“It’s a shoo-in for any gigging musician”: Gibson Les Paul Modern Studio review

Gibson’s long-running Les Paul Studio is the latest to get a Modern makeover. A valid new model or a minor refresh? Let’s find out

Gibson Les Paul Modern Studio
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

A rather good Les Paul for the working musician. Yes, it’s more expensive than the outgoing Studio, but a shade under £2k for the real thing ain’t bad in our book.


  • +

    Valid refresh of long-running model.

  • +

    Proper satin finish.

  • +

    Good weight.

  • +

    New Modern features like ebony ’board and contoured heel.

  • +

    Expansive sounds with pull-switch functions.


  • -

    A few fret ends were a little sharp but very little to worry about here.

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.

The Les Paul Studio was introduced way back in 1983 and although Gibson missed a significant 40th anniversary last year, it always illustrated the desire for a simplified spec ’Paul at a more affordable price. 

It’s no different today, and while the lowest-cost slot in the Modern strand of Gibson’s USA line-up has now been taken by the Modern Lite – which just launched and is really a pretty different Les Paul – the new Modern Studio slots in above that, remaining significantly lower in price than the Les Paul Modern.

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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.