Price paid: $ 599
Purchased from: SamAsh
Features — 9
This review is for the 2015 Epiphone Tony Iommi SG. The neck is a Slim taper D profile and smooth as glass with only one rough fret edge. It has 24 frets and a luscious ebony fingerboard. Solid Top mahogany body and mahogany neck. Ebony (black) in color. SG Body Style. The bridge is a tune-o-matic ans the pickups are Gibson Tony Iommi humbuckers. It has a 3-way switch and non-locking tuners that are chrome with the familiar kidney bean shape.The nut is an upgraded graphite type. The guitar came with a case and a a signed certificate from Tony Iommi. This edition supposedly limited to 2,000 guitars world-wide.
Sound — 8
I mostly play blues and the guitar sounds pretty good clean and also with a bit of gain. I'm very used to the Fender C shape protocol, so I'm having to make some adjustments to get used to the D slim taper. The strings feel like 9-42's and I usually play with 10-46's, but for now I'm going to stay with the 9's. But recently I've been re-exploring my love of the older Black Sabbath music which was lead me to this guitar. And this guitar fulfills that sound very well! (I saw the Gibson version in a YouTube video, but am not going to be able to afford that!)
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This was a used guitar, so I can't speak for condition right out of the warehouse, but I'd be surprised if this one had much play time. No fret wear, action is low and other than one tiny scratch (< 1" and not through the paint) on the back, I can't find a single defect other than the previously mentioned somewhat sharp fret edge. I can solve that in about 5 minutes. When I first saw the street price of these at $799 my thought was "that's too much for an Epiphone." But a guitar is really the sum of all of it's parts and Epiphone went full-meal-deal on this one. I absolutely LOVE the ebony fingerboard. The guitar is indeed classy looking and I'm very happy with this purchase.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar feels like absolute quality so I'm sure it will withstand live play. Hardware and strap buttons feel like quality as well. I can't speak for the pot's at this time because I haven't been inside the cavity, but they are not scratchy and seem to work well as you adjust incrementally so they may be better quality as well over the standard crap they put in Asian made cheaper guitars. Finish looks like it'll hold up just fine. I read what type it was but have forgotten. I don't think it's the same finish that Gibson uses though.
Overall Impression — 9
I still prefer my upgraded Strat' for the blues, but for hard rock this guitar has got exactly what it needs in the tone department and feels really nice in my hands. For modern day metal I can't say because I don't play it. But I'm guessing it would cover a good deal of it. These pickups are pretty hot. I've only been playing for slightly over 3 years and at this point I don't gig, but hope to in another year or two. If it was lost or stolen, I'd certainly keep my eyes open for another good deal to try to replace it. I'm not sure I'd pay $799 without a case, but as I said before, this is a really upgraded model. And it's a limited edition so when the sad day comes that the Father of Metal leaves us, I'm guessing that the value will possibly increase.
I don't "hate" anything about it, and really like everything about this guitar. It's a keeper for sure! I'm not really a gear snob and don't care what name is on the head-stock. I have a couple Squiers that are extremely good guitars. So from my standpoint, I'd rather have an Epiphone with all of these upgrades then a plain-Jane Gibson at a similar or higher price. I recommend it it highly! (Now back to those soothing POWER CHORDS!)