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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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 Jr. Tv Yellow Dc Double Cut1973 ? Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Triple Pickup ProjectGibson Les Paul Special*vintage 1977*55/77 Reissue*no Reserve2004 Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded With Emgs1980 Gibson Les Paul Heritage 80 Standard Sunburst Superb 1983 Gibson Les Paul Standard Stock Kahler No Reserve Auction .99 StartGibson Les Paul Custom*vintage 1976*blonde Beauty*no Reserve1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar With CaseVintage, Perfect! Ready To Play, Les Paul Ultra, Epiphone Electric Guitar, NrGibson Les Paul Classic 2001 Honeyburst Gibson Custom Shop Peter Frampton Les Paul Custom*ebony*gold Hardware*no ReserveGibson Custom Limited Edition Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Guitar, New UnopenedGibson Usa Les Paul Traditional Standard Electric Guitar With Original HscOrville Les Paul P-90 Gold Top Awesome Guitar Very RareGorgeous 2007 Heritage Cherry Gibson Sg Standard No Reserve Auction .99 StartGibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty (2008) No Reserve!! Genuine Ebony FretboardLefty Gibson Les Paul Custom Left-handed Electric Guitar Flame Top!!Gibson Les Paul "classic 1960"Gibson Sixties Tribute Les Paul Studio Black P90 Hard Case Usa 60s Gibson Jimmy Page Custom Authentic Les Paul Number One #1xx 1983 Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar1983 Gibson Les Paul Custom Goldtop With Factory Khaler Tremelo + CaseGibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Pro Plus 2009 Zebra Coil Tapped Pickups Epiphone Les Paul Standard Ebony - Mint!!!1994 Gibson Studio Les Paul Guitar For Project Centennial Year Kalamazoo1959 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Junior GuitarGibson Les Paul Classic, 1960s, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Right-handed, 6 StringGibson Les Paul Studio Epiphone Limited Edition Electric Guitar1988 Les Paul Custom Lite,nicely Aged,plays Like A Dream,no Play Wear,collector!Gibson Les Paul 2008 Honey Burst Finish W/case2002 Gibson Les Paul Special Made In Usa Gibson Les Paul Studio GuitarGibson Lpr-7 Les Paul Custom Shop Gold Top 57 Reissue - 20072007 Gibson Custom Shop Dark Burst Rare Tobacco P-90 Les Paul Rare R6 1956 RiEpiphone Les Paul StandardGibson Les Paul Traditional Plus Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio1993 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Wine Red Usa 93053419 Original CaseGibson 2014 Inverness Green Les Paul Futura Body & NeckEpiphone Les Paul Special Ii Electric GuitarGibson Custom Tom Murphy Aged Gary Rossington Signature 1959 Les Paul 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior Vintage Guitar Sunburst Original Chipboard Case1996 Gibson Les Paul Custom Prod. # 391, 6 String Electric Guitar, Nashville UsaGibson Les Paul Lpj Left Handed Guitar Cherry Satin 136947 ErGibson Les Paul Traditonal Usa 2011Epiphone Lp-100 Les Paul Electric Guitar, Ebony Right HandedStunning 2013 Gibson 1959 Les Paul R9 59 Super Low Ser#collectors,faded TobaccoAgile 3100, Les Paul Copy-excellent ConditionEpiphone Les Paul Limited Edition 1960 Version 3 -- Near Mint97 Epiphone Les Paul Jr. Deep Red P-90 Sound MachineUnivox Les Paul Copy Electric Guitar Japan Vintage Gibson Patent Number StickerBoutique 50s Vintage Ri Hand Wound Humbucker Paf Pickup Set Fits Gibson Les Paul1978 Les Paul Standard Natural With Original Cas1994 Gibson Les Paul Studio BlackGibson Les Paul Special Sl Black Usa 1999 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Guitar ExcellentGibson Les Paul Junior Special Electric Guitar With Rocksmith And Rigid Case.Epiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Studio Deluxe Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Custom/sg /gibsonGibson 2002 Cherry Les Paul Humbucker Special Body & Neck