How much does a Les Paul guitar cost?

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How much does a Les Paul guitar cost? Les Paul guitars are considered by many guitar enthusiasts to be on the pricey side. The more affordable ones sell for $499, while the premium models at priced at $2,699 and higher.

“Now I need to take a piece of wood and make it sound like the railroad track, but I also had to make it beautiful and lovable so that a person playing it would think of it in terms of his mistress, a bartender, his wife, a good psychiatrist – whatever.” These are the words of American jazz guitarist Lester William Paul (Les Paul) – a legend and pioneer in the guitar industry.

Have you ever scrolled past a Gibson Les Paul and wondered: Why is this so expensive?

Well, you’re in luck because we did the research for you.

Why Les Paul Guitars Generally More Expensive Than Others

Just like your run of a mill success story, Gibson Les Paul’s rise to success had its fair share of trials and tribulations.

In 1950, Gibson (one of the biggest guitar outlets at the time) president Ted McCarty invited Les Paul as an expert consultant. Les Paul was a well-known pioneer who had spent years experimenting with guitar construction, one of which was “The Log,” widely regarded as the first-ever solid-body Spanish guitar manufactured.

During its neophyte years, guitarist Les Paul has foreseen solid-body guitars as the future (especially on the brink of the electric guitar breakthrough). However, the company Les Paul was under, Gibson did not have as much belief in the idea.

Flash forward to 1951, Gibson’s McCarty and his team began work on what would eventually become the pioneering Les Paul. The final product is very similar to the early prototypes. The new Les Paul guitar would be an expensive, well-made instrument, according to Gibson’s reputation at the time.

A year after (1952), the Gibson Les Paul, the company’s first solid-body guitar, was released. The 1952 Les Paul has a mahogany body with a one-inch maple top and a rosewood fretboard. In June 1952, Paul utilized the guitar onstage at the Paramount Theatre in New York, making it public for the first time. On the 24th of July, 1952.

When it comes to electric guitars, the Gibson Les Paul is unquestionably the most famous.

However, the origins of Les Paul are surprisingly longer backstage. Although Les Paul recognized the prospect of a solid-body electric guitar as early as 1945, it prompted Gibson’s McCarty seven years to embrace his idea (and he was even ridiculed in the process). Furthermore, there is significant disagreement about who created specific sections of the original Les Paul, with Les Paul providing a quite different tale to Gibson staff.

Nonetheless, Gibson introduced two additional Les Paul models to the roster in 1954: the Les Paul Custom and the Les Paul Junior. In 1957, the P90 pickup was replaced with humbucker pickups, which was arguably the most significant alteration to the Gibson Les Paul design. These, designed by Seth Lover, have a substantially louder sound output and a fuller tone with less treble. Gibson guitars were marketed at the time to an older, jazz-oriented audience rather than to young, aspiring guitarists.

The custom shop now creates a variety of limited-edition versions as well as trademark artist designs. Current Les Paul guitars are built to the same high standards, rendering them one of the best-built instruments in the market.

The Cheapest Les Paul

A Gibson Les Paul Standard is a guitar that many guitarists want to acquire. Who can blame them, after all? For decades, it has influenced the sound of music in practically every style.

However, as mentioned earlier, Gibson is renowned for its high-quality and pricey guitars (with most models being over $2,500). So you might be wondering:

Is there a Gibson Les Paul out there available for anyone on a budget?

Yes, the company manufactures some reasonably priced guitars with their brand on the headstock that are rather decent.

● Epiphone Les Paul

The Inspired by Gibson collection’s Epiphone Les Paul Studio is a new take on an 80s staple, priced at $499. It’s designed for musicians who want a stripped-down Les Paul sound with minimal weight.

● Les Paul Tribute

The Les Paul Tribute is a $1,299 guitar that matches the mood, sensation, and tone of a classic Les Paul. The Gibson Les Paul Studio Tribute has a contoured maple neck shape and sleek weight reduction, making it a joy to handle.

● Les Paul Junior

The Les Paul Junior has a tone that spans decades and musical genres. It costs $1,599 and pays homage to Gibson’s golden era of inventiveness.

Check out this amazing Les Paul Junior guitar demo:

The Premium Les Paul Lines

After hovering through some “budget-friendly” Les Paul guitars, why not hop on to the other end of the spectrum.

Before getting to this, let’s briefly tackle why these guitars are priced this way: (1) Les Paul guitars by Gibson are produced in the United States (and so are generally more expensive than guitars made elsewhere), (2) Gibson employs high-quality vintage timbers and top-of-the-line electronics in these guitars, and (3) the sleek look and perfection of these guitars are the result of highly talented and experienced artisans who poured their hard work into them.

Going back, how expensive can these masterpieces be?

● Les Paul Special

The Les Paul Special was first debuted in 1955 and has been adored by artists for over six decades. It’s modeled after the Les Paul Junior and has a $1,699 price tag.

● Les Paul Classic

The Gibson Les Paul Classic is based on the Les Paul model from the early 1960s, but with several technical and proven changes. The model is $2,299 in price.

● Les Paul Standard

A robust mahogany base with an AA grained maple top and a slender taper 60’s mahogany neck make up the Les Paul Standard 60’s (sounds pretty sweet). Such a work of art is valued at $2,699.

Get up close and personal with Les Paul Standard here:

In Conclusion: Getting the Best Les Paul for You

When it comes to professional guitars, pricing might get a little out of hand. Gibson, by far, is no exception to this.

Over the years, the Gibson Les Paul has seen several transformations. It does, in fact, have a success story deserving of an Oscar nomination (with all the twists, tribulations, and triumphs). We understand that purchasing a Les Paul might be intimidating due to its high price. After all, they are costly instruments, and you want to make the best decision possible.

Fear not for we will be wrapping this up with two distinct tips on your first Les Paul:

Give the neck a peak.

If you’ve spent any time researching Les Pauls, you’ll note that Gibson provides a variety of neck configurations. For you, there really is no perfect or incorrect neck. It is, after all, a matter of individual taste. Still, many suggest choosing the popular ’60s style, since it will suit the majority of users’ expectations.

Pick a pickup.

The next goal is to identify your tone, which is provided by the pickups of choice. Look here for some possible suggestions!

Good luck and may you find the best Les Paul guitar for you!