Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra
Tony Iommi with a Treble Booster and Laney Supergroup is the sound of Sabbath.
Transform any guitar rig into a rig of doom with the Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra.
Tony Iommi arguably had the most influential tone in the history of electric guitar.
Really, when you think Black Sabbath you immediately think “Electric Guitar”.
His early signature sound was the result of an always on treble-booster plugged into cranked Laney Supergroup amps.
This approach to guitar is extremely rewarding and fun. However, this gets lost in this day and age because honestly who can really get away with the stage volume anymore?
Far and few between!
We designed the Sabbra Cadabra to give players that sonic experience, re-contextualized for today’s approach.
According to Mr. Iommi, someone modded his Dallas Rangemaster.
“I don’t know what he did to it, but it was really good.
I used that treble booster on all the early Sabbath albums and put it into the Laney because it boosted the input and gave it the overdrive I was looking for, which amps in the early days didn’t have.”
Then in 1979 another tech threw it into the garbage, thinking it was crap. Can you believe that?!
So no one really knows what was done to it. But based on our experience, it was most likely changing it to be more of a full-range boost and possibly re-biasing it.
That’s what we mean when we say you can “customize” the treble-boost section with the RANGE knob – you can continuously adjust it to any input frequency response and feel that you want.
From the first chord of side 1, track 1 of the album “Black Sabbath,” Tony Iommi’s tone has been pursued by scads of players.
The man’s signature sound has been attributed to many things, but most of us can agree that it came down to a few items.
Some of these things are his battered Gibson SG and the fact that he lost two of his fingertips in a sheet metal factory accident.
The rest, though; that’s where we come in.
The man’s downright legendary sound primarily came from two active electronic devices.Firstly, his white-hot Laney Supergroup amp. Secondly, the unsung hero of classic rock, a cranked treble booster.
And while we can’t help you with the guitar or the missing appendages, we can certainly give you the next best thing. A faithful recreation of his backline pieces that won’t break your back or your bank account.
This is the Sabbra Cadabra.
The Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra
So, the Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra is a custom-tuned Rangemaster-based booster combined with the pre-amp section of a Laney Supergroup.
The two circuits are carefully voiced together to achieve the riffs of doom tone that Tony Iommi is so well known for.
Four controls (RANGE, GAIN, PRESENCE, and VOL 4) allow you to fine-tune the response to your guitar and rig.
If you’re familiar with Sabbath’s live album, ‘Past Lives’, then you’ll understand where we were going with this pedal – huge, raw, responsive!
The Sabbra Cadabra’s circuit is optimized for drop-tuning but works equally well for standard tuning thanks to the RANGE control, which allows you to “customize” the treble-booster section of the circuit and adjust it anywhere from treble-boost to full-range boost.
This knob affects the treble booster front-end of the Sabbra.
The design of this part of the circuit stems from our Naga Viper, a circuit that contains three knobs.
Boost, Heat and Range.
In the Sabbra, the Boost and Heat controls are set to the maximum, giving you control over the Range, or input frequency selector.
Treble boosters set the frequency by forcing the signal through a tiny input cap which shears off the low end.
The Range control pans between two input capacitors—one small, one large— to give the drive side of the Sabbra the right frequencies with which to work.
Think of this as an analog to the Supergroup’s Gain control. Keep it low for some crunchy British-style chunk or crank it to get those tube-melting tones that Mr. Iommi is known for. Setting this above 3 o’clock definitely gets you into Dehumanizer territory.
Just like the Supergroup, the Sabbra Cadabra features a Presence control that dumps a varying amount of frequencies to ground. The result is a full-bodied master tone control that helps you sit in the mix right where you like.
Vol. 4: LOUD. This thing gets LOUD. Did I say LOUD? Quick Start Guide:
The topological signal flow is thus:
Range -> Gain -> Presence -> Vol.4
In other words, the Range control shapes the entire tone of the Sabbra. The first step to setting up the Sabbra is determining the way your amp sits in the spectrum, and then where you plan to place it.
Requires 9V battery or at least 9VDC and up to 18VDC, with a negative center. It draws a miserly 5mA