Black Country Customs Logo

Who are Black Country Customs?

Black Country Customs are a group of highly skilled amp technicians who have 50 years of continuous tube manufacturing heritage behind them.

Born out of the desire to design and build products in a way they used to be “back in the day”, with the attention to detail that comes from the physical process of taking the time to design and build something by hand.

The aim of the journey is not always to arrive.

LA100BL

“What is this that stands before me ?”

A record is released that changes the sound of music, as we know it ….. forever. The LP It begins with the sound of falling rain, A bell tolls in the distance, followed by a crash of thunder… rain, more rain, more thunder then …. with the clamour representative of the sound of a steel mill, you hear the sound of a super distorted guitar, playing a diminished 5th interval, an interval banned by the Roman Catholic Church in the 13th century for being “Diabolus in Musica” Then, as if from beyond the grave……a voice wails “What is this that stands before me?”  And music was never the same. The Band were Black Sabbath. The guitarist was no other than Tony Iommi.

The sound of the super distorted diminished 5th interval was a Laney LA100BL.

“Simon Fraser-Clark”

LA100BL Development

The LA100BL & LA412 are a faithful, hand built, point-to-point wired, reissue of the original amp and cab Tony used at the beginning of his Black Sabbath career. Everything in the amp is as it was in the original. From the hand drilled turret board, the parts list, the authentic hand wiring process and the original box frame styled output transformer. It is as close to the real thing as buying an original LA100BL.


“The driving force behind the project wasn’t simply just the company’s 50th anniversary on the horizon, but also the
fact that Tony Iommi was starting to think about gearing up for Back Sabbath’s final world tour known as “The End”.


The set list for the final tour was to pull material from the whole of Black Sabbath catalogue and Tony had the idea that it would be a fitting way to end his Black Sabbath touring career the same way he began it – playing a Laney LA100BL.

So we started talking about the possibility of building Tony a reissue of the 1969 amplifier that he used on the original Black Sabbath release. First thing we needed to do was to set about listening to these old amps.


We have a small collection of “historic” amps but we needed a few more for comparisons.
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 LA100BL’s we were after and began to put them through their paces. 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 old SUPERGROUP era amps was a real pleasure.


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.
When you play an LA100BL you quickly hear why it is so special.


The key sonic feature of the amplifier is definitely a musical undertone introduced to the original signal by the output transformer.
A great amount of time and care was taken in re-designing and engineering the output transformer, making sure it replicated the unique sound of the original Partridge transformer used in 1969. If you ever get the chance to listen to an original LA100BL from
the late 60’s you will hear just how faithful the reissue transformer is – the new LA100BL captures this sound with 100% authenticity.

LA100BL Specification

100-Watt All Tube Head

100% Hand Wired In The UK

Single Channel

4 X EL34 Power Tubes

3 X 12AX7 Pre Amp Tubes

Presence

3 Band EQ

Gain 1

2 X Treble Inputs

Gain 2

2 X Bass Inputs

Custom Made Vintage Design Box Frame Output Transformer

4, 8 or 16 OHM Inputs

LA412

LA412 Development

The LA412 is an authentic hand built replica of the original LA412
cabinet used by Tony Iommi for the Black Sabbath recordings and tours up until 1979.


Built to the exact same over sized dimensions as the original LA412 and using the same marine grade birch ply, this single angle 4 x 12 cabinet is loaded with four Celestion G12H 75Hz drivers built in the UK using the same parts and specification of the Celestion

drivers around at the end of the 60’s and early 70’s.


Sonically the cabinet has a lot to live up to.


In order to handle the unique sub content of the LA100BL the LA412 has an amazingly full frequency response from crystal clear highs to the low-end growl you will recognise immediately.

The LA412 is a single input 16 Ohm cabinet – just as it was back in the day.


Finished in a pleasing vintage tolex and salt and pepper front fret as per the original release and with click out castors as standard.


It’s difficult to explain just how good the LA412 cabinet sounds you need to experience it. 100% authentic tone.

LA412 Specification

100% Hand built in the UK

Vintage Construction

Marine Grade Birch Ply

Single Angle Baffle

4 X Celestion G12H 75HZ

16 OHM

Single Speaker Input

Click in/out Castors

Ti Boost

Ti Boost Development

The guitar sound of the first Black Sabbath Album is actually the result of a number of key components, Tony himself not withstanding, but it is also the sound of the LA100BL plus a Dallas Arbiter Range master pedal that Tony used at the time, allowing him to push the front end of the amp into overdrive giving him his signature distorted tone never before heard.


There is a story relating to Tony and his “Range Master”.


In the days immediately before Sabbath, Tony was playing with a band located in Cumbria and a guitar player in a local band said that he could modify Tony’s Range Master and that it would sound better. So Tony agreed and had his pedal modified.


Tony never knew what the modification was but it sounded really good and gave his LA100BL the gain he was looking for.

The modified Range master was used for recording and touring up until 1979. When, for some reason unknown to everyone apart from Tony’s amp tech at the time – it
got thrown away!


Since that day Tony has had a sound in his head, a sound that first inspired him to play some of the most recognisable riffs in music, a sound which he thought he’s never get back!


Until now that is!


When we began to discuss the possibility of building a replica of Tony’s original 1969 LA100BL we realised quite quickly that we’d need something to push the front end of the amp harder. So in conjunction with the design work on the NEW LA100BL we also started working on a boost pedal for Tony to use in the same way he used his Range master.

The result – the TI-BOOST.


We are very proud of our association with Tony and to have him commission us with his only authorised signature pedal is a real honour.


The pedal functions in the same way as his legendary modified Range master – with a significant bass cut and mid boost, but we’ve included a little more gain and EQ options to make it more appealing to more players looking to find their own sounds.


The TI-BOOST is a simple pedal – it has a Drive and a Volume control, along with the ability to dial in the Low and Hi frequencies as well as a mid switch that gives you a couple of different Mid frequency options.


Sonically the combination of the LA100BL, the LA412 and the TI- BOOST pedal gives you a guitar tone recognised for decades around the world by millions.

Ti Boost Specification

Tony Iommi Signature Boost Pedal

Drive

Volume

Low Eq

High Eq

Hi Mid, Neutral low mid boost toggle switch

Battery or psu powered

Buffered output

High quality switch components