WIzard MCII vs Friedman JJ100 - which to buy next?

Veritas0Aequitas

Active member
Hi all,

I already own a Diezel VH4. Love it, will never sell it. It might be my favorite amp of all time. I fell in love with the JJ100 a while back and have been looking to pick one up. I am close to jumping on one but just discovered the Wizard MCII and now I feel like my decision has become much more difficult.

I like the big, saturated, harmonically rich, thick, feeling of the JJ100, but that tight, percussive, huge sound of the Wizard made me turn my head fast. I probably "need" both, but right now that's not an option. I keep going back and forth. I do probably something like 30-35% with the clean channel with effects and 70-65% with high gain (and some light gain). I don't really shred, I play singing lead lines to compliment my rhythm guitar player and want chords to sound big when I play with him.

Can someone help give me insight who has played or owned both? Give me insight on tone, etc? Will I be repeating myself if I own a VH4 and buy a MCII or will it be different enough? Will the JJ-100 be too thin? (I've heard clips and it seems like it can be thin or fizzy at times).

I play ethereal/ambient metal/rock style similar to Tool, A Perfect Circle, Tesseract, Breaking Benjamin, RED, Circa Survive, etc. I use Gibson Les Pauls loaded with BKP Riff Raffs (Alnico 5) with an Axe-Fx III for effects. Looking for another amp to compliment my sound to double track, play live, chug, play big chords, and enjoy the hell out of.

Thanks for any insight and help you can give me!
 

aside

Active member
Both great amps as I'm sure you well know. I've owned neither but played both on a few occasions, and the JJ was my favourite by a little, but I'm a big Cantrell fan which probably swayed me.

The JJ is not thin. You can't ever rely on clips for anything other than casual observations - not actual tone.

Neither really sound like a VH4 so I wouldn't be too concerned there, I think either would compliment it really well. Mind you for the bands you listed I think the VH4 is perfect, but you already know that! An Uberschall might be worth considering if you haven't already.

Good luck on your tone search :rock:
 

fusedbrain

Well-known member
I'd probably go with the MCII.

The VH4 and the JJ are 2 flavours of big, saturated, harmonically rich, and thick. The MCII is not in that camp.

The VH4 and the MCII rhythm channel with boost on would be unbelievable in stereo, with the MCII taking the place of a SuperBass in your Tool rig :yes:

Also, the MCII could be made to sound closer to a JJ using a boost/OD to saturate the tone. The JJ will never be able to do what an MCII does.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
Do you like compression? Or the least amount possible? Because there is next to NO compression with any Wizard amp. Making it the biggest, most open sounding amp out there. You can boost the MCII with a pedal to add some compression back to it...which is nice and makes it a bit more forgiving to play. They have the best clarity in the business imo.
The Friedman will be way more compressed and smooth, and much easier to play because of that added compression vs the Wizard. Really different enough to warrant owning both but in your case you need to figure out whether or not compression matters with your amps. Because if you need some, don’t buy the Wizard.
 

CNutz

Well-known member
Both sound great. I would say the wizards are a step above. But only if you crank them. You'll be bummed by the low volume tone on the wiz.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
CNutz":3h040kn9 said:
Both sound great. I would say the wizards are a step above. But only if you crank them. You'll be bummed by the low volume tone on the wiz.
I disagree, from my experience with the MTL50 and MCI I owned. Like any amp they sound better cranked but there’s no difference from the BE100 I owned. All tube amps act the same way in this regard. I’ll say this, the MCI 100 I had, there was a spot on the master at a very low level, like bedroom quiet that sounded like the power tubes were being pushed. Crazy but true.
 

Wizard of Ozz

Well-known member
I vote Wizard. I like the MTL more than the MCII personally. I owned both.

I appreciate Reza's efforts... but his clips do not do any of the amps he demos justice. His clips always sound too mid-boosted and honky. Suffice to say... Wizards sound even better in person.

I can only speak for the 2016+ versions... but the MCII/MTL sound great at lower volumes... not whisper/tv volume... but are weapons of mass destruction once cranked.
 

John4021

Well-known member
Owned both
And 3 of the Wizards were there heavy hitters.(MC MCII &MTL)

I thought the JJ was broke when I got it. I was send another brand new one.
Lacked big bottom end and the volume drop was bothering me when you went into
the high gain mode you loose volume.

People sent them the Dave for adding a volume pot for that mode.
$3700 is a lot of money to send it back for mods.
You have to really love that amp to keep it in my humble opinion
and theres a ton who love that amp.

In other peoples hands that JJ sounds freekin great.

MCII gives a lot of tone options but the MC was flat out my fav of the 3 I've had.
MC is a real chest thumper.

Just my .02 cents

Good luck with your tone search .
 

Veritas0Aequitas

Active member
John4021":1zdmp5ki said:
Owned both
And 3 of the Wizards were there heavy hitters.(MC MCII &MTL)

I thought the JJ was broke when I got it. I was send another brand new one.
Lacked big bottom end and the volume drop was bothering me when you went into
the high gain mode you loose volume.

People sent them the Dave for adding a volume pot for that mode.
$3700 is a lot of money to send it back for mods.
You have to really love that amp to keep it in my humble opinion
and theres a ton who love that amp.

In other peoples hands that JJ sounds freekin great.

MCII gives a lot of tone options but the MC was flat out my fav of the 3 I've had.
MC is a real chest thumper.

Just my .02 cents

Good luck with your tone search .

Did you like the MTL? I think that's the one I'm going to go for.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
CNutz":x0am1qvw said:
Both sound great. I would say the wizards are a step above. But only if you crank them. You'll be bummed by the low volume tone on the wiz.


Not sure what year/model your experience was with, but I couldn't disagree more here. The 2017 MCII and 2016 MTL I had produced THE best low volume tones of any amps I've owned. The Loop send/return controls allowed this. Of course it sounded absolutely phenomenal cranked, but the low volume tones and feel were simply amazing.
 

RedPlated

Well-known member
I've had both.

Wizards are something else - IF you can turn them up. They need volume to excel at what they do best.

For bedroom-ish volumes I'd take the JJ100.
 

John4021

Well-known member
Veritas0Aequitas":202vpv02 said:
John4021":202vpv02 said:
Owned both
And 3 of the Wizards were there heavy hitters.(MC MCII &MTL)




Did you like the MTL? I think that's the one I'm going to go for.

Hell,
Whats not to like. In person and at volume (no sissy whisper)
the MTL 100 is a do it all amp.

REMEMBER,they don't come with a footswitch.
I used a RJM switching system.

As someone said a few post ago, The You Tube videos will not give you any clue to the thump these give in person.
Good luck and let us know how you do..

I think Ubershall EL34 has a MTL. His surroundings have him playing at lower levels.
(he also owns my MCI)
 

mhenson42

Well-known member
Veritas0Aequitas":12x7y2w9 said:
Just discovered the Wizard MTL MK2... Ugh. So freakin expensive but it seems worth it. Dammit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHoI2UaLxVc&t

Rick just shipped out my 100w MTL MK2 today. It’ll be 3rd MTL, also have the mk1 and a KT88 version. I have an MC2 as well they’re all awesome. They can do alright at lower volume but sound unbelievable when you turn them up. Same can be said for most all tube amps though.

I had a BE100 that didn’t last very long after I got the MC2. I preferred the regular BE to the JJ.
 

1meanplexi

Well-known member
I played a 16 MTL owned a 16 MC and now have a 12 MTL. Only updates missing are the bright pot for channel 1 and the contour knob. I spoke to Rick and he said there are several updates, a lot come by customer request exp...black cat mod. Anyway, I found the tapper on the master volume to be quite sensitive. Solved....using the effects loop for a Master volume and while still using my effects through the loop makes an incredible combination. Nothing ground breaking for news...I did crank it up to 3 and my windows were in danger of being blown out, but you cannot replace that feeling of the guitar in your hand and feeling it straight through to the amp.

With that said...it will take a little time to dial in a Wizard, not a lot of time but ALL the Wizards I have played have an exaggerated eq/tone stack. There is debate as far as years, this, that or whatever....All I can say is that Rick never released a bad amp.

Good luck in your search. What ever you decide on in the Wizard family, you will not be disappointed.
 

Veritas0Aequitas

Active member
I am decided on a Wizard now. Thanks for breaking me financially, everyone! Lol

What's everyone's opinion on the MCII vs the MTL? Like what amps do you like and what music do you play?

I still keep going back and forth between the MCII and the MTL with the music I play. I can't tell which one would be better.
 

MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
Veritas0Aequitas":2llc542h said:
I am decided on a Wizard now. Thanks for breaking me financially, everyone! Lol

What's everyone's opinion on the MCII vs the MTL? Like what amps do you like and what music do you play?

I still keep going back and forth between the MCII and the MTL with the music I play. I can't tell which one would be better.


When I had both side by side I felt the MCII has more upper mid grind and comes off a bit brighter because of it. The MTL is voiced more in the low to mid mids with more of a low mid grunt/growl. I heard it as darker growl (MTL) vs. Upper mid snarl (MCII). I prefer the MCII.

If the MTL could have coped the same upper mid frequencies, I would have preferred it to the MCII because of the depth and saturation features. But I tried several pickups, an mxr 10 band in the loop, an Empress paraeq in the loop, numerous boosts, and several speaker combos and no combination of any of the former got the mids in the right spot for my taste. there was always this hollow spot in the mids on the MTL that left me wanting.

Both are stupid loud and punchy with ridiculously wonderful articulation and note definition. Both are super aggressive, move insane amounts of air, and pummel you with brain damaging sound waves.
 

fusedbrain

Well-known member
MetalHeadMike":7v5galzc said:
Veritas0Aequitas":7v5galzc said:
I am decided on a Wizard now. Thanks for breaking me financially, everyone! Lol

What's everyone's opinion on the MCII vs the MTL? Like what amps do you like and what music do you play?

I still keep going back and forth between the MCII and the MTL with the music I play. I can't tell which one would be better.


When I had both side by side I felt the MCII has more upper mid grind and comes off a bit brighter because of it. The MTL is voiced more in the low to mid mids with more of a low mid grunt/growl. I heard it as darker growl (MTL) vs. Upper mid snarl (MCII). I prefer the MCII.

If the MTL could have coped the same upper mid frequencies, I would have preferred it to the MCII because of the depth and saturation features. But I tried several pickups, a mxr 10 band in the loop, an Empress paraeq in the loop, numerous boosts, and several speaker combos and no combination of any of the former got the mids in the right spot for my taste. there was always this hollow spot in the mids on the MTL that left me wanting.

Both are stupid loud and punchy with ridiculously wonderful articulation and note definition. Both are super aggressive, move insane amounts of air, and will pummel you with brain damaging sound waves.
This^
I've owned both at the same time. Still have the MCII.
MCII is in the Marshal camp with the eq curve.
Mtl is it's own thing.
Rhythm channel on the MCII is great. Hated the rhythm channel on the Mtl due to where the mids sit.
Ymmv
 

peterc52

Well-known member
I preferred the MCII as well. If you a like the mids in an old Marshall. That’s the one you want. But the MTL is a monster as well!
 

Veritas0Aequitas

Active member
Seems like the MTL might be more for me. I like the Diezel VH4 sound and it seems like the MTL might be more my speed. The way the MCII was tuned didn't seem to be as plesant to my ears as the MTL from clips I've heard but it's hard to tell from YT clips.
 
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