Tony Iommi Talks New Epiphone SG


It feels like Tony Iommi Week here at I Heart Guitar. I interviewed Tony the other day for Mixdown magazine (and they let me set aside a few questions for I Heart Guitar, which you can see here). I have an Epiphone Limited Edition Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom here to review. And now Epiphone has published a new interview with Tony talking about the new guitar. You can read the interview here, and there’s a press release and video below. Read More …

The Return Of The Epiphone Tony Iommi SG

Tony Iommi Epiphone

Aaah this is great news: Epiphone is reviving a version of its Tony Iommi SG. There are a few changes compared to the previous model. According to Later this summer, Epiphone will formally announce the new Ltd. Ed. Tony Iommi Signature SG Custom, which will be Tony’s second signature guitar for Epiphone. It features the historic SG profile–now a Tony Iommi trademark–with a Mahogany body finished in beautiful gloss Ebony. The Mahogany neck has a 1960’s SlimTaper™ D- profile and a black graphite nut and the Ebony fingerboard has Pearloid “Cross” inlays with white binding and a Tony Iommi signature on the back of the headstock. Read More …

REVIEW: Gibson SG Special


Although the Gibson SG is an American design, for many decades it’s resonated particularly closely with we Australians. Put this down to one Mr. Angus Young. There’s something about those devilish pointy horns and blues-approved tones that appeals to the Aussie pub rock aesthetic. The SG Special is one of Gibson’s newest designs, adding a few little twists and turns to an otherwise straightforward but badass-looking take on the SG style. See Gibson SGs on eBay. Read More …

Gibson Kirk Douglas Roots SG

Kirk Douglas SG“Captain” Kirk Douglas of The Roots is such a monster of a player. Technique, tone, taste, adaptability – dude can do it all. So if anyone deserves a signature Gibson, it be he. Douglas’s SG, much like Douglas himself, has a few tricks up its sleeve. The three Gibson ’57 Classic humbuckers can be split into single coil mode, and you can dial in the middle pickup on any setting thanks to the stealth blender ring disguised within its TogPot™ selector switch. And I especially like that the tailpiece says “Captain” instead of “Gibson.” I love this guitar! It’s really the ultimate as far as what I would want from an SG. I want one!!! Check out the video below, and head on over to for more info. Read More …

Gibson 70s Studio Tribute models

Gibson’s 50s and 60s Studio Tribute series is a kind of odd one. They’re not exact recreations of actual models, but rather they tap into the spirit of instruments from that era, with lower-cost satin finishes and less ornamentation. But the 50s and 60s Tributes I’ve played have been great guitars, especially the 60s Studio Tribute Les Paul I reviewed a while ago. Now Gibson is releasing the 70s Studio Tribute line containing three models: a Les Paul, an SG and a Firebird. These models aren’t based on actual 70s guitars (no Norlin-era pancake construction, thankfully!) but they’re cool axes in their own right, and each features newly designed Dual Blade Alnico Mini Humbuckers.

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REVIEW: Gibson SG Special 60s Tribute

The SG Special, a Gibson SG loaded with P-90 pickups, has at one time or another been the axe of choice for iconic players like Peter Townshend, Carlos Santana and even Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi. The SG is traditionally a somewhat trebly guitar, and P-90s emphasise this even further to create a sound that’s unlike anything else on the Gibson roster. The SG Special ’60s Tribute honours those old models in a much less costly manner, finding a low-cost solution to the pricey and time-consuming finishing process.

The Gibson SG Special ’60s Tribute is a limited-run instrument available in Worn Cherry, Worn Natural, Worn White or Worn Ebony. I reviewed the Worn Ebony model. It features a solid mahogany body with a set (ie: glued), quarter-sawn mahogany neck featuring unbound rosewood fretboard with simple, understated dot position markers. The neck shape is Gibson’s SlimTaper profile, which is .800″ thick at the first fret and .875″ at the 12th. It’s not really the slimmest neck you’ll ever come across but it’s certainly thinner than Gibson’s 50s profile. All the expected – nay, demanded – SG curves are here

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NEWS: SG Carved Top-Autumn Burst

Ok, this is either a guitar or the most creative use of caramel and toffee I’ve ever seen. Just look at that finish. It’s practically edible. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the New SG Carved Top-Autumn Burst

Press release:

The model that replaced the original single-cutaway Les Paul Standard in 1961 was considered a more straight-on take on the solid body electric guitar. The Les Paul/SG (later simply the SG) lacked the elaborate crafting, multi-wood body and arched top of its predecessor, and was also a step further away from Gibson’s traditional guitar-building routine. Now, however, the introduction of the new SG Carved Top Autumn Burst – Gibson USA’s latest addition to its Limited Run Series – applies a large slice of elegance and painstaking luthiery to this already iconic rock guitar, making it the perfect marriage of Gibson’s heritage and innovation. Available beginning in early March 2009, the SG Carved Top will be produced in a strictly limited run of only 350 guitars, making it the ideal acquisition for both players and collectors alike.

Understated Elegance

The most stunning attribute of the new SG Carved Top Autumn Burst is its highly figured top that rises unexpectedly from the radical dual-horned body shape, where history tells us there is usually only a flat expanse of mahogany. The famed craftsmen at Gibson USA have applied a gently hand-carved arch to an AAA-grade maple cap atop a solid mahogany body, and given it a gloss Autumn Burst nitrocellulose finish to bring out the full depth of its stunning grain. This is undoubtedly the finest wood ever applied to the SG in its 49-year history, and it makes this Limited Run Series guitar a true attention getter.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

While its hand-carved top separates it from the crowd, its effect is more than simply visual. The maple cap gives this rare SG a touch more of the snap, sizzle and sustain of a Les Paul Standard, partnered — as it is — with the solid mahogany back that its sibling likewise carries. The guitar’s tone is also enhanced by a pair of Burstbucker Pro humbucking pickups, calibrated for balanced output in the neck and bridge positions. The BurstBucker Pros employ Alnico V magnets for a little extra sting and punch, and feature wax-potted coils to combat potential squeal and microphony. Like the standard Burstbuckers, and Gibson’s original PAF humbuckers, the Burstbucker Pros use two coils with unmatched windings to retain a little extra sonic edge in their “enhanced vintage” performance.

Built for Speed

An unabashed looker and a real tone monster, the SG Carved Top Autumn Burst is also an extremely playable instrument. It has Gibson’s famously fast and comfortable neck, with two extra frets for enhanced upper-neck lead work — a total of 24 jumbo frets — and the traditional 24-3/4″ scale length and 1-11/16″ neck width at the nut. The SG Carved Top Autumn Burst’s control complement has been simplified, too, and its single volume and tone controls and three-way switch serve to both ease function mid flight, while staying out of the way of the visual expanse of that gorgeous AAA-grade maple top.

Rock Monster

The original SG is one of the greatest rock guitars of all time, and the SG Carved Top Autumn Burst has all of its predecessor’s performance appeal, and then some. Whether you’re a player looking for a distinctive new stage guitar, or a collector seeking a rare new acquisition, this is a highly desirable release. This new Limited Run Series guitar from Gibson USA is restricted to just 350 guitars, so contact your authorized Gibson dealer today. Each comes with a special certificate of authenticity and a black hardshell case with white interior and silkscreened Gibson USA logo.

Full specifications include:

Made In: Nashville, TN USA
Body Wood: Carved AAA-grade maple top and mahogany back
Finish: Autumn Burst
Neck Wood: Mahogany
Nut: Corian
Neck Joint: Set; Glued-in
Fingerboard: Rosewood with acrylic trapezoid inlays
Scale Length: 24-3/4″
Nut Width: 1.695″ +/- .050″
Fingerboard Radius: 12″
Frets: 24; jumbo
Machine Heads: Grover kidney
Hardware: Chrome
Pickups: Burstbucker Pros
Controls: One Volume control, one Tone control, three-way switch
Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
Tailpiece: Gibson Stop Bar
Includes: Hard Case

More info: