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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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 for 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 1960 Les Paul Classic Goldtop 2005 No Reserve !Ibanez 2350 Les*vintage 1977*all Original*lawsuit-era Les Paul*mij*no ReserveJoe Bonamassa Signed/played Skinnerburst Gibson Les Paul '59 Reissue No Reserve!1970s Gibson Les Paul Custom Vintage White Refin Electric Guitar As Is E55Gibson Usa Usa Les Paul Classic Custom Electric GuitarEpiphone Custom Shop Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric Guitar Wine Red W/case Gibson Les Paul Supreme 20041970's Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom Cherry Sunburst With Hard Case.Epiphone Les Paul Jr. Double CutawayGibson Les Paul Deluxe 1974Epiphone Les Paul (korean Made) - Vintage Sunburst With Flame Top + Gig BagEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Cherry Sunburst W/case No Reserve!Gibson Usa Les Paul Melody Maker Project Guitar (demo)2006 Gibson Les Paul Studio Premium Plus With Hardshell CaseEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Korea Mik With Hard Case2000 Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960Gibson Les Paul Studio Pro 2011, Worn Cherry Faded, Burstbuckers. No Reserve!!!2012 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro Rush Band Autographed Electric Guitar Epiphone Les Paul Gibson Made In Korea W/ Skb Case 2005 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Electric Guitar Custom Shop 2010er Les Paul V.epiphone Tolle Gitarre2012 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Plus Electric Guitar With OhscGibson Les Paul Custom*vintage 1980*cherry Sunburst*mint*all Original*no ReserveFaber Lsc Bs Les Paul Style Brown Sunburst Incl. Tokai Faber 59 Lifton CaseGibson Les Paul Standard Custom Shop Made Rare Black Nos Never PlayedEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar1974 Gibson Les Paul CustomGibson Les Paul 70s Tribute Gold Top Electric Guitar With Gig Bag No ReserveGreco Les Paul Lp Bass Egb-850 Mij Made In Japan Electric Bass GuitarGibson Custom Shop Les Paul Axcess Standard (iced Tea Finish)Gibson Les Paul 57 Custom Shop Historic Collection Reissue Aged No ReserveGibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Tobacco Sunburst W/ Case No Reserve!Epiphone Les Paul Honeyburst Aaa+ Flame Top **coil Tap**2006 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric GuitarGibson Epiphone Les Paul Electric Guitar2001 Gibson Les Paul Standard Ebony2005 Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Limited Edition Trans Black Epiphone Les Paul Standart2012 Les Paul Ultima Crimson Cs Tree Of Life Unplayed!Gibson Les Paul Studio Platinum Electric Guitar With Case1990s ? Epiphone Les Paul Standard ?or Elector ?made In Korea ?by Gibson Guitar 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Tobacco Burst + Original Hardshell CaseGibson Les Paul Standard Quilt Top2008 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul "sparkle" W/ohsc & Coa - No Reserve!Gibson Special 2006 Les Paul Double Cut Cutaway Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Classic '60s Plus W / Ohsc Honeyburst Finish! No Reserve!!!!!!!!Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Electric GuitarGibson Epiphone Series Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Jr. Billie Joe Armstrong Electric Guitar Rare 2012 Db Nice Case1995 Gibson Les Paul Standard Sunburst Maple Top Aaa Figured, 1959 ReissueLes Paul Fujigen Coolz Zls-2 Fm Vv Made In Japan Cool-zTokai Les Paul 1995 Gibson Les Paul StudioEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar (ebony)2011 Gibson Les Paul Historic Collection R8 1958 58Gibson Les Paul Standard - 1981 Cherry SunburstGibson Les Paul Studio 2008Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Electric Guitar W/ CaseEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar (alpine White)2011 Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Custom ( G5 )