Epiphone Les Paul Guitar Review - Taking a Look at the Custom Model

Total Score - 4.7/5

When I started playing the guitar at age 14, I was completely obsessed with the Les Paul guitar. I loved the shape, the style, the colors, the tone, and even the players that vouched for it. It appeared like all the pieces were in place.

Back then, I really didn't know the difference between a Gibson and an Epiphone version of the Les Paul Custom, and to this day I've only found it to be minor hardware. Some people might argue with me on this (and that's fine) but when you purchase a Gibson Les Paul Custom over an Epiphone, I think you're really just buying the name...

...which is about a $3000 difference. That's an expensive six letters.

Anywho, I've owned the black Epiphone Les Paul Custom with gold hardware for about five years now and thought that I'd give you the straight dope on what this tone machine is capable of.

Features - 5/5

Everything on the Les Paul Custom is good enough for me. The Epiphone has a tone switch that switches between the two smooth humbuckers. (one for rhythm and the other for lead purposes) You can also set the switch to include both.

To accompany the switch are two tone knobs and two volume knobs for adjustments on either humbucker. Like I said, it's pretty standard for most guitars these days, but it's really all that I need.

I AM a little disappointed with the lack of a super hip whammy bar. (being sarcastic)

Ease of Use - 3.5/5

Ok, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom, just like any other Les Paul, is HEAVY. I didn't think that it would be the first time that I picked it up, but it'll give you a crick in the neck for the first week or so. Yea, it isn't fun at first, but after hearing all those awesome tones coming out, you'll learn to adjust.

Second, the Les Paul Custom usually comes with the bridge set just a tad too high, so it's a little more work to press down than your typical metal-type guitars like LTD. and Jackson. Come to think of it, I wonder why in five years I haven't gone to have that thing adjusted. Hmmm.

I guess I've adapted to the situation, but I would recommend adjusting the bridge if you purchase one.

Tone - 5/5

The tone of the Epiphone Les Paul Custom is the whole reason that I fell in love in the first place. Not only is the "lead" humbucker strong and powerful, but the "rhythm" humbucker is smooth and enveloping.

I've never had to review my tone and think that it wasn't satisfactory. Pure perfection.

Sustain - 5/5

Has anyone seen This is Spinal Tap? Check out this clip. Nigel is showing the documenterer his guitars and the first one he shows says it all.

God, I love that clip. But seriously, since the guitar neck goes right into the body as one big piece, the sustain on this instrument is nuts. Definitely not a problem. Go have a bite and come back.

Dependability - (pending but so far...) 5/5

My Les Paul Custom has only been in my life for five years, but so far I haven't had a single problem. Not a knob has come off, all the headstock tuners are intact, the cable input isn't finicky, and the humbuckers are still humming... and bucking.

...whatever it is.


The Epiphone Les Paul Custom (in black with gold hardware) is great, in my opinion. Simply, if you're after great tone and a well-made instrument, then this is for you.

If you're looking for something to whip around on stage and solo like satan, (...not the Will Ferrel version) then you might want to look at an Epiphone SG, a Jackson, or a Schecter.


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