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Equipment | The Official Tony Iommi Website

54 responses

  1. Keith
    October 7, 2014

    Got the Epiphone Tony Iommi sig guitar a number of years ago. Absolutely love the guitar but have had to send a couple of them back to gibson/epiphone due to annoying problems. The first one I got the wood actually warped on the fret board, sent it back and they refunded me and claimed it was a factory dud. The second one I bought had problems right from the start including issues with a couple of the frets (not being able to bend the strings past a certain note without them catching on the fret and cutting out), the pick-ups discolouring and turning an ‘oily’ colour and the wood around the output socket collapsing. Again, sent this back for a refund and got yet another with the money I got back. This one has generally been OK but am now starting to get a lot of issues with faulty wiring and the tone nobs not working etc. The pick-ups have discoloured with this one too and am worried its just a matter of time before another major issue surfaces. A mate of mine who has the Gibson version has never had these sort of problems so its obviously Epiphone! Know a lot of people will say you get what you pay for etc but when spending the guts of £500 on a guitar you expect it to last over a year without any problems! Has anyone else had problems with the Epiphone version of this guitar? Its a real shame because its a brilliant guitar with a great sound just wish it was a bit more sturdy like its Gibson counterpart.

    Reply

    • Impala Farmer
      October 8, 2014

      Where are you buying your “Epiphones” from? Sound like counterfeits to me. Literally the only problems I’ve experienced with mine, purchased at Gibson in Nashville, Tennessee is the control pots breaking down over time, which I replaced with new CTS pots & no more problems. And yes, the black finish on the black chrome items like the bridge & pickups tend to fade over time. This is probably a big reason why Gibson went with regular chrome, but I assure you the pickups in the Epi ARE true Gibson USA Iommi Signature Humbuckers. I would suggest you go here: http://www.guitardaterproject.org/epiphone.aspx and check your serial number. Although, of course, a lot of the Oriental counterfeiters just copy the serials along with the guitars anyway. But I have a few Epiphones, while they’re not as high quality as Gibson originals I have NO problems with any of them like you describe.

      Reply

      • Keith
        October 10, 2014

        Hi,

        Bought the first guitar from a reputable guitar shop in Northern Ireland, the second from http://www.gak.co.uk and the third from a guitar shop in Edinburgh. Just bad luck I guess!!!

        Reply

      • Mohamed Almonajed
        February 18, 2015

        I think so,it’s really a bad luck! though Epiphone got a minor problems with it’s guitars especially the ones produced in China,but the Indonesian and Korean generally are better.

        Reply

    • JOHN ROWLEY
      September 16, 2016

      The G400 pro. is an awesome guitar, I have 2 plus the worn cherry version. all from GAK, Never had a moments problem with any of them !! Signature guitars always seem to have problems unless you buy the real deal. Unfortunately not all of us has the 46 squillion dollars to pay for it. I have owned Gibson SG’s as well and the quality of the Epi, is worth the money, the Gibsons are not. Just tooooo much money for a basic well made guitar and a NAME. I have also owned many Ibanez’s through the years from Original 83 Roadstars up to contemporary guitars. Not ONCE have I ever had any problems. So it CAN be done !!

      Reply

    • bruce
      October 17, 2017

      I have not had any problems with my epi iommi sig g400 at all only had it ruffly a yr but sounds fantastic plus the cross inlays on the frets are cool

      Reply

  2. wayne Phillips
    October 17, 2014

    Hi Tony. I have seen you live 4 times with sabbath, and its always mazing.
    I play for 42 years and getting that sound that comes of the strings with the plastic tips is impossible. I saw a no name guitarist in 1776 at the Garden who opened up for you named Van Halen. When the show was over I realized the riff I was singing in my head for from Hole in the Sky. Keep rockin.
    Wayne

    Reply

  3. Frank Ritchie
    December 29, 2014

    I have been a Sabbath fan since they started, seen them live at least 40 x. I am currently in Gdansk Poland and visited the newly opened Hard Rock Cafe, which prominently displays a gold sunburst left-hand Gibson Les Paul (signed by Tony). I have never personally seen this guitar in any concert but I have seen a short video from the Never Say Die era with Tony playing a Les Paul. The difference between the video and the one in Gdansk is the rhythm pick-ups. Any reliable information on the one in Gdansk would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Reply

  4. Harald
    January 12, 2015

    I’ve been a Black Sabbath fan for a long time and I play guitar for about 32 years. Sign of the Southern Cross is one of my favorite songs. I’m still trying to figure out how Tony got that guitar tone. Anyone? Chorus? Uni Vibe?

    Reply

    • Jimmy
      May 28, 2015

      extra light strings, tuned a half step down, and played through a bass amp. I think I read that somewhere. I may be wrong.

      Reply

    • Jamie
      June 14, 2015

      I’ve managed to get a pretty accurate live tone with a fender mustang and a boss DS-1 (Sounds crazy I know but hear me out) just dial your amp EQ to ten for high mids and lows, tune to halfstep for anything later than paranoid and dial the DS-1 eq to all the way down for tone, gain all the way up and level all the way up, it will feedback quite a bit mind you but the heavier sounding songs sound perfect.

      Reply

      • Dustin Mitchell
        January 22, 2019

        The Boss DS-1 isn’t even needed. The Mustang itself nails Iommi-like sounds very well.

        Reply

    • Chad Hallman
      March 31, 2016

      Harald , have you tried emailing Mike Clement, Tony’s guitar tech ? he may have an answer for you ? Hope this helped ?

      Reply

      • Harald
        January 23, 2018

        Do you have an email adres of Mike Clement, Chad Hallman? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. What pot-meters does he use? 500K? 1M?

        Reply

    • bruce
      October 17, 2017

      hey herald you and me both lol have to say probably my best song to see him play in concert. that’s what really got me into playing guitar that song nearly blew my eardrum out it was so loud lol

      Reply

  5. great riff
    February 3, 2015

    Thanks for this wonderful post. I like it so much. It just bring me back to the time when I attended one of their concert! It’s amazing and I will never forget that for my whole life.

    Reply

  6. Brad Pritt
    May 6, 2015

    Been listening to the mighty Black Sabbath since i was 10 when my best friend gave me the Reunion album on CASSETTE. I must have played that thing a million times! I started playing guitar 4 years later and have now been playing for 13 years and still have no clue how Tony gets that MASSIVE tone from! Even after all the crazy changes that heavy music and heavy guitar has gone through in the past 45 years no guitar cuts through like Tony’s!

    Reply

  7. Jimmy
    May 28, 2015

    Been a Black Sabbath / Tony fan since my brother brought back the album Paranoid from Germany when he was in the Army.
    I found out much later that Tony played left handed, and was missing a finger. Found out just days ago, that he is actually missing two fingers, and the machine he lost them on.
    I started playing guitar when I was 17 right handed. I use to work as a carpenter in a cabinet shop. At age 27 I lost the pointer finger on my left hand to a machine. Thought I would never play again. About 5 years later a friend that played suggested that I get a left handed guitar, and at least try. Purchased a $75.00 finger hut guitar, strung it left handed, and gave it a try. I’m 46 now, and play better left handed now then I did as a kid right handed. To anyone out there, don’t give up. It can be done. Would love to have a lefty custom shop SG. Just way out of my price range.

    Reply

    • Jamie
      June 14, 2015

      I’d suggest looking at harley benton copy SG’s from thomann, cheap as hell but the quality is amazing, you’ll need to swap the machine heads and maybe new pickups as they are a bit hit and miss

      Reply

      • Eric
        December 30, 2020

        +1 on the Harley Benton. I bought one and changed out pickups, nut, and tuners and it is now my main guitar over my Gibson SG with P90’s and a Gibson Tribute Les Paul.

        Reply

  8. Daryl
    September 2, 2015

    I have been listening to Sabbath since 1974 and play an SG because of it. The equipment you use is part of the sound. But most of the sound comes from who you are as a person and what you think of while playing. During the solo by Tony for Born Again the universe blasted into atoms them I went into a river of atoms dived into one of these atoms and was back at the show. Thank you for whatever you were thinking Tony you are a true gentleman.

    Reply

  9. Craig
    September 6, 2015

    Just purchased the Epiphone SG Tony Iommi in left hand. I have two bad fingers on my left hand, but switched to playing left handed. This makes your story fascinating! I have been a fen since we would ride around in my 1965 chev hippy van listing to Black Sabbath! Keep rocking!

    Reply

  10. Kyösti
    September 10, 2015

    Hello guys!

    Do you have any idea what kind of pedals Tony uses during the solos? The solo sound which I’m looking for is for example in Fused or in The DEP Sessions albums?

    Reply

  11. Harald
    September 29, 2015

    Does Tony Iommi still use the Treble Booster? I’ve got the Laney TI 15-112, and wonder if I should get a Treble Booster like Tony Iommi used in the past.

    Reply

    • Joe
      April 12, 2016

      I also have the TI15-112 – just purchased it a few weeks ago.

      I play a ’75 Gibson SG with Iommi bridge Gibson pick-up.

      I have a Ibanez Tube-screamer pedal with the tone knob at almost zero. I turn-off the amps built-in Boost and stomp that Boost ON when playing Leads. Sounds very good. (foot switch FS1 by Laney – not expensive).

      Remember to turn down the Tone control knobs on you amp and guitar also.

      Reply

      • Harald
        January 31, 2020

        A Marshall footswitch works too on the Laney. I didn’t have to buy a new footswitch.

        Reply

  12. Alexis Wilson
    October 3, 2015

    I love the Black Sabbath and nonetheless i/m a big fan for a long time. Playing guitar for over 10 years 🙂 Simply in love with my passion.

    Reply

  13. Wade Sprague
    October 17, 2015

    I Love my Laney pushed by Ampeg Head. I can rip many thousands with this. My guitar of choice would be the SG Supreme in Emerald Green!!! What a kKiller Guitar!!!

    Reply

  14. Daryl
    March 3, 2016

    My set up is a Gibson 1981 SG standard that goes into a Crybaby Wah-wah. From there into a rack mount Real Tube 2 preamp into a Digitech 2120 into two Red knob Fender Twins on top of two Marshall 4×12’s. Massive sound.

    Reply

  15. James
    March 26, 2016

    I have a Gibson Custom Shop Iommi Dark Heritage Cherry, Gibson Iommi Artist series Black, Gibson 2011 SG Special with P-90’s Red Monkey Replica, Jay Dee Iommi SG Custom Cherry and Walnut, Epiphone SG P-94 Iommi, Epiphone Iommi SG , And of Course The New Epiphone Iommi SG, They All Sound Great Through my Laney TI 100 Head and Matching Cab. The Jay Dee really stands alone. Areal Tone Monster.

    Reply

    • Uwe
      January 6, 2021

      Hi James. I just finish my own built Old Boy replica with original JayDee PU, Sperzel mechanics and the original Schaller 456 Bridge-Tailpiece (found in a second hand internet shop in China as I live at present in Shanghai). Which strings (size and brand) would you recommend for the Old Boy like on the End Tour or the Heaven&Hell time (Radio City Hall and Wacken concerts). Next week I start my next own built replica project: the Monkey 🙂

      Reply

  16. iedimar rosa
    July 5, 2016

    We have a black sabbath cover band here in Brazil and would like the master Tony Iommi blessing. In facebook page has the presentation video. We will compete in the 2017 convention, but would like recognition here of Brazil as Black Sabbath cover Brazil . Thank you in advance .

    Reply

  17. Laura
    September 8, 2016

    I NEED GUITAR STRINGS!! It’s that time of year again…birthday shopping!! I found THE perfect gift # wearyourmusic iommi strings bracelet HOWEVER not in the size I need!!!! I’m very crafty so if I could buy some and make it myself has become an option!! Please help…a fairy in boots!;)

    Reply

  18. bob
    September 12, 2016

    What about the modulation he used on Heavne and Hell and later recordings? No one ever talks about that. Seventh Star solos for instance.

    Reply

  19. James Bailes
    November 23, 2016

    No one has mentioned that in the studio, Tony overdubs his guitar tracks quite a bit. That can certainly play a role in creating such a massive sound. One thing you can do live is to play through 2 amps via an a/b switch.

    Reply

  20. Jay Jones
    December 6, 2016

    An interesting question… Hopefully someone who knows the answer will see this. The following is a link to information on a 1961 Gibson EB-3 bass guitar converted to left-handed playing at some point by John Birch Guitars UK. I am trying to find who this bass was originally converted for. My first thought was Tony Iommi, as he is an SG fan, a lefty, and has a relationship with John Birch Guitars and the time period would be correct. I have researched other people for whom I thought it might have been and they have said it was not theirs. UK leftys, etc. I do not own the bass, nor am I affiliated with the company on which I saw the listing of the bass. I am just a crazy gearhead who loves answers to questions like this. Thank you in advance for any help. http://www.flyguitars.com/gibson/bass/1961-EB3.php

    Reply

  21. JimC in IA
    January 26, 2017

    Hello Tony,
    Been a fan since the great days and time period that was 1972. How time passes. I took delivery of your Epiphone SG Limited almost two weeks ago and wanted to thank you for working with Gibson & Epiphone in making this killer guitar. Granted I’m still just an amateur on my best day, but this SG with your pick ups makes me sound better than I deserve! I punish a new Vox VT40X modeling amp quite often. When I toast the Vox, I’ll buy your autographed Laney. Peace to you and yours, Brother Iommi.
    Jim C.

    Reply

    • Pim Palmesrton
      June 18, 2017

      Hi to all,

      I just bought an Orange Rocker 15 since Laney amps aren’t available in my country. It works quite well in recreating a Black Sabbath sound from the early years. The settings must include full gain and bass and no mids. Another bonus on this amp is the power switch located inside on the chassis that brings down the power to 0.5W . Extra sustain can be obtained with either a power booster like the cheap EH LPB-1 or for solos with the EH Screaming Bird treble booster.

      Reply

  22. Carlos
    March 27, 2017

    What equipment was used in the album “Heaven and Hell”?
    Amps?
    Effects?
    Guitars?
    Mics?

    Reply

  23. Isaac William Lee II
    April 30, 2017

    I would like to know what are Tony’s thoughts on the Epiphone SG Prophecy series produced about 9 years ago? Back then there were the Tony Iommi G400 series Epiphones and I’ve heard hit or miss stories about those Signature G400’s Epiphone. I almost came close to trading my then restock SG Prophecy GX ( the burgundy red ones with Gibson USA Dirty Fingers pickups) towards a used G400 Signature Iommi model I saw used at a then local Guitar Center store but was talked out of it by a so called friend of mine. What a loss. They come used every now and then on Musicgoround and ebay and now we have the Epiphone Iommi SG Custom currently in production. I like the Korean made Signature G400’s better for some reason but if push comes to shove I might buy me the new Iommi SG Custom by Epiphone in the near future. I currently own a Gibson SG Melody Maker in black in like new condition I bought used at a mom and pop store in NC and currently paying on a used Epiphone SG Prophecy GX like the one I had in 2009 and a vintage Japanese version of a Xaviere XV300 SG thats about as old as I am ( I will be 40 this year 2017). The Xaviere is pre GFS and made in Japan as stated before and not Chinese like the current ones are.

    Reply

  24. bruce
    October 17, 2017

    I am using a bugera infinium amp and cab and its been a bit hard figuring how to get iommi’s tone from it. I am using his sig epi g400 pro as well as a Gibson les paul. any hint on where my setting should be?

    Reply

  25. Slice
    November 25, 2017

    I’m watching the Angelic Sessions from the new The End dvd, & at 16:50, just before Tomorrow’s Dream, Tony sprays something on the fretboard. What is that spray?

    Reply

    • Andy
      January 14, 2018

      I like to know too. No ideas?

      Reply

    • Mike Exeter
      June 29, 2018

      The spray is Finger Ease. It’s a lubricant that allows the fingers to slide a little easier and keeps the squeaking noises down. It’s kinda citrus smelling too and I think that helps harden the callouses a little.

      Reply

  26. Maik
    December 7, 2017

    Hello, been a fan from 1982, have the new Epiphone signature and have the SG400 Iommi just painted cherry and was wondering, does Tony uses his pickups with split wiring? Thank you.

    Reply

  27. Paul Rigg
    February 5, 2018

    Hello, I write for Guitars Exchange magazine, and many of my articles are republished in top Spanish newspapers like ‘Marca’ and ‘El Mundo’.

    I was wondering if it might be possible to arrange a telephone interview with Tony Iommi?

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Paul Rigg

    www,guitarsexchange.com

    Reply

  28. robert broderick
    July 23, 2018

    Would love to restore Cozy Powell drums and put them in a museum. I think Tommi has them.

    Reply

  29. John Paul Allen
    September 19, 2018

    Is it possible to have the manufacturiers info on Mr.Iommi’s prosthetic tips. I am desperately seeking and praying for help. My ring finger tip has been removed in an accident.

    Reply

  30. Harald
    October 8, 2018

    Does anyone know how to get that robot-voice on Iron Man? Some people say it’s an EHX Bad Stone or a Ring Modulator.

    Reply

  31. Mikki
    November 13, 2018

    That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very accurate information? Many thanks for
    sharing this one. A must read article!

    Reply

  32. bob hickman
    February 26, 2019

    I love listening to tony play, and wish them guitars were being used right now in concerts, and Im sure they will be again.

    Reply

  33. Sharon
    May 10, 2019

    Hi Tony,

    I’m from Melbourne…love your guitar setup, sounds sick.

    Sharon

    Reply

  34. Mike
    May 10, 2019

    Hello to all Black Sabbath fans.

    I have recently purchased a used guitar hard case, and as someone who started playing guitar in the early 1960s it reminds me of a typical case of that era. It has the latches and overall patina to match that possibility.

    Now for the interesting bit, on both the top and bottom of the case it has ‘Black Sabbath’ stencilled on to it, and in addition an old red security label from Milan Airport positioned across the opening of the case to ensure it was not opened in transit. Also, the remains of a small green transit label are evident on the case handle. Both of these labels have the aura of the 1960s!

    Could this be a genuine piece of Black Sabbath history I wonder?

    Regards to all.

    Mike

    Reply

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