There are few vintage guitars that get as much attention as The Burst: the Gibson Les Paul Standard from 1958, 1959, and 1960. To this collector, all 1950s era Gibson Les Paul guitars are special, but I will have to agree that the Les Paul guitars from the late 1950s are truly exceptional. When reached out for an interview titled The Guitar Safari Champion, I figured that there were two guitars largely responsible for that title: this 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard and this 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard that I purchased from its original owner in Illinois. I will never forget this one with deep color, rich top figure, all the tags and paperwork, and a chance to meet its original owner.

As a Les Paul collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1950s and 1960s Gibson Les Paul guitars. I travel world wide to value and inspect them in person. If you're curious about how much I would value your 1950s Gibson Les Paul then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson. Or if you're looking for help with how old is my Gibson Les Paul? Check out Les Paul Serial Number Lookup

Gibson Les Paul Standard 1960

The Gibson Les Paul Standard 1960 was made during the tail end of the three year production run of the version of the Les Paul we call The Burst. The Les Paul Model was introduced in 1952 with the gold finished top that led to nickname "Goldtop" (check out this one from 1953 and this one from 1954). The Les Paul Model received several updates in the 1950s including the Tune-O-Matic bridge in 1956 and humbucking pickups in 1957, but it wasn't until 1958 that the entire look of the guitar was updated from gold top and natural brown back and sides to a visually stunning Cherry Sunburst finished top which revealed the natural figure of the Maple cap. The single cutaway body style remained for two and a half years until it was discontinued in favor of a thinner body style we call the SG in 1961. The combination of tune-o-matic bridge/humbucking pickups, Cherry Sunburst that fades from red to yellow, and single cutaway body style with Maple cap come together perfectly to create the Les Paul we've come to call The Burst. 

Gibson Les Paul guitar 1960 with red to yellow fade top

This Gibson Les Paul Standard 1960 was purchased brand new by a father as a gift for his middle school daughter in Illinois. She was taking lessons in the early 1960s from a Gibson Teacher-Agent who was able to order directly from the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, MI. She loved the Les Paul and played it with her local band, The Rhythmettes! As it so often happens, her priorities shifted in the mid to late 1960s towards marriage and family which left little time for playing the Les Paul. She put the guitar in its case and there it remained as her family grew. This past summer, her granddaughter became interested in carrying the guitar torch and asked to borrow her grandmother's Gibson Les Paul. She looked up the serial number and realized that this was a valuable Les Paul who's serial number indicated that it was made in 1960!

The Gibson Les Paul 1960's original owner was then faced with a decision: should she hold on to it, or sell a Gibson for about the value of a house! It was a difficult decision but she wanted the Les Paul to be played and to gift the money to her grandchildren. As a Gibson Les Paul collector, the opportunity to buy a guitar like this was what I was waiting for. I drove to rural Illinois to play, inspect, and buy this Gibson Les Paul Standard 1960. We had a blast! We chatted about everything from music interests, Les Paul preferences, music history, and her time as the guitarist for The Rhythmettes.

Gibson Les Paul guitar collector buys 1960 Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Values

Finding the value of a vintage Gibson Les Paul guitar begins with proper identification of the year and model, comparison of the condition to the available market, and connecting with a buyer. If you're curious about what year was my Les Paul made then check out the Gibson Les Paul Serial Number lookup. You can also contact me there to send pictures of your Les Paul. I'd be happy to chat about exact model, the year it was made, and comparison of condition to the market. Then we can chat about the value of your Gibson Les Paul and potentially an offer if you're curious about selling. I'm looking forward to seeing it! You can also contact me here to sell a Gibson.


Gibson Les Paul collector and values for guitars made in the 1950s 1960s

John Shults


That may be the nicest LP I’ve ever seen!

— Carl Larson

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