NGD: McDonald's Content

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by StevenC, May 31, 2019.

  1. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    [​IMG]

    You guessed it, a Diezel Big MaX!

    Been after one of these for a while and a good deal popped up on eBay over the weekend that couldn't be missed, so here we are. Single channel, dual input amp. Loads of versatility, spare on features.

    Low input will get you from super clean to just breaking up, High input will get you from there to high gain. This amp is super dependant on pickups. I was playing for a few hours with my SG with whatever standard pickups are in it and it topped out at sort of Kill Em All/Killing Is My Business type tones. Put my Leqtique 9/9 in front and it turned the Low input into a mean machine. Tried the same on the High input and it became a firebreather. Never really had an amp I've needed to put pedals in front of to get enough gain, but that's fine.

    That was not fine!!

    Later on I plugged in my JPX and wow! Brought it right up to the gain you expect from Diezel. This thing does it all, more than any amp I've played you can roll off the volume and get a great clean sound. From any gain setting. I'm fully convinced you could leave the gain maxed and just ride the volume control to get any tone you need. It blows my mind.

    As for what it sounds like, to me it sounds like Diezel's take on a Marshall. It has that Marshall snarly midrange thing, which I sometimes find a bit overpowering. I have a Marshall, and some people say it's a pretty good Marshall. I was playing that Marshall for a few hours last night, and then the Big Max for a few hours today. The Diezel has less gain overall, because frankly the Marshall has all the gain ever, and it doesn't have all the switching and control of the JVM.

    However, for me the Diezel is better. This most important part is that it has the feel of a Diezel. As anyone who's played one knows, Diezels react super fast to your playing and it's addictive. Other amps just don't do that in my experience. Going between the VH4 and JP-2C messes me up because of how long it takes the Mesa to make a sound. The other thing I've noticed Diezels have is a legitimacy in low gain tones that I can't get anywhere else. I don't know if that's a compression thing, but they sound like album ready tones whereas other amps sound like they post work.

    Finally, the lower strings. I've no doubt you can tune as low as you want and this will keep up. Diezels seem to just work with low tuning, the Marshall gets really muddy even at B and I sometimes find the Mesa hard to get to where I really want it for 8 strings.

    And that's what the Big Max does. It's a Diezel. Like a 2204 by AMG.

    And since you scrolled this far, here's a picture of the whole family as of today.

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    I never even heard of this amp.
    But as I was reading and got to this quote, Marshall 2203 popped into my mind.

    My old 2204 was amazingly responsive.
    LOVED riding the guitars volume control.
    Reacted more like an old Non-Master Volume amp.

    Nice pic!
     
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  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    That is one hell of a family.

    I love the minimalist look. That big front panel with just a few knobs. Beautiful.
     
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  4. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Congrats!

    I would love to play a Big MaX. The reviews make it sound like something I’d really like.
     
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  5. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    Very cool looking amp...never seen one before. I need to try one. I wish it was 100 watts though.
     
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  6. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    Awesome and congrats! Any chance you've played a Herbert and can compare to either the BigMax or the VH4? I've always wanted to try a JVM, but your post makes me want another Diezel!
     
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  7. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I've played them all except the Hagen and Schmidt now.

    Herbert is my favourite, honestly. Channel 1 on the Herbert is far better than the VH4 because of all the headroom, and slightly better than the Big Max. VH4 channel 1 is just so compressed and lifeless in my experience, that's why they changed it on basically every other amp. Channel 2 - on the Herbert covers all of the Big Max Low input, plus some of the High, and covers really most of the first 3 channels on the VH4. VH4 channel 2 is a clean to light breakup channel that sounds great. I love it with the gain all the way up for Zeppelin type tones.

    Channel 2 + is the main heavy rhythm channel and covers all of the High input and more on Big Max and gain wise channel 3 on VH4. Channel 3 on the VH4 is what it's all about with Diezels, it's their sound but it's not my favourite Diezel channel. There've been rumours and discussions over the years of a 1 channel Diezel that is just that channel, and it'd work really well. Channel 3 on Herbert is more gain than the Big Max has by a good stretch, a lot like channel 4 on VH4. Really good for modern super high gain tones.

    Herbert to VH4 is altogether not as tight or compressed and has loads of headroom for tuning way down, or playing super clean. I think it's a bit more saturated and lively than VH4. You have to play fairly precisely on VH4 more than any amp I've played, because it'll show everything you're playing, other Diezels are a bit more forgiving. Big Max as I say is more of a Marshall sounding Diezel, whereas for the most part a VH4 and Herbert can be made to sound very close. I prefer the tradeoffs of the Herbert more than the VH4 (extra headroom and better clean channel, but 3.5 channel instead of 4) by just a bit, but happily live with a VH4 over a Herbert.

    I'll always recommend having a Diezel over not having one.

    EDIT: Also the Herbert's mid cut is very powerful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  8. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    Great write up man! I've owned a Herbert MkI in the past, and just got a MkIII. It totally slays, easily one of the nicest amps I've played. I've currently settled on channel 2 + boosted with an SD 805 for all my favorite metal tones. I agree channel 1 is really nice and tons of headroom. So far I just can't seem to bond with channel 3 though. It has a bit more gain, and is more upper mid focused, but there's something harsh about the gain that I can't quite dial out.

    I know Diezel cabs come loaded with v30's, but just curious what you have found works best? I definitely need to do some speaker swapping to figure out channel 3, but overall I'm totally satisfied with my JP-2C and Herbert MkIII to cover all tones :agreed:
     
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  9. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Happy NGD! The family is getting big.
     
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  10. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    I know Peter Diezel is a big fan of K100 speakers, that's what comes in the front loaded cabs. I have got a K100 cab on the way, but right now I really love amps through the compact 4x12 cab pictured. It's by Matamp and it just sounds so good. Really tightens up the JP-2C I find, but the JVM hates that cab and is way better through the 1960A with T75s. VH4 works with either, and I've only tried the Big Max through the Matamp. Not sure what I played the Herbert through to be honest, but probably Diezel and Tech21 cabs mostly.
     
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  11. MAJ Meadows SF

    MAJ Meadows SF on a tone quest

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    HNAD!!! Congrats on the score. Sounds like a perfect pedal amp, and I've been considering getting something for the collection of preamp and boost pedals I have. Great description of this beauty. I love the simplicity.
     
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  12. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    Is it weird that even with all the sweet ampage here, I'm most fixated on how cool that cab with the naked speakers is?
     
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  13. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I keep reading that this is like a 2204 but a Diezel, which really really makes me want one.
     
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  14. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Curious: have you taken a look inside the chassis? Wondering if the pots and power tube sockets are chassis mounted or on the board. I think all the Diezel's put the preamp tubes on the board and recently they've starting mounting the pots and jacks on the board too. I'm always just curious what folks are doing these days.
     
  15. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Naturally being a Diezel I'm sure it's a qualitative amp, but can you comment on how much charisma it has?
     
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  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire thy fart is murder

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    VH4s are +5 charisma according to the Diezels and Dragons rulebook
     
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  17. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    I haven't looked inside this one, but I belive you're right about the preamp tubes being PCB mounted. I think the pots and jacks are still chassis mounted, though.
     
  18. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd has left the building Contributor

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    Did anyone else expect an old Schecter Loomis? Guess that's my fault for not checking the subforum.
     
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