Epiphone Ltd. Ed. 2015 Tony Iommi SG Custom Review

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by HackeIommi, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Hey, folks! This will be a little bit of traditional style long review and edited for this forum. May take a long time to read. First I'll begin with my sad story. You will witness some of my problems lived in Istanbul. You will read some negative thoughts about Gibson SG's too. Please don't forget, these thoughts are local and personal. It is normal to be different than yours. Don't worry, will be short. If you want to skip, the details are beginning under the "Basics" headline.


    I am a Black Sabbath fan since 1989. So many years, I looked for a good SG with lots of GAS. In Istanbul, it's much harder than lookin' for an ideal girlfriend or wife :D New and used options are not very limited for many brands but limited for some brands and models. Especially for SG models. I bought, modded, sold some Epiphone and Gibson SG's. Never found a good one. Last seven or eight years, I preferred a good 95 Gibson Nighthawk Special 2 humbuckers version as my main guitar. Still a keeper and still love. Maybe I can read another review for her.


    I felt so bad when I missed the first Tony Iommi G400 opportunity. In the year 2015, I saw new Epiphone Tony Iommi Signature Guitars. They seemed very legit, very kosher to me. At the end of the year 2016, I tried a new one in a guitar store. She was good but she had some problems. Probably, the guitar never saw a luthier's face. Even the bridge setup had some problems. A 900 US Dollar guitar with unfixed intonation problems felt unfair and couldn't trust.


    A year ago, I found a second hand in another guitar shop. Asking price was around $550. But they said we can bargain with if I pay cash. Played, fell in love, higgled very hard and paid 430 bucks for this almost zero problems Iommi!!


    Now it's time for the review.


    Basics:


    Lookin' gorgeous with black paint, and simple chrome hardware. Nut seems not so good to me. Looks like hard plastic. I don't think it's a good Graphtech nut. So I cut a decent bone nut and cut a brass nut as a backup. (yes I am a little bit Paranoid) Very good fret job! No sharp edge, just had a little bit leveling problems fixed by me.


    On the headstock Pearloid Epi logo and Gibson pineapple symbol shining like the mother of pearl. Typical Epi truss rod cover and headstock shape. Comparing to logo and pineapple, cross inlays are of course seems dull. No problem for me. The body is thick. One of thickest SG body I ever saw. 39 mm. or 1.535 inches! Let's say there is totally 1 mm paint layer on the front plus back surfaces. Minimum 38mm wood, almost 1,5 inches. Not bad for an SG, huh? The thickest SG body I saw is 42 mm (1.653 inches) with a thin transparent lacquer layer belongs to a 71 or 72 Gibson Walnut SG100. (This one was a good SG but seller asked a very high price. Still trying to sell these days)


    Neck:

    The neck is a D shape 60's slim tapered. Honestly, I don't know is it true. I played some 61 reissues. Her neck was much slimmer than this. (Still, most beautiful slim tapered neck belongs to Nighthawk for me. 60's C shape slim) So, as you can guess, first times to play wasn't so easy for me. But I've got used to it. No neck dive problem, horn doesn't have a strap pin. The pin is behind the neck heel like the classic SG guitars. And Epiphone site says neck has a deep-set neck joint. I guess this is the no. 1 reason making this guitar expensive. Deep-set neck joint considers as an expensive feature.


    Is that all? Noo my friend!! The neck has good binding around it. And a decent EBONY fretboard!! Oooh yes! Friendly and noble ebony! But beware!! I read some sad comments about some fretboards that painting the fingers! Yes, so sad! Be careful about it. This is the trading world, my friends! Sometimes, honesty can be very rare! My fingers are still clean. But it doesn't mean yours will be clean too!


    Beyond the neck heel, there is a 60's style beveling. Very nice thought!!

    [​IMG]

    Paint:


    Black poly smooth shiny finish. About half-millimeter thick on the body. Neck? I am not sure but makes me feel secure for damages. No sticky feel. I read some negative comments about the paint job. Only I saw as a problem is a little tiny naked area around the neck heel. Still, no paint cracks whatsoever.


    Hardware:


    Stopbar and tailpiece are solid! They can be Korean. I never saw such solid bridge parts on the Epiphones or any Chinese even many Korean made guitars. I prefer to be neutral about tuners. No brand name on them. But I think they are way better than usual stock Chinese tuners. The guitar stays in tune for days.


    Electronics:


    Four Korean B500k big pots and very good Orange Drop style capacitors. Way better than usual ceramic caps using for USA Gibsons. First I thought that I may replace pots and caps. But not necessary. The pickup switch is very good too. All these electronic components surprised me. I usually use A500K pots. But so far, no complaints about these pots. As far as I can see, no need mods in here! I just made a treble bleed mod and canceled ton pots. For reason and result, keep reading.


    Pickups:


    Needless to say, they are USA Tony Iommi Signature pickups. They like made by Gods! Whoever designed this pups, Gibson must be thankful to that person! Yes, they sound like Iommi. They are sensitive to mids. Very good for Black Sabbath sound and metal. My TI, plus my stock TS9dx, plus my Jet City with 6L6GC tubes, I can get a good Iommi type sound. But there is more!!


    These pickups are dark sounding guns. If you like dark tones when you are playing vintage stuff, then I can say that these Ceramic-Alnico II hybrid pickups are very versatile. I can play different genres like old rock, blues, hard rock, etc. There are some exceptions, but ceramic pickups are usually dull for me. But these hybrid beasts are from another planet.


    If you tweak the eq, gain and master volume on the amp, this guitar can travel to different dimensions. From pretty good clean to extreme metal sounds. Ideal for low chord metal sounds too. D and C# chords are approved by me :D My amp doesn't have a decent clean channel. So I am already using volume pots on my guitars to get a decent clean sound. I don't know, how this beauty can sound with a Fender (or Fenderish) amp have lots of clean headroom. Not experienced yet.


    The only thing you can see as a problem is, no coil split privilege in here. Pups are four conductors but pots are standard. And for people who don't know yet, they are hot pickups of course! Can break your amp earlier than many pickups. Outputs are around 15.2 Kohm, both neck and bridge.



    Overall Sound:


    The problem of so many SG guitars I played, they sounded weak, shrill or harsh. But this Iommi is not! No no no!! This is a dark, beefy SG with lots of mids and basses. I sold my heavy Greco LP (which I loved over any Gibson LP I played) because of this Iommi and to have a back pain free life. Iommi is sounding fatter than many Les Pauls! Because of wood or pups or deep-set neck joint? I don't know. Maybe one, maybe all of them. Are trebles lost? No! There is still enough and quality trebles. This guitar is a way-way better than soo many Gibson Faded or Standart SG's I played. I can't talk for 61 reissue series. Wish I had one, sadly never owned, just played lots of them. They belong to a different category for me.


    Why I canceled tone pots? Because of Tony canceled the bridge pickup. As a result, the mid response of his bridge pickup is sounding more clear. Same thing here. The bridge pickup is sounding more Iommish. But this time, neck pickup sounded too dark to my ears compared to the bridge pu. So I canceled neck tone pot too.


    I compared my Iommi with an elite, super cool, 90's high-end HSS USA Jackson SL-1 with Seymour Duncans. Conclusion? I can't lie. Can't say Iommi won, kicked Jackie's ass. I think they have equal sound quality in their ways. Of course, Jackson SL-1 has lot better paint, logo and inlay workmanship.


    What about wood? Woood! Wood woood wooood!?!?!?!:


    Oh yes!! This is the point some of you; in or outside of this forum wondering and waiting right?! Which kind of wood did they use? Some low quality, pale, s**ty or worse than Some-ex sites (no naming, chance or free commercial for counterfeiters! Sorry) Asian mahoganies (which seems like more alder or light-colored hornbeam) or decent, reddish-brown mahogany? Well, here is good news for wood hunters! This guitar is made of quality, reddish-brown MAHOGANY! Yeeess!! as you can see under a tiny paint scratch. (Result of unfortunate damage)

    [​IMG]

    After my pale as corpse mahogany Gibbies and Epis, this made me feel extremely happy!! Seems like old good friendly Honduran Mahogany! (Just seems. I am not claiming this is Honduran mahogany) Maybe I act like a stupid or someone with OCD. But to see good wood with good grains on this guitar makes me feel so happy. In theory, this is a made in China guitar. But have good quality woods, parts, and USA pickups.


    Is everything ok? Is my guitar perfect like a dream with zero flaws? Am I that lucky? No! First, five cross inlays have a problem. Doesn't affect the playability but the problem is there. First I thought cross inlays are shallower than fretboard. I took a look at it again. They are a slight glue overflow problem. I have to sand them slowly and carefully. Every time I change the strings, keep forgetting to do. I hope I can remember someday :D


    So, this is it. I am so happy with this deal. But my suggestion is if you think to buy a 2015 Tony Iommi SG, don't buy without examining and playing. Don't be GASed by this review. As far as I understand and wrote, some of them may have some quality or quality control issues.

    My Iommi with the new bone nut:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. SGfan84

    SGfan84 New Member

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    Beautiful specimen and excellent review. I'm glad you're content with it! Do you find the 24 fret configuration to your liking also? I always wondered about this with the Iommi SG as well as SG Specials and if there is any way it affects the tone?
     
    HackeIommi likes this.
  3. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Hi, my friend! I'm glad you like. 24 frets and a fixed bridge fits my tastes great. Sadly I never owned even played an SG Special. I don't feel like I am qualified to talk about them. I also love P90 pickups but IDK when can I have an SG with P90s. All I can say is, when I play Classic Rock or Bluesy stuff, tone-wise, I hear those typical, nasal Gibson sound inside the dark tones of Iommi.
     
    SGfan84 likes this.
  4. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    This Epiclone G400 has fantastic USA Tony Iommi Signature Humbuckers


    :cheers:
     
  5. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Very good in-depth review. Thank you! I bought a new Iommi SG one and a half years ago and it has been my main guitar since then. I love it although I had to fix some minor problems, too.

    I won't go into details right now as I am on vacation and hate to type on the phone. But I will come back to this thread when I am back home :thumb:
     
    Lunacy the Faded likes this.
  6. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Many thanx! Iommi pickups are the real deal if you know what you lookin' for. In the beginning, I was skeptic about them. I love AlnicoII pickups but usually not a fan of ceramic pickups. But these beasts are made me extremely happy! Not just Not just pickups, I love all the details about this guitar. :cheers:

    Many thanx man! I am waiting. This forum is the right place to talk about this model.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  7. Fumble fingers

    Fumble fingers Member

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    I like mine , other than some fret sprout that was easy to fix it was perfect
     
    Lunacy the Faded and HackeIommi like this.
  8. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    Iommi SG users and lovers began to appear.

    Guys, you can write the equipment you are using with your Iommi Signatures, the sounds, genres you are playing with.
     

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