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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Despite the questionable ergonomics, the Gibson SG is one of those sounds I need in the toolkit. So, here it is. Pretty much the closest thing you can get to an Iommi SG without paying $6,000+ for one of his signature model guitars. Functionally, the fretboard material is the only real difference.









Typical Gibson--they make a limited edition model of what ought to be their regular production SG. This is a nice combination of things: pointier 1960s-style body shape, bigger modern neck heel, 24 frets, '57 Classic pickups, smaller headstock for better balance.

SGs hang on a strap differently than most guitars, and it does take getting used to. The other main thing I have to deal with is that they're all a little "plinky" in the upper register with not a lot of sustain. That's actually part of their unique sound, though. They respond well to really thin strings, giving you a more 'vocal' quality on leads that you don't get with guitars that have tons of natural sustain. It's no surprise that all my favorite SG players (Iommi, Zappa, Marino) use them with .008s. They also are sort of "pre-EQed" to sit in a mix well with high gain. It's an incredible sound if dialed in right.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Congrats! I love the way they look, but every time I pick one up I dont play it for long.

I'm both curious and afraid to hear what this "unique tone" is when wielded by one such as yourself, as you can play your ass off.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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You're only allowed to rock this if you have Iommi's fashion sense for the later half of the 70s (The coke wizard half).



Nice guitar though. People pay for the Iommis because the inlays are legendary, and the one slightly derivative shape he had made by a luthier that isn't actually a Gibson is slightly cooler. (The Monkey one)

As far as SG balance goes, it's a hard life to love.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Congrats! I love the way they look, but every time I pick one up I dont play it for long.

I'm both curious and afraid to hear what this "unique tone" is when wielded by one such as yourself, as you can play your ass off.
You're far too kind! :lol:

I play a lot differently on SGs, partly because of the way they hang and partly because they force me out of my comfort zone a bit. The hardest thing for me is to do something besides cranking out every Iommi riff I know. It's uncanny how that sound is right there from the start.

I'm not entirely sold on the '57 Classics in this guitar. They're good pickups, but I'm not sure they'll be right for what I want to do with it. Pretty low output. I'd consider trying a set of the Iommi pickups. I don't want ultra-high output or ceramics, though, since I want to keep the nice sonic textures in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You're only allowed to rock this if you have Iommi's fashion sense for the later half of the 70s (The coke wizard half).
Iommi was a coke wizard well into the Nineties...

I actually had that mustache when I was a teenager, and I probably would have worn shirts like that if I could have found them. Yeah, I was a bit obsessed... :lol:

Nice guitar though. People pay for the Iommis because the inlays are legendary, and the one slightly derivative shape he had made by a luthier that isn't actually a Gibson is slightly cooler. (The Monkey one)
The monkey guitar is a modified '60s SG Special. His luthier guitars were by John Birch and John Diggins and all have the cross inlays. He still plays the Diggins, but the Birches have all been retired. When Gibson did their custom shop version awhile back, I desperately wanted one, but no way I could afford one (still can't). The sad thing is that Gibson really half-assed it on the production Iommi model, with no binding and smaller cross inlays only part way up the neck. No surprise they weren't a huge seller.

As far as SG balance goes, it's a hard life to love.
That album has possibly my all time favorite metal guitar tones. It's why I keep coming back and trying SGs despite having not been able to get used to them before. I'm more committed to it now, since I'm not intending to make this one my main player.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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You're the only guy on these boards who's more of an obscure Sabbath nerd than me. Born Again and Headless Cross are probably the two best non Ozzy/non Dio releases, but Eternal Idol is a real sleeper. There are two or three songs on that that fucking rip.


Years ago, back when I still subscribed to Guitar World, they did an entire story on his SGs throughout the ages around the time of the expensive CS reissues of the Birch. It was one of the better things they've written, I still have it somewhere around here. It was really in depth. Including all the stuff they had to do in the late 80s and 90s to make him floyded SGs (since SGs are so thin and mounting a floyd on them is traditionally near impossible). I'll see if I can't dig it up. It was well worth the read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I love all the Tony Martin-era Sabbath albums except Forbidden, which even Iommi has basically admitted to disliking.

Iommi spent a fuck ton of money recording Eternal Idol and went way into debt because of it, but the sonic results show. The only downside to that album is Eric Singer's drumming. He's done good work elsewhere, but not on that album. It sounds programmed in a lot of places.

I think I remember that Guitar World article. Most of the time, he gets lazy interviewers who only want to talk about his missing fingertips and writing "Paranoid" in ten minutes, but occasionally someone gets him to open up about his gear and whatnot. He was quite a tinkerer and very much a pioneer of a lot of gear we take for granted now.
 

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Iommi spent a fuck ton of money recording Eternal Idol and went way into debt because of it, but the sonic results show. The only downside to that album is Eric Singer's drumming. He's done good work elsewhere, but not on that album. It sounds programmed in a lot of places.
Yeah, the drums are a letdown from the performance point of view, but this album does *sound* fantastic. Have you heard the Gillen version?

Oh, and nice score on the guitar. GC in Fairfax had a '61 reissue that I would have bought (it sounded fantastic) but, SG. I just can't handle the way they hang.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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Chris, one of these days I am going to have to tell you my crazy Dave Walker stories.

Back when I was a Freshman at MSU, towards the end of one music class, the professor lets us know that he brought in a special local performer. He introduces him as "Dave Walker". I spent most of my childhood being the biggest Sabbath nerd ever, and immediately flipped my shit. I stood up in the auditorium and was like "THE DUDE WHO WAS IN BLACK SABBATH FOR TWO WEEKS?". It was indeed, he lives near Bozeman these days and does old man blues things (he was in Fleetwood Mac too early on). Due to the fact that the part of my brain that thinks of Sabbath is childlike enthusiasm and has no better sense of judgement (and I was high at the time, this was my brief stoner phase) I sprinted back to my dorm, put on my Volume 4 shirt and sprinted back to the music building.

I'll have to dig it up, but somewhere in an old folder there is this picture of me and a friend broing out with Dave Walker. I made him sign a fucking picture of Ozzy. I didn't even think at the time that that was probably insulting as fuck and he probably always regrets being that guy who is "Was in Black Sabbath for two weeks when Ozzy quit the first time recording Never Say Die but Ozzy later rejoined and quit again and then they got Dio and the rest is history".

So yeah, I have a Volume 4 shirt with a signature from a dude you can only find on a couple bootlegs. I like to think of it as a one of a kind Sabbath collectible. He called me a cunt under his breath in his ridiculous British accent when my back was turned and we later saw him around town and had more weird adventures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, the drums are a letdown from the performance point of view, but this album does *sound* fantastic. Have you heard the Gillen version?

Oh, and nice score on the guitar. GC in Fairfax had a '61 reissue that I would have bought (it sounded fantastic) but, SG. I just can't handle the way they hang.
I actually prefer Tony Martin's take, even though he's singing Gillen's lines. Ray had an incredible voice, but I don't find his singing to be as expressive as Martin's.

I may have played that '61 reissue. There's no way I could make an SG my main guitar at this point, but I can certainly find uses for it. I've been playing that Kramer Pacer most of the time, lately.

Chris, one of these days I am going to have to tell you my crazy Dave Walker stories.
From a fan chat years ago on the Fleetwood Mac board, I knew he was in Montana (he married a local, I understand), but it's cool that you got to meet him. He comes off like a complete loon. He only made a brief pit stop in Sabbath, and he actually only sang on two Fleetwood Mac songs on the Penguin album. He spent most of his career in Savoy Brown and did several stints in that band. He's a fantastic singer, but I don't think his voice fit either Sabbath or FM.
 

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Chris, one of these days I am going to have to tell you my crazy Dave Walker stories.

Back when I was a Freshman at MSU, towards the end of one music class, the professor lets us know that he brought in a special local performer. He introduces him as "Dave Walker". I spent most of my childhood being the biggest Sabbath nerd ever, and immediately flipped my shit. I stood up in the auditorium and was like "THE DUDE WHO WAS IN BLACK SABBATH FOR TWO WEEKS?". It was indeed, he lives near Bozeman these days and does old man blues things (he was in Fleetwood Mac too early on). Due to the fact that the part of my brain that thinks of Sabbath is childlike enthusiasm and has no better sense of judgement (and I was high at the time, this was my brief stoner phase) I sprinted back to my dorm, put on my Volume 4 shirt and sprinted back to the music building.

I'll have to dig it up, but somewhere in an old folder there is this picture of me and a friend broing out with Dave Walker. I made him sign a fucking picture of Ozzy. I didn't even think at the time that that was probably insulting as fuck and he probably always regrets being that guy who is "Was in Black Sabbath for two weeks when Ozzy quit the first time recording Never Say Die but Ozzy later rejoined and quit again and then they got Dio and the rest is history".

So yeah, I have a Volume 4 shirt with a signature from a dude you can only find on a couple bootlegs. I like to think of it as a one of a kind Sabbath collectible. He called me a cunt under his breath in his ridiculous British accent when my back was turned and we later saw him around town and had more weird adventures.
Totally forgot about that guy. I had met him a few times around Bozeman.
 

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Nice score! :metal:

I'm not entirely sold on the '57 Classics in this guitar. They're good pickups, but I'm not sure they'll be right for what I want to do with it. Pretty low output. I'd consider trying a set of the Iommi pickups. I don't want ultra-high output or ceramics, though, since I want to keep the nice sonic textures in place.
Try a Duncan Alnico II Pro set. Same low output, but a lot more balanced sounding. I always felt '57 Classics were a bit shrill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Try a Duncan Alnico II Pro set. Same low output, but a lot more balanced sounding. I always felt '57 Classics were a bit shrill.
Thanks for the tip.

I'll probably want to bump up the output a bit over what I've got now, and Joey's JB/Jazz suggestion is one I'm intrigued by, though I'd probably want the Wolfetone version of the JB.

In doing a little reading, it turns out that the pickups Iommi actually uses (not the Gibson ones he endorses) are extremely high output--as much or more than a Duncan Distortion. He uses either JayDee or John Birch pickups, both of which you can buy commercially, though most of his are old ones specially wound for him.

I'd consider going that route with a high-output alnico, except that I want the guitar to be usable for more than just imitating Iommi.
 

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I'll probably want to bump up the output a bit over what I've got now, and Joey's JB/Jazz suggestion is one I'm intrigued by, though I'd probably want the Wolfetone version of the JB.
That's the Timbre Wolf, which our cover band guitarist has in one of his Charvels; I think he's looking to sell the guitar, I'll have to ask him to swap the pickup out. It's got the heat and compression of a JB, but the mid skronk is dialed back. I really dig that pickup.
 
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