Each channel can be selected via a five-button footswitch, which also switches the effects loop and reverb effect. There are separate jacks for each channel, the reverb, and effects loop on the back panel of the amp if you prefer a simpler footswitch use channel switching on the fly less.
The Schmidt’s circuit is built around a quintet of 12AX7 preamp tubes and powered a Class A 30-watt output section, which is driven by a duet of EL34 power tubes. One of the coolest things about the Schmidt is that the power tube bias is cathode-based, meaning that a rebias is unnecessary when changing power tubes. What’s more, the Schmidt is capable of utilizing several different types of power amp tubes without the need for rewiring the circuit. If a player wants to trade out the presence-heavy midrange qualities of EL34 tubes for the glassy, cutting nature of 6L6s, it’s a matter of popping one set out and replacing them with another. The Schmidt will accept 5881, 6L6, 6V6, KT66, KT88, EL34, and 6550 power tube types.
The Best of Both Worlds
To tone-test the Schmidt, I connected the amp with a matching Diezel rear-loaded 2x12 cabinet, loaded with Hempcone 12-inch speakers. The cabinet itself features a pretty cool rear baffle design that enables quick conversion to a semi-open back design.
Grabbing a 2008 Fender American Stratocaster with Lollar Special S Series pickups, I plugged into the Schmidt and setup a basic clean tone with all equalization controls at noon and just a hint of reverb. The result was a tone that had the big, bold sound and feel of a healthy Vox AC30 mixed with Diezel’s trademark high-fidelity voicing. One of my favorite clean tones has been that of the first channel of my old Diezel VH4S head, and this little fiend topped it in terms of clarity, punch, and bite.
The VH4S—and most Diezel amps, for that matter—had a very solid, firm low-end voicing that really didn’t have much “give” to it. The Schmidt had the same low-end massiveness as the rest of the Diezel family, but with a softer, more vintage vibe that seemed more like an integral part of amp’s tonal spectrum rather than a foundation. The EQ was exceptionally responsive. And increasing the treble control added the right amount of cut on the top end without hitting any ice pick frequencies. In terms of headroom, the Schmidt’s clean channel was second to none. This amp was very, very loud. And any player looking for maximum headroom with a warm, soft top end really will be at home with the Schmidt.
The Schmidt’s overdrive tones are also inspiring. I tried the second channel using a 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom with Tom Anderson pickups. The Andersons have a very wide frequency range, which made them perfect for pushing the Schmidt’s second channel frequencies over the edge. Low and mid gain tones were classic Diezel, coupled with the softer low-end voicing you hear in the clean channel. With the EL34s in the power amp, the overdrive sounds had a very British quality about them, with punchy midrange, a round top end, plus the super-quick attack that is a hallmark of Diezel amps.
The Diezel Schmidt is a perfect blend of vintage, class-A British tone and modern hi-fi feel. The amount of clean headroom and punch is incredible, with overdrive tones that certainly live up to the reputation that Diezel has solidified with its past amplifier creations. And if you’re looking for the means the walk the line between those two worlds, the Schmidt should unquestionably be on your radar.
you’re looking to separate your tone from the pack with one of the most
unique sounding combinations of vintage and modern sounds.
you prefer a lightweight amplifier, or one with more of a scooped high-gain voicing.