|The Tony Iommi live rig consists of the following constituent parts:-
1) The speakers
The main stage sound comes from eight Laney straight fronted 4 x 12" speaker cabinets. These cabinets are mounted in four steel frames. The cabs are loaded with Celestion G12H loudspeakers. The cabs have been modified to take Neutrik Speakon connectors in parallel with 1/4" jacks.
There are also eight 2 x 12" wedges custom made by Laney distributed around the stage powered from within the guitar set-up. Along with a pair of earlier made but similar wedges for the drums, these serve as guitar monitors for Tony and the rest of the band to 'lock on' to a pure guitar sound as they move around the stage. These wedges are loaded with Celestion G12 75T loudspeakers.
2) The amplification
Each of the 4 x 12" cabs is driven by one of eight Laney GH 100 TI amplifiers. These are the Tony Iommi signature models. (See elsewhere on the website for the history). The GH 100 TI is an all valve (tube) 100 watt amplifier head. The amplifier is designed in such a way that the power amp section can be used independently of its pre-amp section. One of the heads is designated the master head and its pre-amp drives all eight heads as slave power amplifiers. See below for how this is configured. The output tubes used are the TAD EL 34STR, which have proved to be the best of all tested.
All of the monitor wedge speakers are powered by HH V800 power amplifiers, driven via an HH EQ 125 graphic equaliser, from one of the output sections of the Pete Cornish control rack.
3) The signal routing and control
At the heart of the system is a custom built signal routing and control unit from Pete Cornish. At the front end, the guitar plugs in. At the back end, the final guitar signal is fed out to all the power amps.
The guitar signal input can be switched between cable and radio sources. If a wireless system currently used, is the Shure ULX P. After many years of using cables, this is the only unit that Tony has felt happy with.
After the guitar input there are A/B switches for guitar swapping. Then there are 4 in-line relay switched effect send & return loops. Following them are 4 side-chain relay switched effect send & return loops. Following them are another 2 in-line effect send & return loops. Following them are the mute switch, dry mute switch and output boost controls for the various outputs that the Pete Cornish device has.
The first three in-line loops enable a wah, a compressor and an octave divider. Currently, these devices are a Tycobrahe Parapedal wah, a Drawmer LX20 compressor and either the Boss or Digitech stomp box octave dividers.
The fourth loop is the pre-amplifier of the master amp head. The send from the routing rack goes into the front high input of the head, and the return comes from the effects send of the head. The dry signal then continues through the unit with portions being tapped off for, and mixed back in from, the 4 side-chain effect loops. These are a short slap-back delay from a Korg SDD 1000, a longer delay from another Korg SDD 1000, a chorus from a Korg DL 8000 R multi-tap delay and a combination of effects as required from a Peavey Addverb III.
Next are two more in-line loops enabling a graphic equaliser and a Rocktron Guitar Silencer unit. All the signal cabling within the routing system is run as balanced line resulting in a significant drop of background noise compared to the previous system, it is not usually necessary to switch the Guitar Silencer in line. The graphic EQ in the system is an MXR stereo 15 band rack mount model, used in mono. This is the final unit before the output section that sends the signal to all the power amps. The purpose of this final unit is to iron out the differences in sound on stage due to the differing auditoria that Sabbath perform in.
After these devices the signal is fed to the power amp sections of all eight GH 100 TI amp heads for the main 4 x 12"s and a series of HH V 800 stereo power amps for the wedge monitors.
There is a remote Pete Cornish foot pedal board that houses parallel control of most of the effects loops and also the Tycobrahe Parapedal wah.
All cables in the guitar rig are custom made by Mike Clement of M.C. Electrics. E-mail address: email@example.com. Custom cables are built to order.