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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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, the 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 Deluxe*vintage 1981*goldtop*excellent All Original Condition*Superb Players Grade Original 1962 Gibson Les Paul Sg With Ebony Block 1p No Res1999 Gibson Custom Historic 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue 40th Ann R9 59 Aaaa Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium 2013 - Koa Top, Honey Burst, Electric Guitar Gibson Les Paul Junior Special Custom Shop 2001 Maple Cap Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Made In UsaGibson Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarRare 1979 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Electric Guitar GoldBill Kelliher Prototype Golden Axe "halcyon" Les Paul Goldburst Guitar Signed Gibson Les Paul StandardGibson Les Paul Traditional 2014 Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar With "burstbucker" PickupsGibson Les Paul Classic Electric Guitar Gibson Custom Limited Edition Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Guitar, New Unopened 2005 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus 50s W/ Max Baranet Pickups Paf(13802006 Gibson Les Paul Baritone - Rare, Limited & Hard To Find Pewter (silver)Gibson Les Paul Classic*120th Anniversary*mint*2014*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Melody MakerGibson Les Paul Studio Faded, In Worn Brown, 2006 ModelVintage Black 1986 Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar W/ Hard Case Gibson Les Paul Axcess (l@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@k)1970-1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom Cherry Sunburst Serial #114329 Ibanez 2351dx Gold Top Collector Alert - Les Paul Deluxe CopyEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Quilt Top W/hard CaseMint Condition 1998 Gibson Les Paul Custom UsaGibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Jr Junior 2005 Gloss, Lollar 50s Wind P-90Hondo Ii Lawsuit Les Paul Custom, All Original Dimarzio Pickups , Set Neck! Mint Condition 1993 Gibson Les Paul Custom UsaGibson 2006 Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Brown W/case1982 Gibson Spirit Made In Kalamazoo - Les Paul Junior On 'roids!Vintage Univox Mij Japan Gibson Les Paul Custom Tabacco Sunburst No Reserve 2013 Gibson Usa Les Paul Traditional Electric GuitarGibson 120th Anniversary Les Paul Cherry Satin Guitar 2014 Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro *broken Head Stock*Gibson 2012 Les Paul Satin Guitar Mint Condition Hard Shell Case Standard CustomGibson Les Paul Studio Project RepairNew 2014 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Unplayed Coa Included Gold AccenGibson Les Paul Classic*1960 Reissue*goldtop*2004*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar Made In UsaGibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Electric Guitar W/ CaseGibson Les Paul Classic Custom Gold Top 2011 With Many Upgrades Mint Condition2002 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Black UpgradedEpiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric Guitar Red Finish NewGibson Les Paul Special Guitar,double Cutaway,p 90s,bound Neck,1996,hsc,no ResrvEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Custom Ebony Chrome Hardware Custom Shop With Zakk Wylde EmgsGibson Les Paul Custom Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio Plus Electric GuitarEpiphone Vintage Les Paul Standard Pro Guitar (blueburst) - Hard Case Included!Vintage Gibson Les Paul CustomGibson Usa Usa Les Paul Supreme Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar 6 String Used (see Description)Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Jr. Re-issue 1991Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top Electric Guitar Ebony Damaged, "u Fix It"Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top Electric Guitar Ebony With CaseEpiphone Les Paul Black Beauty 3 Triple-pickup Electric Guitar - Great ConditonRare 1996 Purple Sparkle Korean Made Epiphone Les Paul1959 Gibson Les Paul Jr Double-cut Cherry With Ossc, Very Fine