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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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, thanks in no small part to the notoriety it achieved by being the guitar favored by Eric Clapton when he had been a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. That 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 Traditional Electric Guitar*honeyburst*2013*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Custom Alpine White2013 Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Ii Honeyburst Curly Maple W Ohsc ExtrasGibson 2014 Custom Shop R9 Les Paul 1959 Reissue - Quilt TopGibson Les Paul Dc Pro Custom Shop1994 Gibson Custom Shop Ebony Historic Les Paul Blackie 1957 Bigsby W/ CaseGibson - Les Paul Studio - 1992 - Right Hand - Made In Usa - Electric GuitarEpiphone, Les Paul Standard, Tobacco Sunburst, 6 String, Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio Model Electric Guitar - Serial Number 100600541 - Used2012 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Electric Guitar Trans AmberEpiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro Cherry Sunburst Electric Guitar2005 Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, A Rare Guitar!!!2007 Gibson Les Paul Studio W / Gibson Case! Iconic Usa Guitar! No Reserve!!!!! Lefty Rare Gibson Les Paul Faded No Reserve2016 Gibson Les Paul ~ Custom Lite ~ White Electric Guitar ~ Made In Usa W/ Ohsc2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar W/ Case - No Reserve & Free ShippingEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Standard Blue Royale Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio Faded*2011*worn Cherry*gator Hardshell Case*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Custom Lefty Left Hand2015 Memphis Gibson Les Paul EsGibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Ii Usa! Flame Top Heritage Cherry Beautiful!Epiphone Les Paul Guitar2013 Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Ii Push Push Coil Taps Champagne2009 Gibson Les Paul StudioGibson Epiphone Les Paul Model Electric Guitar Korea Brown Sunburst & Soft CaseEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Project As Is Gibson Les Paul CustomEpiphone Les Paul 100 Ebony Finish With Strap & Hard Case - No ReserveVintage Gibson Les Paul Custom Wine Red 19782014 Gibson Usa Es Les Paul Sunburst Aaaa Flame Maple Top W Case No ReserveGibson Les Paul Studio Lite Electric Guitar*1996*no Reserve*Left Handed Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Black Epiphone Custom Les Paul In Cherry SunburstLes Paul Custom Signature Series Electric Guitar W/ Hard Case2007 Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar All Original Root Beer Finish OhsGibson Usa 2015 Les Paul Classic Vintage Sunburst Flame *minty* W/ohscGibson Les Paul Standard Plus Electric GuitarGibson Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Guitar Wow Must See !!!!!!!!!!2013 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar With Hard Shell CaseUsed Gibson Lps15t3ch1 2015 Tobacco Sunburst Candy Les Paul Standard2001 Gibson Les Paul Classic Electric Guitar & Case 2015 Gibson Les Paul Classic 120th Anniv Edition Fireburst Flamed Maple Top UsaGibson Les Paul Traditional 12-string Electric GuitarTrue Historic 54 Vos Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Custom Black BeautyEpiphone Les Paul Standard Bass Guitar - Limited Edition !Unbelievably Rare - Joe Perry Gibson Les Paul Boneyard - Pilot Run! Must See!!!!Epiphone Les Paul Plus TopUsed Gibson Lpsd15ytsn1 2015 Trans Yellow Top Special Double Cutaway Les PaulGibson Usa Les Paul Traditional T Molded Hardshell Case American Brown + Pink2007 Gibson Les Paul Bfg Electric GuitarVintage 1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom Super Metal Blues Axe Mojo!!!2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard Hs With Hard Case2006 Epiphone Les Paul Standard (damaged)Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Electric Guitar2008 Gibson Epiphone Les Paul 100 Guitar Sienna Burst - Nice ShapeGibson 498t 490r Pickup Set. Nice! Les Paul ,2009 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Blue Sparkle Finish Ltd W Case No ReserveGibson Les Paul Junior Special 2012 - Tv YellowSchoen Custom Les Paul Junior Style Kristina Salvaged Lollar Butternut Wood