With the 'Inspired By Gibson' range of guitars, Epiphone have given their old Les Paul Standard range a bit of an overhaul, so they’re now available in either 50’s or 60’s models, with each guitar offering period correct specifications including vintage style hardware and finishes, plus upgraded electronics including a pair of Probucker pickups, and this all adds up to give the new Epiphone Les Paul Standard the more authentic feel, sound and look of their bigger brothers from Gibson, but still at that much more affordable Epiphone price.
As you’d expect from a Les Paul, this guitar features a traditional 24.75” scale length, a solid Mahogany body with a AA Flame maple top which looks pretty stunning under those burst finishes, and glued in Mahogany neck, and all of this combines to deliver tons of resonance and sustain.
Being a 1960’s inspired model, the neck features a slim taper C shape profile, so it feels a little less chunky than the more rounded medium C profile found on the 50’s Les Pauls, which when combined with the 22 medium jumbo frets and bound, rolled fingerboard edging means these necks feel much closer to that of a real Gibson than previous Epiphones did.
Other era-specific features for the 60’s Les Paul Standard include a set of Grover 18 to 1 rotomatic tuners, as opposed to the vintage deluxe machineheads found on the 50’s models, and a set of 60’s style gold control knobs with nickel plated dial pointers.
For these inspired by Gibson guitars, Epiphone have also tweaked the design of the headstock, something they’re calling the Kalamazoo shape, and this looks much closer to the classic Gibson open-book style headstock than older Epiphone headstocks did, it may only be a minor upgrade, but when combined with the bell shaped truss rod cover and iconic Les Paul italics, it does help add to that new level of authenticity.
Looking at the rest of the hardware, there’s an upgraded LockTone ABR Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stop bar tailpiece, and back up on the headstock, a Graphtech NuBone nut to help with resonance and tuning stability.
In terms of electronics, the 60’s Les Paul Standard is fitted with a pair of Probucker humbuckers, which are a huge improvement over the pickups that were fitted to older Epiphone Les Pauls, offering a warmer, fuller tone much closer to that of a classic Gibson PAF humbucker, and these are then wired though a traditional 3 way switch utilising high quality CTS potentiometers, to allow for smoother, more precise control over volume and tone adjustments, all the while maintaining tonal clarity.
Take a quick look and listen here with PMTVUK and try one out at your nearest Professional Music Technology store...