Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus review by Epiphone

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (102 votes)
Epiphone: Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus

Purchased from: Long And McQuade

Sound — 10
I mainly play rock and some metal, with some blues from time to time. This guitar is great for all genres of music. I got a small Fender 15G amp, which sucks, but I still manage to get some great tones from it with the guitar. I took the guitar to a store last time to try out different amps, and I must say, the guitar just had an awesome tone for every amps in the store. The stock pups arent the greatest, but its stil great for some chunky distorted tones. The guitars got more of a bright sound, ranther than a thin, boring one. Epiphone's qualitiy of the guitars has gone up very much over the years. The body and neck are both mahagony, so it's a bit heavy at around 9 lbs, but heck, for a gutar this great, the weight is a problem. The guitar is very verstile. Honestly, you wont be dissappointed with the guitar.

Overall Impression — 9
I play, like I mentioned before, mainly rock and metal. This gutiar suits my music very well. If it were stolen, I might consider buying this again, if I could get a better deal. I think I paid a bit to much for this guitar. Damn, I love everything about this guitar. It's very nice. I compared this to a Gibson Les Paul Classic and standard, and even though every gibsons I've played were better than any Epiphones, the extra quality just isn't worth the extra grand. The Epiphones, however, and just great for the value. If you're considering a Les Paul, then this is a great guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Let me make it simple. This guitar will withstand live playing. Keep I mind though, if you gig a lot, your guitar I gonna suffer from some dents and scratches. Guitars were meant to be played, not just kept. I personally dont mind dents and scratches on my guitar. The strap buttons, I'm not sure about the stock ones 'cause I added staplocks as soon as I got it. A strap lock is recommened for this guitar since its weights 9 lbs. I could definately depend on it, I would gig with it without a backup. It's a nice solid guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This, unfortunately, is where the rating comes down just a little bit. The guitar was quite nicely set up, but there were some flaws. The fret wires weren't loose, but not funny pushed into the fret. However, some work with the proper tools at home easily fixed this. Also, the toggle is a bit scratchy. I'm planning on getting thischanged for like 10 bucks soon. None of these problems are major. The pickups were adjusted just fine, the action, set to my liking, and well. Everything else was great. No flaws in the finish.

Features — 10
My elite lp was made in 2003, in Japan, like all the other elitists. For features, you can go to www.Epiphone.com and check the elitist series out. The stock grover tuners are just great, the guitar stays in tune very well. It very nice looking, the pictures on the Epiphone website dont do the finish justice. You gotta see the guitar by yourself to see the true beauty of this guitar. There are 2 volume and 2 tone knobs. Unlike other cheap guitars, the toneknob actually does affect the tone.

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

    if the stock pickups aren't the greatest, you should consider not rating the sound of it a 10. 'Not the greatest' implies that there is better to be had. A rating of 10 implies that there isn't much better to be had.
    Book-matched means two pieces of wood cut from a single piece and opened up like a book, hence the term. While probably not as good as a continuous solid piece, book-matched tops are the next best thing.
    Hey minsoo, what u call a "best pick up"? I got a Epi LP Standard Goldtop 96, which is a very nice guitar, and I bought Gibson 490r and 498t for it but havent installed the pups yet. Would these pups be among "the best"? I think so, as Gibson used them as stock for their LP Standards for many years. If Id get a Epi Elitist Stabdard Plus or Custom and put at them these pups, would it get a "top guitar"? Thanks in advance.
    Hey minsoo, the other question I would make is about the neck. Is it like the other Epis: 60 slim taper, or like most Gibsons 59 rounded? This is an important question cause I prefer the 60 slim taper. Thanks again.
    MR-1 wrote: Don't waste your money on the Gibson when you can have 2 epi's with your modifications for the price if one. I have done my research and all the same woods are used for the epi and the Gibson, and don't forget Gibson owns epiphone.
    Yeah but you have to consider the way that epiphone builds their Les Pauls. They might use the same woods as a Gibson, but they Book match their wood, bmeaning that they glue several pieces togoether to create the body and maple top. That can significantly subtract from the tone of the guitar. But I do agree with you that you can mod the guitar to get a very nice Les Paul for under $1500.
    Ohhh you don't know what you have inside your gibbie...the truth will hurt you!
    as opposed to having just a solid piece of mahogony and maple on a Gibson Les Paul
    is this guitar as bright sounding like a gibson or does it have a daarker tone like most other epiphone's?
    I just got it 2 days ago and have basically played it none stop but i was really surprised by the claerity of its bright "clang" of it's voice. it's not very expensive and has the same sound as the plain anti-striped one, so if its the money your worried about i'd just get the more traditional, plain one. there are only one bad thing about it, and it is kind of a big thing. One, because of the soft curve of the body of the guitar the knobs will eventually wear into the paint and wood, so in a year or two when you want change up your guitar and put knew knobs on your guitar you would have to either have bigger knobs then before or (of course) have the same size, unless you don't mind, but it kind of gives it a vintage look... so, you know, whatever... but all in all i give it a 4.75.
    nilnoc23 wrote: personally this makes no sense. if you have 1000 then you might as well save like 200 bucks more and get a Gibson.
    Epiphone Elitists are a lot better than cheap Gibsons. I'd rather have one of these over any Gibson Specials/studios.
    VoodooChille: I hope that you know that gibson bookmatches their flame maple tops. The term I think you were thinking of was laminating, or gluing multiple pieces of wood together.
    A lot of people don't like the Elitist Headstock for some reason. I've grown used to it and noticed it has one advantage over the classic Gibson headstock. If you look at any Gibson Les Paul you'll notice the D & G strings go off at quite an angle to the tuners after they leave the nut. In some models these two strings are almost touching the A & B posts! This sharper angle off causes the strings to bind when string bending pulls them thru the nuts slot and then they don't fully return to original pitch. You can also here this when tuning up. The string pitch won't change then all of a sudden you here a pinging sound and the pitch goes up. This is the sound of a string overcoming the binding and finally moving. The Elitist headstock has a smaller top which means the D & G strings don't angle off as much and there's less chance of binding. Use of nut lubricant can help with this binding. If you increased your string gauge the slots themselves may be too small which a good Guitar Tech could fix.
    I just bought one of these, slightly used on ebay for $735.00. I haven't got it yet but I can't wait. I used to own a Gibson LP with the 50's neck and then I put together a Fender american deluxe strat with seymour duncans in it. The Gibson was nice but it had a few cosmetic flaws and the g and b strings would go out of tune all the time. The strat was great with the duncans and it stayed in tune. I paid $2500 for the Gibson and $800 for the strat and the Gibson didn't perform like it cost compared to the strat. So, I got rid of the gibson and I just sold the strat to get one of these epi's. I'll throw some alnico pro's in it and some tone pro's locking bridge and aluminum tail piece and hopefully it will kick ass.
    i have a les paul, and i ****ing love it, although it's very heaver that can easily be fixed with a strap lock and u neeed to refill the holes for the screw every 2 or 3 years, other than that, reliable, good, AWESOME!
    XlesXXpau lman
    I think that if you buy a Gibson your just throughing money away,because to me epiphone and Gibson are the same just diffrent necks.
    really? 1 grand for this guitar's a good deal? I tried one used at Guitar Center and it was really awesome, and it was like 350 or so.
    It's my first electric and it's really great. My only complaints are the pickups. THey were put too high so I just need to shift it.
    best guitar whith two seymmour Duncan bridge and neck59: sh1b and sh1n ....Wouhaaaaa!
    I'd wanted a Gibson LP for quite a while but was very discouraged by the quality of them in local music stores. Visible finish flaws were abundant and I'd heard a few horror stories from a reputable Guitar Tech about the not so visible flaws as well! I could find no alternate guitar that gave me the LP look and feel until I happened on to the Guitar Player Review of the Elitist 57 Gold Top LP which raved about it. I took a chance at Long&McQuade and ordered one in ($1475.00 CDN). I invested in a professional setup ($70.00 CDN)and haven't looked back since. I loved it so much I also bought the Elitist LP Plus a few months later. A Les Paul here costs $2700-$3000.00 CDN so I got two good guitars for the price of one Gibson LP. As good a reason as any! Anyone who says Epiphones are c**p has probably seen the PRC/PRK made models which really are on par with Squires and are worlds away from the Japanese built Elitists. (Most Manufacturers now offer different quality/price levels which are directly related to materials used and location of manufacture (China, Mexico, Korea etc.) I agree that Ibanez & ESP make beautiful instruments but most are 25-1/2" scale compared to Gibson's/Epiphone's 24-3/4" scale so that's a matter of preference.
    I bought the epi les paul standard about 6 months ago, on an impulse purchase, I have always wanted a les paul but due to cost and(yah I'm married....get my drift?) I could not afford the "Gibson". At first the intenation was horribly out but nothing about $80.00 didn't fix with the action also set to my liking. My honest opinion is this.. Yah the Gibson model is superior as far as pick-ups and resale value, but for the money you save on the epi, toss in some burstbuckers for a couple of hundred, maybe replace some of the hardware, get it set up by a professional, and you have a guitar that plays,sounds,weighs, and looks just as beautiful. Don't waste your money on the Gibson when you can have 2 epi's with your modifications for the price if one. I have done my research and all the same woods are used for the epi and the Gibson, and don't forget Gibson owns epiphone.
    sorry about my spelling....***proof***...this time of year i got back to school on the brain
    yea it's an awsome guitar. my cousin owns one and i love playing it.
    it's not That heavy! my ash strat weighs Exactly the same. go buy a parker fly if your gna complain about weight. i honestly don't see what effect it has on anything. good review though, it's just the way the elitist's headstock shape that puts me off, the way it gets wider to make it look different from a normal les paul headstock. they play real nice though. Les Pauls Rule!
    as far as most guitars are concerned it almost seems as if the heavier they are...the better tone they have...with exceptions of course like the PRS...but even the heavier strats sound better than the lighter ones IMO...unless the guitar has kick ass pups in it.
    im about to buy one so thanks for the review. but why the HELL DO THEY HAVE TO WEIGH SO MUCH !!!!!
    well i got mine for.. the price i mentioned, but off musiciansfriend and off ebay, you can grab one of these for around 1 grand, or less if you get a good deal. and yes, the stock pups arent the best.. but its still great. I gave it a ten, since i wouldnt mind keeping the stock ones. And the weight, you'll get used to. Recently, some epiphones have put "chambres" in their les pauls, meaning they cut off some wood in the body to reduce the weight a little. hey, if ya got a question, you can email me at minsoo.yoon@hotmail.com! oh yah, and like someone already mentioned, the heavy mohagony definately sounds great. The weight is worth the warm, nice sound it gives.
    omg if you complain about the weight go to the gym and work out..
    i love my LP, but cant stand the weight. Both of the screws from my strap lock pegs have been pulled out just from hanging on me and stripped the holes grooves. ive had a strap pretty much tear in half, was a cheap strap. And I always have to tighten the nut that holds the lock on the strap from the wear of the weight. Other than that, epi LP's kick ass! Jsut as good as any gibson I think.
    punkerkid!79! wrote: lol i like jolliz theory, but seriously if ur going to the effort of getting a guitar over a grand, ur better off going all the way and saving for a gibson (that doesnt mean buy a studio!) but this epi doesnt compare to a Gibson LP Standard
    and why do u say that...shall we believe u just because u are punkerkid!79!...even the slightest bit of proff (which will probably be subjective) is needed to make a statement like that. I do believe if u took the best quality gib std and epi std the gib will be the victor but then again with such a price gap, mods could make for a better epi
    lol jolliz has a point the weight is bearable guys YEYE LES PAULS PWN and son of jimmi, i suppose? (heh heh) whoa, get s schaller strap lock and a nice leather levy's strapp great combination lol
    personally this makes no sense. if you have 1000 then you might as well save like 200 bucks more and get a Gibson.
    if you're talking about the gibon sgs, i prefered a les paul than a sg.
    nilnoc23 wrote: personally this makes no sense. if you have 1000 then you might as well save like 200 bucks more and get a Gibson.
    But a $1200 Gibson generally isn't as good as a $1000 Epi (from my experiences at least).
    in my experience also i mean, i think if you compared any gibson les paul standard with any epiphone les paul standard, the gibson will be better in quality however, that extra quality isnt worth the extra geand you gotta pay I diidnt like the gibson studios neither
    lol i like jolliz theory, but seriously if ur going to the effort of getting a guitar over a grand, ur better off going all the way and saving for a gibson (that doesnt mean buy a studio!) but this epi doesnt compare to a Gibson LP Standard
    My epiphone elitist sounds better than a Gibson les paul studio and a Gibson les paul classic I played them all and compared them to the elitist the only guitar that beats it is the Les Paul Standard and that's because it has the burstbuckers but the les paul standard is 1500 more so really your getting a damn good deal if this guitar beats every guitar except for those 1500 more than it
    Les Pauls are indestructable, hence their weight. If you wanna bitch about it, by a strat.
    I got the guitar model for this, and I love it. The pickups are kind-of annoying though. And, I have the bass model. I like it too, but it weighs like 30 pounds. It's really heavy.
    The Epiphone Elite/Elitist Les Paul's are closer to '59 Les Paul's than Gibson's Standard LP's. And the fit and finish is on par with Gibson's custom/historic shop. I modded mine out and it's an awesome guitar. And mine is in the rare Honeyburst color.