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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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

Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom 54 Reissue 1972 Needs P-90 & Alnico Ez Project Pristine Gibson Les Paul Standard 120 Light Beautiful Honeyburst Flame Ohsc Lite1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom '731989 Orville Les Paul Standard Grover Tuners Mij Terada Gakki Japan2000 Gibson Les Paul Standard Millennium Cream Sparkle Limited Run No Reserve!Vintage 1959 Gibson Les Paul Tv Special Electric Guitar2013 Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue R9 Tobacco Burst Nos (global Ship)Epiphone By Gibson Les Paul Guitar Project P90s Or Humbuckers ???? What??? L@@k!Gibson Custom Shop Slash Les Paul Electric Guitar Vos 2008 Guns N Roses2008 (made In 2011) Gibson Les Paul Standard Lite Burst With Ohsc-mint2013 Gibson Les Paul Studio Guitar - Vintage SunburstEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar In Pelham Blue W/cadillac Emblem!1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar ~ Repair Project ~1992 Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric Guitar W/ Case - Natural - Gold HardwareGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Wine Red )1973 Gibson Les Paul DeluxeGibson Les Paul DeluxeGibson 2001 '58 Les Paul Reissue Flame Top 2001 Custom ShopGreco Les Paul W/ Gibson Strap No Reserve!!! 59 Sunburst Flametop2007 Gibson Les Paul Worn Cherry Studio Project Husk W/tons Of Extras1962 Gibson Les Paul Jr One OwnerGibson Les Paul Studio 70s Tribute Goldtop1979 Gibson Les Paul Standard--road Warrior--all Original--ohsc--just LuthieredGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Manhattan Midnight )Gibson Les Paul Jr. Billie Joe Armstrong Extremely Rare Prototype T.v. Yellow 1991 Gibson Les Paul Studio Lite Transparent RedGibson Les Paul Lpj Electric Guitar Made In Usa 2013 New Old Stock!Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Faded Cherry BurstLes Paul Sunburst Made In Japan 70s Greco Burny Project UnivoxGibson Les Paul W/ Broken HeadstockGibson Les Paul Studio Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Studio Plus Flame Top W/ Epi Gigbag Heritage Cherry SunburstEpiphone Limited Edition Custom Shop Les Paul Special1960 Gibson Les Paul Special Electric Guitar Vintage Player W Bigsby No Case E51Lovely Burgundy Red 1981 Les Paul Custom W OhscGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 - 120th Anniversary ( Honey Burst )Gibson (usa) Les Paul (60s Tribute Model) Epiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute PlusGibson Les Paul ClassicGibson Les Paul Studio - 2014 120th Anniversary ( Brilliant Red Burst )Gibson Les Paul Special Made In Usa!2012 Gibson Les Paul Studio ,with Gibson Case, Honeyburst Finish. 1977 Gibson Les Paul Tobacco SunburstGibson Les Paul Studio 07 Electric Guitar Usa Wine W/gibson Case 4545_9Gibson Alex Lifeson Les Paul AxcessGibson Les Paul Guitar Guitar Deluxe Circa 1977Gibson Epiphone Lp Les Paul Standard Plus-top Pro Electric Guitar, HoneyburstGibson Epiphone Lp Les Paul Standard Plus-top Pro Electric Guitar Cherry BurstGibson Les Paul Standard Premium Plus Fireball 2012 Long Tenon Electric Guitar!!Gibson 1995 Wine Red Les Paul Studio Body & Neck2014 Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue R9 Washed Cherry Gloss Nos (global Shipping)2011 '59 Gibson Les Paul ReissueSet Of Two 57' (57'+) Classic (taken From Gibson Les Paul Traditional)Epiphone Enjrvsch1 Right Hand 6 String Les Paul Special Ii Electric Guitar*'79 Greco Eg-700 Les Paul Standard "lawsuit" Guitar W/case, Exc, No Reserve!Epiphone Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway Lpdc Electric Guitar & Hardshell CaseEpiphone Limited Edition Les Paul Gibson Ebony Black Includes Hard Case2013 Gibson Les Paul 70's Tribute American Ebony Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Custom Limited Edition Custom Shop Electric Guitar W/caseGibson Les Paul Standard 60's Slim Profile Neck Seymour Duncan Slash Weight Reli