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 But by 1961, the Les Paul’s single-cutaway, arch-topped body had been replaced by a flat, double-cutaway, “pointed horns” body that in 1963 was renamed the SG.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 1973 Needs Patent# Pickups & Parts Ez Project Gibson Usa Les Paul Traditional Project Guitar Complete American Lp Body Neck Joe Bonamassa Signed/played Gibson Skinnerburst Les Paul '59 Reissue No Reserve!1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard With CaseGibson Les Paul Classic Antique Heritage Cherry Burst2005 Gibson Les Paul Murphy Aged Historic Reissue 59 R9 Lemonburst Yamano1977 Gibson Les Paul Tobacco SunburstGibson Les Paul Traditional Pro Ii 50's Neck GoldtopVintage 1968 - 70 El Degas Les Paul Custom Law Suit Guitar ? Electra Oem Made ?1960 Gibson Les Paul Special Electric Guitar Vintage Player W Bigsby No Case E512013 Gibson Les Paul 58 Reissue Vos Custom Shop Sunrise Tea Burst!!!Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Custom Shop Historic 1955 55 Re-issue/r5 Goldtop "2012"Gibson Les Paul Studio GuitarGibson Les Paul ClassicGibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe Ii*gloss Ebony Finish*2013*no Reserve*Vintage 1956 Gibson Les Paul Junior Tube Guitar Amplifier Amp, Original, Nice Nr2007 Gibson Usa Les Paul Classic Tabacco Sunburst With Case No Reserve100% Original2012 Gibson Les Paul Special Tv Yellow No Reserve Auction .99 Start1996 Gibson Historic Series Reissue 60 Les Paul Special Custom Cherry OhscGibson Les Paul Traditional Guitar Chicago Blue 116619 BGibson Les Paul Signature T Translucent Ebony1997 Gibson Les Paul Special Double Cutaway Tv Yellow Electric GuitarEpiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Electric Guitar Probuckers & Coil Tapping 117569 DGibson Custom Shop 57 Les Paul Gold Top Vos Dark Back Electric Guitar Re IssueGibson Les Paul Studio Guitar - 2008 W/ Gold HardwareGibson 59 Les Paul Historic Reissue 40th Anniversary ModelEpiphone Les Paul Standard Plus TopGibson Les Paul Bfg - Limited EditionLes Paul Custom Epi Project Electric GuitarGibson 2014 Plum Insane Les Paul Futura Body & Neck2013 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Plus Aaa Electric Guitar--honeyburstGibson Les Paul Studio2011 Gibson Les Paul Standard W/ Original Hard CaseGreco Les Paul Lp Bass Egb-850 Mij Made In Japan Electric Bass Guitar1976 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe With Original Hard-shell Case1988 Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar, No Reserve!!1987 Gibson Les Paul Standard1974 Reissue Of 1955 Gibson Les Paul Special2011 Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom With CaseEpiphone Les Paul 1960 Tribute Plus Electric Guitar Black Cherry Case 118622 JmEpiphone Les Paul Standard Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Gold Top Classic 2007 Signed By Joe Perry Relic91 Gibson Les Paul Studio Lite Electric Guitar Celebrity Owned Signed No ReserveCurly Koa Les Paul Custom Guitar 2007 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul 59` Lpr9 Historic Ri Tobacco Burst, Dark BackLeft-handed Usa Gibson Les Paul Standard 2001 Flame Maple-wine With Deluxe CaseGibson Les Paul Pickup Set 57 Classic & 57 Plus From Traditional With Rings 2012 Gibson Les Paul Ace Frehley Custom Budokan Nashville Lpafbhsch1Gibson Les Paul Supreme**1999 Epiphone Ace Frehley Les Paul Limited Edition Electric Guitar***2007 Gibson Epiphone Les Paul Standard Blue Burst Plus Top Electric GuitarGibson Les Paul Slash Snakepit.Gibson Les Paul Traditional Honey Burst 2011 Excellent!Gibson Les Paul Standard Min-etune - Rootbeer Burst Lps14rtrc1Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded Super Clean!! Burstbucker Pro!! Lr Low Reserve!!Near A++ Gibson Les Paul Studio Body + Neck Worn Brown, Lp Vintage MahoganyGibson 1991 Cherry Les Paul Bass Body & Ebony NeckGibson Les Paul LpjEpiphone Les Paul Ppegegl1vsch1 Electric Guitar Pack Vintage Sun 116761 Jm