Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Custom
This isn’t the first signature model for Tony Iommi, the founding guitarist of doom metal pioneers Black Sabbath, but it may be the the most appealing. Iommi’s past signature SGs include a limited-run Gibson Custom Shop model, and a signature version of the Epiphone G-400. But where those models fell on opposite ends of the price/skill axis, the Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Custom is priced for the working guitarist with top-notch hardware to rock any gig. The guitar is loaded with two Gibson USA Tony Iommi Signature humbuckers, which achieve tonal voodoo via their blend of ceramic and alnico magnets. Your tritone riffs never sounded so demonic, nor did your pentatonic licks raise as much hell as they will through these pickups. Add the silky feel of an ebony fretboard, and you’ve got an Epiphone with sinfully luxurious appeal.
Of course, those famous cross inlays adorn this SG’s 24 frets, but I find the details even more impressive. Epiphone thought of everything on this guitar — the pickup selector switch is all-metal, the knobs have metal inserts and, perhaps best of all — it’s got sweet-looking die-cast tulip machine heads just to up the metal factor. And whether you’re a natural-born lefty, or are such an Iommiphile you’ve retrained to become one, there’s a left-handed version for you!
Numark MixTrack 3 USB DJ Controller
I am not a DJ. Not one bit. But, I do have the occasional daydream of playing around with the jogwheels and pads of a DJ controller and creating my own genre-bending mixes. That won’t ever happen, but if I planned on making my dream come true, I’d probably start with a controller like the Numark MixTrack 3. It’s perfect for a guy like me: inexpensive, but with big-time features like 100mm pitch shifters, two touch strips, 3-band EQ, 16 performance pads and metal jog wheels. Plus, I don’t get a headache when trying to interpret the controls. The Mixtrack 3 also comes with six Prime Loops sample packs, giving you over 380 samples and loops to work with in the included Virtual DJ LE software.
For the more advanced, there’s the MixTrack Pro 3. This version adds and integrated audio interface with USB, RCA, and headphones out and includes Serato DJ Intro.