Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi And His Gear That Ruled The Metal World

By Mark Grove

This is a repost from about 3 years or so ago. Tony is one of the most respected original metal players and I thought I'd repost something I put up on his gear. Chances are he doesn't use all the gear I have listed. Sabbath is coming to canada in the new year on a tour and coming to my town, London, Ontario. One thing you want to do when you read the listed gear of a top player is not to go out and buy their gear, but tweak your gear to give it that metal edge you're looking for, or to sound just a wee bit like Iommi or that metal player who's gear you're reading about, but mainly keep the sound like yours. So read the article and Tony's gear and get to work figuring out your metal sound. If you do decide to buy some gear even remotely like Tony's just set it up to your original tone, not like the Grand Master of metal Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. Thank you Tony and beat the shit outta that fuckin' cancer!! Yeah!!

We all know the story of Black Sabbath and the heavy music mastery of Iommi. If you're a real gear hound like me you'll love the rig of top players who play their way and say fuck to those who don't. If you really want to learn how to play Sabbath material listen to their records, not their CDs. Learn what kind of equipment they used to get that unique heavy sound even today's top heavy music players and purveyors, if that's a word, can't accomplish. I feel the original lineup of Sabbath along with the inclusion of Ronnie James Dio were the only Sabbath members who really captured the heavy realm of Sabbath's tone and feel.

But what this article is about, is if you're a true metal player you'll look, actually do some serious intense research into Tony's rig and how you can change your rig to reflect your individual way of playing and attention to attaining the kind of heavy tone only serious musicians like you and real fans of yours will appreciate. So before I go into T's deadly fuckin' ass kickin' rig, I'll just go over the Sabbath albums, records that is, not CDs you need to listen to. Sabbath forged the start of real heavy music that had a blues feel but a rock edge like no other that said we play our way. If you don't like it,"Fuck You!

The original Black Sabbath album is the first one you need in your record arsenal. Next, from 1972 Vol.4, and their Live Evil album from 1983. You need to find those albums and learn those set lists. Or pick ones your band can wrap their brains around and include them in your set list.Your fans will love them! Sabbath are one of the only bands to have stellar live and studio albums.But their later material in the 80's not that great. I felt that singers and players they had were not a right fit for Sabbath material. I won't go into any reasons guys.

Buy an old Sabbath vinyl, not a CD guys.Now get to learnin' their material after reading this.

Dio on the other hand sang like he was playing guitar and added a dollop of opera like texture and feel that had a metal edge that grabbed ya with both hands and said,"This guy can fuckin' wail! Besides Ozzy and the original cast Dio was the only one who shined.

We pay our respects to the passing of Dio.

Tony's Rig Finally:
Guitars--Mainly Gibson SG
             John Diggens Customized 75' SG Old Boy and no.1
             91' Gibson with Floyd Rose Vibrato--Built by JT Ribbloff
             97' Signature SG's--From Gibson Custom Shop

Used a Dallas Range Master Treble Booster way back when. I always thought he played heavy, but with a very bluesy feel because of effects.

Strings--.008 to .0032 Light Guage Labella Strings
             .009 to .0042 For Heavier material

Picks--Dunlop Picks

Amps--ENG Powerball head preamp
           Laney GH 100TI heads with EL 34 tubes
Laney GS 412LA 4X12 Cabs and Celestion G12H Heritage speakers

Stomps and Pedals--Line 6 MM4 Modulation Modeler
                               Boss RCE 10 Chorus Ensemble
                               Boss OC 3 Super Octave
                               Chicago Iron Parachute Wah
                               MXR Flanger
                               SDD 1000 Delay
                               Roland SDE 3000 Digital Delay

Wireless for those who care: Samson UHF Synth 5 System
                                            Sennheiser EW 500 G2 System

Power Units: Furman Rack Distribution--John Henry's Backroom Book Booster
                    Main Distribution

This last piece of Tony's Rig, I couldn't quite make out my own writing so I may have to go back and redo it. I'm specifically talking about the Furman. Take a bit of Tony's rig and give your sound a new twist. Or learn how to tweak your own rig learning some great Sabbath material to boot. Note: I always thought Tony had too many effects that toned down the metal feel of Black Sabbath's great feel and tone.
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