The first time I saw Zakk’s ‘Iron Curtain’ was at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in February 2011, and what a sight it was! There were no fewer than 24 Marshall amp heads, and 28 4×12 cabs all arranged in full stacks with double amp tops, and another 4 cabs centre stage…. Or was there? I can assure you that I wore ear plugs and it was LOUD, and some friends I went with who didn’t wear plugs had cotton wool ears for a couple of days! It certainly seemed like a very loud gig!
In reality Zakk and Black Label Society’s 2nd guitarist, Nick Catanese, both use three Marshall 2203ZW amps (Zakk’s original signature, from 10 years ago, released in 2002), and some of the cabs that are on stage (probably 6 each). Some more cabs (as you can see at the bottom of the stacks in the photo above) are bass cabs, and the rest are dummy cabs. The Iron Curtain heads (2203BLS it seems they may be called) are just front panels and tubes that light up to look like they’re real amps (see the link below for photos of these dummy amps/cabs)
The interesting question is when will Marshall release the new Zakk Wylde signature head, and will it look like the Iron Curtain head? If it does, I’m sure Marshall will sell a lot of these amps, as many Zakk fans have shown interest in these new amps being used on tour (even though they were dummies). I know I’d love to own one when they’re released (a man can dream!). Zakk’s also been interviewed in various guitar magazines recently stating that a new signature Marshall will be released in 2012, and will be a copy of one of his currently owned heads. Whether he means an existing 2203ZW or another amp he uses, we don’t know. But he’s famous for using JCM800 heads, so I can’t believe it would be anything other than a JCM800 2003 clone, with perhaps a couple of little extra features (FX loop and built in OD pedal perhaps (like the YJM100), and maybe even power scaling like the AFD100 and YJM100).
Some info and photos of ‘The Iron Curtain’ are here: http://www.marshallforum.com/marshall-amps/33803-zakk-wyldes-iron-curtain-not-so-much.html