Epiphone Les Paul Custom vs Standard (In-Depth Comparison)

The Epiphone Les Paul Custom and Standard electric guitar models are some of the best value guitars available. But what is the difference between them?

The main differences between the Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s and Custom are cosmetic, such as the hardware finish, color options, binding, headstock logo and controls. Both guitars have the same ProBucker 2 & 3 pickups and Slim Taper neck profile.

There are more differences between the ’50s Standard and Custom models though, as these use different pickups and have different neck profiles.

Check out my comparison between the Epiphone Les Paul ’50s and ’60s Standard to learn more.

Comparing Specifications

Here is a table highlighting all the differences between the Epiphone Standard and Custom models.

FeatureStandard ‘50s/ ‘60sCustom
Top WoodFlame Maple CarvedStandard Maple Flat
Fretboard WoodIndian LaurelEbony
Body and Neck BindingCreamMulti-Ply
Headstock BindingNoneMulti-Ply
Headstock LogoLes Paul ModelSplit Diamond
Hardware FinishNickelGold
Tuning MachinesEpiphone Vintage Deluxe/ Grover RotomaticGrover Rotomatic
ControlsGold / Gold & Nickel Top HatBlack Speed Knobs
Switch TipCreamWhite
Colors-Vintage Sunburst (‘50s)
-Cherry Sunburst (‘50s)
-Metallic Gold (‘50s)
-Bourbon Burst (‘60s)
-Iced Tea (‘60s)
-Ebony (‘60s)
-Alpine White
Left Hand AvailableYesYes

Tone and Pickups

Both the Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s and Custom have the same Epiphone ProBucker pickups, with a Probucker 2 in the neck, and a ProBucker 3 in the bridge. The Les Paul Standard ’50s uses a ProBucker 2 in the neck and a ProBucker 3 in the bridge.

In comparison to the ProBucker 1 & 2 combo, the 2 & 3 combo have a higher output so sound a bit brighter and punchier, and also drive the amp to distortion more easily.

There’s very little difference between the pickups though, and it’s hard to notice unless you play both back to back.

If you’re looking for coil-split humbuckers, then you’ll need to step up to the Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO model.

Check out this video to hear the ProBucker 2&3 in action.

Feel and Playability

In terms of feel and playability, again the Epiphone Les Paul Standard ’60s and Custom are pretty much identical. They both have a SlimTaper neck profile which has a D-shape and measures approximately 0.82″ thick at the 1st fret and 0.92″ thick at the 12th fret.

The Epiphone Les Paul ’50s Standard on the other hand has a rounded C-shape neck which feels much chunkier as it measures roughly 0.90″ thick at the 1st fret and 1.00″ thick at the 12th fret.

The Les Paul Custom has an ebony fretboard whereas the Standard has an Indian laurel fretboard. Ebony fretboards feel harder and smoother, whereas Indian laurel fretboards are less susceptible to warping and cracking.

All three of these guitars are roughly the same weight as none of them have weight-relieved bodies. Typically, they weigh around 9-10 lbs.

Cosmetic Differences

This is where most of differences between the Custom and Standard can be found.

On the Epiphone Standard you’ll find that iconic carved flame maple top and all the classic colour choices including Cherry Sunburst, Iced Tea and Ebony.

The Epiphone Custom Les Paul on the other hand has flatter painted maple top (so no flame maple wood showing through) and comes in either alpine white or ebony.

There are also several other key styling differences:

  • The Standard has single-ply cream body and neck binding whereas the Custom has multi-ply binding.
  • The Standard doesn’t have any headstock binding whereas the Custom has the same multi-ply headstock binding that can be found on the body and neck.
  • The Custom has a unique split-diamond headstock logo whereas the Standard has the classic “Les Paul” logo.
  • The Standard has trapezoid inlays whereas the Custom has block inlays.
  • The Custom has a black pickguard and the Standard has a cream pickguard.
  • The hardware and pickups have a gold-finish on the Custom whereas the Standard uses a nickel-finish.
  • The Standard has gold (on the ’50s) and gold & nickel (on the ’60s) top hat controls whereas the Custom uses black speed knobs.
  • The switch tip on the Custom is white and on the Standard it is cream.
  • The Standard has a lighter brown Indian laurel fretboard whereas the Custom has an ebony fretboard.


Here is a list of similarities that I haven’t addressed yet:

  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Maple cap
  • Gloss body and neck finish
  • 12″ fretboard radius
  • 22 medium jumbo frets
  • 1.692″ Graph Tech nut
  • ABR Tune-O-Matic Bridge
  • LockTone stop bar tailpiece
  • 0.010-0.046″ strings
  • Left-handed model available

Which Guitar Should You Choose?

Since the Epiphone Les Paul ’60s Standard and Custom guitars have the same pickups, and feel practically the same except for the fretboard wood, I think the decision really will be focused around which guitar you prefer the look of.

However, if you want a chunkier neck and lower output pickups, then the ’50s Standard will be more suitable than both the Custom and the ’60s Standard.

Check out my in-depth comparison between Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls

Here are some more comparisons you might find useful:


Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts