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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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

1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom - Wine Red 1981 Usa Gibson Les Paul Custom Sunburst Electric Guitar15 Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop Electric Guitar Black Beauty Lp W/coa Black Gold Gibson Les Paul Custom Lite*2014*mint*classic White*no Reserve*2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique Flamed Tabacco SunburstGibson Les Paul Studio Faded*worn Brown*2012*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium W/original Hard Case 2013 No Reserve 2010 Gibson Les Paul Special P90s W/hsc2005 Gibson R9 Les Paul Historic Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute*2011*no Reserve*1989 Gibson Les Paul Standard With Original Hard CaseOmg! Rare Gibson Brazilian Rosewood 1959 Reissue R9 2003 Les Paul Collector$1 Nr Gibson Usa Les Paul Baritone Electric Guitar2012 Left Handed Gibson Les Paul Standard Heritage Cherry Sunburst – Brand NewGibson Les Paul Studio 205 Right Handed Electric Guitar Desert Burst 269370 N1Gibson Les Paul 1958 Custom Shop 2014 Guitar No Reserve!! R8 Bourbon. BurstGibson Les Paul Custom Red Wine With Original CaseGibson Les Paul Special Double CutawayGibson Epiphone Les Paul Cherryburst Made In Japan Minor Cosmetic Repair Needed$1 Nr Gibson Usa Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar + Case Burgundy1994 Gibson Les Paul Studio Project2010 Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Reissue, P90 PickupsHoly Grail Vintage Original 1973 Goldtop Les Paul Deluxe Gibson W Ohsc KalamazooVintage 1959 Gibson Les Paul Jr P90 Tv Yellow Project LuthierVintage 1974 Les Paul Standard Tobacco Sunburst Electric Guitar1994 Gibson Lpb-1 Lpb1 Les Paul Bass Guitar Ebony Blackout BlackEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro Electric Guitar, HoneyburstVintage Burny Super Grade Les Paul Electric Guitar -nice! L@@k! No Reserve!Gibson Limited Edition Les Paul Traditional Classic Abr Ebony With CaseEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro Electric Guitar, Vintage SunburstGibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Ii*champagne Finish*2013*no Reserve*Gibson Les Paul Special P-90 1993 Cherry With Original Gibson Hard Case1996 Lefty Left Hand Gibson Les Paul '56 Reissue Goldtop GutarSpalted Maple Gibson Les Paul Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Studio - 2013 With Case SunburstGibson Les Paul 2011 Electric Guitar W/case2007 Gibson Les Paul Studio 6-string Electric Gutiar - Made In Usa 2000 Gibson Les Paul Standard Gold Top With Nice HardcaseEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarGibson Custom Les Paul Custom Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Goldtop With Emg Pickups And Case. Mik Made In KoreaEpiphone Les Paul 100 Sunburst Solid Body Electric Guitar Sn Sj041213472013 Gibson Les Paul Custom Lite Limited Editon Black Ebony All Original Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cutaway 2003 Faded Tv Yellow Electric Guitar UsaFernandes Ravelle Deluxe Electric Guitar - Les Paul TonesBare Knuckles Vhii Van Halen Humbucker Guitar Pickups Les Paul Or Fender Strat Epiphone Les Paul Special Ii-le Limited Edition Electric Guitar W/bag ExcellentEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro Electric Guitar, Translucent Blue2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Custom ShopEpiphone Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar Alpine White Gold HardwareLes Paul Copy Guitar ProjectGibson Brand New 2015 Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Midnight Satin1960 Les Paul Replacement Neck Project Old Growth Honduras Mahogany No ReserveGibson Les Paul Studio 2013 Gold Series Electric Guitar, Maple Top - Ebony, L.h.Gibson Les Paul Green W/black Hardware, 2013 Lpj Modified Custom Shop With HscEpiphone Les Paul Custom Prophecy PlusGibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar Desert Sunburst Usa 2014 ModelGibson Les Paul Gold Top 2014 Wraparound Bridge Lpj Modified W/case Coil Tapping2012 Gibson Sg Les Paul Standard Custom Shop Vos HistoricJapanese Vintage 1977 Greco Les Paul Eg450 Black Electric Guitar #12