Diezel Amplification burst on the scene in 1994 with the mighty VH4 and VH4S amplifier heads, which caused a stir when Adam Jones of Tool embraced them as part of his triple-amp stage and recording rig. Since then, Diezel amps have found favor with players including Neil Schon, Metallica, Buckethead, and Weezer, to name a few.
Diezel amps are known for their power and definition, along with their quick attack, extreme versatility and their ability to stand out in the mix. But the company’s most recent creation, the three-channel, 30-watt Schmidt, represents a deviation from its high-gain, fire-breathing brethren with a Class-A power section and more vintage-styled tone options.
If you’re in the market for amplifier that’s light in weight, it might be wise to pick up a Schmidt head before deciding to purchase one. The amp head itself weighs a little over 46 pounds, making it a bit hefty for loading in and out of gigs and studios. It’s only 13 pounds lighter than Diezel’s high-gain monster Herbert, and weighty enough to remind me of lugging around an old Ampeg SVT from the late ‘60s that I used to use from time to time. Regardless of weight, the amp head was quite handsome. Visually it has a lot in common with older Mesa/Boogie Mark series heads, with a tall, deep cabinet that’s still narrower than most full-size amplifier heads.
Simple is as Simple Does
The Schmidt is simple by Diezel standards. Three channels are controlled by two sets of equalization and tone-shaping controls, along with a lone set of gain and volume knobs that alter the third (or More Crunch) channel’s sound.
The circuit itself is built around two totally independent preamps. The first channel is a straightforward clean channel, with controls for reverb, bass, midrange, treble, and volume. The second is for low to moderate high gain and features identical controls save for an additional knob for preamp gain. Finally, the third channel is built for ripping high gain tones. It shares the equalization section and reverb of the second channel, but has its own gain and master volume knobs to give the player the option to cut or boost the volume when the channel was engaged.