Tony Iommi SG Gibson and Epiphone.

Gary Gretsch

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I was wondering peoples thoughts on this guitar. I like the fact that it has the P90's and chunkier neck. I think it can be used clean also. Does anyone own one or have played one? Thoughts on this guitar?
Thanks
 

Col Mustard

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An interesting video...

The Epi seems like a "cracking guitar..."
In the hands of a good player the Epi looks to give up nothing.
Epiphone guitars respond really well to setup.
The Polyurethane finish is more practical and more durable.

The Gibson has authority as one would expect given the price tag.
But can it justify the high price? In my opinion, yes.
The Gibson will hold its value better than the Epi.
Only the prospective buyer can make this decision.
The video shows that ... given decent setup and the right amp
either one can be the guitar of your dreams.

I read an interview with Iommi himself who discussed his working
with Epiphone to bring out the guitar with his name on it.
He seemed to be totally straightforward and insisted on some of
the details, knowing that entry level guitarists should have a decent
instrument to start with.

IMHO each of these "Iommi signature" models should have
24 frets. That's why Iommi plays custom made guitars. He asked
Gibson to make him one with 24 frets and they refused... long ago.
So they shouldn't issue a signature model with only 22 frets.
That seems just wrong.
 

SGBreadfan

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I have one, it’s a stellar guitar with a big fat chunky neck…just make sure you’re good with big necks if you decide to buy the Gibson version. Versatile guitar and will be adept at just about any style you throw at it. The lower gain/overdriven tones are particularly nice, and of course it will do the Sabbath thing in spades too. Very high quality guitar, feels and sounds great. Haven‘t had a chance to try the Epi version.

 

JimH

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IMHO each of these "Iommi signature" models should have
24 frets. That's why Iommi plays custom made guitars. He asked
Gibson to make him one with 24 frets and they refused... long ago.
So they shouldn't issue a signature model with only 22 frets.
That seems just wrong.

While you're right that his non-Gibson guitars had 24 frets, he did start his career with Gibsons. If I remember correctly, the first three or four Sabbath albums were recorded with Gibsons. Most of the Sabbath songs that most non-Sabbath fans could name, were played on his Gibsons. It only makes sense that Gibson would re-issue the iconic Gibsons that Iommi used. If John Birch or Jaydee were to make an Iommi re-issue, I would expect it to have 24 frets. I wouldn't expect Gibson to pay homage to another manufacturer's guitar. That's just my opinion.
 

Gary Gretsch

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I have one, it’s a stellar guitar with a big fat chunky neck…just make sure you’re good with big necks if you decide to buy the Gibson version. Versatile guitar and will be adept at just about any style you throw at it. The lower gain/overdriven tones are particularly nice, and of course it will do the Sabbath thing in spades too. Very high quality guitar, feels and sounds great. Haven‘t had a chance to try the Epi version.

I am not sure if you would know the answer to this. If you ever played a Billie Joe Armstrong Epiphone or a Les Paul Special or even a 2022 SG Standard. How does the neck compare?
Thanks
 

Colnago

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While you're right that his non-Gibson guitars had 24 frets, he did start his career with Gibsons. If I remember correctly, the first three or four Sabbath albums were recorded with Gibsons. Most of the Sabbath songs that most non-Sabbath fans could name, were played on his Gibsons. It only makes sense that Gibson would re-issue the iconic Gibsons that Iommi used. If John Birch or Jaydee were to make an Iommi re-issue, I would expect it to have 24 frets. I wouldn't expect Gibson to pay homage to another manufacturer's guitar. That's just my opinion.
Even though Gibson has paid homage to another manufacturer by releasing a Slash Signature guitar that was based on a copy.
 

lcw

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IMHO each of these "Iommi signature" models should have
24 frets. That's why Iommi plays custom made guitars. He asked
Gibson to make him one with 24 frets and they refused... long ago.
So they shouldn't issue a signature model with only 22 frets.
That seems just wrong.
Wrong.

This pays hommage to his Monkey guitar. Was a 64 or 65 SG Special. 22 frets.
Mods were:
- the Schaller tuners
- Poly’d fretboard so his artificial finger tips wouldn’t catch the frets as much.
- John Birch neck pickup (P90 style but more screw pole pieces).
- Gibson bridge P90 rewound by John Birch and chrome cover.
- bunch of bridge variations which landed with the wraparound compensated one shown on these reissues. Had tune-o-matic at some point hence the tailpiece inserts on the Custom Shop versions. USA model didn’t bother.

No cross inlays, no humbuckers, no 24 frets. That was later on his JayDee Old Boy. Totally different guitar.

 

skelt101

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Wrong.

This pays hommage to his Monkey guitar. Was a 64 or 65 SG Special. 22 frets.
Mods were:
- the Schaller tuners
- Poly’d fretboard so his artificial finger tips wouldn’t catch the frets as much.
- John Birch neck pickup (P90 style but more screw pole pieces).
- Gibson bridge P90 rewound by John Birch and chrome cover.
- bunch of bridge variations which landed with the wraparound compensated one shown on these reissues. Had tune-o-matic at some point hence the tailpiece inserts on the Custom Shop versions. USA model didn’t bother.
Don't forget the zero fret! :thumb: (USA model didn't bother with that either...)
 

SGBreadfan

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I am not sure if you would know the answer to this. If you ever played a Billie Joe Armstrong Epiphone or a Les Paul Special or even a 2022 SG Standard. How does the neck compare?
Thanks
I haven’t played a Billy Joe, but I’ve played and owned recent Standards and I own a ‘61 Standard. The Iommi is wayyyyy bigger than either, it’s slightly bigger than my ’58 Reissue Les Paul. .89 at the first fret, 1.0 at the twelfth. If you’re unsure about larger necks, I’d def. suggest trying first before you buy.
 

JimH

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Even though Gibson has paid homage to another manufacturer by releasing a Slash Signature guitar that was based on a copy.

Iommi played actual Gibsons, and Gibson is capitalizing on that. It's not a good comparison. By the time Gibson made Slash signature LP's, Slash was playing Gibsons.
 

ChubbyFingers

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Iommi famously lost the finger tips on his right hand (he's a leftie) in an accident on the steel press he used to drive for a living. The day he was going to quit and turn pro guitarist. He came up with plastic caps to put on his finger tips, and also drop tunes a couple of steps for lower string tensions. It therefore makes sense he uses 24 fret necks.
 

An Abiding Dude

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I was wondering peoples thoughts on this guitar. I like the fact that it has the P90's and chunkier neck. I think it can be used clean also. Does anyone own one or have played one? Thoughts on this guitar?
Thanks
Never played the Epiphone, but I own and like the Iommi Gibson model. You're definitely paying for the name on the back of the headstock ($2400 new) because you can get a nice used Special for way cheaper (and cheaper still if your not a headstock queen and you go Epiphone). A cool option that is a bit cheaper on the used market that has a nice fat, rounded neck with P90s are the SG Classics that were made between 1999 - 2011. The Iommi model does have the fatter neck if that's a major selling point for you, otherwise you don't get any specially wound signature pickups (for example), just regular P90s. But, that being said, and if the price tags is not a consideration and you're a fan of Iommi, it's a fun instrument to have in the collection.
 

cerebral gasket

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Used to have one and sold it. It’s just an overpriced SG Special with a few modifications.

While it was a very nice build guitar, I realized it felt strange playing someone else’s style guitar and that I’m not a fan of signature guitars.

The neck wasn’t all that. No two neck carves are identical. The one I had lacked a sufficient amount of shoulder making it feel thin to my hand.
 
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