I actually have a Fender Blues DeVille not pictured, and an Epiphone Les Paul and a couple other beater guitars.
I really don't dig Les Pauls. Gibson lost me a while back when they started valuing pretty over playable and overcharging for everything. That may have changed now, but I didnt leave Gibson, they left me. The black LTD plays better than both the Gibsons. I play the everloving fuck out of the white Jackson.
Thought I responded to this days ago, guess not.
Anyway, I 100% agree. I find it very difficult to find new Les Pauls that I like. I used to be able to walk into a shop, and 8/10 LP's I'd play would have been great or better, now it's more like 2/10. I went into GC the other day just to play some guitars, played 4 LP's:
A 2014 58RI, definitely the best of bunch, nothing amazing, but pretty good.
A 2014 Traditional, felt OK, pick up configuration was all wrong IMO.
A 2012 Standard, felt OK, sounded meh.
A 2015 Standard, felt terrible, neck was the size of a flagpole (bigger than the 58RI's), tuning system didn't work (which I wouldn't want anyway), just overall a really really bad guitar; especially considering the price.
It's a shame, I was talking with a few of the employees, and they basically said that Gibson knows they suck now, but the senior leadership makes such poor choices that not much can be done.
I will stand by this statement though: I'll take a pre-2008ish Les Paul over almost any guitar.
Also for you amp enthusiasts, I played an ENGL Powerball, two Diezel's, and two Diamond's. None of them "wow'ed" me, the Diamond Spitfire II was pretty good, as was the Powerball; none of them were bad, but for their reputation and prices.... I expected better. To be fair, I probably only put each of them around 1/4th master volume, could substantially affect tone with some amps.
GNR - Hammerstein Ballroom 5/17/06, Continental Airlines Arena 11/08/06, Susquehanna Bank Center 11/26/11 VR - Starland Ballroom 5/18/07, PNC Bank Arts Center 8/17/07
Slash - Borgata 5/22/10 and 9/17/10, Terminal 5 9/14/10, Rams Head 5/3/12, Irving Plaza 5/22/12, Wellmont Theatre 8/3/12, House of Blues 9/14/12, Sands Bethlehem Event Center 7/16/13, Jones Beach Theater 7/10/14