There is some debate about who actually designed the solid-body, arch-topped Gibson Les Paul, which was introduced with a trapeze tailpiece as a Goldtop in 1952. To hear the guitarist Les Paul tell it, he was the man responsible for his namesake, pushing his prototype on Gibson executives as early as 1940. But guitar author and collector George Gruhn believes the great musician may have had little do to with the electric guitar's final design, and historians generally give Gibson president Ted McCarty most of the credit.

The collectibility of Les Pauls varies greatly, depending on their vintage and finish. Of the original Standard models, the first Sunbursts are the most sought-after vintage Les Paul electric guitars, especially the ones made from 1958 to 1960. Les Pauls from these years were also the first to use humbucking pickups, which gave the guitars a rich, hum-free tone and lots of sustain. Some Les Paul Customs from 1957 had three humbuckers.

In addition to the Standard and Custom models, Gibson also marketed a Les Paul Junior in the mid-1950s, which was essentially a less expensive Les Paul with a single pickup. A lighter-colored "TV" model of the guitar was also produced (it was thought the guitar’s yellow/butterscotch tone would not glare when performers were shown playing them on television). The two-pickup Les Paul Special was also sold as a bargain model.

Today we regard the Les Paul Standards and Customs from the late-1950s with no small degree of awe—like Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters from that decade, they are truly iconic instruments. But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG. Guitars made in the interim had the words “Les Paul” on the peghead, so they are often referred to as SG Les Pauls.

The Les Paul Standard was reintroduced in gold in 1968, thanks in no small part to the notoriety it achieved by being the guitar favored by Eric Clapton when he had been a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. That same year, the Custom made its return. In the years that followed, these guitars and even the less-expensive Epiphone models that imitated them were embraced by some of the best guitarists in rock. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin played a Les Paul, as did Pete Townsend of The Who. So did rock’s most discerning iconoclast, Frank Zappa.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Les Paul Forum

The Les Paul Forum

If you're into Gibson's Les Paul models, or even curious, this is your site. Chock full of useful reference data, p… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Guitars Info

Vintage Guitars Info

This great reference site features detailed sections on vintage guitar makers, including Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gr… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Want to see all the old brochures and ads for your favorite vintage axe? Check out this great site, which showcases… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 (2000 Reissue) - Wine Red [with Original Case]1974 1975 Gibson Les Paul Standard Project1997 Gibson Gold Top Dark Back Les Paul Standard R7 Major Mojo!!2002 Gibson Epiphone Flame Maple Top Les Paul Electric Guitar Rare Nice Guitar Gibson Les Paul Tribute 2017 T - Satin Gold Top Electric Guitar W/ Gig BagGibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Pro Ii Flame Top 2014Gibson Les Paul Model Studio Made In Usa 20091990s Epiphone Les Paul W/factory Bigsby Sparkle Blue Made In Korea No Reserve !Wow! 2016 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Custom Les Paul Goldware! Mint!Vintage 1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom In Great Condition!!!Gibson 1999 Les Paul 1960 Classic ReissueEpiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar Rh Gold Hardware Alpine White2005 New 1960 Reissue Les Paul Classic NosGloss Black Usa Gibson Les Paul Special SlGibson 1986 Sunburst Les Paul Junior Body & NeckGibson Les Paul Double Cut FadedLawsuit Era Bruno Conqueror Les Paul Project Guitar & Case Plays No Reserve1995 Gibson Les Paul Studio- Red Wine2015 Gibson Les Paul Junior 100 Anniversary Single Cut Electric Guitar No ReservEpiphone Les Paul Standard Cherry Sunburst Flame Top 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio Swirl Black/silver "project" Gibson Custom Shop '57 Les Paul Junior Single Cut Vos Tv White Epiphone Les Paul Custom With Dimarzio And Seymour Duncan PickupsEpiphone Les Paul Junior Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Custom2008 Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded Electric Guitar With Deluxe Case (worn Brown) Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro Electric Guitar W/ Hard Case1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio 6 String Black Usa Made Electric Guitar With CaseEpiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar EbonyVintage Ibanez Pf 200 Lawsuit Les Paul Electric Guitar Red2013 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop 70's Tribute Electric Guitar Mint+case Fantastic!Gibson Usa Silver Les Paul Platinum Hardshell CaseEpiphone Les Paul Ultra Iii Electric Guitar2007 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar With Hard CaseGibson Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarRebelution - Gibson Les Paul Custom '57 Bigsby Guitar - For Charity2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional Electric GuitarLeft Handed Gibson Les Paul Standard 1998Gibson Les Paul Dc 2002 2000 Epiphone / Gibson Les Paul Body Style Electric Guitar Mik Nice! No ReserveLeft Handed Revelation Les Paul Recording Lefty Set Neck Rare Model 2011 Gibson Les Paul Junior Electric Guitar Gibson Custom 59 Les Paul Stanley Burst Aged By Tom Murphy 2003 Stanley BurstAuthentic 2009 Gibson Les Paul Special Tv Yellow Electric Guitar Unplayed!!Epiphone Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar White Finish, Gold Hardware, HumbuckersEpiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Standard Blue 6-string Electric Guitar 2009First Edition 2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio '50's Tribute Gold Top Like New!!!Epiphone Les Paul Special Ii Ltd "very Nice Condition Plays Great Clean Guitar"2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus Light BurstEpiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro Limited Edition Electric GuitarEpiphone Nightfall Les Paul, Electric Guitar, W/ Skb Hardcase + Floyd Rose TremEpiphone Les Paul 60's Tribute Plus Electric GuitarGold Gibson Les Paul Hardware For Relic/road Worn Project GuitarGibson Usa Black Reptile Skin Les Paul Hardshell Case1973 Gibson Les Paul CustomEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top ProNew Tweed Hard Shell Guitar Case For Arched Top Les Paul Electric Guitar70's Aspen Matsumoku Made In Japan Set Neck Les Paul Project Parts Guitar Gold Les Paul Electronic Control Pots Harness