The Les Paul Standard and Studio are two of the most popular models in the Epiphone electric guitar line-up, but what is the difference between them. In this article I’ll compare the specifications, tone, look, and feel of these guitars so you can decide which is best for you.
Standard vs Studio Overview
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is approximately $150 more expensive compared to the Studio, but has more premium features including a flame maple carved top and binding around the neck and body. The Studio which has more modern but basic styling and sounds slightly hotter and brighter.
Here is a table outlining all the differences between these two Epiphone guitars.
|Feature||Standard ‘50s/ ‘60s||Studio|
|Top Wood||Flame Maple Carved||Standard Maple Flat|
|Neck Profile||Rounded C/ Slim Taper||Slim Taper|
|Tuning Machines||Epiphone Vintage Deluxe/ Grover Rotomatic||Grover Rotomatic|
|Controls||Gold / Gold & Nickel Top Hat||Black Speed Knobs|
|Pickups||Epiphone ProBucker||Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO|
|Colors||-Vintage Sunburst |
|-Wine Red |
|Left Hand Available||Yes||No|
There are actually three different Epiphone Les Paul Standard models:
- ’60s Standard
- ’50s Standard
- 1959 Standard
In this article I’ll be focusing on the ’50s and ’60s Standard models as these are closer in price to the Studio. The ’50s and ’60s Standard have different neck profiles and pickups, as well as other cosmetic differences that I will be addressing throughout this article.
However, if you are unsure which version is right for you and want more detail, check out this article:
Pickups and Tone
The pickups in the ’50s Standard, ’60s Standard, and Studio Epiphone Les Paul models are all different from one another, hence the tones are different too.
- ’50s Standard: ProBucker 1 & 2 pickups
- ’60s Standard: ProBucker 2 & 3 pickups
- Studio: Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO pickups
The ProBuckers in the LP Standard use alnico 2 magnets, whereas the Alnico Classic Pros in the Studio use alnico V magnets. Hence, the Studio sounds a bit brighter, punchier and hotter compared to the Standard which has a lower output, more mellow vintage tone.
These ’50s and ’60s Standard sound very similar to one another, except the ProBucker 2 & 3 combo in the ’60s Standard has a slightly higher output so sounds a touch more driven and a bit brighter and punchier.
Check out this YouTube video where you can hear the difference between ProBuckers and Alnico Classic Pros. The Alnico Classic Pros are played at 10:17 and the ProBuckers at 22:21.
Aesthetics and Styling
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard has a much more expensive looking carved flame maple top compared to the Studio which has a flat standard maple veneer which looks a bit basic in comparison. There are also several other cosmetic differences:
- The Standard models have “top hat” controls whereas the Studio has “speed knob” controls which are not tapered like the top hats
- The Standard models have cream binding around the body and neck giving it a more premium look compared to the Studio which does not have any binding
- The pickguard and controls on the Standard are cream and gold respectively, whereas on the Studio they are both black
- The Standard models have an upgraded Graph Tech nut compared to the ABS nut on the Studio
The color options available are also different, with the Studio going for some more modern finishes and the Standard keeping it classic.
- Wine Red
- Alpine White
- Smokehouse Burst
- Vintage Sunburst
- Cherry Sunburst
- Metallic Gold
- Bourbon Burst
- Iced Tea
Feel and Playability
Both the Standard ’60s and Studio have the same “slim taper” neck profile, whereas the ’50s Standard has a thicker “rounded C” profile.
The ’50s rounded C measures approximately 0.90″ thick at the 1st fret and 1.00″ thick at the 12th fret. The Slim Taper neck on the ’60s Standard and Studio has a D-profile and measures roughly 0.82″ at the 1st fret and 0.92″ at the 12th fret so is significantly thinner.
Check out my article comparing the rounded and slim taper neck profiles to learn more.
The only other real difference is the weight.
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard (’50s and ’60s) is not weight-relieved, whereas the Studio has ultra-modern weight relief. As a result, the Standard models weigh roughly 9-10 lbs, whereas the Studio weighs approximately 7.5 lbs.
Check out my comparison between weight-relieved and solid Les Pauls to learn more.
This makes the Studio a bit more comfortable, especially if you’re playing for long periods at a time.
- Mahogany body and neck
- Indian laurel fretboard
- Gloss body and neck finish
- 12″ fingerboard radius
- 22 medium jumbo frets
- 1.692″ nut
- Trapezoid fretboard inlays
- Set neck construction
- Nickel hardware finish
- ABR Tune-O-Matic bridge
- LockTone stop bar
- Bell-shaped truss rod cover
- 2x tone and 2x volume pots
- 3-way pickup selector
- 0.010-0.046″ strings
Which Guitar is Best?
This will depend on your personal preference, and your budget.
The ’50s and ’60s Standard definitely have a more premium and classic look, so if that’s important to you, then a Standard will suit you more than a Studio. You’ll also get that more vintage lower output, warmer tone with the Standard.
However, if you are on a tighter budget then the Studio is an excellent guitar for the money. It’s more of stripped back Les Paul cosmetically, but it does have a more modern feel due to the weight-relief and slightly hotter pickups.
Check out my in-depth comparison between Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls
Here are some more comparisons you might find useful: