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EvanOfEvil666
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:14 am
Posts: 7
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:33 pm 
 

Every guitar player I know, including me, seems to envy that sick Iommi tone. With Vol. 4 being my personal favorite Sabbath album, I was searching for a tone sounding similar to the fuzzy, ahead-of-its-time guitar of Tony. I think I may have found a good runner-up to a Laney stack and wah: I ran my Marshall MS-2 pocket amp (with drive), with volume at about 5 or 6, and tone cranked, through my Fender Champion 100 on the jazz amp setting (a clean channel), with treble at 6, mid at 7, and bass at 5. For such a DIY-esque setup, it sounded fairly accurate to tones you find on Wheels of Confusion, or Snowblind. What do you think? What else should I try, and/or does this sound legit? Please feel free to share your thoughts! Cheers!

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 13114
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:56 pm 
 

link one is an interview to what he used
link two is just a list of what he used.
as far as what you use. I've never used any of that stuff so no idea.

http://www.musicradar.com/totalguitar/t ... ath-310167

https://www.groundguitar.com/tony-iommi ... -and-gear/
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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 7692
Location: Lifeless shadows
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:48 am 
 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but he also used quite thin strings despite playing in the C# standard tuning. If you downtune to C# on a Gibson with 10-46 set, and adjust your playing to the slackness of the strings, you might get a similar sound. I haven't tried that, and I wouldn't want to either, but just a though as to what the missing ingredient might be.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 13114
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:39 pm 
 

that makes a good point^^ cause with playing i feel it's like 50/50 40/60 gear versus playing style. if you can't even cope the style of the guitarist you are mimmicking you will never get the same tone.
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A bunch of mp3s is not a collection of anything.
http://www.cavepaints.com <--Horrid art and musics.
http://www.facebook.com/MaulerCustomCabs <--- huge heavy/loud boxes I build.
http://speedritualrecords.storenvy.com/ Check out my music here

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RichardDeBenthall
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:46 am
Posts: 292
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:23 am 
 

My two cents on this after playing in a Doom/Rock band for a few years and basically low key trying to emulate Iommi's style and tone is that its actually really quite scratchy.

Everyone thinks Tony had this huge fat sound on his SG but I think a lot of that heaviness and fatness comes from the truly excellent way that Iommi worked with Butler and Ward to arrange rhythms.

Geezer's tone is massive in Sabbath and really, really loud in the mix. Listen to Supernaut!

I use a Gibson SG with mini-humbuckers and I find I get really rather good Iommi tone by having the gain fairly low down, mid at around 3pm/6pm and Treble at around 12pm/1pm. You can role the gain up a bit for some more heft and roll the Mid and Treble up/down depending on where you want to sit in the mix.

To get that sort of dirty sound Iommi had try rolling your tone nob down half a way. He also played light gauge strings as some other peeps have said and I remember him saying that he played fairly lightly too as it hurt his fretting hand.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 7692
Location: Lifeless shadows
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:07 am 
 

RichardDeBenthall wrote:
My two cents on this after playing in a Doom/Rock band for a few years and basically low key trying to emulate Iommi's style and tone is that its actually really quite scratchy.

Everyone thinks Tony had this huge fat sound on his SG but I think a lot of that heaviness and fatness comes from the truly excellent way that Iommi worked with Butler and Ward to arrange rhythms.

That's an excellent point, and it's not just Iommi, either. People wonder why their guitar doesn't sound big and heavy enough, because their idea of a guitar sound is based on the full mix of an album, with bass guitar, several guitar tracks, and careful mixing and mastering too.

You can't get a guitar sound that sounds like guitar and bass together. You can't get a single guitar track to sound like something that was multi-tracked, panned and mixed. You have to know what to listen for in the guitar tracks, set up your guitar track in a way that it sits in the optimal frequency range, and work together with the rest of your band to find sounds that create a big, heavy sound together. It's not possible to create a dream guitar sound that already sounds like a full mix.

I know it's not the iconic heavy Iommi tone album, but Sabotage has parts where you can hear Iommi's guitar sound alone, and then together with bass, and the difference is huge, even though it's double-tracked and panned left and right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jfox9Gt0Ulw&t=4m35s

Butler's significance is especially great because of his ability to support Iommi's riffs in the most perfect ways when it comes to timbre. Supernaut is a good example of subtle but effective work that ends up making the guitars sound much heavier. Many bassists would simply drone on the lowest possible notes for a heavier sound, which separates the instruments in the mix when the guitar plays higher up, and exposes the lack of low end warmth in the guitar tone.

If you absolutely must have a big, fat, round, warm guitar sound by itself, tune like 10 half-steps down, and play through two guitar cabs that are positioned at the far ends of the room. :lol:
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Vocalist in Gloaming - vile, crawling death/doom metal

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newoldstock
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:07 am
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:51 am 
 

You can get close with just about any setup these days, given the amount of tone-shaping options out there, but if you want to really nail the golden era Sabbath tone, you need:

(in order of importance)
P90 pickup(s)
A 'plexi' style amp - Tony started with a Marshall, but only recorded with Laneys until 1975.
High-impedance wiring - Tony used 1 meg volume pots and completely bypassed his tone control.
Signal boost between the guitar and the amp's front end - Tony used a modified treble boost, but any boost pedal will work to front load the amp.
.009 - .042 strings

EDIT: I should also point out that Iommi's amp EQ was bass at 0, everything else to 10.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 7692
Location: Lifeless shadows
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:27 am 
 

newoldstock wrote:
You can get close with just about any setup these days, given the amount of tone-shaping options out there, but if you want to really nail the golden era Sabbath tone, you need:

(in order of importance)
P90 pickup(s)
A 'plexi' style amp - Tony started with a Marshall, but only recorded with Laneys until 1975.
High-impedance wiring - Tony used 1 meg volume pots and completely bypassed his tone control.
Signal boost between the guitar and the amp's front end - Tony used a modified treble boost, but any boost pedal will work to front load the amp.
.009 - .042 strings

EDIT: I should also point out that Iommi's amp EQ was bass at 0, everything else to 10.

Very interesting, thanks for sharing! Apparently the extreme EQ of 0-10-10 was quite a common thing with plexi-style amps.
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"A glimpse of light is all that it takes to illuminate the darkness."
Guitarist/vocalist in Illusions Dead - death/black metal
Vocalist in Gloaming - vile, crawling death/doom metal

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