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 Post subject: Which Diezel for me?
PostPosted: Fri, Jun 22, 2018 10:48pm 
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I first learned of Diezel amps in 2006 by complete chance when I went to my first guitar show here in Toronto. I was 16 years old and in awe of everything. That guitar show was the golden standard that no other show since has lived up to for me. Could be the nostalgia, but also genuinely nothing special has been at the shows since.

Anyways, I was walking around booth to booth when I suddenly saw these menacing looking amps that I immediately found highly intriguing. The aesthetic, specifically of the VH4, was so cool (and forever engrained in my memory)- unlike anything else- and that's mostly what I cared about at that age, but once I heard them, I wore a grin for a week. It was a Herbert and VH4 at the show. Of course the idea of having 180 watts at your disposal was awesome to 16 year old me, but I think I've outgrown that notion as there's no place I could ever possibly unleash such fury. So much for killing rodents with sound.

Unfortunately that fleeting encounter was all I've had with the brand ever since then. I made it my mission to get one, yet here I am, 12 years later, still without one. I've owned a bunch of very high-end gear since then and easily could of had a few Diezel's by now, but I've always suffered from this thing where I get distracted by other random gear which ties up my money and sets me back. This has always been the case for all these years now.

But soon I will finally be ready to commit and so here I am today seeking your guidance.

In my mind, the VH4 is THE amp for me, though it's hard for me to objectively justify that as I understand the nostalgia may be swaying me somewhat. So I'm hoping you guys can either talk me into or out of one based on my needs...

My main amps have always been EL84-based, either a Bruno Underground 30 or Matchless DC-30- so clearly a very different sound; you could probably successfully argue they're the polar opposite on the tonal spectrum to a VH4.

What do I like about those amps? The cleans. The cleans are just incredible, probably my favourite cleans of any amps ever, including some vintage Fender ones I own.

I've always been the type to get his dirt from pedals, which I definitively know is a second-class method. I've played hundreds of higher gain amps (or even just good Marshall's) with gainy sounds that are just on another level. More than the actual gain though, the attack was what I loved so much. I love a really fast/immediate attack.

I play a vast array of music, from mellow ambient stuff (hence the need for great cleans) to alternative to some heavier blues rock and maybe some 'light metal'. I god damn know the VH4 has gobs of gain beyond anything I'll ever need, but I also view it as potentially being the best "blow steam" amp, which would be lots of fun. I'm not a full-time touring pro, so an amp that's fun is much more valuable to me than one that I'll actually really need, because at this point I think I've got those bases covered.

At the same time, I'm intrigued by the various Diezel choices which have popped up over the years since that first encounter of mine. I'm sort of overwhelmed by the choices, because at the time I first became aware of them it was either VH4/VH4S, Herbert or Schmidt. Now it seems there's at least three or four times as many and some of the distinctions aren't very apparent to me. Can you guys perhaps briefly summarize the general character/target of each Diezel amp made since the 2000's? Also, which were considered the hits and which were less successful? There was a Paul available locally for a decent price, but I wasn't able to find any glowing reviews so I passed on it. In retrospect, I definitely should have played it as it very well could have been the one, but alas...

Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Diezel for me?
PostPosted: Fri, Jun 22, 2018 10:55pm 
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P.S. I was also wondering if there's a specific era or version that's generally considered the best for the individual amps? For example, the "Sampson-era" Matchless products are more desirable than later ones. I'm not sure if it's due to any sonic benefits or if it's just some benign collector jargon. Regardless, it's "a thing". I just read in another thread the '96 blueface VH4 was really good- how did it differ to later versions? and what are the differences between the various versions? Many questions, I apologize.


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 Post subject: Re: Which Diezel for me?
PostPosted: Sat, Jun 23, 2018 8:31pm 
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Because you say “ I love really fast immediate attack”

I say the VH4 is probably still the one.
There is some magic in how Peter balanced the combination of saturation, attack and sustain.

There are slight differences in voicing in the same amps depending on when they were made.
A bit darker / brighter .. .. slightly more compressed or less.. ..more or less gain ...
But honestly you may personally prefer the new one over the older one or vice versa.
They’re all killer.
They all sound like Diezel.

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 Post subject: Re: Which Diezel for me?
PostPosted: Sat, Jun 23, 2018 8:41pm 
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FWIW I saw a bluesy low mid gain player tear it up on a VH4 in small club- it sounded AMAZING

That being said, the Herbert mkIII is the one to get because it's impending, lol! It looks lethal. Those extra tubes/watts don't really equate to a substantial db increase, to me, it's more about the tonal quality & headroom it gets through that massive setup...albeit the opposite of el84s :lol: :LOL:

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