Ok...I currently own an epiphone les paul custom (black w/ gold hardware). Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful guitar, but I know the grass could potentially be greener. At first, I told myself that if I sold the black and gold epi, I would have to get a black and gold gibson studio, but at $1320 it might as well be twice the price of the faded (in other words, out of my range). I, for a while now, have had my eye on the Gibson faded studios. I understand that the faded studios come with burstbuckers instead of the 490 and 498 pups. Of course, it seems like anything would be an upgrade from epi stock pups. Or am I wrong in thinking this? I have a guy that professionally works on guitars so I know he would do an excellent set-up, but I need input on whether or not it would be worth my money and time to trade up from looks to actual sound quality... if the studios are even worth the extra money that is.
You're going to have upgraded parts and materials with the Gibson. I do not think you're wrong in saying that upgrading to a Gibson would be an upgrade over the Epi stock pickups, although there are far worse pickups out there.

I think Gibsons are generally worth the money. Make sure you play before you buy, however, because Studios are hit or miss. I've felt some recently that play great, but my opinion before recently was pretty negative.
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If you love the playability of your Epi have you considered putting new pickups in it?

I have actually had experience with both guitars, my vocalist owns an Epi Custom silverburst and one of my axes is a Gibson Studio Goth (remember those?). The studio honestly is one of my favorite guitars to play that I have ever picked up, just smooth playability and great full-bodied tone. You wouldn't be making a mistake if you went with a studio.

Another singlecut to consider may be the LTD EC-1000's. In a more affordable price bracket but extremely solid and excellent riding guitars (I also own one). While the quality of the wood may not be quite as great as the Gibson's or PRS's, it is definitely an axe that you can have a great time with and sound (and look) good doing it.

Hope that helped!
i played a studio, it sounded nice, didnt like the neck, got myself a Classic instead, try it out, do everything you can to see if its worth it for you
An upgrade in the Epiphone could well be the best option. Consider getting some Gibson units to drop in there - play a few first to see which tone you prefer and then switch them out.

I plan to get an Epiphone Dot later in the year and replace the stock pickups with a set of 490/498s that a friend gave me.
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
I recently bought a Epi LP Custom. I have a standard Gibson LP as well. DO yourself a favor as I have done to my Epi, get complete new electronics in the guitar, change the pickups to something you like and you will be AMAZED at what you have!!!

I put vintage wiring with coil tapping on both pickups from BCS Guitars in my Epi and put Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Pickups and it is a new guitar now. Pickups and new electronics are about $230.
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Last edited by madh4ttr at Jun 20, 2011,
Gibson Studio guitars are hit-and-miss in terms of build quality. The Epiphone Les Paul Custom is actually better in terms of build quality (the ones I tried), so you might as well get some Burstbuckers and you'd have essentially the same guitar.
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Last edited by PsiGuy60 at Jun 20, 2011,
The studios are nice if you like a fat neck, which you would proly have no problem with having an Epi LP. But as stated try the one you want out first, because Gibsons QC is getting to the point of CBS fender QC(not very good). Have you thought about an SG? I have had a Gibson LP studio(2000 model) and it was a good guitar and it sounded great for just about any thing, but after getting a Epi G-400 I like the Sg's better. They are lighter, with a more comfortable neck. And Gibson has the Sg special faded and the special in your $$ range. But if you can find a SG raw power model they can be amazing But still try first.
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the gibson will feature better pickups, hardware and tone-woods every single time. however, because gibson's quality control is sub-par, you do need to make sure to try the guitar before you buy it. that being said, a good example of the gibson will be a better guitar because it will have been built out of better components, plus good gibsons do appear to be better than even an unusually good epiphone.

the epiphone, on the other hand, is quite a bit more consistent. so if you have to buy sight unseen, the epi is better. otherwise, gibson all the way