Be sure and check out the July 2005 issue of
Guitar World Magazine! Eddie Gray
reviews the Epiphone Tony Iommi Signature G-400 on page 164. Here's a sneak
peek at the review.
NONE MORE BLACK
By Eddie Gray
It is appropriate that the SG electric guitar is closely
associated with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. What could be a more fitting
guitar for the master of evil riffs than a guitar with devil's horns on its
Unfortunately, the price of Gibson's Tony Iommi Signature
SG is so high, only those in league with the devil can afford it. (Must be
those 11 sterling
silver cross inlays that elevate the price to $5,905.) So Iommi turned to
Epiphone, Gibson's budget-conscious little brother, with instructions to
make a comparable SG that the average head-banger can afford. The result
is a rock-solid player that doesn't scrimp on features or tone.
To keep the G-400 affordable, Epiphone gave it a
multiple-piece mahogany body and neck, plus a rosewood fingerboard instead
of an ebony board, as featured on the Gibson version. However, no compromises
were made when it came to the pickups: this axe is cocked and loaded with
a brace of Iommi's smoldering signature high-output humbuckers, which exhibit
stunning girth and clarity and the ability to clean up nicely when turned
down, without going mushy or thin. The Grover machine heads are standard
equipment, and they're stable as hell. Five mother-of-pearl cross inlays
on the fretboard and black hardware enhance the guitar's visual
G-400 is also well balanced. Thin-bodied SGs can often be neck heavy, but
my review copy was perfect. The set neck is chunky, yet comfortable, and
features 24 medium frets. The setup was nice, and the Iommi Signature was
ready to rock right out of the box.
I tested the G-400 with Marshall and Krank amps, and
it sounded great, thanks in no small part to its ass-kicking pickups. Tuning
down to C# (of course), I abused the Iommi with shameless renditions of classic
Sabbath riffs. Comparing the guitar's sustain and balls to Gibson SGs I've
played, I concluded that the G-400's multipiece construction had minimal
sonic impact. Self-appointed "experts" might argue this point, but I would
bet they'd fail a double-blind test.
The Bottom Line
Epiphone's Tony Iommi Signature G-400 has devilish
good looks and great sound and playability, all at a price that won't send
your bank account straight to hell. Best of all, it's Iommi
PRO: The sound, looks, playability, pickups
and price are right.
CON: None at this price.