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Calling Spirit and Special owners

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Is there anyone else on the forum with a early-80s Spirit or Special?


For those who aren't familiar:


Gibson Spirit

Double-cut Les Paul slab body

Gold silkscreen logo

Schaller Wraparound bridge (some later examples had a TOM and Stopbar)

One Tim Shaw humbucker on Spirit I, two on Spirit II

One volume, one tone for Spirit I, one volume, two tone and three-way switch for Spirit II

Some were bound, some not


Gibson Special

SG-style version of the Spirit




The Spirit was originally produced in Kalamazoo as an Epiphone USA model. Poor sales resulted in some Epiphones being re-branded as Gibsons (with the Epiphone logo still underneath). Nashville models were all produced as Gibsons. I'm unsure if the same can be said of Specials. I've never seen an Epiphone.


The Special is a bit harder to find. Because of its SG shape, and the "Special" script written on the truss rod cover, people generally assume it's an SG Special, and it's sold as such online. The main difference is the pickguard (the Special doesn't have one) and bridge. To make matters worse, the SG-X produced in the 90s shares many of the features of the Special.


I have a 1983 Spirit II, which was heavily modified by a past owner. It was re-routed for P-90s and spray-painted yellow. An additional control pot was also drilled and routed for. I decided to clean up their modifications rather than restore it. I look for a matching model in original condition when I have the money.



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I'd been hauling this Spirit I around for years, in pieces. Some previous owner had totally disassembled it, sanded it roughly, left it that way. Finally got around to rebuilding it, finished it in a twilight burst, front and back, that continues up the neck. It's an '82 model. It sold as soon as it was done. post-59203-054408000 1378491843_thumb.jpg

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