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My Sabbath Tone setup

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  • My Sabbath Tone setup

    Hello everyone, this is my first post.

    I am starting a Sabbath tribute band, just getting the stuff together trying to get that tone.
    Im aware that in the years, Toni's tone sort of changed and evolved so Im not trying to copy exactly every era.
    We would be mostly doing the Ozzy era.
    Ill run down the gear I have and although I will soon start to test all this, Im still curious to get your opinion on what is my best bet with what I have.

    OK, I just bought a Marshall 1974x 18w. That I think brings me to maybe 80% of the sound. I read some of you use a tubescreamer, I have a good one so Ill have to try it out. I also have a rangemaster copy with good germanium transistors and Im sure that will also help.

    As for guitars, I have two choices,
    A Les Paul Melody Maker with a p-90 on the bridge, playing 11's
    A Gibson explorer copy with pretty good humbuckers, playing 11's.
    I read that Tony used the p-90 in the begining and changed to humbuckers. Im sure my p-90 has better harmonics and more defined than the HB, especially at very saturated tones.
    I myself will test out all this, but my feeling is that the p-90, with either the tubescreamer or rangemaster into the 1974x full out will be close.
    I will also try to use both channels at once on the amp.

    Anything else to suggest as far as pedals?
    Cheers

  • #2
    now all you need is some good quality chorus not much but a little. You will also need a good Delay and I am sure you can nail Iommi sound.
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    • #3
      I've got a 30 watt Laney amp with an MXR Distortion+ (It's really better as an overdrive) and I get a good Iommi sound with it. But I use an Epipgone SG.

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      • #4
        i use a line 6 spider III on the clean channel and set the gain to max to give it that "just breaking up sound" then i use a boss overdrive over that, roll of the tone on the pedal a little and you get a pretty good early sab tone.

        also remember tunings important! e.g. dont try playing iron man in C tuning, it was recorded in standard, i know many who've made that mistake
        the zombie apocalypse is coming!

        my phiosophy in life..... just wing it

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        • #5
          Ha, including the man himself!....I have 70,s period bootlegs where he plays it in C#.......sound awful. Ozzy sounds like he is snoring.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pooh View Post
            Ha, including the man himself!....I have 70,s period bootlegs where he plays it in C#.......sound awful. Ozzy sounds like he is snoring.
            really? haha

            its a pain though, when im jamming sabbath tunes and i have to tune up if i want to play anything of the 1st 2 albums
            the zombie apocalypse is coming!

            my phiosophy in life..... just wing it

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            • #7
              Pooh, It seems like you have everything you need for a classic Sabbath tone. Although I would add a crybaby to your rig.

              Personally I've always found it's less about amp settings & pedals, more about the way you attack the guitar. So make sure you're focusing on the more subtle things like Tony's excellent vibrato.

              Are you using 11 gauge strings for a particular reason? Are you tuning to C or Standard?
              The best blueberry muffins I ever had landed 6 people in prison, three for life.

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              • #8
                I have always used 11,s even before the sabbath stuff. I admit, some stuff is difficult with 11's. Im not as fast as i would like. The tone is great though and i like working on the strings instead of just easy bending.
                I have a modified vox wah(changed the inductor and a few components), and that works for me.
                I have 2 guitars, humbukers tuned to C# and a P-90 tuned to E flat.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pooh View Post
                  Ha, including the man himself!....I have 70,s period bootlegs where he plays it in C#.......sound awful. Ozzy sounds like he is snoring.
                  Tony in general kept his guitar in C# to help Ozzy's voice during that time.

                  As for Tony's tone, I use a digital board so its sort of cheating, but I just use my typical Randy Rhoads tone with the bass turned up more. I think the tone comes more from how you play it, or whatever.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pooh View Post
                    I have always used 11,s even before the sabbath stuff. I admit, some stuff is difficult with 11's. Im not as fast as i would like. The tone is great though and i like working on the strings instead of just easy bending.
                    I have a modified vox wah(changed the inductor and a few components), and that works for me.
                    I have 2 guitars, humbukers tuned to C# and a P-90 tuned to E flat.
                    I spent almost 15 years using .011's and .012's - .60. I never had a problem with bending or speed per sey. But I missed some of the subtleties I used to get from using the thinner gauge strings. Also I noticed that the heavier strings sounded a little muddier in terms of some of the frequencies with a high gain situation. About 2 years ago I decided to back off on the heavier gauge and use a hybrid set..010 - .50's, or .52. You still get that nice thick sound out of the heavier strings. But the lighter strings give a little more brightness, and more room for subtle vibrato. Although Steve Ray Vaughan used .013's and he was all about subtleties. I suppose in a way I was getting lazy.

                    Anyway good luck on the tribute band.
                    The best blueberry muffins I ever had landed 6 people in prison, three for life.

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                    • #11
                      Don't worry about tone setup. Tony's equipment has changed much throughout the years. Tony's constant is his technique. Study that.

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                      • #12
                        You can buy and try all the hardware you want, but there's professional guitarist from all generations who marvel at Iommi's tone. I think there's more to it than having the right equipment, his technique is unique and that's got something to do with it. But hey, shoot for the moon, even if you miss your amongst the stars.
                        "Music is so sacred to me that I canít hear wishy-washy nonsense just played for the sake of selling records."
                        R. Blackmore

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                        • #13
                          i hate the "its all in the fingers" bollocks i mean yeah his technique is but not the tone
                          the zombie apocalypse is coming!

                          my phiosophy in life..... just wing it

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                          • #14
                            While the sound from the guitar, amp and effects obviously play a part, it doesn't take a ton of gear shopping to get an artist's sound, and even if you buy the exact gear you probably won't sound 100% like them for a few reasons.

                            One is that the CDs undergo a step of production beyond what Tony used in the studio. The EQ and everything is tweaked. Even on live albums.

                            Two is that so many things are taken into account when it comes to the sound you produce. The size of the room you're playing in, the humidity in the air, the length of cable you're using, how fresh your strings are, etc.

                            And three is that many of the subtleties of the tone come from the way he plays and the actual music. Its as simple as that. Subtleties that might even be subconscious. I mean, play the same two notes but pick them at different angles. Even though they're the same note they can come off sounding way different.

                            So as long as you have a dirty amp with lots of meat thats good enough to get Tony's sound. The rest is in all you play it.

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                            • #15
                              Intelligent man up above. ^

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