Fender Stratocaster and Epiphone Les Paul are two of the most iconic and widely used guitar models today. How well do you know these models? Let’s find out.
Fender Stratocaster vs Epiphone Les Paul: The Similarity
Both Fender Strats and Les Paul’s have a cutaway to allow easy access to the higher frets up the guitar fretboard towards the body and bridge.
Fender Stratocaster vs Epiphone Les Paul: The Differences
A guitar’s scale length refers to the length of the strings from the nut to the bridge. A longer scale length often implies longer distance between the frets, or more frets available for playing on the guitar fretboard. If the distance between frets are longer, this may result in the strings being harder to bend, or you may need to stretch your fingers more to play certain chords. A longer scale length, however, often implies that you can play higher notes up the fretboard, increasing the range of notes you can play on the guitar.
A guitar with a longer scale length also tends to produce brighter and punchier sounds, while a guitar with a shorter scale length is often associated with warmer and rounder sounds.
Generally, Fender Stratocasters have a longer scale length (25.5 inches) compared to Les Paul’s (about 24.75 inches). This may be the reason why bending notes on Epiphone Les Pauls are often easier compared to Fender Strats. For the same reason, Les Pauls tend to produce rounder sounds while Fender Strats tend to sound brighter, which has become their respective signature sounds.
Fender Strats usually have slimmer bodies, which may make them easier to carry and play compared to Les Paul’s. Due to the difference in thickness, Fender Strats are usually lighter compared to Les Paul’s, which may also mean that the former are a little easier to play standing up, and are more suitable for people with a smaller stature.
Fender Strats have double cutaways while Les Paul’s have a single cutaway.
Fender Strats usually have slimmer necks compared to Les Paul’s, which makes them easier to play for beginners or guitar players with smaller hands.
Pickups and sound
Fender Strats traditionally have three single coil pickups, while Les Paul’s usually feature two humbucker pickups.
Single coil pickups are known to produce brighter, sharper and crisper sounds, while those produced by humbuckers often are warmer, rounder and thicker. This distinction gives Fender Strats and Les Paul’s the respective sound profiles associated with them. Stratocasters are often associated with punk rock, country and blues, while Les Paul’s tend to be synonymous with classic rock, jazz or slower blues.
Les Paul’s are also known to have greater sustain compared to Stratocasters.
Fender Strats usually come with a tremolo arm for creating large vibratos, which are not present in Les Paul’s.
Fender Strats and Epiphone Les Paul’s have quite significant differences in their physical configuration, which affects their sounds and playability. Feel free to try and experiment with them to find out the right sound for your music, and make your choice.