Ltd Ed Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom Production Run Questions

Discussion in 'Epiphone SG' started by WytchCrypt, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm the proud owner of a new Epiphone Ltd Ed Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom. I just looked up an Epiphone serial number ID thread and it appears mine was completed in Aug 2019 and is guitar #652 of the limited run of 2000. If the serial number translation is accurate, that seems odd to me considering the first run was in 2015.

    First, does it sound correct that 4 years after it's introduction I got such an early number of the run (652 of 2000)? Does that mean we're here in 2020 and they've only sold about 650 of these?

    Second, I notice Sweetwater is taking orders and says they're expecting more to arrive in a few weeks. That plus the fact that my serial number shows it was built in August of 2019. Since it's a limited run of 2000, wouldn't they have knocked all 2000 off at the same time rather than having to reconfigure the factory to build them in short bursts?

    Anyone have any info on this?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Did you use the serial number decoder or something to get your info ? Because that site doesn't work.

    What is your serial # ?
    Where did you get that they only made 2000 ?
     
  3. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    I also own one of these fine guitars. When it was first introduced in 2015 Epiphone said that it is a limited run of 2000. But I don't think this is true anymore. According to the serial numbers mine is number 1024 and made in Oktober 2017. I've seen exemplars from 2015, 2017 and 2018. So apparently they are constantly producing them. Maybe they made 2000 of them in 2015 and they sold so well that they decided to continue. Who knows...

    It doesn't matter to me. I am just super happy that I have one of these guitars and I don't care how many others are out there.

    And welcome to the forum! We like to see photos of guitars here. Mind posting one? How else are we supposed to know if yours even exist ;)

    This is mine:

    [​IMG]

    It has been my main guitar for almost two years. Now I recently got a beautiful Gibson SG Standard but I play my Epiphone Iommiy SG as much as the Gibson. While I use the Gibson for everything in standard tuning I have the Epiphone set up for C# tuning at the moment to play Black Sabbath songs from Master of Reality :dude:
     

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  4. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    What site do you mean?
    I just used this one to decode my serial number...
     
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  6. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Thanks all for the nice welcome!

    I originally looked my serial # up on the gibson->epiphone forum.

    My # is 19081530652. I read somewhere in my search that you ignore the 1st number of the last 5 which indicates your build number. Now that I've looked at the other links people have provided in this thread they all seem to show I was correct that it was built Aug 2019 at the Qingdao factory but it appears my build number is actually 30652 not 652. Knowing that, does it mean mine is actually the thirty thousand six hundred fifty second Iommi Ltd Ed built? Everything I've read said it was to be a limited run of 2000...30,000+ isn't much of a limited edition is it ;)

    Honestly I don't care if it was a limited run of 2,000 or 2,000,000 I love mine and am just trying to understand what's going on with my serial number. What I do care about is whether Tony's signature on the certificate is authentic. I'm sure it's a real hand signature, not a copy of a signature. I say this because the point on the signature where Tony puts the loop on the "T" bled through and is visible on the back side of the certificate. Same with part of the signature of Epi's President. Also the "Iommi" part dented the back of the certificate. A printed signature wouldn't do that...it makes me wonder though, how many of these certificates has he had to actually sign???

    First thing I did after checking out everything was ok was try different string gauges so I could downtune to C#. I finally ended up with 9-9-12-22-32-42. There are 2 different statements of what gauges Tony uses for C# on the Iommi website. I tried the one linked to his old Epi G400 special edition which said 9-9-12-22-28-38 but it was just too bouncy on the low end. The LaBella Strings link says he uses 9-10-12-20w-32-42. Used a combination of both and it's working out great. Had to mess with the action quite a bit to get a workable setup but it's running fine now. Here's a shot my wife took right out of the box before I changed string gauges to prove I actually do own one :dude:

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    They might have limited the 2015 production to 2000.
    You sure HE signed them all ? 30,000 signatures = permanent tendinitis ! It's not that it's impossible to fake it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
  8. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    I'd agree with you that it could be faked except for the pen bleed through marks on the back of the certificate. If Epi was going to fake this, I can't believe they'd be so clever or thorough as to run the certificate through a 2 sided printer and replicate the bleed through. And what about the pressure marks on the backside as well? That can't be faked...someone signed this by hand. Now, whether Tony actually signed all 30,000+ or a team who can nail his signature signed them on his behalf, well, without being there how can that ever be verified?

    I choose to believe "The Man" signed my certificate and that we did land on the moon in '69 ;)
     
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  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    That's what I'm saying.
     
  10. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Entirely possible. Though I'm sure every once in a while Tony shows up to sign a few himself just for fun. That's one of the one's I got :dude:
     
  11. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. My build number only has 4 digits and the factory code is different. It's "20" which according to the Epiphone Wiki is DaeWon or Unsung (uncertain).

    Yes, I can see that it is a real hand signature on mine, too. And I firmly believe that it was signed by the man himself :D

    On my guitar that is tuned to standard I use 9-42 now so for C# I just went up one gauge to 10-46. Works fine for me. I am not so keen on using exactly what Tony used as I fortunately still have all my fingertips ;)

    Thanks for the photo and enjoy your guitar!
     
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  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Ahh ... the placebo effect ! :rofl:
     
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  13. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Thanks, you too!

    As far as gauges go, I wanted to try the same thing Tony uses to see if I like it. While I do have all of my fingertips intact, I have tendinitis in both forearms that comes and goes so wanted to try his super-light approach for C#. It does take getting used to, but the lighter strings combined with the downtuned tension makes string bends SOOOOOO much easier. The 1st hour or so of playing I'd push the usual amount for a whole step string bend and realize I was bending a step and a half. Even a 2 step bend is now possible on the highest 4 strings without too much effort. It's incredibly fun! The problem I had was with the low A & E strings. Using a 28 & 38, those strings were flopping around like crazy, buzzing the frets and nearly impossible to tune. Even after raising the action, there was still way too much buzzing. Going to 32-42 instead cleaned that up very well.

    The other thing I noticed about playing such a light set downtuned to C# is you have to play chords with a very light, even touch across the fretboard. Just the slightest uneven press on the frets will drive some strings sharp and turn that power chord into a power mess ;)

    Once I got the C# tuning stable, I played the intro to Into the Void for hours and drove my wife crazy :ohno:

    :cheers:
     
  14. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Hmmm...so us Iommi Ltd SG buyers are really just lab rats in a huge Epiphone psychological experiment! I imagine they're scanning this forum right now to see how many of us believe Tony really signed our certificates :ohno:

    Life is getting more and more surreal every day ;)
     
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  15. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the insides. I might try some lower gauges some time, too. But I definitely want to keep the tension on my guitars similar, so I will always use heavier strings for down tuning compared to standard tuning.
    String gauges are a funny thing...as a beginner I thought heavier strings are harder to play but also better somehow, especially for heavy music. But then I noticed how many people here use light strings (down to 7-38) and that actually my favourite guitar players (Iommi, Gibbons, Young) use 9-42 or lighter. So I went back to 9th and haven't looked back. As you set, developing a lighter touch is a benefit of it!

    That's exactly what I did :rofl: I've been playing this song for some weeks now. Its just so much fun to play, especially this intro! It's like meditation when you repeat it over and over again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  16. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Waoow ! Epi Custom Shop Limited edition, this G400 is a collector ...

    I want to buy the Gibson Tony Iommi humbuckers if you are interested.
    What' s your price ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  17. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    You're welcome! I've played 9's for 30 years but switching to 9-9-12-22-32-42 downtuned to C# is a totally mind blowing experience :wow:

    I think I read a review that said these Iommi pickups are specially wound super hi gain so the output remains hot even with very light gauges. That's definitely what I'm hearing. I've had an Epi Les Paul Custom for 8 years and downtuned to C# for a doom metal album I did back in 2014. I beefed up the string gauges and it sounded great, but string bending was not comfortable at all...then again, the music I wrote for this project didn't require any lead playing or string bending. FYI: I put a Gibson Dirty Fingers PU in the bridge :smile:

    Now I can keep my Epi LP Custom in standard tuning and have my Iommi for doom metal heaven :dude:
     
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  18. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Tony Iommi humbuckers are Gibson made,
     
  19. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    aha....
    thanx for the news
     
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  20. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    They need a Gibson SG, for sure.
     

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