Epiphone Les Paul Standard vs Studio: What’s the Difference?


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.

FeatureStandard ‘50s/ ‘60sStudio
Top WoodFlame Maple Carved Standard Maple Flat
BindingCreamNone
Neck ProfileRounded C/ Slim TaperSlim Taper
NutGraph TechABS
Tuning MachinesEpiphone Vintage Deluxe/ Grover RotomaticGrover Rotomatic
PickguardCreamBlack
ControlsGold / Gold & Nickel Top HatBlack Speed Knobs
PickupsEpiphone ProBuckerEpiphone Alnico Classic PRO
Weight-ReliefNoneUltra Modern
CaseHard ShellOptional
Colors-Vintage Sunburst
-Cherry Sunburst
-Metallic Gold
-Bourbon Burst
-Iced Tea
-Ebony
-Wine Red
-Alpine White
-Smokehouse Burst
-Ebony
Left Hand AvailableYesNo
Price$650$500
Epiphone Les Paul Standard vs Studio

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:

Epiphone ’50s vs ’60s vs 1959 Les Paul Standard

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.

Studio:

  • Wine Red
  • Alpine White
  • Smokehouse Burst
  • Ebony

’50s Standard

  • Vintage Sunburst
  • Cherry Sunburst
  • Metallic Gold

’60s Standard

  • Bourbon Burst
  • Iced Tea
  • Ebony

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.

This makes the Studio a bit more comfortable, especially if you’re playing for long periods at a time.

Similarities

  • 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.

Here are some more comparisons you might find useful:

Heather

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.

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