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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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 Classic*120th Anniversary*seafoam Green*ohsc*2014*no ReserveDillon Of Canada Dxc-'58 Les Paul Jr Rare Tv Yellow W / P90! Clean! No Reserve!!Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus 2005 Red Flame Top 50's Neck Production Number: 4Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cutaway1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Wine Red No ReserveGibson Les Paul Standard Plus 2002 W OhscEpiphone Les Paul Model Les Paul Standard * Wow Free Shipping * #77Gibson 2015 Les Paul Traditional Electric GuitarExc 1989 Gibson Les Paul Studio Guitar W/hscGibson Usa Les Paul Junior Special With Humbuckers Satin YellowGibson Les Paul Custom Brazilian Rosewood Top 1975-1976ultra Rare Only 50made!!!Epiphone Limited Edition 56 Les Paul Standard Pro Electric Guitar, Chicago Blue2001 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 1958 Reissue R8 Guitar! Butterscotch, FlameOrville Les Paul By Gibson1995 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar With Original Gibson Case1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe GoldtopEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric Guitar Desert BurstEpiphone Les Paul Standard Black Electric Guitar. Includes Hard Case!!!1998 Gibson Les Paul Standard - Honey Burst Guitar Nashville Usa Super Nice2013 Gibson Les Paul Slash Rosso Corsa W/ Case – Mint --- Free ShippingGibson Les Paul Custom Classic Electric Guitar Ebony—barely Played! Made In Usa!Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar 2006 UsaGibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar, 2002 Bareknuckle, Rs Guitarworks W/ohscEpiphone (gibson) Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Trans Blue Burst- Custom!Epiphone Les Paul 100 Electric Guitar BlackGibson Les Paul TraditionalGibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty1997 Gibson Les Paul Double Cut Studio Electric Guitar Cherry Burst Epiphone Les Paul Gibson Black 6 String Electric Guitar- Made In KoreaGibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute Goldtop*left-handed*lefty*2011*no Reserve*1980 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe With Rare "second" Stamp. Rough But Great Neck.Excellent 1998 Usa Gibson Les Paul Standard Dc Plus Top Guitar & Case L@@kLes Paul Gibson Guitar2013 Gibson Usa Les Paul Studio Pro Sunburst Flame Maple Top No ReserveEpiphone 1956 Les Paul Pro Electric Guitar Mint With Case2006 Epiphone Les Paul Standard 6 String Electric Guitar With Hard CaseGibson 2015 Les Paul Traditional Electric Guitar2013 Gibson Les Paul Studio Satin Fireburst 6-string Electric Guitar Made In UsaEpiphone Limited Edition Matt Heafy Signature Les Paul Custom 7-stringGibson Les Paul Standard Classic -epiphoneEpiphone Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar - BlackEpiphone Les Paul Jr. Model Black Electric Guitar W/gig Bag Gibson .99 Start WowMint Fibenare Bj Singlecut Electric Guitar With Les Paul Pickups - Vintage Tone!Gibson Les Paul Studio Solid Body Electric Guitar2012 Gibson Les Paul Traditional GoldtopEpiphone Les Paul Model Les Paul Standard * Free Shipping * Rl #113Epiphone "les Paul" Special Model - Matte Black - Right Handed - Electric Guitar2013 Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold TopGibson 1971 Brown Les Paul Triumph Bass Body & Neck2013 Gibson Les Paul Standard Bass 4-string Sunburst Finish Played Very Little!Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute With Gibson Gig Bag!!!Used Epiphone Les Paul Special Ii Electric Guitar Vintage SunburstGibson 2015 Les Paul Traditional Electric GuitarWow Gibson Les Paul Custom Alpine White Sg Electric Guitar * Gold Hardware * Epiphone Les Paul Special Black Electric GuitarUsa Gibson Les Paul 57 Classic & Super 57 Pickups Set Humbuckers ZebraGibson Les Paul Standard Guitar Hand Painted And Signed By Ronnie Wood Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar + Orange Micro Terror Head And Cabinet95 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Black Beauty Black Gold95 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Black Beauty Black Gold