John Birch vs. Jaydee

An Abiding Dude

Well-Known Member
May 25, 2021
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Hey all,

Was bopping around the WWW, and came across a local U.S. guitar shop/dealer who has a John Birch Tony Iommi model on consignment. It's a black SG style body with the usual appointments based on the 1975 model Birch built for Iommi. The seller is asking for a shade under $5000.

That made me look at Jaydee, which offers an "Old Boy" standard for about half that price, a bit over $2600 USD (but I have no clue about import fees, taxes, etc. from the UK).

John Birch's website is both under construction and under "new management" and has been that way for a while, so trying to know what a new JB model would cost is unknowable at this point.

I have no idea whether or not I'd be interested in pulling the trigger on either of these as I have a ridiculous amount of guitars already, but if the "fever" overcomes my common sense I was wondering if anyone had an idea if the the JB is being overpriced and if the Jaydees are just as good for half the price or whatever other pearls of wisdom the Iommi fanbase has to offer.


1668818716238.png vs 1668818752211.png


Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2012
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Sorry, can’t comment on the differences in price/quality. I could be wrong, but I thought I’d read that John Carling retired recently and sold the John Birch company to Jaydee…


Active Member
Apr 24, 2020
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Whilst I have never played either or owned them, afaik Jaydee have been in constant business since the 70s/80s, and John Diggins (owner and he who built the original old boy) is still working there today but his sons have taken over the bulk of the business. John still gets involved in the building side though. They made a run of ‘new’ old boy replicas for Tony once he retired the original and they have featured on the last few Sabbath tours.
John Birch went out of business with a level of notoriety some time in the 80s/90s, the business has been sold since and resurfaced selling some Iommi style SGs.
Just from the sense I get from these 2 manufacturers, Jaydee is what I would go with 100%. They have a long history with TI, an established Facebook community (definitely worth checking out with all of the build threads), and a very respected member of this forum said it was the best built guitar he had ever seen.
Doesn’t mean the John Birch isn’t any good, I’d certainly check it out, but they don’t have any of the legacy that Jaydee has…

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