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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    Update: I posted my serial # question to the person on the EpiphoneTalk forum who wrote the serial number identification thread and he told me something very interesting. The last 5 digits of my serial number, known as the "Ranking Number" doesn't refer to the total numbers of a specific model that were built, it refers to the total number of Epiphone guitars built during the time period represented. Since the serial number begins with YY/MM this would mean my Iommi was the 30,652nd Epi built during August 2019. He said there's no way to know exactly how many Iommi's have been built.

    Looks like I can keep telling myself that mine is one of the original 2000 :dude:
     
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  2. Worblehat

    Worblehat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the research! Awesome...so now I have one of the limited 2000 copies again, too. :thumb:
     
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  3. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    :h5:
     
  4. Robert Nunn

    Robert Nunn Member

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    Does is say on the certificate the number ex 25/2000 or anything like that? I know they said 2000 units with 200 being lefties. I have one on backorder at Sweetwater.
     
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  5. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    No. There is no "certificate number" - and definitely nothing that shows the total that have been built, but the certificate does have the Epi serial number along with a signature from Tony & the president of Epi. From that serial # you can figure out the month/year/factory/ranking number. To paraphrase the Epi serial number expert on the EpiphoneTalk forum (who's also on this forum of course and could chime in any time to correct me) there's no way to know exactly how many of these Iommi Ltd Eds have actually been built...but if it's like other Epi Ltd Ed's, they'll likely have run the original 2000 back in 2015 when it was announced and every year knock out another 1000 as long as the demand is there.

    If I had to make a guess, after everything I've researched and learned, I'd have to say the original plan of a run of 2000 has been at least doubled by now as mine was built in aug 2019, 4 years after they were first released. I don't know for sure how many Epi is building every year, but I'm confident they've built more than 2000. Also supporting that fact is that Sweetwater removed any reference to a limited run of 2000 on it's description. Interesting that they only removed that within the past 2 or 3 weeks as it was there when I was looking for mine in early April and I saw it up there for a couple more weeks (which was why I also thought I was getting one of the first 2000). Maybe that means Epi just crossed the 2000 mark with the latest production run? Doubtful but I guess possible ;)
    Anyway, I hope Sweetwater is able to get your Iommi from Epi and into your hands ASAP :dude:
     
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  6. Robert Nunn

    Robert Nunn Member

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    Yea I've got a couple SG's (Gibson and Epiphone) but this really looks like a winner, especially for the price and a limited edition would be nice for collect-ability but not really necessary as I plan on using it for heavy, detuned songs and whatnot. I didn't realize till I started doing a little research that the first run was in 2015. Seems a little weird that they would run a partial production run (of 2000 total units) 5 years ago and then the "final run" now. Who knows.
     
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  7. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    I play all kinds of classic stuff with my band and the Iommi handles it all with style. Cream, Thin Lizzy, Living Colour, Pride & Glory, Bonamassa, Lynyrd Skynyrd, you name it, it can do it. The pickups have a lot of body, not a scooped EMG metal sound, just a really nice tone that can do pretty much any style you can throw at it. I even play Freddie King on mine. The thing PLAYS so nice, buttery smoooth, I love it.
     
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  8. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    I’m guessing this is not your personal guitar...?
     
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  9. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    No, they really don’t.
     
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  10. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    I've got mine tuned down 2 and a half steps to B and the pickups are monsters. I can even get it to feedback running through a Line6 PodXT and straight into the board at relatively low volume! In nearly 40 years of playing electric guitar, I've never played any pickups that were such hi output :dude:

    As far as finding out the actual total production run quantity, it's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma ;)
     
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  11. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Yeah I think initially it was 2500 units, 250 lefties. Mine has a decal on the back of the neck saying Epiphone 2016, but the serial number ends with 2018... not sure if that has anything to do with the year...?
     
  12. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    I've heard it was 2000 units/200 lefties, at least that is what was on the Sweetwater page before they removed it ;)

    The end of the number isn't the year, the last 5 digits are the "Ranking number" - aka number of Epi's built that month or number of Epi's built that month at that factory, I'm not certain which. According to the most accurate Epi serial# thread I know of, the Iommi model ser# goes like this:

    YYMMFFRRRRR
    In 2008 models begin to appear without a factory i.d. letter prefix.
    • YY = Year of manufacture
    • MM = Month of manufature
    • FF = Factory I.D.
    • RRRRR = Ranking number
    Example: 08121520333 = 2008 / December / factory 15 / unit 20333
     
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  13. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    Ah that’s great! Thanks! I’ll try to decode my one!
     
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  14. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    :h5: Also, I believe the factory codes for the Iommi are:

    • 10 = China - factory unknown found on two LP-Specials from '10
    • 11 = MIC sticker on a '08 Masterbuilt 500
    • 12 = DeaWon or Unsung (China -- uncertainty remains as to which factory)
    • 13 = China - factory unknown
    • 15 = Qingdao (China) -- electric
    • 16 = Qingdao (China) -- acoustic
    • 17 = China - factory unknown MIC sticker on a J160E
    • 18 = China - factory unknown found on one 2009 model bass
    • 20 = DaeWon or Unsung (China -- uncertainty remains as to which factory)
    • 21 = Unsung, Korea
    • 22 = Korea (factory still unknown)
    • 23 = Samick factory Indonesia
    • I = Indonesia (this letter has appeared as the 5th digit on two authentic new models made in Indonesia)
     
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  15. Robert Nunn

    Robert Nunn Member

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    So, been looking into the serial numbers. I'm pretty sure they aren't cranking out 20,033 or so guitars in a month. I think those numbers represent total in production, or even year to date would make more sense. If you look at some of the serial numbers from years ago, it was 4 numbers for the ranking. It would make more sense that the 20,033 guitar ranking is from (example) 2008 or whenenver and they just continue to add meaning eventually, it will be a 12 digit serial number or they just switch formats. It could also mean total units produced at a specific plant year to date or total all together because some plants produce much more than others.

    That would mean that if they were making 20000 guitars in a month, they would working 24 hrs a day cranking out 27 per hour for the whole month.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  16. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    Makes sense that the "ranking number" could be the total Epi's built since they changed formats in 2008, I just don't know and it doesn't seem the info is out there. It's too bad we can't get someone from Epi to clarify and clearly define "ranking number". FYI the serial# thread I referenced is at: http://www.epiphonetalk.com/threads/epiphone-serial-number-information-identification.2685/
     
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  17. purple dragon

    purple dragon Member

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    So almost like a gibson then just more easy to read since you dont have to skip nummers to Get the full year etc.everything is on a straight line on epis.
    My guess woued be that the first 2000 was made In 2015 and then every year afther they make on order so whene a shop is sold out they put In a new order and then epiphone makes up a new batch to fullfill wath store order/people preorder.
    I think the first batch made In 15 is nummerd because mine is made 08.15 and got ranking nr 149 and i dont think epiphone did make 148 guitars from january to august.in 2015
    Iommies made afther that i guess go In the regulare ranking nr with all other models.now regulare ranking nr i think eiter have keep going since 08 or Get rebooted every year now the big question is does it mean just that plant or is it from all epiphone plant so ranking nr 40233 can be made on plant 15 and 40234 is made on a other.
     
  18. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    A pure collector Epi ...

    :thumb:
     
  19. Grizzlyman

    Grizzlyman Active Member

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    So my serial number is:
    1706202018
    So made in June 2017, Daewon or Unsung factory, China
    Ranking number 2018
    Mine is left handed if that has any bearing!
    I’ll have to dig out my Iommi mk1 from the basement and check the serial on that. And my other G400 & G310...
     
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  20. WytchCrypt

    WytchCrypt Active Member

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    This is interesting...my serial # is 19081530652...so Aug 2019, Qingdao, Ranking# 30,652. If we're interpreting correctly that would mean yours shows Epi built only 2,018 units by June 2017, but mine shows Epi built 30,652 units by Aug 2019??? Hmm...something definitely doesn't add up. Perhaps ranking number is attached to the specific factory and Qingdao is a much larger operation than Daewon/Unsung? Curious what your Iommi mk1 serial# is...

    Maybe we should just give Tony a call and ask him what's up with the serial numbers and how many certificates he's signed :D
     
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