Les Paul is easily one of the most iconic brands and makes in the world and has been since way back when at the beginning of the rocking 50s. Produced by the leading guitar manufacturers Gibson, the guitars from this series have been played by some of the most iconic artists and bands in the world and drove audiences wild their breath-taking tones and sounds.
The Les Paul was originally designed with the sole purpose of completely eliminating the frustrating feedback that was common with hollow-bodied guitars at the time, especially when the artists were playing at loud volumes.
As a result, guitarists were able to play harder, louder yet clearer than ever before, a true milestone in the history of music that has continued till the present day. For those wondering, if you’ve ever heard a rip-roaring guitar solo that you’ve instantly fallen in love with, it all started here.
Famed for their captivatingly rich tones and beautifully long sustains, the Les Paul was the starting point of rock and roll as we know it today. While Gibson no longer produces the Les Paul guitars like they used to be, there are several manufacturers that have gone out of their way to produce these guitars as close as they can.
Today, we’re going to explore the four best Les Paul copies that can help you feel the raw power that the Les Paul guitars had, allowing you to recreate that iconic and memorable sound in your own performances.
Paul Reed Smith Guitars SE245 Standard Electric Guitar
Kickstarting our list of best Les Paul copies, we’ve chosen this beautiful Paul Reed Smith guitar that comes in a stunning Tobacco Sunburst aesthetic, a design that you and your audience are sure to fall in love with the moment you lay eyes on it, and every time after that!
Here, you’ll find the classic mahogany body and neck design for the most durable build possible and a lovely Rosewood fretboard, complete with a bird inlay. It’s safe to say when it comes to design; this is a guitar that excels.
Although slightly smaller than other guitars on this list, measuring in at a 24.5 scale, that doesn’t stop this guitar being an excellent choice for guitar experts or for those picking one up for the first time. This guitar has been crafted to use PRS-designed (Paul Reed Smith) 245 pickups which are perfect for capturing the ideal bass and treble notes.
Produced using equally high-quality nickel hardware and boasts the essential volume and tone dials for each pickup, a PRS-designed stop tailbridge and tuners, as well as a three-way toggle switch on the upper bout of the body, if you’re looking to replicate a Les Paul and have full control over your sounds, you may not need to look any further than this.
- Beautiful mahogany body and neck
- A ton of custom PRS-designed featured, unique to this brand
- 245 pickups for superior bass and treble notes
- Three-way toggle switch for ultimate control
- A high mid-range price tag
Epiphone Les Paul SPECIAL-II Electric Guitar
As this title suggests, this Les Paul SPECIAL comes from the master manufacturers at Epiphone, one of the longest-standing companies that have been producing musical instruments for over a century and a half! The experience they have gained over the last 150 years is evident in this beautiful electric guitar.
Priding itself on the classic mahogany body and bolt-on mahogany neck, this 24.75-inch scale guitar boasts a competitive price tag that makes it suitable for guitarists of any skill level. You’ll also find a smooth and perfectly-finished 22-fret rosewood fingerboard making it easy for you to strum the perfect chords every time.
What’s more, this particular model boasts 700T and 650R open-coil humbucker pickups that enable you to produce those classic Les Paul sounds.
That includes the long, beautifully harmonious sustains that you’ll adore instantly, as well your band members and audience.
Looking for a way to add more sustain to your chords? You’ll also find a LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge and a stopbar tailpiece, not only providing you with full control over your sounds, but also make it even easier than ever before to change your strings, allowing you to get back to doing what you love quickly.
For those wondering, this guitar comes pre-tuned and ready to play as soon as it arrives, although you may want to make a few tweaks just to get it exactly how you want it. However, one of the downsides is that it doesn’t come with its own travel case, but this a relatively inexpensive if you want to get one yourself.
Quality is paramount with Epiphone, something that is obviously present in this quality. With a limited lifetime warranty with every model, you can be sure that this is a guitar that you’ll instantly love and will adore playing for many years to come.
- Affordable price tag suitable for any level of dedicated guitarist
- LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge for full control over your sounds
- Comes pre-tuned and ready to play
- Beautiful sounding 700T/650R humbucker pickups
- Doesn’t come with an included travel/storage case
- Sometimes creates a buzzing sound on certain frets (can be adjusted with truss rod)
ESP LTD Deluxe EC1000VB Electric Guitar
If you’re looking for a premium Les Paul copy that generates a truly beautiful sound that nearly replicates the original Les Paul sound, it doesn’t get better than the ESP Deluxe. Starting with the build quality, you’ll find a durable mahogany body and neck, complete with a hardwood ebony fingerboard.
This ensures you can rock out as hard as you like without the risk of this guitar breaking, making this a reliable guitar that promises to stay by your side for many years to come.
Look closely, and you’ll also find an equipped Tonepros Locking TOM bridge and tailpiece, a design with has been made to replicate the bridges found on traditional and vintage guitars identically.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner guitarist or have been playing for decades, you’ll feel right at home with the set-neck construction that’s been designed to a 24.75-inch scale. Furthermore, this guitar comes complete with 24 extra jumbo frets which make it even easier to hit the perfect notes you’re looking for.
The pickups installed on this guitar are active EMG 81(b) and EMG 60(n) which both come together to create a truly formidable rock sound and outstanding tone flexibility that give you full control over your sounds. This is only complimented by the patented LTD Locking tuners and 3-way toggle switch.
All in all, these amazing features come together to create a truly outstanding sound that makes this guitar worth every cent of its professional price tag.
- 24 jumbo-sized frets
- 24.75-inch scale design
- All the features you’ll need to control your sound perfectly
- Hardwood design for best quality and durability
- Premium price tag
Oscar Schmidt OE20G Electric Guitar
To conclude our list of the very best Les Paul copies, we’ve chosen this outstanding electric guitar that not only prides itself on its fantastic and truly competitive price tag; it also provides you with an outstanding quality that’s hard to find with similarly priced guitars.
Available in a stunning gold aesthetic, the Oscar Schmidt comes with the standard Les Paul mahogany body and a unique maple set neck, guaranteeing a sturdy and reliable build quality that will last for years to come. This comes together in the classic single cutaway style that guitarists have loved for decades.
With the iconic rosewood fingerboard, you’ll quickly notice how your fingers effortlessly glide along the board, allowing you to strike perfect chords every single time, an essential regardless of whether you’re a beginner or professional musician.
As with most Les Paul copies, you’ll find the Tune-O-Matic bridge complete with a stop tailpiece for complete governance over the sounds you’re producing, as well as the ability to change your strings quickly without stress or hassle.
On the body, you’ll find the standard hardware of two volume controls, and two tone controls for even more control over your sounds, as well as a three-way pickup selector, meaning you can play any kind of music till your heart’s content.
Regarding the pickups themselves, you’ll find the Les Paul iconic humbucker pickups for producing those rock and roll sounds we all love so well! Complete with chrome die-cast tuners that not only give you pinpoint accuracy when you’re setting up your guitar but also actively hold your tuneage, regardless of how hard you want to play.
With an included lifetime warranty with every purchase, what more could you ask for from your electric guitar?
- Traditional humbucker pickups
- 2x volume controls and 2x tone controls for finding the perfect levels
- Solid mahogany body construction
- Beautiful aesthetic design
- Can arrive packaged poorly
While Les Paul’s are not made like they used to be, the Les Paul copies that we’ve listed above certainly come close, giving you the awesome rock and roll power that the iconic musicians had during the 50s in the palms of your hand.
When choosing the guitar that’s right for you, consider your price and the type of sound that you’re looking to create, and you can be sure that you’ll find a match made in heaven in no time at all!