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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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    

1995 Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom Shop Electric Guitar Yellow/green Burst2012 Gibson Les Paul Historic Reissue R9, '59, 1959 - Aged 'hot Lanta'2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Pelham Blue W/locking Tuners2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom In Antique Ebony Finish W/caseEpiphone Les Paul Studio Solidbody Electric Guitar, Red W/ Hardshell CaseGibson Les Paul Standard Black Beauty Guitar With CaseGibson Les Paul Standard . 60;s Project Guitar Never FinishedGibson Les Paul Custom Brazilian Rosewood Top 1975-1976ultra Rare Only 50made!!!Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar - Right Handed (s08008401) Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro Plus Top Honeyburst W/case1993 Gibson Les Paul Custom Solid Body Electric Guitar - Tobacco Burst - Ohsc1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard GuitarEpiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Electric Guitar1978 Gibson Les Paul2007 Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway DcEpiphone Les Paul Jr Tv Yellow Limited Edition Custom Shop 2011 Model! No ReservGibson Les Paul Wine Red 1970's Guitar - No Reserve !!Epiphone G400 Sg Les Paul Custom Rare 3 Black Custom Shop Limited Edition NrGibson Custom Bucker Pickup Set New From 2014 R8 Les Paul Free Ups ShippingGibson Les Paul Melody Maker - Yellow SatinEpiphone Les Paul Jr W / P90 Pickup! Awesome Blues Tone! Extra Nice! No Reserve!Gibson Les Paul Standard Usa-push Tone, 2008 Guitar Of The Month May No Reserve!Gibson Les Paul SmartwoodGibson Les Paul Special - 1993 Single-cut - With Ohsc2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio Guitar, Arctic White + Orig Hardshell CaseGibson 2006 Alpine White Les Paul Studio Body & Ebony Neck2013 Gibson Les Paul Slash Rosso Corsa W/ Case – Mint --- Free Shipping2008 Epiphone By Gibson Les Paul Custom With Roadrunner Case Custom ShopGibson Les Paul Standard Plus 2005 Red Flame Top 50's Neck Production Number: 42006 Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top - With Original Hsc - UsaEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric Guitar Desert BurstAgile Al-3000 Prestige Les Paul Guitar With Gibson 57 Pickup2007 Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom Antique Ivory/bullseye W/ Case - EmghzGibson Les Paul Classic*120th Anniversary*seafoam Green*ohsc*2014*no ReserveEpiphone Les Paul Standard Black Electric Guitar. Includes Hard Case!!!Gibson Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional W/bigsby And P-90s 1996 Gibson Les Paul Standard Usa Made With Gibson Case Good ConditionGibson Les Paul Deluxe 1975 Natural/rosewood! All Original - Vintage- Rare -ohscEpiphone Limited Edition 56 Les Paul Standard Pro Electric Guitar, Chicago Blue"1959" Revelator Nitrosonic Single Pickup Model Polaris White Les Paul Jr StyleGlen Burton Les Paul Jr Tobacco Burst Finish W / Humbucker Pickup! No Reserve!!!Gibson Les Paul Supreme, 2003 In Excellent Cond. "1959" Revelator Nitrosonic Single Pickup Model Polaris White Les Paul Jr Style Gibson Tribute Les Paul Studio 50s Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Standard Classic -epiphoneEpiphone Les Paul Speciel 1 P90Gibson Les Paul Standard 2015Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Standard Black Electric Guitar. Includes Hard Case!!!Gibson Custom Shop 58 Reissue Les Paul Standard Guitar, Faded TobaccoGibson Les Paul Blue Sparkle Custom Shop 1957 Reissue W/ Mini Humbuckers Mint1991 Gibson Les Paul Classic Heritage Guitar -cherry- "model" On Headstock Ex CoEpiphone Les Paul Special Ii Electric Guitar Red Rock & Roll Sj04033789 6 StringGibson Les Paul CustomGibson 1976 Les Paul Recording Guitar And Original Hard CaseEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar (prestine)Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro Electric Guitar, Wine Red1970s Gibson T-top Pickup Matched Set Usa Humbucker Les Paul Es335 Patent PairEpiphone Les Paul Classic (used With Case)Les Paul Copy Guitar Project