Tosin Abasi is one of the most popular and influential guitarists of this century. He’s known for his insane technique and speed, as well as being a founding member of Animals As Leaders. Today, we’ll take a look at the top guitar amps that shaped his signature sound.
The amp that really made Tosin Abasi stand out was the Mesa Boogie Mark V 25. This is a very popular amp among shredders because of its high gain and versatility. It can go from low gain to insanely high gain, making it ideal for many different genres of music.
Another great amp that shaped Tosin Abasi’s signature sound was the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III. This is a solid-state amp with more than enough power for any style of music you want to play. It comes equipped with three channels: Clean, Drive, and More Drive.
The final amplifier in this list is the Peavey 6505+ 112 Combo Amp. This is an all-tube amp with enough power to satisfy any metal guitarist’s needs. It features 4 channels: Clean, Crunch, Lead 1, and Lead 2. Each channel has its own EQ settings as well as an effects loop so you can add some delay or reverb to your tone
Tosin Abasi is one of the most influential guitarists of the past decade. The Nigerian-American musician has won a Grammy Award and earned millions of fans for his band Animals as Leaders. His unique playing style, technique and tone is revered across the guitar world, but how does he achieve it?
In this blog we’ll explore Tosin’s early years, his journey to mastering the 8-string guitar and his signature amp rig that has been used to shape his remarkable sound on every Animals as Leaders album since their self-titled debut in 2009.
When Tosin Abasi first burst onto the scene in 2007 with his instrumental solo project, Animals As Leaders, he seemed to have come out of nowhere. By that point, he’d already played in a handful of bands and had been working on AAL as a side project for a while, but it wasn’t until the release of their self-titled debut album that most guitarists became aware of his existence—and those who did promptly lost their minds.
In the years since that first album was released, Tosin has toured the world and recorded two more albums with AAL. His playing style continues to evolve and develop, but at its core is a unique approach to technique and tone that has become one of the most recognizable sounds in modern metal.
While Tosin’s own skill as a player is obviously one of the key factors in crafting his sound, another vital component can be found in his gear. It’s worth noting here that this isn’t always the case: many great players are able to make any rig sing with their own particular style. In Tosin’s case, however, it’s impossible to talk about his sound without taking a look at how he uses equipment to create it.
Tosin has gone through many different amps over the years
Tosin Abasi’s career began with his band Reflux in 2004, but it was when he joined Animals as Leaders in 2008 where he really made a name for himself.
Since then Tosin has continued to innovate and impress with his steady stream of albums and performances, including his latest album The Madness of Many.
Tosin is not only a virtuoso of the guitar, but also a skilled gear builder. His company Abasi Concepts, founded in 2013, allows him to explore guitar design and shape his signature sound.
As a result of this, we can learn a lot about Tosin’s signature gear by looking at what goes into an Abasi Concepts guitar:
Abasi Lab-Built Custom 8 Pickups
These are the custom pickups found in all Abasi guitars. They’re designed to have an even frequency response across all strings and have a tight low end, high output and large dynamic range.
Abasi Tensegrity Bridges
Tensegrity refers to ‘tensional integrity’, which is the tension created by multiple cables that allow structures to be both rigid and flexible at the same time (if you want to know more about tensegrity check out this video). For this reason it’s allowed for some of
Adam “Nolly” Getgood is a bassist, producer and engineer known for his work with bands such as Periphery, Animals As Leaders, Devin Townsend Project and more. He’s also the man behind the Nolly Gear channel on YouTube, where he regularly tears down some of the best guitar amps in the business to see what makes them tick.
In his latest video, he takes apart Tosin Abasi’s signature Diezel VH4-2 amp to sniff out why it fits the Animals As Leaders guitarist’s unique sound so well. Specifically, he focuses on four elements of the amp: The Gain stage, The Bass Boost Stage, The Master Volume Stage and the EQ Shape.
The takeaway here? A lot of what makes this amp special is how it interacts with Tosin’s guitar rig and playing style. Check out the full video below to learn more!
The first time I remember hearing Tosin Abasi, he was playing with the band Reflux. It was 2002, and I was working on a music degree at Georgia State University.
Reflux came to Atlanta and played a show at a place called Earthlink Live (now Tabernacle). I don’t remember much about it except that they were insanely heavy and Tosin was playing an 8-string guitar.
I had never seen or heard anything like that before. And I certainly had never heard anyone play it with such ferocity and precision.
Fast forward about 7 years, and Tosin is now part of the instrumental prog metal band Animals as Leaders (AAL). The band has released 3 albums to date, and Tosin has become one of the most recognized faces in modern metal guitar playing.
In case you haven’t seen him play yet, here’s a video from his days with AAL:
Abasi’s music has always been filled with a strong undercurrent of groove, but no one would have predicted the level of rhythmic mastery he displays on Animals as Leaders. The guitar is so frequently made to sound like a drum kit that it’s often hard to tell where the drums themselves begin and end.
Abasi has worked tirelessly on his percussive chops, but he also credits his signature guitar sound to the gear he uses. The amp he relies most heavily upon is the Fractal Axe-Fx II, which not only directly models hundreds of vintage amplifiers and effects pedals, but also allows him to blend between them for a limitless number of tonal possibilities.
In this interview, Abasi talks about how he shapes his uniquely layered tones with the Axe-Fx II, what inspires him to keep pushing the boundaries of instrumental music, and how he makes the guitar sound like a drum kit.