The solid-body model of the Epiphone Les Paul Jr is almost impossible to tell apart from the well known Gibson Les Paul, both ergonomically and visually; and it is reasonably priced.
The Les Paul and several budget models are manufactured at a more modest cost by Epiphone, which now has the position of being Gibson’s subsidiary company.
Epiphone Les Paul
The Epiphone Les Paul was first manufactured in 1988 and it has maintained its steady prestige ever since. The body, neck, and fretboards come in different qualities and texture of wood.
Generally, the body is made of Maple, Alder, Mahogany, and Basswood; the neck comes only in Mahogany and the fretboard comes in Ebony, Maple, and Rosewood.
Les Paul is known for its efficient and excellent configuration, technicalities, and the smooth sound desired. The bridge is usually a Bigsby or Tune-o-Matic and the pickups used are two or three Alnico Classic Humbuckers.
They come in different shades too such as Vintage Sunburst, Honey Burst, Ebony, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, and Wine Red.
Twenty ecstatic versions of Les Paul are manufactured by Epiphone and made available to the larger mass at a price that can be afforded by them.
The luxury of playing a Les Paul was not thought to be a practical reality for most but only for the Epiphone manufacturers that are made possible and to those lucky guys who had actually got hold of an Epiphone Les Paul it is no less than a dream come true.
The timeless design of the Epiphone Les Paul guitar is one of the most enduring in all of music history.
The single-cutaway design carved on a whole piece of mahogany, capped with a premium maple top is enough to conjure images of rock n’ roll stars belting out hit after hit in crowded arenas.
As one of the most popular products from Gibson Guitars, it has gained the status of a premium instrument good for any kind of music.
Unfortunately, the premium quality of a Gibson Les Paul also comes at a premium price out of the reach of many struggling musicians, especially in this time of economic turmoil.
The Epiphone line of Les Paul Guitars is made to cater to musicians at lower price points while still offering the fat, meaty tones that they are known for.
Do you and your wallet a favor; if you are considering buying that guitar you’ve always wanted but don’t have the money for a Gibson, then the Epiphone Les Paul guitars are the next best thing.
The Epiphone Les Paul Guitars
Epiphone Les Paul Guitars has been praised by players, guitar publications and critics as being a faithful rendition of the original Les Paul design.
As all of the Epiphone Les Paul guitars are fully licensed and supported by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, a player is guaranteed to get the quality and playability of the more expensive Gibson guitars at more affordable price points.
After all, the solid-body guitar invented by Les Paul himself was built in Epiphone’s factories.
The Standard line of Epiphone Les Paul guitars come in plain and plus top models for guitarists wanting a great looking guitar to go along with sound and playability.
These guitars in the Standard line come with premium maple caps which are either plain or flamed, catering to musicians with varying aesthetic tastes.
Are Epiphone Les Paul Juniors good?
These guitars play as good as they look too, with Gibson-designed pickups, Grover Tuners, and improved electronics for the best sound and playability for your money.
Commonly said to be a guitar to go along with a tuxedo, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom guitars are for guitarists looking for luxury at an affordable price.
The Epiphone Les Paul Custom comes in Ebony or Alpine White finishes to-go at any occasion, with Plus tops available in Vintage Sunburst and Heritage Cherry Sunburst for players who want more out of their guitar finishes.
Like the Standard, the Les Paul Custom also comes with player-grade electronics and hardware to make playing any style of music a breeze.
The years of experience that Epiphone has in the guitar market has made them leaders in the craft. Epiphone Les Paul guitars are part of this heritage and are made with the skills and experience gained from both Gibson and Epiphone in order to cater better to musicians hit hard by the recession.
The body on the Les Paul Junior has the standard Les Paul shape, and it is made of mahogany. Do not be misled by the ‘Junior’ in the name.
It is a full-sized guitar that is more lightweight than other Les Paul type models, so you do not want to buy this for anyone younger than 10 or 12 years old because it will be too big and uncomfortable to play.
The LP Junior has only one pickup, and two controls: tone and volume, so not a lot of features here, but a lot of players appreciate this simplicity: guitars with this electronics setup are used by tons of professionals.
You can get the Les Paul Junior in some beautiful colors, such as Alpine White, Cherry, Ebony, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Translucent Blue and Vintage Sunburst.
There are not so many features on the guitar, which makes it a perfect choice for a beginner. Simplicity makes it easy, and fun to play.
This model is preferred for a young teen because it’s very light compared to some of the other Les Paul styles, the lightweight adds to its playability for kids and teens.
The Junior is known for its good tone and intonation. That means that it says in tune well and sounds good.
There is only one pickup on this guitar so that you might get a huge range of tones, but for a beginner, this is not something to worry about.
As I mentioned above there is only one pickup, but it’s a decent quality one, and it sounds good, surprisingly good for the price of this guitar. The rest of the electronics are excellent for a guitar in this price range.
Frets on the Junior are generally well dressed (not something that can be said for all budget guitars). The neck is smooth and easy to play.
Things to look out for with The Les Paul Junior:
As a beginner guitar, there isn’t much to complain about with the Epiphone Les Paul Jr.
Some people might have minor qualms with the quality of the tuners, but the standard criticisms (cheap tuners, don’t like the strings, poor pickup, etc. ) are pretty superficial and can be fixed or upgraded very easily.
Specifications – Epiphone Les Paul Junior
Body shape – Les Paul
Body Material – Mahogany
Finish – Gloss
Material – Mahogany
Profile – Vintage 50s
Scale length – 24.75″
Fingerboard material – Indian Laurel
Fingerboard radius – 12″
Number of frets – 22
Frets – Medium Jumbo
Inlays – Dot
Joint – Glued in; Set Neck
Finish – Nickel
Turner Plating – Nickel
Bridge – Lightning Bar Wraparound
Tuning Machines – Epiphone Deluxe Vintage
TrussRod – Yes
Truss Rod Cover – “Bell Shaped”; 2 layer (black/white); blank
Control knobs – Black Top Hats
Strap Buttons – 2 – bottom and shoulder
Is the Epiphone Les Paul Junior a good value?
When you put the whole package together, and look at the competition from Fender, in particular, the Les Paul Junior comes out poorly.
In fairness, with setup it could play a lot better depending on those frets, but compared against a lower-priced Telecaster and it falls way short.
Looking at models further up the Epiphone range, I would wager the Standards, etc would fare much better for only an extra $100 outlay, however, looking at some youtube videos, it appears quality control issues inflict the whole range.
The bottom line is that you could pick up a Fender/Squier tomorrow and gig it, and that is just not true of the Epiphone which will at least take a bit of work and practice to master.
The Les Paul Jr. is a perfect full-size starter guitar. Kids and teens who are just starting can do well with this model.
It’s lightweight, so it is comfortable to play, and beginners can learn how to do necessary repairs, cleaning, and string replacement without worrying that they are going to damage a $300 or over $500 guitar.
It has the classic Les Paul styling, this makes it looks great, and the quality, set-up, finish, and hardware are all impressive for this price range.
Are you getting the same quality as a $4000 Gibson Les Paul? No, but you are getting pretty high quality for the price.
The Les Paul Junior is a perfect first-hand guitar for the price, and it’s ideal for kids who want a beautiful and simple electric guitar.
It is still affordable enough for parents who do not want to spend too much, in case their child loses interest in playing though, which makes it pretty safe but for kids 10+ who can hold a full-size guitar.