Epiphone Les Paul Classic Overview and Best Prices

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Review
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  • 5 Prices - New from $599 >
  • From Epiphone's 2020 Modern Collection series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Plain Maple Cap top
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Indian Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover Rotomatic with 18:1 ratio tuners
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 73
Sound 68
Build quality 62
Value for money 73
Overall Score 68
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone Les Paul Classic
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Coil Split, Phase Out Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $400, which means that the Epiphone Les Paul Classic costs around 50% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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User Feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Tuning stability

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Neck speed (thickness)

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Neck access to high frets

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Neck profile shape

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Fret edges

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Pickups noise

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Pickups power

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User Reviews

1 user reviews:
tomsawyer1361 profile picture
tomsawyer1361
19/05/24 12:22:09

My Classic T has pretty dull sounding pickups, Ceramic Plus-R and T

lacking clarity with a kind of annoying nasal mid tones on the Firehawk FX with its default tones.

I cannot get rid of them.

Very cheap switch, losend and broke of after a few days, cheaply soldered.

Very very cheap knobs, they turn well, but after 8years, they simply fall off, pure cheap plastic cracks for no reason or cause.

Body thick, heavy, bulky, in a sitting position the top edge may press against the chest, causing ribs to hurt.

I get this with no other guitar.

Top frets above 17 are hard to reach with small hands, the thickness is too bulky.

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Often Compared With

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Playability

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone Les Paul Classic
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Epiphone Les Paul Classic's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Epiphone Les Paul Classic's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Scale Length Comparison
Epiphone Les Paul Classic's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Neck Profile
Epiphone Les Paul Classic's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic's neck thickness is approximately 0.82'' (20.8mm) at the first fret, and 0.92'' (23.4mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Epiphone website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

However, Epiphone tends to be inconsistent with the shape and thickness of their necks. So two instruments, even if they're the same model, might have necks that feel different. It's been like this for a long time, and other brands don't have this problem.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Epiphone Les Paul Classic's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Epiphone Les Paul Classic has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
Asymmetrical Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.6'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.685'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Nut Width
Epiphone Les Paul Classic Nut Width

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Fret Size Comparison
Epiphone Les Paul Classic's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 70
Playability 73

Tone

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body, Neck
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel Fretboard

Mahogany Body and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Laurel Fretboard: There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Alnico Classic PRO Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Alnico Classic PRO Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Alnico Classic PRO Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Alnico Classic PRO Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Alnico Classic PRO Bridge Pickup
Alnico Classic PRO Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has Multiple switch option. The first one is Coil Split. It allows you to 'split' or turn off pickup coils to get even more tones in combination with the pickup selector. When used with humbucker pickups, it'll reduce the output and increase their clarity, turning them essentially into single-coil pickups.

It also has a Phase Out option. When activated, the pickups will ''work against each other'', meaning that they will cancel out their shared frequencies. The result is a very thin sound, instead of a full, rich tone. This is an interesting sound for genres like reggae or funk and has also been used in classic Hard Rock.

Diagram

Epiphone Les Paul Classic pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone Les Paul Classic's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 75
Versatility 68
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 68

Build Quality

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Epiphone Les Paul Classic is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

LockTone Tune-O-Matic: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Tuners

The tuners have a ratio of 18:1. This means you need 18 turns of the tuner knob to make the tuner post go around 1 complete revolution. The more turns it takes, the finer and more precise your tuning is going to be. An 18:1 ratio is what most instruments have nowadays. Some high-end ones come with a ratio of 21:1.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Epiphone Les Paul Classic has a Ivory Tusq nut. This material is made to look, feel and sound like Ivory. It's made of organic polymers and doesn't contain oil or animal products. This is probably the highest quality nut you can get, so you can expect good tune stability and more clear tones when playing open strings. Most people seem to agree that it looks nicer than any plastic and even some bone nuts.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 70
Features 55
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 62

All Specs

Epiphone Les Paul Classic
General
Brand: Epiphone
Year: 2020
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Modern Collection
Colors: Black, Yellow Burst, Heritage Cherry Sunburst
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Plain Maple Cap
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: LockTone Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Grover Rotomatic with 18:1 ratio
Fretboard: Indian Laurel
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Trapezoid
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Slim Taper
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.82'' (20.8mm) - 12th Fret: 0.92'' (23.4mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: Coil Split, Phase Out
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Alnico Classic PRO (Humbucker / Passive)