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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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    

1971 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Gold Top Guitar W Ohsc No Reserve E47 Rare Gibson Les Paul Custom/sg Custom Shop Fire-tiger 3d Quilt Top # 15 Of 25Epiphone Japan By Orville Gibson Les Paul Standard 59 Sunburst No Reserve!!! MijGibson '54 Les Paul Custom - 1954 Reissue - Black Beauty - Excellent Condition2013 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute Goldtop W/p-90's1973 Gibson Les Paul Standard Special Order Factory Humbuckers - No Reserve!Gibson Les Paul CustomGibson Les Paul Signature T*vintage Sunburst*mint*no Reserve*Vintage Original 1978 Gibson Les Paul 25/50 Anniversary Electric Guitar2014 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Quilt Root Beer Rootbeer Electric Guitar Rare 2014 Gibson Les Paul R9 1959 Historic Reissue-custom Shop Artist Stinger!2006 Gibson Les Paul Classic "black Beauty" With Original CaseIbanez Les Paul Copy6 String Guitar Right Haned Post LawsuitNice 1988 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black BeautyGibson Les Paul Jr Sunburst Heavy Relic2012 Gibson 1950s Les Paul Studio Tribute Humbucker Guitar Rare Gold Top +extrasGibson Les Paul Standard 2014 Rh Electric Guitar Honey Burst Perimeter*Gibson Les Paul Custom 19712000 Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus - WohscEpiphone Les Paul Limited Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top 2007 Electric Guitar _9 135841987 Gibson Les Paul Standard Guitar Ex++ Condition.Mint 2011 Gibson Les Paul Jr Special Exclusive+p-90s+les Paul Hard Case Included1986 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Black Beauty With Kahler Tremelo Epiphone Prophecy Les Paul Custom Plus Ex Electric Guitar Gibson Les Paul Custom1976 Set Neck Ibanez Les Paul Custom! Lawsuit Guitar. Vintage 1968 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop Super Clean !2014 Gibson Collector's Choice #28 1958 Aged Les Paul Montrose Custom Shop 8.8!2011 Gibson Marc Bolan Custom Shop Aged Les Paul Unplayed #8 Made!! Gibson 2008 Les Paul Standard Faded Tobacco Gibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Honey Burst )2013 Gibson 1959 Les Paul Standard Gloss Superb Flame Top Sunrise Tea BurstGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Desert Burst )!rare! Koa Top Gibson 2013 Les Paul Standard Premium Electric Guitar2001 Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar Tobacco Sunburst With Case1999 Gibson Les Paul Standard Honeyburst1981 Gibson Firebrand Les Paul The Paul Deluxe Blue/green Autographed Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro Electric Guitar 2008 Gibson Les Paul Classic Guitar No ReserveEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar (alpine White)Usa 2005 Gibson Classic Honeyburst 1960 Re-issueGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Wine Red )Gibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 120th Anniversary ( Brilliant Red Burst )Epiphone Les Paul Standard, Gold, Gig Bag, New Strings.Gibson Les Paul Lpr9 Epiphone Prophecy Les Paul Custom Plus Ex - Midnight SapphireGibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard Vos Reissue Guitar 2012 Bourbon Burst R8Gibson Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Electric Guitar2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio Worn Brown W/ Gibson Hard Shell Case1999 Gibson Epiphone Sg Les Paul Custom***korean Made*** W/original Hard Case***Electra Super Rock 2249 6 String Flamed Maple Les Paul Lawsuit Era GuitarBoutique 50s Vintage Ri Hand Wound Humbucker Paf Pickup Set Fits Gibson Les PaulGibson Les Paul Studio 2009 Raw Power Electric Guitar Satin Aquamarine W/gig BagGibson Les Paul Custom Lite Electric Guitar (2013) Gold Hardware ***nice*** Gibson Les Paul Sonex 180 Deluxe, Hard Case + Several Upgrades! No ReserveGibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Ii - 2012Gibson Classic 2008 Gold Top 1960 UsaGibson Les Paul StudioEpiphone Elitist Les Paul Standard Plus