Epiphone Les Paul 100 vs Epiphone Les Paul Standard – Battle of the Axes!

Forget about Gibson (well, for now at least) – today we’re comparing two awesome Les Paul guitars made by Epiphone.

The well-respected Gibson subsidiary Epiphone are famous for producing more affordable versions of Gibson’s iconic catalog, and rarely skimp on the quality or materials when building their guitars.

In this comparison, we’re looking at two models that come in at around $300 and $400 – the Epiphone Les Paul 100 and the Epiphone Les Paul Standard respectively.

They are both very popular versions of this historic model, and both stay pretty affordable (one more so than the other) – especially when compared to a real Gibson. Let’s take a closer look, and see what’s on offer…

ImageElectric Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul

Total of 4.46/5  

The LP-100 is a never forget axe for every newbie.

+ - Epiphone Les Paul Standard Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Total of 4.64/5  

A beginners jewel by Epiphone. Superb starting axe.

Body & Neck

It’s not a Les Paul unless it sports that distinctive single-cutaway Les Paul body shape, and both the 100 and the Standard certainly deliver in that respect! (Phew…)

Both also feature the traditional Les Paul 24.75” scale length, but things start to differ between the two as we study the fit and finish.

Firstly, both guitars offer a solid mahogany body with an arched maple veneer on the top, finished in a choice of several colors (more on these later). Both are also fitted with a mahogany neck, although this is only hand-set with the more expensive Standard. In comparison, the cheaper 100 uses a bolt-on construction, which is less traditional and always looks a little out of place on a Les Paul. Still, it feels incredibly sturdy and offers a good rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets, just like the Standard. No real complaints for either.

Playability is also great on both as is the build quality, although the Standard feels a little more polished overall, as you may expect from the higher price tag. One thing worth considering is that the 100 is slightly slimmer and lighter, coming in at around 7.9lbs compared to the 8.5lb heft of the Standard.

As for decoration, the Standard is noticeably improved with pearloid trapezoid fretboard markers compared to the basic white dots of the 100, while it also shows off elegant body binding, which is missing in the 100.

Hardware

Onto hardware and we’ll start with electronics. As is generally the case with all good Les Pauls, both guitars are voiced by two covered humbuckers. The 100 features a 700T at the bridge and a 650R at the neck, which are very acceptable pickups in terms of volume, clarity and high-end tone. The controls for the 100 don’t break from the mold, with two volume and two tone knobs – one for each pickup – and a three-way selector switch.

The Standard features wax-potted Alnico Classic humbuckers at the bridge and neck positions, which are a little more powerful and an upgrade on the more basic 700T and 650R. These are tended to with the same controls – a volume and tone knob for each individual pickup, and a three-way rhythm/treble switch.

Elsewhere, both guitars feature a set of die-cast tuners, although the Grover tuners of the Standard have a nicer feel than the stock tuners on the 100. That’s not to take anything away from the stock tuners, which work well for an affordable guitar – no functional problems at all.

Finally, both guitars are fitted with a tune-o-matic bridge and a stopbar, with the Standard’s bridge locking for additional tuning stability.

What’s Unique?

Despite both models being produced by Epiphone, they both offer different color choices that set them apart.

The 100 goes with a tried-and-tested vintage palette, with Ebony, Heritage Cherry, and Vintage Sunburst options. The Standard sticks with vintage, but sides towards bolder single-color choices including Ebony, Metallic Goldtop, Pelham Blue and Cardinal Red.

Value

It’s very rare that anyone feels ripped off after buying an Epiphone, and with these two it’s no different. Both of these Les Pauls give the overall feeling of great value.

While the specific prices fluctuate depending on the market, the Les Paul 100 actually comes in around $150 cheaper than the Les Paul Standard, which suddenly makes it seem even better value for money, considering the overall style and sound on offer. You just get slightly less of the elegance and tone – if you can cope with that, you aren’t going to go wrong with the Les Paul 100.

The Conclusion

Make no mistakes about it, these two guitars are legends in their own categories, and – if you’ve read this comparison article – you’ll understand why they are so popular with both beginners and experienced players alike.

Which one you eventually settle on will ultimately depend on your ability level and budget. They are both similar in some ways, but the Standard naturally stands out as the superior model – as it should do for the extra wad of notes you spend.

If you are just starting out on your guitar journey, the Les Paul 100 is a great choice. It’s a bit stripped down to save costs, but it’s slim, light, playable and sounds great, which – combined with the sub-$300 price tag – is all a beginner really needs.

For the higher price, the Standard feels like it would last longer and is more reliable in terms of build and hardware. We’d happily recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a robust but elegant workhorse of a Les Paul that won’t cost them the earth.

For more on both the Epiphone Les Paul 100 and the Epiphone Les Paul Standard, check out their full reviews.

ImageElectric Guitar / RatingSummaryCheck Price
+ - Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul Epiphone LP-100 Les Paul

Total of 4.46/5  

The LP-100 is a never forget axe for every newbie.

+ - Epiphone Les Paul Standard Epiphone Les Paul Standard

Total of 4.64/5  

A beginners jewel by Epiphone. Superb starting axe.


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