The Les Paul is one of the most iconic and popular guitars in rock music. There are many different models produced by the two brands, Gibson and Epiphone, but how much do they cost. In this article, I’ll compare the average price and specifications of pretty much every currently available Les Paul.
The Quick Answer
The Gibson Les Paul Standard costs around $2500, however Les Paul electric guitars can range from $150 to $3000 for base-level models. Gibson Les Pauls are the most expensive and cost upwards of $1000 whilst the more affordable Epiphone Les Pauls versions cost between $150 and $900.
Cost of Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul Models
I have made a table to compare all the features and prices of each Les Paul made by Epiphone and Gibson. It includes pretty much every standard model in the line-up and are all based on the price at two leading US and UK stores at the time of writing.
Gibson Les Paul guitars are made in America and cost upwards of $1000, with the most premium custom shop versions often costing over $2500 and as much as $12,000. Epiphone make more affordable versions of the Les Paul and cost between around $150 and $900.
There will be some variation of price within each range, usually due to colour and finish upgrades, as well as limited edition options.
In the rest of the article, I’ll take a more in-depth look at the differences between each model so you can get some more information on the Les Paul that best suits your budget.
|Guitar||Price ($)||Price (£)||Origin||Neck Style|
|Epiphone Les Paul Special I||$150||£130||China||Bolt-On|
|Epiphone Les Paul Special E1||$180||$160||China||Bolt-On|
|Epiphone Les Paul Special II||$230||N/A||China||Bolt-On|
|Epiphone Les Paul Studio E1||$250||£220||China||Bolt-On|
|Epiphone Les Paul Junior||$380||£300||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Special||$400||£350||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Studio||$450||£380||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Classic||$500||£420||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Standard||$600||£480||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Modern||$650||£500||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Les Paul Custom||$680||£600||China||Set-Neck|
|Epiphone Slash Les Paul||$900||£800||China||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute||$1000||£850||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Tribute||$1000||£1000||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Studio||$1500||£1250||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Junior||$1500||£1300||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Special||$1600||£1350||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Classic||$2000||£1800||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Standard||$2500||£2200||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Modern||$2800||£2400||America||Set-Neck|
|Gibson Les Paul Slash||$3000||£2600||America||Set-Neck|
Guitar Center are always the first place I look at when I’m interested in a new electric guitar because have a huge range of models for sale and always have some excellent deals on. Here’s a link to take you directly to Guitar Center’s electric guitar range so you can see all the offers available at the moment.
Gibson Les Paul
There are 8 main models in the Gibson Les Paul range: Special Tribute, Tribute, Studio, Junior, Special, Classic, Standard and Modern. The price ranges from around $1,000 to around $2,500, however custom shop models often cost over $2,500 and can cost as much as $10,000.
The variation in price is due to:
- The finish type
- The quality of materials e.g. tone wood, pickups and hardware
- Better craftsmanship and quality control
I’ve got a full article on why some guitars are more expensive than others to explain this topic in a bit more detail.
Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute
The Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute is the cheapest Les Paul in the Gibson range, starting at around $1000 (or £850 in the UK). It has a mahogany body, set neck and comes in dual-humbucker or dual-P90 pickup configurations. It is an American made guitar and comes in basic colour options with a flat pickguard, as opposed to the angled ones seen on most models.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Special Tribute on Guitar Center.
Gibson Les Paul Tribute
The Gibson Les Paul Tribute is one of the cheaper Les Paul guitars in the Gibson range and starts at around $1000 (or £1000 in the UK). It is American-made and comes in the classic colour options such as Cherry Sunburst, with a dual-humbucker pickup configuration, set neck and mahogany tone wood.
The main difference between the Gibson Les Paul Tribute and more expensive models such as the Classic, Standard and Special, is the finish. More expensive models usually have a flame maple cap, whereas the cheaper Tribute has a solid finish.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Tribute on Guitar Center.
Check out my article comparing the Tribute, Special Tribute and Special models for more information.
Gibson Les Paul Studio
The Gibson Les Paul Studio starts at around $1500 (or £1250 in the UK). It has a more premium looking finish than the Tribute, but does not have a flame maple cap like the more expensive Standard Les Pauls. Second-hand Gibson Les Paul Studio guitars cost upwards of $800.
Like with the most of the range, it has a mahogany body and neck, set neck construction, maple cap and dual-humbucker pickup configuration.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Studio on Guitar Center.
Check out my comparison of the Les Paul Studio and the Les Paul Tribute.
Gibson Les Paul Junior
The Gibson Les Paul Junior costs around $1500 (or £1300 in the UK). Second-hand Gibson Les Paul Juniors cost around $800-$1000. Unlike most Les Pauls in the range, it has two P90 pickups instead of humbuckers. It comes in a limited range of colours and does not have a maple cap. However, it still has a mahogany body and neck, with a set-neck construction.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Junior on Guitar Center.
Gibson Les Paul Special
The Gibson Les Paul Special costs around $1600 (or £1350 in the UK). Second-hand Gibson Les Paul Special guitars cost around $1100-$1200. It comes in a limited range of colours and has a dual-P90 pickup configuration with a flat pickguard giving it a contrasting look to the Studio, Classic and Standard versions.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Special on Guitar Center.
Check out my comparison between the Gibson Les Paul Special and Junior models.
Take a look at my in-depth comparison between the Gibson Les Paul Special and Studio.
Gibson Les Paul Classic
The Gibson Les Paul Classic costs around $2000 (or £1800 in the UK). Second-hand Gibson Les Paul Classic guitars hold their price well and typically cost between $1600-$1800 for a model in good condition.
The Classic comes in a limited range of colour options but has some classic choices such as Cherry Sunburst. Unlike some Les Pauls, it has a black and white pickup design giving it a more vintage look. However, it does still have the traditional mahogany body, maple cap, set-neck and dual-humbucker pickup configuration.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Classic on Guitar Center.
Check out my article comparing the Gibson Les Paul Standard and Classic models.
Check out my in-depth comparison between the Gibson Les Paul Classic and Studio.
Gibson Les Paul Standard
The Gibson Les Paul Standard is the flagship and most iconic model in the range and costs around $2500 (or £2200 in the UK). Second-hand Gibson Les Paul standard guitars in good condition cost around $2000-$2200. As you’d expect, it has the traditional mahogany neck and body, humbucker pickups and set-neck construction. It features the most premium looking maple cap finishes and is available in all the classic colour options.
There are two versions of the Standard model: the ’50s and ’60s. Check out my comparison between the ‘50s Les Paul Standard and ’60s Les Paul Standard to learn about the differences.
Have a look at my comparison between the Les Paul Standard and Special models.
Gibson Les Paul Modern
The Gibson Les Paul Modern is the most expensive non-custom shop/ signature model in the range costing around $2800. It is available in very limited colour choices and does not come in the classic sunburst finish. It has a weight-relieved mahogany body and slimmer neck than traditional Les Paul guitars. However, it does still have a maple top and dual-humbucker pickup configuration.
Check out the Gibson Les Paul Modern on Guitar Center.
Epiphone Les Paul
There are 6 main models in the Epiphone Les Paul range: Special, Studio, Junior, Standard, Modern and Custom. They range in price from around $150 for an entry-level model, to around $900 for the most premium options such as the Epiphone Slash Les Paul.
The main variations in price are due to:
- The finish type
- The quality of materials e.g. tone wood, pickups and hardware
- The neck construction (more expensive guitars have set-neck constructions whilst cheaper ones have bolt-on constructions.
Epiphone Les Paul Special
There are several types of Epiphone Les Paul Special ranging from around $150 to $400.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Special I is the cheapest model costing around $150 and comes in black and red, has a basswood body, bolt-on neck construction and either a dual-humbucker or dual-P90 pickup configuration.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Special E1 comes in 4 colours, and does not have a pickguard which makes it look a little different than most Les Pauls. It has a poplar body and costs around $180.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Special II costs around $230 and is an upgrade from the Special I in terms of the finish. It has a more premium flame maple top, and also has a mahogany body, typical of more expensive Les Pauls.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Special has a P90 pickup configuration, mahogany body and gloss finish, and costs around $400.
Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Special on Guitar Center.
Epiphone Les Paul Junior
The Epiphone Les Paul Junior costs around $380 (or £300 in the UK). Second-hand models in good condition cost around $150. It has a set-neck construction and mahogany body. The main difference between the Junior and other models, is that it only has one P90 pickup in the bridge. The colour choices are very limited and it has a different shape pickguard to most Les Pauls.
Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Junior on Guitar Center.
Epiphone Les Paul Studio
There are two versions of the Epiphone Les Paul Studio:
- The Epiphone Les Paul Studio E1 costs around $250 and comes in three classic colours. It has black and white humbucker pickups, a mahogany body, bolt-on neck and satin finish.
- The Epiphone Les Paul Studio costs around $450 (or £380 in the UK). It come in 4 main colours with a gloss finish and has a maple top, mahogany body, set-neck construction and slim neck design. It features two humbucker pickups.
Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Studio on Guitar Center.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
The Epiphone Les Paul Standard is one of the most popular in the range and costs around $600 (or £480 in the UK). Second-hand Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitars hold their value quite well and models in good condition cost around $400-$500.
As you’d expect, it has a dual-humbucker pickup configuration with a mahogany body. It offers some of the nicest flame maple finishes and comes in a variety of colours.
Epiphone Les Paul Modern
The Epiphone Les Paul Modern costs around $650 (or £500 in the UK). It has a mahogany body, set-neck construction and has a dual-humbucker pickup configuration. The main differences between the Modern and Standard are that the Modern comes in more unique colour options instead of the classic colours, and it has a slimmer neck.
Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Modern on Guitar Center.
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is the most expensive of the Les Paul Epiphone range and costs upwards of $680 (or £600 in the UK). Second-hand models in good condition cost around $450-$550. The specifications depend upon the specific model and can vary in terms of finish, pickup configuration and body wood.
Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Custom on Guitar Center.
More Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some more questions you might have.
Why are Les Pauls so expensive?
Gibson Les Pauls are expensive because they are American-made guitars with a lot of history and are played by well-known musicians. The quality in terms of materials used such as the the tone woods used, pickups and hardware, as well as the craftsmanship means the guitars command a high price.
How much is a 1959 Gibson Les Paul?
A vintage 1959 Gibson Les Paul is usually worth around $500,000-$700,000. Gibson also produce new versions of the 1959 Les Paul that cost upwards of $6500, with some costing over $12,000.
Are Gibson Les Pauls worth the money?
Gibson Les Pauls are worth the money if you are looking for an iconic guitar shape, with a rich history and great tone, however, they may not be worth it if you are just looking for a good quality guitar. Some people prefer the tone of guitars which are much cheaper than Gibson Les Pauls.
I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.
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