Epiphone Kirk Hammett 'Greeny' 1959 Les Paul Standard review – it may be $1.5k, but this is the best-quality Epiphone we've ever played… and better than some Gibson USA builds

It's one of the most talked about builds of 2023, but how does the latest Greeny model fare when it's put under the microscope?

Epiphone Kirk Hammett 'Greeny' 1959 Les Paul Standard
(Image: © Neil Godwin/Future)

Guitar World Verdict

It’s quite simply the best-quality-level Epiphone Les Paul we’ve had in our hands and, to be honest, a considerably better proposition than some of Gibson USA’s low-end models. There’s some excellent craft here, a great finish and plenty of sounds to explore.


  • +

    Very tidy build with all the correct ingredients

  • +

    Superb finish

  • +

    Feels like the real thing

  • +

    Offers classic rock tones with those out-of-phase sounds to explore


  • -

    The magnet flip means you can't put the pickups in-phase

  • -

    Not everyone will think $1.5k for a Chinese-made LP is value for money

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

One of the worst kept secrets of 2023 was this Epiphone ‘Greeny’. “The Gibson USAs are great,” Kirk Hammett told us, “but my favorite version of Greeny is probably the Epiphone.” Except no-one outside of Gibson knew anything about it!

For some, that marketing blip – which came just at the time Gibson was actually launching its USA production version of Greeny – might have been a bit of a PR disaster, but it’s just another footnote in the continuing story of this 1959 Les Paul that was once owned by Peter Green. They say guitars have stories, but there’s a War and Peace-sized book on this one. And probably a second volume, too.

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.