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Epiphone American Series (Spirit, Special, Map) Add Yours If You've Got One!


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Hi all. Haven't been here since I sold my Dot but have brought another Epiphone back into the fold.


It's a 1982 Epiphone Spirit ll. It is the LP Jr. shape with Tim Shaw Humbucker pickups. There isn't much information on these guitars but there are a few websites with bits and pieces of info.


From what I have gathered, Gibson decided to build a lower cost line of American built guitars to compete with the high quality Japanese imports. Starting in 1982, these guitars were built in the Kalamazoo and Nashville Gibson factories with Epiphone USA on the headstock. 5 models were made, the Spirit l and ll, the Special l and ll and the Map.


It has been said that after a year of poor sales, the entire line of American series guitars were moved from the Kalamazoo plant to the Nashville factory and rebranded with Gibson logos right over the Epiphone ones. Thus, all Epiphone Spirits, Specials and Maps were made at Kalamazoo factory and anything made at the Nashville plant was a Gibson.


Well, it seems some guitars were still being made with the Epiphone name after the move to the Nashville facility. My guitar is a 1982 Epiphone Spirit with a serial number that the Guitar Dater Project lists as


Your guitar was made at the

Nashville Plant, TN, USA

November 12nd, 1982

Production Number: 90


So it seems that by late 1982 production had already shifted to Nashville, but they were still putting Epiphone on the guitars. My guitar did come with a Gibson branded Chainsaw case though.


It's a shame that the line died so quickly because these are really fabulous guitars that play and look great and set themselves apart from your standard Gibson.


If you've got a Spirit, Special or Map you'd like to add to the thread for discussion, that would be awesome.


Here is my '82 Spirit.











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  • 2 months later...

I have a Kalamazoo SG spirit with open book headstock, this thing is light as a feather, weighing only 3.90 lbs. Only thing is, it has BGN stamped over the serial number. Has dirty fingers pickups and sounds like a beast.

post-53687-032453100 1361159486_thumb.jpg

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