
Epiphone Les Paul 100

Les Paul 100, LP-Shaped Guitar from Epiphone in the Les Paul series.

S2D 09/09/2014

Epiphone Les Paul 100 : S2D's user review

« Poor man's Gibson but still worth a look »

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The Epiphone Les Paul i bought from Guitar Guitar back in 2011 was made in Epiphone land - also known as China. It has the classic Les Paul setup with 2 volume and 2 tone pots (one for each channel) along with a 3 way pickup selector switch for the Neck, Middle and Bridge positions. It comes with an ebony wood neck, 2 humbucker pickups and 22 frets.


Admittedly, the top frets can be a pain to reach, it is easier sitting down but when standing with a guitar strap that has strap locks on it it can be quite awkward so lead guitarists with small hands might be in trouble when it comes to this but then if you want to be like Slash or Jimmy Page and be a Les Paul guitar player then that is the price you will need to pay. With an Epiphone Les Paul, you are not going to get the exact same quality of tone as a Gibson, there is a reason that the price gap is so large, so anyone who tells you that you can is either - A. In denial - B. Inexperienced or C. Hasn't played both guitars. With that being said don't let it put you off, whether you are a new beginner guitarist looking for their first axe, or a more experienced player wanting to try out the Les Paul style of guitar without having to remortgage the house, then this Epiphone could be the ideal choice for you.


Traditionally, the combination of a Les Paul guitar and a Marshall Amplifier has always been a successful combination, and today that still rings true, you simply can't argue with that setup. If you are a rock guitar player then i would recommend a Marshall amplifier. I personally use a Marshall AVT150 half stack with the Epiphone Les Paul on the OD1 channel. When distorted this guitar can sound decent, the bridge pickup has a little bit of bite to it but can also sound quite muddy, especially on a clean setting. The neck pickup is warm but undefined with no real character to the sound and can get lost in the mix in a loud setting, depending on what amp you are using it is definitely suggested that you dial in a lot of treble and presence if possible to give more life to the pickups.

The pickups that come standard are the main problem with the Epiphone Les Paul as they are usually low quality and can sound 'muddy' and 'boxy' which isn't really what a great guitar should sound like especially in rock. I would seriously recommend upgrading the pickups to something like a set of good seymour duncan pickups almost straight away if you can, it will improve the sound immensely straight away and also produce more output volume which is another noticeable difference between Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls. Another way to get round the lack of upper midrange response from the pickups is by getting a good EQ pedal such as the Boss GE-7, and boosting between 2-4khz until you notice the sound becoming clearer but not too much or else it will wander into piercing and irritating territory, also try taking some of the lower midrange out between 300-800hz as muddiness can be taken away from this area on the Les Paul and often sounds more natural than a lot of boosting. Some distortion pedals can also improve the sound better through some of their features such as the Boss DS-1 or the Metal Zone if you are looking for a more extreme/heavier and processed sound.


The best thing about this guitar are the looks and the price. As mentioned earlier, it is perfect for beginner guitar players and will suit their needs perfectly, most of my review is from an experienced guitar players point of view having used a Gibson guitar for years before purchasing the Epiphone Les Paul so don't be put off by it.

The default factory sound quality is average, although if you do have some more money to put towards it, i would recommend purchasing better pickups such as Seymour Duncans or even Gibson pickups, and also get a good pro setup done to the guitar as often the intonation on Epiphone's can be a little bit wayward which is bad especially for playing parts around the 12th fret or higher as it can sound out of tune and downright nasty.

All in all, this is the best priced and best quality for the price (in my experience) copy of a Gibson Les Paul on the market today that i am aware of, plus it looks the part as well. So whether you are dressing up as Slash for Halloween or just want the Les Paul experience, you can't go wrong with the Epiphone.