Took delivery of a 2019 Traditional, looking to replace a 2018 Traditional I just got that I’m not 100% convinced is the one (I still have a few days left to return, so the best one this weekend wins). I need to take some sunlight pics, but I got it late last night and it’s early morning now, so I’ll leave mostly Sweetwater’s gallery pictures for now. The flame is more pronounced and goes all the way across in person, which you can see in the awful last picture (taken with lighting that’s just there to show the flame; that’s not the real color!) The sound of the guitar is nice and loud unplugged, chords sound great, Power chords have that sweet grind, and it has amazing sustain. Seriously great there! It’s exactly what I was looking for in a Les Paul. The build quality is fantastic, which I wasn’t surprised about. Having tried a lot of 2018 Traditionals, I didn’t find any that stood out as having any glaring workmanship problems (outside of something that a setup should take care of), opposite of what I experienced several years ago, where every one I picked up had some issue. The one little thing is that one of the pointers is loose, which at the very least should have been caught by Sweetwater, especially since I paid extra to have them do a custom setup on it. You can even see it in the pictures. If you’re really checking the electronics and giving it the once over- especially beyond the 55 point inspection- how do you miss that? I’ll definitely be talking to them about that. I wouldn’t normally pay extra for that sort of thing, but I saw it as a “last line of defense” to catch any issues (especially like THIS) going out the door since I wasn’t playing it before buying. The other part of their custom setup that left a question mark above my head was with the bridge and tailpiece. They lowered the tailpiece to the body, which makes sense since I told them sustain is very important to me. However, they did it enough to where the high E is touching the back of the bridge, which I understand to be a Les Paul no no. It’s not an extreme angle and MAYBE there’s some room, but my test it to try to slip a piece of paper between the high E and the back of the bridge, which I can’t. I may have to raise the tailpiece a few hairs. Shouldn’t have to pay for a setup and have to correct that, though. The finish is great and it has a beautiful top. I’m still slightly split on Gibson’s choice for the natural back. I’m not 100% convinced they should have gone the natural back route with the Tobacco Burst, but it’s not displeasing to the eye. What it comes down to is I’m still used to a dark back with tobaccos, I guess. The wood looks great, though. Playability- I will say, the thing that struck me immediately is the low fret height that Gibson chose to use this year. I just don’t get why they would do such a thing. It’s like they have to do SOMETHING to make it hard for the majority to be all in on their lineup during any given year. The guitar is very playable, but I can very easily notice the difference in feel compared to medium frets; more than I thought I would. Bends take more effort than I’m used to. Some of that is the new board that needs some finger oils worked into it, especially on the inlays- I can feel my finger rubbing against the new inlays when I bend over one. The frets are less forgiving than mediums are (meaning sloppy playing isn’t going to fly). Moving up and down the fretboard, on the other hand, is a breeze. After playing the first time, my hand felt tired. Kind of like the feeling of walking with those ankle weights on- it creates a slight drag and your muscles feel a little fatigued. After playing a while, it felt a bit better. I’m going to give it the weekend to see how my hand adjusts to the lower frets, as everything else is fantastic and the sound is so great with it. When I hit a chord, it just feels....ahhhh. That’s unplugged, mind you. Haven’t gotten the chance to plug it into my Marshall yet! I think it’s important to hear the guitar itself first, though. Comments and questions welcome!! I’ll give more pics soon!