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Epiphone Les Paul 100 guitar on a white background

So you’re in the market for an all-purpose electric guitar that has a classic look and feel, but may not want to drop the kind of coin that would make B.B. King blush. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re taking you through our look at the Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar: a legend in the annals of guitar history and also an instrument well-tooled for beginners and intermediates alike.

WHAT IS THE EPIPHONE LES PAUL-100 ELECTRIC GUITAR?

Similar in shape and size to other Les Pauls, the Epiphone 100 comes standard with two volume controls, two tone controls, and a typical three position rhythm/treble switch (to go back and fourth between back up and soloing. In terms of its aesthetic, it rocks the signature Gibson-style mahogany body with a markedly thinner frame than most other models that look like this. It also features a Tune-o-Matic bridge, with dot inlays on the fingerboards.

PRODUCT SPECS

The Epiphone Les Paul-100 features 700T Humbucker pickups, a rosewood fretboard, with a mahogany body and a maple top. It’s 45 x 17 x 7 inches and weighs about 9.4 pounds. The color is also unmatched in what’s described as a ‘heritage cherry sunburst.’ That’s definitely the look you want to begin with when you’re first learning to jam. It’s the color of someone exciting and new on the scene, and that person can be you.

HOW IT COMPARES

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar

Epiphone Les Paul-100, Heritage Cherryburst
  • The Les Paul 100 is cut to the same specs as Les' 1952 original
  • Mahogany Body with Maple Top
  • Epiphone 650R & 700T Humbuckers
  • Okoume Neck

Features

Rock ‘N’ Roll Credibility

Sound

Design

The dotted inlays on the fingerboard make scales easily navigated. You also get the added feature of being able to control both the volume and tone of the pickups individually and in real time. This along with the functionally shaped body allows for an enjoyable playing experience that gives you both versatility as well as a sound that can easily be matched with the other instruments that may surround you.

When playing this guitar, you’re joining the likes of other legendary users like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Matt Heafy of Trivium, and Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance. The model has also been used by Nancy Wilson who regularly played it alongside her sister Ann Wilson, the lead singer of the legendary band Heart.

It’s hard to overstate how great this guitar sounds for being a beginner’s guitar. It is very much a ‘workhorse’ and can stand up to repeated use and long practices and jam sessions. So if you’re looking to get a lot of mileage out of this axe, then you’re in luck.

The classic design of the Les Paul is legendary for many reasons. But principally it’s the look and feel. It speaks to the roots of rock coming out of the jazz and blues age and becoming a genre all its own. For these reasons the design is the best kind of transitional style you can look at. It speaks to the roots while still able to play whatever’s next.

PROS

  • Classic Design
  • Great for Beginners
  • Durable

CONS

  • Could Have More Features
  • Some of the Tuners Might Come Loose
  • Must Be Perpetually Tuned Between Sessions

Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline

Fender Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe, Maple Fingerboard - 3-Color Sunburst
  • Two MP-90 pickups offer a huge range of sweet and aggressive tones.
  • With a 9.5" radius and 22 medium jumbo frets, this model offers comfort and speed.
  • Six-saddle hard-tail bridge allows for more precise intonation and individual string-height adjustment.

Fender’s guitars have also earned a reputation as being a great entry level axe. The focus here is on universal appeal and a serious dedication to customer satisfaction. While it may not be the most glamorous guitar in terms of look, as far as sound is concerned, it gets the job done. Many teens have fond memories of their first Fender Telecasters, and some of these teens went on to be legendary.

Fe​atures

Rock ‘N’ Roll Credibility

Sound

Design

The Fender Telecaster is the guitarist’s guitar. It’s got a 9.5″ radius and 22 medium jumbo frets. So in this case, navigating the board comes with ease after consistent practice. There’s also even more control over pickup with 4 skirted knobs near the guitar’s base. It also comes with a six-saddle hard tail bridge, so you can adjust the strings to your preferred height above the fretboard.

The list of legendary players of this guitar are too many to count. But chances are there’s someone in a genre that you admire that’s used it at some point during their time jamming out on stage. Some notable examples include: Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, George Harrison of the Beatles, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Pete Townshend of The Who, and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.

The sound quality on this classic is pretty standard. It really comes down to what you do with it that will separate you from the pack and make you unique. This is why it’s been favored by so many legends over the years, it’s a neutral sound that allows the personality of the player to emerge.

The design of the telecaster is hard to beat. It’s so iconic that when you pick one up and play it, people can’t help but imagine the fond associations they’ve had with that design and everything it’s meant over the years. Some designs simply stand the test of time and this is definitely the case with the Fender Telecaster.

PROS

  • Iconic Design
  • Also Great for Beginners
  • Detailed Level of Pickup Control

CONS

  • This Model Less Durable
  • Modern Touches Take Away Some of the Classic Look
  • If Humbucker Comes Loose, Difficult to Screw Back

Ibanez RG450DX

Ibanez RG450DX RG Series Electric Guitar Starlight Blue
  • Neck type: Wizard III Maple neck
  • Body: Mahogany body
  • Fretboard: Bound Rosewood fretboard w/Sharktooth inlay
  • Fret: Jumbo frets
  • Bridge: Std. DL tremolo bridge

This guitar gets the job done. It is less of a risk if as a beginner you’re worried about your guitar coming into harm. It’s a cheaper model and its parts more easily replaceable and repairable. It’s got a fairly decent sound, but nothing to write home about. It’s best used for metal players or more modern guitar styles/techniques. Because of this if you’re only going for modern styles of rock/other music for the electric guitar, then this is the one for you.

Features

Rock ‘N’ Roll Credibility

Sound

Design

This guitar works well in its simplicity, but very much operates within its given range. It features a single coil pickup and two Humbucking pickups.

Ibanez is not so known for their rocker endorsements, but there have been a few who’ve picked it up over the years. A couple notable examples include Steve Miller, Chris Broderick of Megadeth, and for a short time, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.

For metal players, this is an ideal pick. It’s easy to play hard and fast and work your way quickly up and down the fretboard. It’s also better to play than a worn hand-me-down if you’re looking to test out your skills in the electric guitar realm.

The starlight blue and mahogany body are nice and flashy to look at. And if this is your style or fits with your aesthetic, then it may be the pick for you. Just be prepared for it to reflect light big time in your live performances. In addition to the blue, there’s a white crystalline surface that’ll beam the light that hits it out deep into your audience.

PROS

  • Easy to Play
  • Easily Replaceable

CONS

  • May Not Last with Repeated Use
  • Less Pickup Manipulation
  • Less Cultural Roots

Jackson JS32T King V

Jackson JS32T King V Electric Guitar Black
  • Basswood body
  • Bolt-on maple speed neck with graphite reinforcement
  • Compound-radius (12"-16")
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard
  • 24 jumbo frets

Here we have the metal player’s best friend. This particular iconic model harkens back to the classic Jackson V design, and will put you right at home if your style is more hardcore than what other guitars can provide. Originally named after Robbin Crosby of Ratt, this axe speaks to the enduring legacy of the intersection of Glam Metal and Hard Rock.

Feat​ures

Rock ‘N’ Roll Credibility

Sound

Design

Having this guitar in your arsenal is great because it simply looks like no other model. It’s a solid-body electric guitar with a Basswood body as well. It also features two solid black Humbuckling pickups that work functionally without distracting from its aesthetic appeal. It also allows the strings to run strung through to its hard tail.

This guitar speaks to the blossoming of a whole new genre in Rock ‘n’ Roll history and its importance can’t be understated. Dave Mustaine made this guitar a famous part of his iconic look.

In addition to being physically appealing, it also charts out its own sound and it’s a powerful one. It delivers both in quality and your ability to flexibly manipulate that sound. Especially for a ‘cheaper’ guitar like this one, the sound that comes out is a great value.

Although the design is so iconic, it does pigeon-hole the instrument a bit in terms of its ability to be taken out and played among a variety of different acts. Of course, this guitar isn’t trying to please everyone, it’s very much blazing its own trail. But nonetheless, it cannot be faulted for what it does best, which is deliver an eye-popping visual experience that makes you dig that much more into the music at a live show, or take it off the wall and play it if you’re at home.

PROS

  • Black V Design Perfect for Glam Metal
  • Easily Playable in the Metal Genre
  • A Great Sounding Axe for the Price Point

CONS

  • Look is Not so Versatile
  • Different Players May Find it Harder to Play if They’re Used to More Traditional Model
  • Could Have More Flexibility With Pickups

CONCLUSION

close up of an electric guitar with a "sunburst" stain

Whether as a beginner or as a seasoned veteran, you want to pick out a guitar that both matches your level of mastery, while looking good with what you’re wearing. Even ‘the naked cowboys’ of the world pick out their guitars based on wearing little to no clothing at all. So when choosing what axe will fit you best, look at yourself as the full player. What’s your preferred style? Who are your influences? And what if any types of guitar styles have you looked up to?

With all things considered in this selection of electric guitars, we give 5 out of 5 stars to the Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar. For us it strikes the perfect balance: the elements of design, sound, feel, and overall look. There’s something to be said for tradition. Without Les Paul there’s a good chance that a wider appreciation for craftsmanship in electric guitars would have only ever been achieved in a minor way. That said, there are many other worthy entries here.

If you’re having trouble picking the one for you, just conjure an image in your imagination of yourself, on stage, jamming out with your bandmates/friends. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What kind of venue are you playing in and how is the crowd reacting? For us, that ideal image is with a Epiphone Les Paul-100 Electric Guitar. But whatever guitar pops up in that image for you, that’s the one to choose. Not sure if electric guitar is the route for you? We got you covered for acoustic guitars too!)

Happy jamming!