I have found two guitars that have caught my eyes. One is the Epiphone Les Paul Custom PRO, and the other is the Gibson Les Paul Studio 2013.

I know that they are different price brackets, but from my research the Epiphone is the one best guitars going in the £300-£500 price range, and Gibson is a very standard guitar for the £700-900 price range.

If I buy the Gibson, is it a better guitar or is that price there because of the name "Gibson". On the other hand, is the epiphone any sort of alternative to the Gibson studio, is it better than its price range? But is that much better to compete with £700-800 guitars?

If anyone has played both can you please compare than for me (me being left handed means i can't actually play it in store in-store until May), if you've only played one please try and sell it for me. If it helps, I play a lot of early 70's staff. Playing with distortion, probably stopping at black sabbath. I do like acoustic sounds, and have played classical before. So really a good guitar is one that sounds great playing rythem and finger picking, but has a depth and power when playing power chords and doing solo's.
My first electric was an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, back in 2007. It was and is still identical in specifications to the Custom, minus pure aestethics (binding, finish, gold hardware).

Mine was made in Qingdao, China. The first thing that happened when I got home with it was that the strap button fell off. The whole was drilled far too wide for the screw used. Easily fixed by plugging the hole and redrilling it, but not exactly a sign of good craftmanship. The switch was noisy and would have needed replacing soon had I not sold the guitar. Volume and tone pots worked... sort of. Neither smooth or especially precise though. The pickups were muddy and not very good sounding, but they have been upgraded on the newer ones and sound a lot better according to what I'v heard. Bear in mind that this is a few years ago, but I basically see Epiphones as beginner's instruments.

In comparison, I have a MIM Fender that cost about the same amount of money that is solid as hell. Wouldn't feel bad with that guitar anywhere. For a Les Paul-type guitar, the Epiphone may be reasonably good for its price range, but in the big picture I wouldn't bother unless I wanted that exact thing and nothing else.

I would go for the Gibson any day of the week. I like the Studios, especially the gloss laquer ones. Good guitars for the money and useable in a professional setting without risking problems straight out of the box. Are there better Les Paul-type guitars for the money? Sure, the Ltd EC Deluxes are better made instruments, of that there could be no doubt. But if you want a Gibson, the Studio is a good buy. There really is no competition that offers the exact same guitar.
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I have never played a Gibson Studio but I'm sure they are nice. I own a 1973 Gibson Les Paul that I have owned now since 1975 and it's a great guitar but it stays home these days. No gigging allowed. I own four Epi Les Paul guitars: A Standard, an Ultra II, a beautiful white custom, (and my favorite out of all of them) the Epi Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus with all real Gibson hardware including CTS pots, Mallory caps, Gibson Classic 57 pickups and Switchcraft three way and input jack. It plays like a dream and came that way with a beautiful finish that I love. I have never had a problem with any of my Epiphone guitars (two of them are Korean made; the Custom and the Standard). Homer is right that Epi did have some issues years back but since Epiphone started making Les Paul guitars in their own dedicated factory in China, the quality went way up. Go to store and play one if you can. I think you'll be impressed.
It must be Monday, because someone posted this thread AGAIN.

Anyway, to sum up every thread on this topic: High end Epi > low end Gibson.
If it was my money, I'd get an LTD EC-1000 CTM. It has a full-thickness body like an LP Studio. But the EMG's being there is a bit of an issue because they really don't have great cleans. You could just get the regular 1000 with the JB/59 though and I'd rather have that than a Studio.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 2, 2015,
Some Gibsons are awesome, some are awful. That goes for pretty much any model they make. Studios are simply Standards without all the trimmings, they can be excellent guitars if you find the right one. Find the right one & you'll love it forever.

On the other hand, the Epiphone can be that bit more consistent, but you probably won't find the guitar you'll love for the rest of your life.

The answer in these threads is always to try as many guitars as you can and buy the one you fall for.
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IIRC, between those two, I couldn't really tell the disparity in price. I'm very nonplussed by LP Studio regular model but the LP Studio Deluxe II is a great guitar, if you're looking to spend a bit more and are really set on getting a Gibson.
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