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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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 Usa Les Paul TraditionalGibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe 2010 1988 Gibson Les Paul Custom "showcase Edition"Vintage Original 1977 Gibson Les Paul Special "project" Guitar W/ Original CaseGibson Les Paul StandardGibson Custom Shop Les Paul Special GuitarGibson Les Paul Special Double Cut Faded Tv Yellow Reissue + Bag Perfect !!!1982 Gibson Les Paul Custom - Silverburst - Silver Burst 82Vintage 1985 Gibson Les Paul Custom Beautiful Chrome Ebony Tim Shaws!!1982 Gibson Usa Les Paul Standard Body & Peghead Project Guitar PartsGibson 1957 Les Paul Junior Electric Guitar Refinished Not Reissued.Gibson Les Paul Standard*1992*sunburst*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul R8 Flamed Maple1977 Gibson Les Paul Custom - Tobacco Burst - Vintage 77Gibson Custom Shop R7 Les Paul Historic Wildwood Spec Frost Blue Gloss Collector2008 Epiphone Les Paul Standard2014 Gibson Les Paul Studio Honeyburst Excellent Condition Used 5x + Gibson Case2009 Gibson Usa Les Paul Jr Artictv White Satin $1 Open BidGibson Les Paul Standard Plus2004 Gibson Les Paul Epiphone Guitar Ace Frehley Edition Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarMint Gibson Les Paul Custom Classic Light Limited Edition 2014 Vintage SunburstEpiphone Les Paul Standard Dark Cherry Sunburst - Used - No Reserve!Agile Les Paul Copy Lawsuit Electric Guitar W/ Case *usedGibson Usa Slash Signature Les Paul Tobacco Sunburst 2009 Gibson Les Paul Junior With Hard Case75 Electra Super Rock Les Paul2004 Gibson Custom Shop R9 1959 Les Paul Guitar2013 Gibson Usa Les Paul Lp Standard Electric Bass Guitar W/ohsc Ebony FinishGibson Les Paul Model Studio Electric Guitar 158793 H Gibson Les Paul '59 Reissue 2007 Cherry Sunburst Pre Owned With Hs Case2004 Gibson Les Paul 1960 Classic 20 Year Old Vintage Gibson Les Paul Honey Burst2006 Epiphone Les Paul Sg Custom Gold Hardware Vibrola Alpine White W/hard CaseGibson Les Paul Signature 2014 Caribbean Blue 6 String 1998 Gibson Les Paul Studio With 70's Gibson Hard CaseGibson Les Paul Lpj 2014 120th Anniversary Vintage Sunburst Perimeter Satin1977 Gibson Les Paul Custom W/ Rare Maple Fingerboard 1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom In A Beautiful Aged Alpine White With Hardshell CaseGibson 1960 Les Paul Special X Custom Shop, Cherry 0 6666 2003 Gibson Les Paul Double CutawayPre Owned Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 Reissue Guitar W/case SunburstVintage 1985 Gibson Les Paul Spirit Ii Xpl Dc 400 Hsh Ferrari Red Kahler Clean!Epiphone Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarGibson Usa Les Paul SpecialEpiphone Les Paul Junior With P90 PickupGibson Les Paul Custom 1997 CherryburstGibson 1960 Les Paul Classic Electric GuitarCustom Epiphone Gibson Les Paul Standard '59 Jimmy Page Replica Gibson Guitar1976 *vintage* Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar *3 Pickups* W/ohscHard Case Fits Gibson Or Epiphone Les Paul2006 Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue R9 Washed Cherry - Under 9 LbGibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar With Hard CaseGibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Electric Guitar - L@@k ***no Reserve***Gibson 2011 Les Paul Studio Guitar. Worn Red. Ohsc. Mint Condition. Six String. 1970s Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar Natural Body -- Rare Fretboard!Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus - Tobacco Sb With Hs CaseMint 2013 Left-handed Gibson Les Paul Studio, Pelham Blue W/ Factory Hard CaseEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar (alpine White)Epiphone Les Paul Special I P90 Electric Guitar Worn Cherry For Parts Only*