Noise Boyz Review
Shredlords rejoice, the Diezel VH-4 is an absolutely kickass high-gain beast.
I bought the VH-4 because I heard so many good things about the actual Diezel VH-4 amp, but like most musicians I unfortunately don’t have $4K to drop on an amp right now. The Diezel seems to be a high-end and high-gain choice for many guitar enthusiasts so I wanted to see how the pedal version holds up (despite that it’s still not all that cheap for a pedal, coming in at around $250 new). Well, the high-gain reputation is definitely no lie. This pedal is an absolute shredfest, to the point of sometimes being an issue in terms of getting too much feedback. Let’s take a listen… For this first sample I set the gain to about 3.5 with everything else around 5 except for the deep setting turned down to around 2/3. You can hear that even at its low gain setting the VH-4 really adds some substantial crunch to even just 2 note chord type riffs, landing somewhere beyond a normal overdrive but not quite in heavy distortion land.
Moving the gain up to around 7.5, the palm muted single string riff I play below almost has a fuzz pedal feel to it but to me keeps a bit more brightness and punch than you’d get out of a fuzz (my favorite fuzz pedals, though a rotating list, are the Swollen Pickle and the Big Muff Pi Op Amp which you should definitely check out). What I like about this sound is it doesn’t lose much of its punch as fuzz pedals often do on lower frequency riffs. It still gives you that low end crunch, which you can dial up even further using the deep control.
On the subject of the deep control, in most cases I found this setting to just get a little too boomy in the low frequencies where they were masking a lot of the higher frequency sounds, which was a bit disappointing. It felt more like I was turning up low end frequencies than adding any other sort of sonic characteristic to the sound. Turning the deep control up will definitely make snare drums rattle and I was hoping it would bring out more saturation but in the end I didn’t find it to be all that valuable in getting a solid high-gain tone. Below is another clip of the pedal with gain around 7.5 which I found gives a great lead tone that, paired with a delay, will definitely give you the gain needed to standout/cut through your bandmates without being too overbearing. To me this is real the sweet spot of the pedal and the sustain you get at this spot is still phenomenal.
And of course, what would a Noise Boyz distortion pedal review be without turning things all the way up for some completely unnecessary and tasteless shredding? The below sample was recorded with gain at 10. I had a lot of issues with feedback at this setting which is to be expected with gain this high, but once you start playing, as you can hear, the thing really rips (I should note too that this sample was recorded using 12v but for even more gain you can use an 18v power supply instead). The sustain with gain at 10 was truly impressive, as was the tone of the distortion. Those looking for something to showcase their shredding will definitely find a lot to like at the highest gain settings.
To sum things up, the VH-4 is a true shredmaster and though a little pricey, in this instance you do get what you pay for. In my opinion the pedal sounds best and is most usable with the gain right around 7.5 but at low gain settings gives lots of crunch, and at its highest gain gives a beautifully sustained distortion sound.
1 x 1/4"
1/ 1/4" (power amp), 1 x 1/4" (guitar amp)
12V - 18V
How It Works
Choose a Plan
Pick how many pedals you want to try a month, from one to three.
Play Them All
Try every signal-chain you can imagine until you find the tone that’s right for you.
Keep, Swap, or Buy
Keep the pedals you rent for as long as you want. Love them? Buy them. Hate them? Swap them.