SUMMER NAMM 2015: Epiphone Ltd. Ed. Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom guitar officially revealed

SUMMER NAMM 2015: After multiple teasers, Epiphone has officially lifted the lid on its forthcoming Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom.

The new Tony Iommi Signature SG will be officially released this summer, with a limited availability of 2000 guitars worldwide.

Tony's iconic black SG was previously replicated in the Epiphone Tony Iommi G-400, and as before, the new model will include his signature Gibson USA Tony Iommi humbuckers. Tony told Total Guitar in 2011, "I insisted they put my signature pickups on it - which were expensive really to go on that but I didn't want them to just put my name on guitar and say, that's it. I wanted it to be at least something that I'd use."

Rather than a straight reissue, the new Iommi Signature features a few design tweaks - the pearloid Cross inlays now continue through the length of the fingerboard, it features chrome hardware instead of black, and Tony's signature has been moved from the truss rod cover to the back of the headstock.

"This guitar sounds like I want it to sound on stage," Iommi tells Epiphone. "I play it at home in the studio as well. It uses my signature pickups, which we worked on for quite a while over the years. It's got a great fretboard with a really nice feel. And, it's just a really classy looking guitar."

Additional case candy

Collectors are treated to some additional case candy, too: a hand-signed certificate of authenticity, binder and photo of Tony Iommi. At this stage, though, it seems the hardcase to put it all in will be optional.

Tony has been an SG player for his whole career, telling TG "I like the shape, I like the size of it and I like the fact that you can get up to the top frets. With Les Pauls and stuff - I've got some Les Pauls - for me they're not… especially as I took the ends of my fingers off, I can't reach the top notes very easily.

"So the SG was ideal for me, as was the Strat because you could get up there. That was a good guitar the Strat, but it just didn't have the balls that I wanted. My early one did, I worked on it myself. I had that for years and had it in pieces at least once a week trying to do something to it. Potting the pickups and doing this and that. That was great and I used it on the first album, on one track [Wicked World] and then the pickup went, it broke. I said, 'Bloody hell that's typical'.

"Then I had this SG that I'd had as a spare, I'd never used it and bloody hell, I had to do the whole [first] album with it! Once I'd done it, that was it - I just stuck to that."

Prices on the Tony Iommi Signature SG are still yet to be confirmed. For more info, head over to Epiphone.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.