Gibson Les Paul Standard

Body Carved maple top, Mahogany back
Neck/Profile Mahogany/Rounded
Fingerboard/Inlay Rosewood 22 frets/Pearl trapezoid
Scale/Nut Width 24-3/4" / 1-11/16
Binding Single-ply top and fingerboard
Bridge/Tailpiece Tune-o-matic/Stop bar
Hardware Chrome or Gold
Pickups 490R Alnico magnet humbucker 498T Alnico magnet humbucker
Controls Two volume, two tone, three-way switch

1958 was the sixth year of the Gibson Les Paul model. Whether through cosmic forces, rational thought or just dumb luck, Gibson hit the proverbial nail on the head. Within a few months, the 1959 Les Paul Standard, the same as the 1958 model guitar but with jumbo frets, quietly became a legend.

At first, the Les Paul Standard was just another solidbody guitar in a sea of emerging instruments. In the late 1960s and '70s, popular guitar heroes Jimmy Page, Mike Bloomfield and Duane Allman sought the original late '50s Les Pauls for their tone and feel. Soon those models became an overnight success in a little less than 20 years.

Today, the original 1959 Les Paul Standard has become the most sought after model of solidbody guitar in the world, with vintage prices soaring well into six-figures.

Available: 1952 to present

The Les Paul model by which all others are measured. Considered THE best model of the Les Paul. The 1952 and early 1953 goldtop models are fairly useless (as a player) because of a shallow neckset, and a badly designed tailpiece (they have some collector appeal though, but not much). By early 1953, the "wrap around" tailpiece/bridge combo rectified the playability problem, and these models are quite nice. In mid-1955, when the tuneatic bridge and stop tailpiece was added, the model was really becoming a big winner. In mid-1957, the addition of Gibson's new humbucking pickups made the Les Paul Standard what it is today (one of the most popular electric guitars of all time). The mid-1958 to 1960 "sunburst" Les Paul Standards are consider one of the best (and most attractive) electric guitars ever produced (even though they are identical to the mid-1957 model, except for the finish).

1952 Les Paul Model introduction specs:
Carved maple top, single cutaway, mahogany back and neck, 2 soapbar P-90 pickups with cream covers, trapeze tailpiece/bridge combo with the string looping under the bridge, single bound top and fingerboard, trapezoid fingerboard inlays, pearl logo, "Les Paul Model" silkscreened on peghead in gold, no serial number, nickel plated parts, Goldtop finish, brown back and neck finish (some all gold examples). Very early models had no neck binding, and the two pickup mounting screws were positioned diagonially on the pickup's corners.

1953 Les Paul Model specs:

serial number on back of peghead, stud tailpiece/bridge with strings looping over bridge.

mid 1955 Les Paul Model specs:

Tune-o-matic bridge added, stud tailpiece moved back to anchor strings (stop tailpiece).
mid 1957 Les Paul Model specs:
Humbucking pickups replace P-90 pickups.
1958 Les Paul Model specs:
Sunburst finish replaces Goldtop finish.
1960 Les Paul Standard specs:
Peghead model name changes to "Les Paul Standard" in gold instead of "Les Paul Model".
1961 Les Paul SG Standard specs:
Complete body style change to symmetrical pointed double cutaways, thin mahogany body with beveled edges, cherry red finish (refered to as the "SG" body style). Still says "Les Paul" on the peghead and/or truss rod cover, but is often called a "SG Standard" because of the SG body shape.
Les Paul Standard discontinued 1963 in name only (now called SG Standard).

1968 Les Paul Standard Re-introduction specs:

1st reissue of the 1956 style Les Paul Standard with single cutaway mahogany body with a maple top, goldtop finish, tuneamatic bridge, small (1950's style) peghead, P-90 pickups. Note the binding in the cutaway is thicker than it's 1950's counterpart. Also the serial number is stamped into the wood at the back of the peghead, all metal parts are chrome (not nickel), and the gold knobs have metal inserts in the tops with "volume" and "tone" printed on them. Other than that, 1968 goldtops look and are constructed just like 1956 LP goldtops.
early 1969 Les Paul Standard specs:
peghead get wider and uglier.
mid 1969 Les Paul Standard specs:
Renamed Les Paul Deluxe.

1971 Les Paul Standard specs:

reissue of the 1954 Les Paul Standard with 2 P-90 pickups with "gibson" on the covers, stud wrap around tailpiece, 1-piece neck with no volute, gold top finish. Discontinued in 1973.

1976 Les Paul Standard specs:

Four piece pancake body (maple top, thicker mahogany layer, thin maple layer, thicker mahogany layer), 2 standard humbuckers pickups, 3 piece maple top, tuneomatic bridge, "Standard" on truss rod cover, cherry sunburst, wine red, natural or tobacco sunburst top finish.

1978 Les Paul Standard specs:

2 piece body with maple top, also available with goldtop finish.