Press Release – Geezer Butler & Ashdown Built for ‘The End’ and Beyond…
We are extremely proud to welcome Mr Geezer Butler to the Ashdown family….
During the past 18 months we have been busy working on a number of new projects and custom rigs for various bass players, but none have been as exciting as this…. After talking extensively with Terry Welty (Geezers long standing tech) about Geezers touring needs, we had a few ideas for a solution, able to withstand the rigours of the road with some very specific features to meet his needs.
So we got to work on a rig of Doom, destined for ‘The End’, based on our late great friend John Entwistle’s final touring set up, the premise was to be able to separate the high and low signals to suit his current custom stage cabinets which consists of 4 x 412’s and 4 x 215’s….
So we took an original JE pre amp and came up with a few specific modifications; they needed to be able to split the signals to run 4 cabs for the full range signal into the 412’s so we modified the existing two-way crossover to a custom transformer derived crossover able to power 4 outputs to feed the two APM-1000’s that would drive his on stage 412’s.
This was also mimicked with an identical pre-amp and power amp configuration to power the Low pass signals for his 4 on stage 215’s. Geezer also needed a little more grit in his tone so we increased the current to the pre-amps on board JJ-12-AX7 tube to give it much more of a rich harmonic distortion to suit his legendary tone.
This was quite a challenge in its self as many of the parts originally used to build Entwistle’s rig back in 2001 are no longer available luckily one of our engineers had squirreled away a small reserve of parts we had shelved in 2002 after Johns untimely death, so we got to work and the result is seen below and is being used on stage for ‘The End’ tour. There needed to be two identical rigs due to the touring schedule so in the end we built 9 custom Power amps the APM-1000’s along with 4 Custom RPM-GB pre amps.
We are honoured to have such an influential and legendary bass player using our amps for this tour especially. Geezer has always had a very special place in our hearts as bass players from learning his bass lines to perform at school assembly’s in the 70’s to today when we stick on NIB or Hand of Doom in the office, he laid a path for bass players around the globe, one so unique to this day that continues to inspire new bass players. Setting a new standard in meaning of LOW-END.
For the past 3 years Geezer has also been using one of our CTM-15 drop head combos as his dressing room rig for his pre show warm up.
So on Thursday we flew over to Detroit to meet up with Geezer and Terry at their show to go through the rig and make a few cosmetic changes and make sure everything was working as expected, it was…. We had a great day going through the rig and changing the front panels to a new custom (just of Geezer) front panel with a new two colour screen we put together with an off white boarder and a Sabbath purple over lay…
It was a long day having flown over from London the day before but we got the rig built and ready before line check and sound check…. Standing on stage in front of the wall of doom while it was being played really was very special, ground shaking and devastating is all we can say, a huge wall of tone with ‘lots of low end punch and definition. And the mids and top end were clear as a bell’ one person commented.
After sound check we got to work on the rest of the rig to make sure all was good to send across the world. Show time came and the excitement in the sold out Palace Arena in Auburn Hills was out of this world as they kicked into a greatest hits set opening with the 1970 single ‘Black Sabbath’. The band were on fine form and wonderful to see them enjoying it as much today as ever before, this show was a special one for Tony Iommi celebrating his ‘49th’ Birthday, Ozzy leading proceedings by singing Happy Birthday and presenting him with a Birthday Cake. They went on to perform an epic two-hour set full of classics. See the picture of the set list below:
After the show we had a nice chat with Geezer who was made up by the custom rig and excited to be using the rig on the tour. It really was an honour to shake the hand of doom and be able to say thanks for the opportunity of working with him. As you can tell by Dan’s face he was a little chuffed ; ) It really does mean the world to us being a small family run company to get to work with such a legendary bass player. Thank you!
It started nearly five decades ago with a crack of thunder, a distant bell ringing and then that monstrous riff that shook the earth. The heaviest rock sound ever heard.
In that moment Heavy Metal was born, created by a young band from Birmingham, England barely out of their teens.
Now it ENDS, the final tour by the greatest Metal Band of all time, BLACK SABBATH. Ozzy Osborne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler close the final chapter in the final volume of the incredible BLACK SABBATH story.
BLACK SABBATH’s farewell tour, THE END, began on January 20, 2016 and it promises to surpass all previous tours with their most mesmerizing production ever.
When this tour concludes, it will truly be THE END,
THE END of one of most legendary bands in Rock ’n Roll history…
We are proud to be a part of such a momentous occasion in the history of such a groundbreaking band.
Keep an eye out on more news from the tour as it picks up its pace late into the year…
We would like to say a special thanks the Mr Geezer Butler, Terry Welty and Mike Clement for making this dream come true…
Check out www.blacksabbath.com/welcome.html for more info on the tour and more….