Spotlight Special review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (7 votes)
Gibson: Spotlight Special

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 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...

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    In response to the November 9, 2012 say: "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 have one of the originals...#105 of 211...and the originals ALL have the "Custom Shop" logo on the back of the headstock...above the serial number. That pretty much tells the story that the ORIGINALS were made in the Custom Shop as well. Also, I just read on one of the Forums that the re-issue is simply called "Spotlight"...the word "Special" has been dropped. Not sure if this is true, but based upon a review on Tony McKenzie's web site, quoting Gibson, it seems to be.
    Nie guitar, im a sucker for maple winged/mahog. neck thrus like that. But for $6,000, you could easily be taught how to build your own like it, and build one yourself. No Reissue guitar is worth $6000. If it was a '70s or even a good '80s LP, maybe then. But not a RI.
    Wow, 6 grand. Looks worth it though. It's a beautiful looking guitar and for that price it better sound and play just as well.
    Shredder Guitar
    Froboarder wrote: Maybe he meant 6000 pesos. =)
    no, the review system automatically converts all the values to USD. if you were joking...nevermind lol. and yeah. $6,000 isn't worth it - but this guitar is TITS!
    sure, i'll pay six grand for this! and i'll put it right next to my spare ferrari in my huge mansion in vegas...
    Sudaka wrote: In my country, my coin is 1/3 a dollar... so for me buying this guitar would be paying around... 1800/1900$$$$$ tomorrow I'll buy it.
    You're wrong. You would have to pay just as much as Americans have to. Price indexes...
    In my country, my coin is 1/3 a dollar... so for me buying this guitar would be paying around... 1800/1900$$$$$ tomorrow I'll buy it.
    It looks great, and probably sounds like a like it too. But like so many others have said: $6000 is too mutch dough for a guitar, EVEN a gibson. It would take me at least 10 years to save for that thing!
    i used to love lespauls... i am still a fan of them... however things like robot guitar made me sick... but jeez... this guitar seems to be great
    there is nothing specific in this review that helps ANYONE choose this over a standard issue gibby les paul, or even a modded epi or etlist epi.... we want to know WHY this guitar is worth the $6000 bro... this seems more like someone who works for gibson (or gibby fanboy) got on here and made a review just to praise them and have no reasoning behind it really... but the guitar DOES look quite sexy
    No way! There's no way i'd pay 6 grand for this guitar! I can think of loads of other LP's from Gibson or ESP "Eclipse" models i'd buy before i even looked at this. Sorry, but i dont like it..