Price paid: $ 6000
Purchased from: Georges Music
Sound — 9
This sounds, you've guessed it, like a Les Paul!. Not much to say here but it is exactly as you would want in this area. It basically sounds awesome. It delivers what most rock guys want from a guitar - a thick but singing tone. Play through a modern amp, Marshall, Engl, Egnater, Splawn or others and it will deliver.
Overall Impression — 10
I play rock, Metal and Blues music in that order. A Les Paul (one of the good ones) is spot on for this style of guitar. I have been playing since 1969 and have owned many Gibsons (checkout www.tonymckenzie.com) and this Spotlight Special from Gibson Custom is as good as it gets... along with my Jimmy Page Gibson.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Again - if you know Gibson, and have a good one - that will tell you everything. This one of those very special guitars that is nigh on perfect. Durability is not a question, save for the loss of gold which will happen over the years and maybe there might be some laquer cracking over time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Factory setup was very good. the action was 3/64 and 5/64 as per the manual and as Gibson set it to. Totally correct. Pickup ajustment was also good. The Bookmatching on the top, although less important on a Spotlight Special because of the walnut stripe, was actually perfect and matched correctly. I've seen some terrible Spotlight Specials - even in this new version for bad matching. The only 'flaw' was right at the top of the neck where the neck/body meet. There was a very fine need of buffing - but very difficult to see. I am being overly critical and most people would not even see it. The rest of this guitar was perfect.
Features — 9
This is a reissue of the Spotlight Special that Gibson first made in the Early 80's but this time it's a Custom Shop Model. I'm told they are making just a few. it's Basically Like a Les Paul 50's guitar but the top is Walnut Striped where the pickups are and the rest (at least on mine) is flamed maple with a natural/yellowish tint. back and Neck is Mahogany. Bridge is Tunomatic etc with passive a-la Les Paul. No Volute on the Neck and neck is described as chunky. The tuners feature pearl turning knobs on regular les paul tuners. Pickups and metal are all gold plated. Comes with scratch plate not fitted. This is a heavy guitar and is NOT made lighter internally. Expect a bad back...