A person playing the electric guitar.

Best Les Paul Style Guitar Picks: A Current Selection

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of Les Paul style guitars, showcasing some of the best models available on the market. We’ll provide you with intricate details about each guitar’s specifications, features, and reviews, aiding your decision-making process. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn about:

  • The distinct features that make each guitar unique and why they might be the right fit for your specific needs and style.
  • The variety of tones and sounds you can achieve with these guitars, thanks to their varied pickup configurations and unique tonewood combinations.
  • The specific conditions each guitar is ideally suited for, whether you’re playing live gigs, recording in a studio, or simply jamming at home.

The best Les Paul-style guitar for you ultimately depends on your individual preferences and needs. All the guitars listed, from the classic Gibson Studio to the modern PRS SE Standard 245, have their unique strengths and attributes that might resonate with different players. However, if we’re considering an excellent blend of quality, performance, and value, the PRS McCarty 594 stands out as a fantastic choice due to its versatility, playability, and stellar tonal range.

For the optimal Les Paul style guitar experience, we recommend using specific guitar pedals to enhance and refine your sound.

What are the Best Les Paul Style Guitars and Copies?

  1. ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256
  2. Epiphone Les Paul Standard
  3. D’Angelico Premiere Atlantic
  4. PRS SE Standard 245
  5. Epiphone Les Paul Jr
  6. PRS McCarty 594
  7. Ibanez AR Series AR420
  8. PRS SE Mark Tremonti
  9. Schecter Solo II Custom
  10. Jackson PRO Monarkh
  11. Gretsch Guitars G5220

Note: Always remember to consider the type of music you play and your personal playing style while selecting your guitar and accessories. What works best for one player might not be the perfect choice for another.

1. ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256

Rock-Ready Affordable Beast
ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar

The ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256, an affordable musical weapon, stands tall among the Les Paul styled guitars. A classic shape, with a dual-humbucking pickup configuration, this electric guitar provides excellent feel and tone, suitable for all musical genres. Its mahogany body and three-piece mahogany neck ensure a rich tonal quality and comfortable playability.

Why We Love It:
  • High-quality build at an affordable price
  • Excellent tone versatility with coil-splitting
  • Fast and comfortable playability
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: If you want a budget-friendly guitar that doesn’t compromise on quality, the ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256 is a perfect pick. The guitar offers a high-end feel, superb tone versatility with coil-splitting, and fast access to higher frets, making it suitable for both amateurs and experienced players.

Technical Features:

  • Set-neck construction
  • 24.75″ scale length
  • Mahogany body
  • 3Pc Mahogany neck
  • Roasted Jatoba fingerboard with flag inlays
  • ESP Designed LH-150N and LH-150B pickups


The ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256 presents an impressive mix of quality, versatility, and affordability. Its mahogany body ensures rich, warm tones, while the ESP-designed pickups offer excellent output across all genres of music. The guitar’s set-neck construction and thin U-shaped mahogany neck provide an ease of playability, making it a favorite among rock and metal enthusiasts.


The ESP LTD Eclipse EC-256 is an excellent guitar for its price range, offering features usually found on higher-end models. It’s perfect for players looking for a high quality electric guitar without breaking the bank.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Beginners to intermediate players
  • Rock and metal enthusiasts

2. Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Classic Tonality Reimagined
Epiphone Les Paul Standard 60s Electric Guitar

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard continues the legacy of one of the most famous guitars in history. This model comes with a classic mahogany body topped with AA flame maple and ProBucker™ humbuckers, delivering the legendary Les Paul tone. With a SlimTaper™ 60s C profile neck and laurel fingerboard, this guitar provides an optimal playing experience.

Why We Love It:
  • Classic Les Paul look and feel
  • Robust tonality with ProBucker™ humbuckers
  • Comfortable SlimTaper™ 60s C profile neck
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is perfect for those who desire the classic Les Paul style and tone at a more accessible price. The guitar is fitted with ProBucker™ humbuckers, offering a classic tonality that’s perfect for blues, rock, and jazz.

Technical Features:

  • Mahogany body with AA flame maple top
  • Mahogany neck with SlimTaper™ 60s C profile
  • Indian Laurel fingerboard with trapezoid inlays
  • Epiphone ProBucker™ humbuckers
  • Coil-splitting and phase switching for enhanced tonal versatility


Epiphone’s Les Paul Standard offers a legendary tone and classic look at an affordable price point. The ProBucker™ pickups deliver a rich, warm sound, and the additional coil-splitting and phase switching provide plenty of tonal options. Its comfortable neck profile and high-quality build make it an ideal choice for any guitarist.

Epiphone Les Pauls are often cheaper than Gibson Les Pauls guitars but still carry the same amazing sound and attention to detail. That makes this model perfect if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Gibson Les Paul.


The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is a true workhorse that gives you authentic Gibson vibes and tones at a fraction of the price. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, you can’t go wrong with this guitar.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Beginners to advanced players
  • Fans of blues, rock, and jazz
  • Those who want a cheaper Les Paul

3. D’Angelico Premier Atlantic

Stylish Single-Cutaway Solid-body
D'Angelico Premier DC Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar

The D’Angelico Premier Atlantic is a powerful single-cutaway solid-body guitar designed for maximum versatility and undeniable tone. It features two Seymour Duncan Designed humbuckers and is perfectly suited for full, loud tones

Why We Love It:
  • Features two Seymour Duncan-designed humbuckers for powerful, rich tone
  • Modern, ergonomic design with a slim, satin-finished maple set neck for exceptional playability
  • Coil-splitting technology offers a range of eight total onboard tone options
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: If you’re a player seeking a versatile, high-quality guitar with a modern, ergonomic design and plenty of tonal options, the D’Angelico Premier Atlantic is an excellent choice. The inclusion of coil-splitting technology expands the range of available tones, making it a great fit for various music styles.

Buy Links:

Technical Features:

  • Powerful single-cutaway solid-body
  • Seymour Duncan-designed humbuckers
  • Coil-splitting technology
  • Slim, satin-finished maple set neck
  • Available with either a basswood or mahogany body


The D’Angelico Premier Atlantic offers a wonderful blend of classic design elements with modern upgrades. Its Seymour Duncan humbuckers offer a wide range of tones suitable for anything from jazz to rock, and the coil-splitting feature expands its versatility further. The neck feels comfortable in the hand, and the satin finish allows for smooth transitions up and down the fretboard.


The D’Angelico Premier Atlantic is a versatile, well-crafted electric guitar that offers a great balance of form and function. Its variety of tone options and comfortable playability make it a standout in its price range.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Players seeking a versatile guitar with a lot of tonal options.
  • Guitarists who prefer a modern, ergonomic design.
  • Musicians who play in various styles and need a guitar that can adapt.

4. PRS SE Standard 245

Recordable and Gig-ready Classic
Paul Reed Smith SE 245 Standard Electric Guitar

The Paul Reed Smith SE Standard 245 offers a classic voice that's eminently recordable and gig-ready. It's a wonderful combination of vintage aesthetics and modern construction, with a mahogany body and neck that offers a warm, woody tone.

Why We Love It:
  • Classic design combined with PRS's modern build quality
  • Warm, woody tone perfect for various music styles
  • Comfortable wide mahogany neck for enhanced playability
View on Guitar Centre View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: If you’re looking for a robust, versatile Les Paul-style guitar that delivers classic tones and is suitable for both studio recording and live gigs, the PRS SE Standard 245 is a great choice. Its all-mahogany construction provides a warm and woody tone reminiscent of the early PRS guitars.

Technical Features:

  • All-mahogany body construction
  • Wide fat mahogany neck
  • 24.5″ scale length
  • PRS-Designed stoptail bridge and tuners


Like all Paul Reed Smith guitars, the SE Standard 245 delivers on all fronts, offering a vintage-inspired design with the quality and reliability PRS is known for. The mahogany body and neck provide a rich, warm tone, while the wide fat neck profile offers great comfort and playability. Not to mention, the all-mahogany body reminds the player of Les Paul’s first instruments, making it a great Les Paul copy.


For players looking for a classic, reliable, and versatile instrument, the PRS SE Standard 245 is a fantastic option. Its vintage aesthetics, great tone, and comfortable playability make it a great choice for both gigging musicians and studio players.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Musicians seeking a gig-ready, versatile guitar
  • Players who appreciate the warm, woody tone of mahogany
  • Guitarists who favor vintage aesthetics with modern reliability

5. Epiphone Les Paul Junior

Vintage-Inspired Rocker
Epiphone Les Paul Junior Electric Guitar

The Epiphone Les Paul Junior, part of Epiphone's Inspired by Gibson Collection, is a vintage-inspired rock machine. With its mahogany body, dogear P-90 PRO™ single-coil pickup, and 50's neck profile, this guitar delivers classic tones with a modern feel.

Why We Love It:
  • Classic design with a single dogear P-90 PRO™ pickup delivers vintage tones
  • Part of Epiphone’s new Inspired by Gibson Collection, ensuring high build quality
  • Era-appropriate wiring and CTS pots for a more authentic experience
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: If you’re seeking a Les Paul copy with a vintage aesthetic, robust build quality, and the unique tone of a P-90 pickup, the Epiphone Les Paul Jr is an excellent choice. Its simple yet effective control layout makes it a fantastic option for rock ‘n’ roll enthusiasts.

Buy Links

Technical Features:

  • Mahogany body
  • Dogear P-90 PRO™ single-coil pickup
  • 50’s neck profile
  • Era-appropriate wiring and CTS pots


The Epiphone Les Paul Jr provides a great vintage vibe with modern reliability. The P-90 pickup offers a unique, vintage tone that’s perfect for rock ‘n’ roll and blues. The 50’s rolled neck profile feels comfortable, and the overall build quality is excellent for its price point. Not to mention, it’s the perfect Les Paul copy at a fantastic price.


For those seeking classic rock tones with a vintage aesthetic, the Epiphone Les Paul Jr is an excellent choice. It offers a great blend of vintage vibes with modern playability and reliability.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Fans of classic rock ‘n’ roll and blues tones
  • Players who appreciate a vintage aesthetic and a simple control layout
  • Musicians seeking a high-quality, budget-friendly guitar

6. PRS McCarty 594

Versatile Vintage-Inspired Instrument
PRS Guitars 6 String SE McCarty 594 Electric Guitar

The PRS McCarty 594 is a versatile, vintage-inspired instrument designed for effortless playability. With its bound 22-fret Pattern Vintage neck and slightly thicker back, this guitar offers enhanced tone and sustain.

Why We Love It:
  • Comfortable feel, as though it’s a guitar you’ve been playing forever
  • Rich, authentic humbucking tones and nuanced, sweet single-coil sounds
  • High-quality PRS 58/15 LT pickups for a wide range of sonic possibilities
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: If you’re a player seeking an instrument that can master both rich humbucking tones and nuanced single-coil sounds, the PRS McCarty 594 is the best Les Paul style copy for you. Its comfortable feel and high-quality 58/15 LT pickups make it a versatile tool for any musician.

Buy Links:

Technical Features:

  • One-piece mahogany neck with a pattern vintage shape
  • Dual 58/15 LT pickups
  • Two volume and two push/pull tone controls
  • 3-way toggle pickup switch
  • Vintage-style tuners


The PRS McCarty 594 is a fantastic instrument that can master a wide range of rich tones. The double volume and tone control setup allows for a high level of sound customization, while the build quality and comfort of the guitar are exceptional. Get a rich, nuanced sound with the pickups and an enhanced sustain thanks to the build quality of this model.


For musicians seeking a highly versatile, vintage-inspired guitar, the PRS McCarty 594 is an excellent choice. Its wide range of tones and high comfort make it a suitable instrument for a variety of genres.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Musicians looking for versatility in their instrument
  • Players who want a wide range of tonal options
  • Anyone seeking a guitar with a vintage feel and modern capabilities

7. Ibanez AR Series AR420

Elegant Design, Versatile Tones
Ibanez AR420 Standard Electric Guitar

The Ibanez AR Series AR420, with its classic violin sunburst finish, not only looks stunning but also offers an impressive range of tones. The Okoume body with a flamed maple top ensures a balanced sound, while the dual super 58 custom humbucking pickups provide the punch and warmth desired by many guitarists.

Why We Love It:
  • Dual Super 58 Custom humbuckers ensure dynamic sound
  • Tri-sound electronics offer series, parallel, and coil-tap wiring options
  • Smooth, 3-piece maple neck with a slim profile for enhanced playability
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: The AR420 is for the musician who desires both aesthetics and versatility. Its Tri-sound electronics allow for a wide range of tonal options, ensuring adaptability for various genres.

Technical Features:

  • Okoume body with flamed maple top
  • 3-piece maple neck, – slim shape
  • Dual super 58 humbuckers
  • 2 x volume controls
  • 2 x tone controls with Tri-sound electronics


The Ibanez AR420 captures the essence of a Les Paul model while bringing unique features to the table. The tonal versatility offered by the super 58 humbuckers combined with tri-sound electronics is unmatched in its price range. The quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail are evident, making it excellent value for its price.


For those looking for a guitar that delivers both aesthetics and versatility, the Ibanez AR420 is a top contender. Its unique features and classic design make it a standout in the crowded world of Les Paul-styled guitars.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Musicians looking for tonal versatility
  • Guitarists who appreciate classic aesthetics
  • Players of all levels seeking value for money

8. PRS SE Mark Tremonti

Dynamic Tone, Striking Looks
PRS Guitars 6 String SE Tremonti Electric Guitar

The PRS SE Mark Tremonti showcases the culmination of precision craftsmanship and renowned guitarist Mark Tremonti's insights. With its resonant mahogany body, topped with a flame maple veneer and coupled with Tremonti "S" humbuckers, this guitar is poised to deliver both on aesthetics and sonic performance.

Why We Love It:
  • Tremonti "S" humbuckers for aggressive tonal quality
  • Distinctive neck joint ensuring effortless high-fret access
  • Eye-catching flame maple veneer with a classic violin carve
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: The PRS SE Mark Tremonti is designed for those seeking a perfect blend of form and function. Its robust features promise an extraordinary playing experience tailored for both rhythm and lead players.

Technical Features:

  • Mahogany body
  • Flamed maple veneer
  • 3-piece maple wide neck
  • PRS Tremonti “S” Humbuckers
  • Two volume controls
  • Tw tone controls
  • 3-way toggle pickup switch


The PRS SE Mark Tremonti provides a seamless meld of the legendary PRS quality with Tremonti’s aggressive playing style. The guitar is well-balanced, both in weight and tonally, providing a full-bodied sound that can roar and whisper with equal ease. Its ergonomic wide-thin neck carve ensures swift and comfortable playability across genres. Moreover, the PRS-patented molded tremolo promises dive bombs without compromising tuning stability.


For those looking for a Les Paul-styled guitar that has been fine-tuned for modern aggressive playstyles without sacrificing the vintage appeal, the PRS SE Mark Tremonti stands out. It delivers in every aspect, from its stunning visuals to its powerful sonic performance.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Players seeking a blend of classic and modern tones
  • Guitarists who demand stellar high-fret access
  • Those who value aesthetics just as much as playability and sound

11. Schecter Solo II Custom

Classic Meets Modern Mastery
Schecter Solo-II Custom Electric Guitar

The Schecter Solo II Custom is where time-honored design meets modern functionality. With its classic mahogany body paired with a solid maple top, the guitar retains the warmth and resonance of vintage instruments. Yet, with its state-of-the-art features like the Schecter USA Pasadena pickups and push-pull coil splitting, it propels itself into the contemporary realm, ready to serve the modern musician

Why We Love It:
  • Schecter USA Pasadena pickups for authentic vintage tone
  • Push-pull knob enabling tonal versatility
  • Stable tuning thanks to Schecter locking tuners
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: The Schecter Solo II Custom is an excellent pick for players who cherish traditional aesthetics but crave up-to-date performance and versatility. This guitar offers a harmonious blend of rich tones, playability, and modern features, making it a valuable addition to any guitarist’s collection.

Technical Features:

  • Mahogany body
  • Solid maple top
  • 3-piece “C-shaped” mahogany neck
  • Schecter USA Pasadena pickups
  • Push-pull knob for coil splitting
  • Schecter locking tuners
  • Quality TonePros bridge and tailpiece


The Schecter Solo II Custom stands as a testament to how a guitar can retain its classic appeal while being brimming with modern functionality. The mahogany body and solid maple top combination guarantee a tonal richness reminiscent of golden-era guitars.

What’s particularly impressive is the Schecter USA Pasadena pickups, which capture the quintessential PAF-style humbucker tone while offering modern clarity. The push-pull coil splitting further elevates its versatility, making it adaptable across genres. From its smooth playability to its stunning aesthetics, this guitar is nothing short of a modern classic.


For those seeking a Les Paul-styled guitar that seamlessly marries the charm of the old with the prowess of the new, the Schecter Solo II Custom emerges as an impeccable choice. It not only pays homage to tradition but elevates the player’s experience to meet contemporary demands.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Musicians who adore vintage aesthetics but demand modern versatility
  • Players spanning genres, from blues and jazz to rock and metal
  • Guitarists who prioritize both sound quality and playability

10. Jackson PRO Monarkh

Aggressive Tone Maestro
Jackson Pro Series Monarkh SC Electric Guitar

Jackson's PRO Monarkh encapsulates the marriage of classic design with a decidedly modern touch. Crafted with a mahogany body and an arched maple top, it's the go-to for players seeking depth and clarity in tone. Jackson, known for their heavy music inclination, has ensured that this Les Paul-style model doesn't shy away from the aggression and versatility modern players demand.

Why We Love It:
  • Renowned Seymour Duncan pickup combination for versatility
  • Graphite-reinforced maple neck for stability and longevity
  • Sleek pearloid ghostfin inlay for an aesthetic edge
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: The Jackson PRO Monarkh is a powerhouse of tone, blending classic materials with modern electronics. Its Seymour Duncan pickups, combined with Jackson’s renowned playability, make it a stellar choice for diverse musical applications.

Buy Links:
Guitar Center – Jackson PRO Monarkh

Technical Features:

  • Mahogany body
  • Arched maple top
  • Maple speed neck
  • Seymour Duncan ’59 SH-1N neck pickups
  • JB TB-4 bridge Humbuckers
  • Ebony fretboard with pearloid ghostfins
  • Jackson sealed die-cast locking tuners
  • Jackson Tune-O-Matic Bridge


The Jackson PRO Monarkh is a testament to what can happen when classic guitar design meets modern innovation. The tonal capabilities are enhanced by the powerful Seymour Duncan pickups, rendering it adept for everything from bluesy licks to high-gain riffs. The speed neck, coupled with the compound-radius fretboard, makes it a joy to play for both chord progressions and intricate solos.

The added touch of pearloid ghostfin inlays gives it a distinctive visual edge. However, what stands out the most is its tonal flexibility – it’s not confined to just heavy genres; it’s an all-rounder in a rock-solid chassis.


The Jackson PRO Monarkh is a strong contender in the Les Paul-styled segment. It offers more than just homage to a legendary design, pushing forward with modern specs and playability. Those looking for a combination of vintage aesthetics and contemporary performance need not look further.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Players keen on broad tonal landscapes from blues to metal
  • Guitarists who appreciate the blend of tradition and innovation
  • Any musician looking for both aesthetics and playability in one package

11. Gretsch Guitars G5220

Vintage Vibe Maven
Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet Electric Guitar

Stepping into the rich legacy of Gretsch, the G5220 Electromatic Jet is a seamless blend of vintage aesthetics with modern playability. Dressed in an arched laminated maple top on a chambered mahogany body, this guitar serves tones as vibrant as its looks. It's an invitation to the golden era of rock and roll, jazz, and country but designed for today's demanding player.

Why We Love It:
  • Authentic Gretsch sound with Blacktop Broad'Tron pickups
  • Playability enhanced with the comfortable "U"-style neck
  • Classic Gretsch aesthetics with pearloid big block inlays
View on Sweetwater View on Amazon
PHOTO: AMAZON. We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Why someone should buy: With the G5220, one is not just purchasing a guitar but also a slice of musical history, renowned for its rich tones and effortless playability. Its chambered body ensures a resonance and depth that is difficult to rival at this price point.

Buy Links:
Guitar Center – Gretsch G5220

Technical Features:

  • Chambered body
  • Arched laminated maple top
  • Thin U-shaped Mahogany neck
  • Dual Black Top Broad’Tron Humbuckers
  • Laurel freboard with pearloid big blocks
  • Die-cast tuners
  • Anchored Adjusto-Matic bridge with Gretsch V-Stoptail


The Gretsch G5220 Electromatic Jet is a musical gem. From its intricate construction to its tone-packed pickups, everything speaks of Gretsch’s commitment to quality. The chambered mahogany body offers a delightful resonance, making the guitar sound as good unplugged as it does amplified. The Broad’Tron pickups provide a spectrum of tones from clean, sparkling highs to meaty lows, covering everything in between. The combination of laurel fingerboard on a mahogany neck ensures fast playability, allowing players to seamlessly navigate the frets. But beyond the technical details, it’s the soul of this guitar – it sounds and feels like a vintage instrument, yet caters to the modern guitarist’s needs.


The Gretsch G5220 is more than just an affordable entry into the Gretsch lineage; it’s a standout performer in its own right. Bringing a tonal versatility and an undeniably vintage aesthetic, it’s an excellent choice for both new players and seasoned musicians looking for that classic Gretsch sound.

This Guitar is Perfect For:

  • Musicians chasing the iconic Gretsch tone without breaking the bank
  • Guitarists wanting a vintage look combined with modern amenities
  • Players from diverse genres, given its tonal versatility

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Les Paul Style Guitar

Les Paul guitar.

If you’re looking to make an informed purchase, it’s essential to understand the key characteristics and factors that differentiate various Les Paul style guitars. This buyer’s guide delves deep into several expert-level topics that will help you choose the ideal Les Paul-style guitar for your needs.

Understanding Les Paul Construction

Firstly, a thorough comprehension of the construction of Les Paul guitars is crucial.

Body: Les Pauls typically feature a solid mahogany body with a maple top. This combination gives the guitar its characteristic warm and rich tone, with the maple providing a touch of brightness. However, the type of wood used can significantly influence the guitar’s tone and weight, so consider your preference for sound and comfort. (Looking to get started with the electric guitar? Check out our guide for beginners.)

Neck: Les Paul-style guitars traditionally have a set neck, often made of mahogany, and attached to the body with a strong joint. This design can improve sustain and tone but also tends to make the guitar heavier.

Fretboard: Les Paul fretboards are commonly made of rosewood, known for its smooth feel and warm tone. The neck shape or profile also plays a role in playability. Traditional Les Paul models feature a thicker ’50s style neck, but many modern versions offer slimmer profiles, like the ‘Slim Taper’ design.

Pickups and Electronics

Like with all electric guitars and brands, the choice and configuration of pickups largely dictate the guitar’s sound.

Humbuckers: Les Pauls traditionally use two humbucking pickups. These pickups provide a warm, full-bodied sound with less hum and noise compared to single-coil pickups.

Coil-splitting: Some models, like the D’Angelico Premier Atlantic, feature coil-splitting, which allows the humbuckers to act as single-coil pickups, offering a wider range of tonal options.

Controls: Most Les Paul style guitars come with two volume controls, two tone controls, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. Some guitars incorporate modern electronics for added versatility, like push-pull pots for coil splitting or phase switching.


Les Paul tuning machines.

High-quality hardware is integral to a guitar’s performance and tuning stability.

Bridge: Les Paul style guitars usually feature a Tune-o-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, providing good sustain and easy string height and intonation adjustments.

Tuners: These guitars often have premium tuners like Grover Rotomatics or PRS Designed Tuners, ensuring stable and precise tuning.

Nut: Many modern Les Paul models use a synthetic material like Graph Tech NuBone for the nut, offering a balance between the tonal qualities of traditional bone and the consistency of modern materials.


While sound and playability are paramount, the visual appeal of a guitar shouldn’t be overlooked.

Finish: Les Pauls come in a range of finishes, from vintage sunbursts to modern solids. Choose a finish that resonates with your style and aesthetic preferences.

Inlays: Traditional Les Pauls feature trapezoid or block inlays, while others, like PRS McCarty 594, showcase their unique bird inlays.

Budget and Value

The price range for Les Paul copies and style guitars can vary considerably. The brand, model, specifications, and condition (new or used) of the guitar all contribute to the price tag. Consider additional equipment you may have to buy too, such as guitar cables and tuners.

Here’s a deeper look into what you might expect at different price points and how to ensure the best value for your investment.

Entry-Level and Budget Options

If you’re a beginner or an intermediate player looking for an affordable Les Paul guitar, there are several cost-effective options that offer great sound and build quality.

Epiphone Les Paul Jr: This model is not only budget-friendly but also a high-quality instrument with a solid mahogany body, single P-90 pickup, and vintage styling.

Epiphone Les Paul Standard or Studio: These guitars offer the look and feel of a Gibson Les Paul but at a fraction of the price. They feature mahogany bodies with maple tops, mahogany necks, and dual humbucking pickups, giving you that classic Les Paul tone.

PRS SE Standard 245: While not a traditional Les Paul design, this guitar borrows several design cues from the iconic Gibson model. It’s an excellent alternative for players seeking versatility and a unique aesthetic while maintaining the core Les Paul vibe.

Remember, you can always seek out the best guitar pedals to sculpt your sound even more.

Mid-Range Options

For more seasoned players or those willing to invest a bit more, mid-range options offer a balance of price, quality, and advanced features.

Gibson Les Paul Studio: The Studio model skips some of the aesthetic flourishes of the more expensive models but maintains the high-quality build and tonal characteristics that Gibson is known for.

PRS SE McCarty 594: This PRS model offers a blend of vintage style and modern craftsmanship, featuring high-quality materials and pickups. It’s a versatile instrument and offers great value in the mid-range price category.

High-End Options

For professional players, collectors, or guitar enthusiasts where budget is not a concern, these high-end options offer unparalleled quality, superior sound, and iconic status.

Gibson Les Paul Standard or Traditional: These models are a staple in the guitar world and deliver top-tier sound, feel, and aesthetics. They maintain the classic Les Paul design with premium materials and superior craftsmanship.

PRS McCarty 594: The PRS McCarty 594 is a high-end, professional-grade instrument that delivers both in terms of tone and playability. Its unique features, including a 24.594” scale length and 58/15 LT pickups, make it an attractive choice for the discerning guitarist.

When considering your budget, it’s important to assess not just the upfront cost of the guitar, but also the value it offers in the long run. Consider its construction quality, sound, comfort, and potential longevity. A high-quality guitar that’s well-maintained can last a lifetime, making it a worthy investment.

Remember, the best guitar for you is the one that meets your specific needs and aspirations as a player. We couldn’t include every single Les Paul coppy on our list, so there are plenty of other options, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Studio and the Tokai Les Paul.

Epiphony Les Paul

The Best Les Paul Style Guitar Options: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Les Paul-style guitar?

A Les Paul guitar refers to electric guitars designed and popularized by Gibson under the Les Paul series. The primary characteristics include a solid-body design with a single-cutaway shape, a set neck (usually made of mahogany), and two humbucker pickups. They are known for their rich, warm, and resonant tones, making them popular in genres like rock, blues, and jazz.

What guitar sounds most like a Les Paul?

The guitar that sounds most like a real Les Paul is arguably the Gibson Les Paul itself, due to its unique tonal characteristics and design. However, several other manufacturers produce Les Paul-style guitars that closely emulate its sound. These include the Epiphone models and the PRS SE Standard 245, both of which provide a warm, rich, and resonant tone similar to the Les Paul.

What is special about a Les Paul guitar?

Les Paul guitars are special for their iconic design, sound, and history. Their solid mahogany body with a maple top provides a unique tonal character – a balance of warmth from the mahogany and brightness from the maple. This, combined with the dual humbucker pickups, gives the Les Paul its trademark full-bodied and rich sound. Additionally, the Les Paul’s set neck design contributes to better sustain compared to bolt-on neck guitars. Its single-cutaway body shape also allows easy access to higher frets.

Can a beginner play a Les Paul?

Yes, a beginner can definitely play a Les Paul-style guitar. However, it’s important to note that a Les Paul model is typically heavier than other electric guitars, which might pose a challenge for some beginners. On the upside, their necks are usually thick and comfortable to grip, which can be beneficial for new players. The Epiphone Les Paul Jr is an excellent beginner-friendly Les Paul style guitar option. It provides the Les Paul sound and feel at a more affordable price and in a more accessible format for novices.


The world of Les Paul style guitars is more than just a tribute to a legendary design—it’s a testament to the timeless nature of music and the instruments that help craft it. Each guitar in our review not only echoes the classic Les Paul spirit but also infuses unique characteristics that make them stand out. Whether you’re a seasoned pro, a hobbyist, or a beginner taking your first steps into the realm of electric guitars, there’s a Les Paul style guitar that’s tailored for you. With their rich history, undeniable aesthetics, and unparalleled sound quality, these guitars are more than just instruments; they’re gateways to musical expression. As technology and music evolve, the reverence for classic designs like these remains unwavering, proving that some things, indeed, never go out of style.