Blog / News

Happy Birthday Tony Iommi

Today (Feb. 19) marks the 68th birthday of legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, hailed by many as the godfather of heavy metal music. This year also marks the final tour for Black Sabbath, rounding up what has been an amazing career for Tony and all the guys of Sabbath, to read more about the tour and how Laney has helped beef up Tony’s sound go to – It Began With Laney But today, on Iommi’s birthday, we celebrate his glorious career. As the guitarist for arguably heavy metal’s greatest band, Iommi’s innovative playing paved the way for thousands of metal musicians that would follow in his footsteps. From Black Sabbath’s landmark debut self-titled album to their classic sophomore disc ‘Paranoid’ to the current day, Iommi has laid down some of the most memorable riffs in heavy metal history.

“It began with Laney .. It ends with Laney”

It is often the case that when something finally reaches it’s natural conclusion interest invariably begin to focus on how it all began in the first place. This is certainly the case when you look at the career of the band Black Sabbath and in particular our involvement with Tony Iommi the guitarist.Black-Sabbath-the-End-poster With the beginning of “THE END” in sight, discussions of set list and associated considerations began to surface and it became clear that the set list would more than likely be written to include material from the whole of the bands considerable musical output. With this in mind it was not long before we got a call from Mike Clements – Tony Iommi’s long time guitar tech asking if it would be possible for Tony to borrow a couple of amps from our historic collection to listen to. It’s not often that you get the time to listen to “Old” amps in detail so the fact that we had to listen to the old SUPERGROUPS we had in out collection was a real pleasure. IMG_1634 There is not doubt that these amps have a sound unique to them – a subtle undertone to the note played. A sound which with hindsight was a very unique sound and something intrinsic to the sound of the early Sabbath recordings. Tony immediately heard a sound he recognised from back in the early days and it was decided very quickly that he wanted to have this sound available to him for the early era material which was to be included in the set list. So we set about scouring the relevant sources for original LA100BL’s for us to work with. We met some very dedicated and immensely interesting people along the way and managed to source a few examples of the SUPERGROUP LA100BLS we were after and began to put them through their paces. It quickly became clear that whilst these amps sounded great they all showed signs of their age and previous owners! Would we trust them to survive a prolonged time on the road and remain 100% reliable – probably not. Old LA's So the only option available to us was to built Tony some new “OLD” LA100BL amps.  No easy task. NEW Old LA's The key ingredient to the sound of the old SUPERGROUPS was the original Partridge output transformer used. The original Partridge Transformer had long since ceased being produced so we had to come up with a solution. This meant a long period of design and testing on the production from the ground up of a new transformer capable of producing the unique tone of the originals. NEW Old LA's 2 Combine this with the meticulous attention to detail of using as close to the original materials as was physically possible and after 6 months of painstaking RnD and sonic testing we finally came up with a new “OLD” Laney SUPERGROUP LA100BL – an amp of totally stunning sound and beauty. LA100BL VERSION 2 13 units were built in honour of the final Black Sabbath album. 6 of these 13 were loaded into Tony’s live rig to handle the older content of the set list whilst the new material is being played using Tony’s current TI100 live rig. IMG_1743 Everyone who hears Tony’s new “OLD” rig is totally blown away by the tone, there is something there that is tonally unique. Make sure you get the chance to see Black Sabbath and listen to the man and the amplifier that put heavy metal on the global map. As Tony says “It began with Laney – it ends with Laney”

Good Charlotte @ Birmingham Barclaycard Arena

Team Laney have been hopping up and down for some time, waiting for the boys of Good Charlotte to come to our hometown, so Saturday night at the Barclaycard arena was a special night, not only because we got to watch some top class players rock out, but we got to watch them do it, wailing through a Laney back line. Click here to see the guys playing out to a packed arena 2T8A0787 2T8A0708 They guys are out supporting All Time Low, and with only 6 arena dates in the UK, the crowds were massive to see these legends live for the first time in years, confirming that rock bands can most definitely still sell out arena stadiums. Benji has been using an Ironheart IRT120H and IRT412 cab for the Good Charlotte dates, changing it up to adapt his tone from his Madden brothers gigs where he uses a Lionheart L50H and L412 cab. He told us “Laney just gives me such a great tone, the guys always get me what i need, when i need it. The equipment is robust, with amazing tones and gain. I couldn’t be happier”. The guys have two more UK dates left to play, in Dublin and Glasgow, before they return to working on their other projects; The Madden Brothers and The Voice Australia.   Check out more from their tour with All Time Low here – #LOVEMUSICLOVELANEY

Laney Transformer Award

We were super excited to be able to present Jin Bin Ye, Director of Great Wall, (our Chinese Distributor), with the Laney Transformer Award for 2015…….This award goes to our best all round performing International Distributor, who has not only achieved great growth, but who has also been active in all aspects on marketing and positioning of the brand……   James Laney, CEO commented “We warmly thank our good friends at Great Wall for their excellent work in developing the Laney brand in the Chinese market: It is an honour to work with them.”



2016 NAMM is set to be one of the biggest and most innovative shows in recent years, which has started already – the trending hashtag #BESTNAMMEVER sets the tone for what is shaping up to be an amazing few days in California. The list of exhibitors reads as the who’s who of music industry manufacturers, the Laney booth in hall C sits alongside our close friends Ibanez Guitars and Dimarzio Pick ups. The workers are still busily hurrying around making ready the stands for the coming visitors. This year sees Laney celebrating the final tour of Black Sabbath, the anniversary of Led Zeppelins inaugural album – which attributes a lot of it’s unique sound to the tone of Laney (read more about this below), and of course, the release of several high profile new products – all of which are seeing there debut at 2016 NAMM. The NAMM show has long played host as the meeting ground for manufacturers, performers and the public to meet, greet and wax lyrical about the year that’s past and to look forward to the new developments and partnerships of the coming year. Every day this week we will bring you something new for 2016 from Laney, and our social media will be keeping you up to date on the action from NAMM, so check our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see what we’re up to this week.

The Laney GHR A study in Sound

The Balance of Power

When Laney first started producing amps they knew that they wanted it Loud, they wanted face melting distorted guitar tones they couldn’t get anywhere else. In the subsequent years we have produced a product that compliments every sound, and we’ve studied what happens when different players play through different equipment and use differing settings. This long term study has produced what we feel is the pinnacle on Valve tone control in the GHR. This beauty comes in; 50w and 100w heads and a 50 watt 212 combo, and has complimentary cabs in 212 and 412 set ups. No mater who we have had plug into these beauties and no matter what style they play, the look on their face is always the same – pure joy, just radiating and the tone rip through the air. The GH50R’s unique Master Output control allows you to dial in just the right balance of pre-amp v’s power-amp distortion to find the sweet spot. A Master Tone control also allows tonal adjustment at the end of signal chain. The 3 band tone stack is shared between channels giving a simple yet effective tone palette. A Pull Shift function also increases the tonal flexibility of the mid-range. Studio-quality digital reverb gives rich ambience to the sound via a rotary control. A Pull Focus function adds further variation according to preference. A Balanced XLR DI with switchable cabinet emulation allows the GHR tone to be sent direct to the mixing desk without the need to mic. And now at NAMM 2016 we are ready to unleash this onto the public, and we cant wait to see what it can do.



Recently when I went to see one of artists Dan Pugsley play with his band Skindred, a tour manager for another band that was playing the same venue met me outside. I told him I was with Laney and the first thing he said was “how’s Tony Iommi”. Well. The answer on that particular day was, “great, I saw him about an hour ago”. (more…)