Spotlight 1987 review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Epiphone: Spotlight 1987

Sound — 8
I am a musician who plays a little bit of everything, I love experimenting with all sorts of music to mainly, I play metal. For the longest time I played the guitar with no effects and just clean and it sounds amazing, both pick ups sound beautiful and well balanced and not too overcoming of one another. Recently I purchased a Sienna 30 by Kustom and it sounds AMAZING with this amp. The richness of the amp really brings out the real beauty of the guitar. When it comes to Metal though, I run the guitar into a ML-2 and it becomes a real screaming tone giving a very deep low end but a very powerful high end for soloing the Iron Maiden harmonies and ect.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall this guitar is a really solid piece. Anyone I know who has seen it has instantly been shocked with its history, condition and how beautiful it sounds. Its a real joy to play having a very fast neck that is contoured perfectly and a very comfortable set up. Somewhat heavy but what do you expect from a Solid body Mahogany guitar? If anything ever happened to this guitar I wouldn't know what to do, its so hard to come by these things and I would IMMEDIATLY hunt another down. If you somehow run across this guitar, please pick it up and give it a go cause I doubt anyone could be disappointed with this guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I think personally that this guitar has stood the test of time very well for how it was kept, I have only had to replace a few peices that were lost when it was given to me but they were easily machine shop made. None of the screws show any wear and tear and neither to the tuners. The only issue I see fit is that the strap button near the neck has a screw loose somewhat but it can be fixed by routing it slightly I believe. The finish on the guitar is still beautiful, I constantly polish it and it still has a beautiful Shine through all the sweat that has latched onto it during my playing.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When I got this of course there were issues, this was basically sitting in a basement for 17 years untouched and when it was given to me, amazingly the guitar was still somewhat in tune from when it was last touched. Being a real newbie player I wasn't aware of the flaws with the action but soon I took it to the local music shop and it was all adjusted with minimal issues. The guy said it was very easy to fix and honestly a very solid built guitar, the only flaw being the trashy bridge. They obviously wanted a decent Trembolo but it became a huge block that really, all you want to do is lock it and just play as is, It still sounds amazing.

Features — 9
The Epiphone Spotlight is a real gem of a guitar, its a very rare and uncommon guitar if I am correct. In 1985 Gibson wished to design a guitar to compete with the recent addons to the Paul Reed Smith line and thus, the Spotlight was born. After lawsuits against them for the design it was soon discontinued before the 90's came around. My model of it is a 1987 one (not sure of where it was made) with 24 frets, full solid body and a very clean alpine white finish. The body is somewhat reminiscent of (you guessed it) a double cut-away PRS. The wood types I believe are a Mahogany (these were built with REAL quality in mind). It came with its stock "Select" EMG pickups which provide a very warm tone that sounds great for almost any tone. Also it has a 3 way selector, 1 tone knob and 1 volume. It's bridge is a system somewhat of a Floyd Rose esc style. Steinberger designed this with the same ideal in mind, counteracting the spring and locking at the headstock, only difference is that their bridge is quite strong compared to a Floyd Rose and its very hard to use as a trembolo, but still I can be locked in place with the flip of a knob (which i have it set up as right now).

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I would never say hunt this sucker down intentionally but please if you find one try it, its comparable to some of PRS's best