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Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 3:32am

As the title says. How do I make the best informed choice between the 2?

I'm located in Belgium and there are no stores that carry Diezel amps. Closest is Musicstore in Köln Germany, but they've never had both at the same time any time I've visited to make a direct comparison. I've been debating this question to myself for over 5 years now. I'm done, I want an answer.

How did you guys decide on the model you wanted?
What suggestions do you have for me to make a decision?

In Utopia I'd sit in a room in front of the entire Diezel range, with my own guitar, and 3 hours later I'd walk out with the amp (in a white headshell). :rock:

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 10:11am

You buy both! :yes:

The VH4 is more in the classic high gain sound. It is more familiar sounding perhaps. Tighter, more articulate and focused. Less low end available. A little more responsive to volume and picking changes. Not as modern, metal, or as bass-capable.

The Herbert is the metal monster. It stays very tight, focused, articulate no matter how much bass, gain, volume you dial in. More available gain and more metal voiced with the mid-scoop switch. It will do any sort of modern metal tone you need. If you play metal, this is your amp.

If you're in to metal get the Herbert... if you want more versatility and more '80s-'90s hard rock to metal get the VH4. The Peters have posted some really accurate and descriptive videos on YouTube detailing the differences of each. Check them out.

I own both and dig both. Killer amps. No right or wrong here.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 6:05pm

Thank you for your reply.

I'm aware that the VH4 is a bit more rock/80s/90s oriented and that the herbert has the full on metal reputation.

Now I've played both and both are great. Unfortunately I've never been able to make a direct comparison as I've never been in a room with the two of them present, and there was a lot of time in between the play sessions (months to a year).

In theory: it should be a no-brainer and I should get the VH4 as that fits my style completely (80s hard rock/glam). In practice: when I played Herbert ch2+ I was just absolutely floored. I can't describe how much of an impact this channel mode has made on me.

That's why I'd love an opportunity to be able to compare them side to side and hear the differences that you described and I've gathered from other sources as well.

If I were to get a Herbert I will completely ignore the mid-cut section, I just don't care for it at all.

I think I've seen pretty much every Diezel video out there trying to find my solution, but I'm not really sure I've found the ones from the Peters that you mention. Could you please point me in the right direction?

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 6:14pm

It comes down to this: I watch a couple of VH4 video's and I think to myself I should get that. I watch a couple of Herbert video's and I want the Herbert. Ugh I'm getting frustrated...

Peter, can I come visit your factory and just play all of them and be done with it? I can't think of another place that has them all to try out.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 7:41pm

Here you go:





If you can, I'd try contacting Peter Diezel direct, and perhaps setting up a demo. That way you are sure. You won't be disappointed with either amp.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Sep 14, 2017 8:50pm

Man that is the BEST diezel video ever!! :rock:
Thanks for posting. Just bought another Herbert watching this. :D

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 1:19am

This one is fun...

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 11:18am

Those are some nice video's. Thanks Docster and Wizard of Ozz.

Haha still not easier. In the peter's video's I'd go for the Herbert, in the video Docster posted I'd go VH4.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 11:55am

Ive owned both a few times, sold both haha and missed them, own both again and dont plan on selling them again haha. If i can only pick just one i would go with the vh4, mine is a 2013 and i truely missed it and was sorry i sold it. The herbert is awesome but i like the feel of the vh4 and the mids better.
I rarely play my herbert without a boost, i love how it feels boosted. One more thing i will say about the vh4 is that ch2 is underrated and has some nice lower and medium gain tones. So overall for my the vh4 is my favorite.

My first vh4 was a 2002 model and i didnt like it at all, sold it pretty quick, tried a bunch of different tubes but always seemed dark, over compressed, and just didnt care for it. My 2013 has more gain, less compressed, definately brighter and sounds better imo.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Tue, Sep 19, 2017 1:36pm

It's hard to pick. Both sound different depending on tubes.

I'm an EL34 guy- I prefer mids, highs, and gain. 6L6s always seem too clean and "bassy" for me. Never experimented with KTs, 6550s, etc.., so no opinions there.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Wed, Sep 20, 2017 2:52am

I started out with the Herbert and ended up with a VH4 too :) I'm in the UK and James Leader at Diezel UK let me go down to London and check out all of the range at volume - what an immense gent James is. I would recommend if there is some where to try them out do that.

If not then I'd list the things you are looking for and see which amp wins out - in terms of these amps I think it's very unlikely you will be disappointed in the sound produced by either one, they are both stunning bits of kit!

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Wed, Sep 20, 2017 8:42am

Both!! Seriously though the VH4 has this crunch in the midrange that's addictive but the Herbert has this searing thing going on. Both are winners in my book but it just depends on whether you like the midrange crunch or metal sear. They're both extremely versatile. I've used Herbert for everything from Smashing Pumpkins to Green Day to roaring metal tones.
If you're going to totally ignore the midcut go VH4. The midcut is what makes Herbert shine with conservative levels.

Image

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Sat, Sep 23, 2017 1:00am

Lieber Peter und Peter! Fantastische Videos für den Herbert und VH4, und auch so toll, deine Stimmen wieder zu hören - es ist schon zu lang. Toll, auch deine lächelnden Gesichter zu sehen. Tolle Videos danke so sehr für diese. Und Stapfer, wie immer, großartiges Hören deines Gitarrenspiels. Wir werden uns bald melden - nur für eine Familie aufholen. Papa, lach und lachend, es passt dir gut Stapfer, halte ein Auge auf Papa !!

To the OP... Having owned both the Herbert and the VH4, I have to say they're both masterpiece amps. The Herbert is a 6 tube beast - keep this in mind when it comes to changing out bottles, you'll be hit with 50% additional in costs than your standard 4 PT amp. That said, and having owned both, while the Herbert offers - in my opinion - more tonal shaping capabilities, the VH4 has an incredible swirl and punch that is just undeniably "VH4". It's probably the most 3D amp I've played - it just fills the room like you wouldn't believe. Phenomenal amp!! So, in short, I have the VH4 - still - but the Herbert both Mk1 and Mk2 have been tried and tested, but have moved on from my ownership. Furthermore, the VH4 had sizzle and cut on Ch.2 and Ch.3, most certainly the fame and glory comes from Ch.3 - we know this. And it's worth the price of admission in my humblest of opinions. It's just that good. The Herbert - everyone goes ape over the mid-cut feature which is a brilliant bit of tech, but I did find myself simply behind the band when I gigged with it - rather than in front - regardless of mid cut on or off. It didn't slice through the mix like the VH4 did and does.

Not sure if this will help you - but put it this way - if you were stranded on an island (that just happened to be equipped with cabs and electricity), and someone threw either of these two your way, you wouldn't be disappointed. But if I had to pick - which I have done - I went VH4 and haven't looked back. It's kind of a foundational tone that can't be found anywhere else - percussive, tight, and unique.

If you want something a little more slippery but with similar tone, look at the Hagen - I love the Hagen...it's greasier and more fluid in its call and response...

Hope this helps!!
Cheers,
Bis Gleich meine Freunde :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock: :rock:
Unkle Mo :thumbsup:

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Sat, Sep 23, 2017 1:36am

Thank you so much, Uncle Mo :rock:

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Sat, Sep 23, 2017 10:02am

Both have nice cleans, both do crunch well, choose by flavor of metal. Are you a classic 80s or modern metal guy?

Vh4 for classic, herbert for modern between those two.

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Sat, Sep 23, 2017 12:47pm

Peter Diezel wrote:Thank you so much, Uncle Mo :rock:

Wie immer mein Vergnügen lieber Herr :thumbsup: :rock:

moltenmetalburn wrote:Both have nice cleans, both do crunch well, choose by flavor of metal. Are you a classic 80s or modern metal guy?
Vh4 for classic, herbert for modern between those two.

I'd say that Ch.2 will do a whack of heavy 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s of crunchy goodness fo'shizzle, but I'd NEVER pigeon-hole the VH4 as a "classic rock" amp. No f'n way. It's a game-changing amp that brought an onslaught of new heavy and metal bands to the forefront - think Tool - Hetfield - Wes Borland - Brent Hinds/Mastodon - Killlswitch Engage - amongst many others. SO, while it may be the "longest running amp in the Diezel lineage", it by no means has any bearing on its relevance today as a "modern ass kicking metal amp" (and so much more). Ch.3 and definitely the fluid solo'esque and more brootz Ch.4 are all uber modern and completely unique. The VH4 is a foundational amp. It was and is a game changer for many tone seekers, especially those with a slight :rock: edge to them.

Herbert does everything as above - the cleans are more chimey, the VH4 is more piano'like for cleans - but these are high gain monsters, let's not dwell on the "clean" channels... Buy an AC30 if you want to focus on cleans. But seriously, both amps offer the ubiquitous cleans and there you go - done. The Herbert is unbelievably powerful. It's got tone shaping. It's a newer model to the Diezel amp lineage, but that doesn't mean it's meant for newer metal :lol: :LOL: It's just a newer model of amp, just like the D-Moll came out and the Hagen and the Big Max - they're all just models of amps.

And all of them are very special in their own special ways :D

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Wed, Oct 11, 2017 9:16am

Vh4

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Thu, Oct 12, 2017 11:34am

Ventura wrote:
Peter Diezel wrote:Thank you so much, Uncle Mo :rock:

Wie immer mein Vergnügen lieber Herr :thumbsup: :rock:

moltenmetalburn wrote:Both have nice cleans, both do crunch well, choose by flavor of metal. Are you a classic 80s or modern metal guy?
Vh4 for classic, herbert for modern between those two.

I'd say that Ch.2 will do a whack of heavy 70s, 80s, 90s, and into the 2000s of crunchy goodness fo'shizzle, but I'd NEVER pigeon-hole the VH4 as a "classic rock" amp. No f'n way. It's a game-changing amp that brought an onslaught of new heavy and metal bands to the forefront - think Tool - Hetfield - Wes Borland - Brent Hinds/Mastodon - Killlswitch Engage - amongst many others. SO, while it may be the "longest running amp in the Diezel lineage", it by no means has any bearing on its relevance today as a "modern ass kicking metal amp" (and so much more). Ch.3 and definitely the fluid solo'esque and more brootz Ch.4 are all uber modern and completely unique. The VH4 is a foundational amp. It was and is a game changer for many tone seekers, especially those with a slight :rock: edge to them.

Herbert does everything as above - the cleans are more chimey, the VH4 is more piano'like for cleans - but these are high gain monsters, let's not dwell on the "clean" channels... Buy an AC30 if you want to focus on cleans. But seriously, both amps offer the ubiquitous cleans and there you go - done. The Herbert is unbelievably powerful. It's got tone shaping. It's a newer model to the Diezel amp lineage, but that doesn't mean it's meant for newer metal :lol: :LOL: It's just a newer model of amp, just like the D-Moll came out and the Hagen and the Big Max - they're all just models of amps.

And all of them are very special in their own special ways :D



I understand there is a level of subjectivity but I amicably completely disagree. :thumbsup:

I never called vh4 a rock amp, I made the distinction between classic and modern metal tones which are QUITE different. Rock is not my forté by any means.

After a decade as a touring tech out with ALL of the modern metal bands ( even five mayhem tours) I can confidently say the Vh4 is not well suited for these sounds. I have only seen VH4 onstage three times in my decade of worldwide travel with Hetfield, Corgan, and Cuomo.

Literally ALL of those bands you listed have vintage 80's metal sounds with the exception of killswitch , however Joels Diezel was on the record that they went for their most subdued rock ballad sound and he wasnt super excited about it either. He told me so. (I really like the guitars on that record though.)

Do you even listen to any truly modern metal? cannibal corpse, decapitated, black dahlia, whitechapel, darkest hour etc.. could make do with a vh4 but would NEVER choose one over herbert. Vh4 is more polite and less evil, period. Not as much compression, gain, headroom or girth comparatively to herbert for true modern metal sounds.

The VH4 can do modern metal but does not excel at it the way herbert does. Herbert can do more vintage sounds but does not excel at it the way VH4 does.

The Mid cut feature alone makes it sound far more metal.

Ive had five Diezel models, VH4 is the LAST Diezel amp I would buy for modern metal tones, even Einstein has something throatier going on. Hagen IS the VH4 for modern metal as far I my ears and my understanding of the Diezel lineage.

As for my quick comments above I still stand by the simplicity of choosing vh4 for classic metal and herbert for modern if comparing those two. They SUIT those style perfectly, I prefer to play on an amps strengths.

Enjoy! :cheers:

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 8:56am

I have the Herbert and love it to death.
When listening to the clips Peter made, i would def. choose the VH4. It sounds so much better, the growl on ch3 is amazing.

Years back i got to try the VH4, i didnt like it, really didnt like it at all. I bought the Herbert blind and loved it. I loved the Herbert so much i sold all my other amps.

If posible i would love to have a VH4 to company the Herbert, hearing Peters clip makes me want one now.

So if posible, please try both.


I live in Holland. Till a vew years ago i could not find any shop offering Diezel. There was this Engl hype going on and i got the Engl SE. But before getting the SE i tested out a lot of amps.
The vh4 being one of them. It was very dry and compressed. (it could be bad tubes, now i know much more).

I didnt like the SE....period.

I gassed for the Herbert. Andy wood sold me on it and ofcourse wicked clips on the Diezel website.

As soon as i got the Herbert i was happy. Finally a amp i was happy with. Insted of playing with the eq or pushing buttons i could actually spend time playing guitar.


Ch. 1:
I love playing clean so this was simply amazing. A tube amp (high gain) having such a shimmering and sparkling clean channel made me smile since then. Jazz comping, funk, tapping style guitar, this channel delivers what i need.

Ch2:
Fast attack, responsive and heavy. My riffs sounded earth shaking.
My leads where singing and notes lasted so long.

Ch3:
I had note defenition no matter where i had the gain. This channel has to much gain, so i have the gain set at 25/35%, this gives me a beautifull lead tone. Perfect if i want a faster and more clearer lead sound compared to the looser channel 2.

Ch2/CH3 with mid-cut:
using a low intensity gives me a looser feel. This is how i love my gain channel to be and use this always.
Intensity is set to 25/30%
Level is set to 50%
I love the depth and looseness (cant discribe it better) this setting gives. This amp is really tight and this balances it for me.


Why i never switched to a other amp since then:
The response is what i love, its so direct. as soon as you hit something you will hear it!
this makes the amp unforgiving but it made me a better and cleaner guitar player.
This is what they meant with its percussive. With the Engl i would rarely hear a mistake, with the hebert... you will know!
CH2 i use the most when i need gain. Hard rock and metal riffs, i dont bother anymore, i wouldnt want it any other way. The fatness, the grind, the fluidnes is perfect.
I switch to channel 3 if i play something and whant more note defenition. When playing lets say legato lines, ch 3 makes this so simple. Alle notes ring out very clear and defined.

the last few weeks ive been switching between ch2 and ch3. Doing fusion style licks with a bit less gain. Some days i prefer the one over the other, but for riffs i will always use ch2.

In the end both vh4 or herbert will do fine. My ch2 gain is always around 12 o clock. The vh4 would fill me needs to. With just 1 clean channel and 1 gain channel i would be as happy. Would i love ch3 of the vh4 today? i dont know but i love what i hear when hearing clips now.

Also maybe worth to mention, i play 7 and 8 string guitar. The Herbert handles the low frequenties perfectly.

Sorry for al the rambling and hope it is of some use.

Good luck and have fun getting your new amp,
Robert

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 9:07am

A video that is fairly neutral sounding:


And of course Andy wood Diezel promo:

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 9:08am

shadow070 wrote:I have the Herbert and love it to death.
When listening to the clips Peter made, i would def. choose the VH4. It sounds so much better, the growl on ch3 is amazing.

Years back i got to try the VH4, i didnt like it, really didnt like it at all. I bought the Herbert blind and loved it. I loved the Herbert so much i sold all my other amps.

If posible i would love to have a VH4 to company the Herbert, hearing Peters clip makes me want one now.

So if posible, please try both.


I live in Holland. Till a vew years ago i could not find any shop offering Diezel. There was this Engl hype going on and i got the Engl SE. But before getting the SE i tested out a lot of amps.
The vh4 being one of them. It was very dry and compressed. (it could be bad tubes, now i know much more).

I didnt like the SE....period.

I gassed for the Herbert. Andy wood sold me on it and ofcourse wicked clips on the Diezel website.

As soon as i got the Herbert i was happy. Finally a amp i was happy with. Insted of playing with the eq or pushing buttons i could actually spend time playing guitar.


Ch. 1:
I love playing clean so this was simply amazing. A tube amp (high gain) having such a shimmering and sparkling clean channel made me smile since then. Jazz comping, funk, tapping style guitar, this channel delivers what i need.

Ch2:
Fast attack, responsive and heavy. My riffs sounded earth shaking.
My leads where singing and notes lasted so long.

Ch3:
I had note defenition no matter where i had the gain. This channel has to much gain, so i have the gain set at 25/35%, this gives me a beautifull lead tone. Perfect if i want a faster and more clearer lead sound compared to the looser channel 2.

Ch2/CH3 with mid-cut:
using a low intensity gives me a looser feel. This is how i love my gain channel to be and use this always.
Intensity is set to 25/30%
Level is set to 50%
I love the depth and looseness (cant discribe it better) this setting gives. This amp is really tight and this balances it for me.


Why i never switched to a other amp since then:
The response is what i love, its so direct. as soon as you hit something you will hear it!
this makes the amp unforgiving but it made me a better and cleaner guitar player.
This is what they meant with its percussive. With the Engl i would rarely hear a mistake, with the hebert... you will know!
CH2 i use the most when i need gain. Hard rock and metal riffs, i dont bother anymore, i wouldnt want it any other way. The fatness, the grind, the fluidnes is perfect.
I switch to channel 3 if i play something and whant more note defenition. When playing lets say legato lines, ch 3 makes this so simple. Alle notes ring out very clear and defined.

the last few weeks ive been switching between ch2 and ch3. Doing fusion style licks with a bit less gain. Some days i prefer the one over the other, but for riffs i will always use ch2.

In the end both vh4 or herbert will do fine. My ch2 gain is always around 12 o clock. The vh4 would fill me needs to. With just 1 clean channel and 1 gain channel i would be as happy. Would i love ch3 of the vh4 today? i dont know but i love what i hear when hearing clips now.

Also maybe worth to mention, i play 7 and 8 string guitar. The Herbert handles the low frequenties perfectly.

Sorry for al the rambling and hope it is of some use.

Good luck and have fun getting your new amp,
Robert


Thanks Robert !

Re: Herbert or VH4, how to choose?

Wed, Oct 18, 2017 7:05am

No Peter, thank you :lol: :LOL: :rock:
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