Man, finally. I was gonna do a NCD on this thing months ago, but I had a guitar center fiasco. I'll put that story below the pics if you wanna read it.
Front-loaded G12-K100 speakers
This thing slays. Sounds super focused and punchy. More balanced than V30s. Definitely has that 3 dimensional character that people talk about. Feels like a tunnel sized laser beam of tone mowing down your enemies as opposed to the sound spreading out in all directions. Paired with the Uberschall it sounds like a fucking freight train. 6505+ sounds killer through it too, but if you're used to an oversized mesa cab you might be missing some of the low end. Not to say the low end is absent, it's just not boomy like the Mesa cabs can be (which I actually find appealing in a lot of situations). With the Bogner there's no disparity in the low end as the balls hang low with that one. In any case, either head through either cab, the sound is massive. Though, through the Diezel I'd say the Bogner sounds more full and the 6505+ sounds more glued than with the Mesa. This is my first front-loaded cab and I wish I'd tried one sooner.
TLDR is the Diezel cab is now part of my main rig. The Mesa has been relegated to backup rig.
Ignore the neck pickup in the red V. It weaseled its way in there somehow during some pickup experiments and will promptly be removed.
Anyway, the GC fiasco:
This all started back in May when I formed my new band. You know how it goes. New band, you wanna buy some new gear. Had been years since a new cab purchase. I was looking to get away from V30s and try some new flavors, and I was tired of looking at that stale brown grille cloth of my Mesa cab. I knew I wanted to try the G12K100 Celestions and I didn't want to assemble a cab myself like I've done in the past. After some research, Diezel seemed to be the only offering for the speakers I wanted in a 412 offering. So Diezel it is.
At this point in time the only retailer I could find that had the cab new and in stock was Guitar Center. I just happened to have about 500$ in store credit with GC. Sounded like a great idea. So I went into my local shop to complete the deal because I was dealing with cash and store credit. Placed the order. The guy told me it would probably take 7-10 days but could be longer because of covid. That's fine. So, 7-10 days go by and I get an email from GC asking me to review my new piece of gear. I thought huh, that's weird, how can I do a review because it's not here yet...maybe it was delivered and they just didn't notify me. I go in the next day to see if my cab is ready to pickup. No dice. I ask them if they know where it is or if they have an ETA. They told me it's in California and I'll be updated with the shipping details via email. Cool. Well that never happened. I was waiting patiently and just figured things were delayed because of covid. I had placed the order on May 18th, it was now June 8th and I was getting curious. Called up GC to see if they had any info. They did. They said that the cab was actually sold in person around the same time my order was placed at the store in California that my order was trying to source the shipment from. They didn't bother to notify me of this. At this point, that specific model was put into a status of "backordered" as opposed to "in stock" like when I ordered it. At this point I would've just asked for a refund and tried the purchase elsewhere, but they wouldn't give me back the store credit in cash and this was the only piece of gear I was in the market for at the time. So I decided to contact corporate. Talked to a guy there and he seemed very helpful and wanted to get my situation sorted out. He made some calls to various stores and found a store in Nashville that had my cab, new, in stock. We proceed to place the new order. Within the next couple of days, the manager from the Nashville store contacts me via email saying that yes he has the cab, new, in stock, but due to it being a floor model, it has a few dings from testing, moving around, etc. He wanted to make sure I was okay with this before going ahead with shipping it. He said the cosmetic flaws were very minor and that he would waive the shipping fee and throw in a speaker cable. I was okay with this, as long as I was getting a new cab, like I'd paid for. He confirmed that yes, it is a new unit. So he says he'll have it shipped out the next day. This time around the shipment is on par with the 7-10 day estimate. I go to my local store to pick it up where I had it shipped. We open the box there to inspect it and the flaws were as described, very minor. Though, at this point my shipping fee had not been reimbursed and it did not ship with the free speaker cable as agreed. I explained this to the guys at my store and they were quick to remedy the situation. They reimbursed the shipping and gave me a cable on the spot. Cool. We loaded the cab into my truck and I was on my way. It wasn't until I got home that I realized the cab had shipped without the casters, which were supposed to be included. Living on the 4th floor of an apartment building, casters are essential to moving cabs for me. I hurried back to GC before they closed to see if we left the casters in the shipping box. No dice. Had to wait til the next day to call the store it shipped from. Instead of taking the cab home I take it straight to my rehearsal studio to break it in. First impressions left me in awe, this thing destroyed, leaving me with some consolation in the situation. So the next day I get a hold of the store it shipped from to see if they still had the casters they forgot to ship with the cab. The guy tells me he's sure his shipping guy included them but he'd look into it. Not sure if it was the same day or later, but when he got back to me he said he figured out what happened to the casters...He says "yeah man so about the casters, the guy who returned the cab to us didn't include the casters, that's why it didn't ship with them" I was so pissed I didn't even say anything, I just thought "the guy who returned the cab??? what do you mean the guy who RETURNED the cab?? I bought this thing brand new. You told me the item was new". I paid full new price for this thing. Price tag on this cab is 1200$, with tax and shipping that makes it almost a 1400$ cab, used ones run in the 900$ range...they had a used one for 950$ at the time. If I wanted a used one I would've bought a used one. So I race up to my studio to pickup the cab to go return it. Get it to the store and explain the situation to them. They immediately accept the return and we use the funds to place another order for a new cab as it becomes available. This was June 23rd.
July 6th I receive this email:
This is 'insert name here' from Guitar Center Willowbrook. I'm reaching out about the order we placed for the Diezel 412FK Cab. Seems like our system tried to source the cab we just returned for you to fill this order, which of course is what we don't want. We will have to go about this a different way in this case. I just wanted to reach out and let you know a plan of action for this, we are just unsure how long it's going to take for one to actually get here. We are going to cancel the order and use the funds to order the cab directly from the vendor this ensures a new one in a box and not getting any returns or open box units. I just want make sure you are good with this process. Please reply back to this email or give me a call at the store. Have a good day!"
My reply: "Thanks for the headsup! Ordering straight from Diezel sounds good! I appreciate the transparency. Let’s do it."
Of course, I was pissed that it had already been 2 weeks since the most recent order and they're just now notifying me of this, but I'm still being amiable about the situation.
From GC, 2 days later: "Sweet. I'll get on it!"
Should've been a sign that he didn't make moves on this immediately, but I didn't think much of the 2 day gap cause the situation was already laughable at this point.
So, with the new order being placed straight from Diezel I imagined I'd be in for a bit of wait. I was never emailed a new receipt, shipping info or anything, but I figured that was because this was somewhat of a special order or something, that I'd be informed as info was provided.
A few weeks go by and I'm starting to get curious again. Make some calls, no answer. So I decide to go up to the store to inquire about things. I get there and there's a sign saying the store is closed until further notice, due to covid I assumed. So I decide to make a trip to the next closest GC to see if I can talk to anyone who could give me some kind of info. The manager there says that he can only see my original orders and the return in the system, that he can't see what my local guy did cause it was a "green screen order" or something. He was kind of a dick and basically told me that I'd probably be waiting for months because Diezel is probably having to actually build a new cab and ship it from Germany to fulfill the order. Left there with a bad taste in my mouth.
So with that revelation, I just decide I'm just gonna have to sit back and wait...even more than the 2 months it had now been since my initial order. A few more weeks of radio silence go by and we are well into August now. One day, I wake up to a voicemail from the guy from corporate who I'd dealt with months prior. He said "Hey Geoff, just reaching out cause I noticed you cancelled that order for the Diezel cab, I was just wondering if you wanted us to order you another one or if there's anything I can do". I was a little confused because the last order that was "cancelled" was the one placed June 23rd that was trying to source the cab I returned...the most recent order was in progress, never cancelled. Nevertheless, I tried calling him back, no answer. Tried calling the next day, no answer. So I left him a voicemail explaining what happened with the order he helped me with from the Nashville store and told him about the new order that was placed directly with Diezel. He never called me back or responded to my voicemail.
By now, it was about August 24th or 25th, about 2 months since the most recent order and I wanted to know what the deal was. I had been keeping an eye on my inbox for emails from GC but they never came. I just happened to visit the product page for my cab and I realized that the status on the webpage had gone from "backordered" to "in stock & ready to ship"....I thought, huh, I must be crazy. It says here that they're in stock, but GC hasn't contacted me. I immediately call up my store and try to figure out where my cab is. The guy who I had been working with since the beginning wasn't around and I was dealing with the one of the managers who's new to this ongoing issue. I had to explain the entire situation to him and before even taking my order into thought, he says "Hmm, well you never should've been able to return that cab in the 1st place, Diezel is a non-returnable brand" Like come on man, that remark was totally unnecessary, especially when your guys have been fucking up left and right and they didn't even send me what I ordered in the first place. Anyway, moving past that he said he would look into the order and figure out what was going on. He calls me back at the very end of the day and says "yeah, so the guy who you were working with never placed that order with Diezel. You currently don't have any orders" WTF MAN! Yeah....So after 2 months of waiting, under the impression the guy ordered my cab directly from Diezel, he actually never did anything.
Naturally, I was outraged. On top of that, the manager wouldn't place a new order himself. He wanted me to come in the next day (conveniently his day off) and do it with someone I'd already been working with. Not sure why... Anyway, I went in and they had already been in contact with a store that had 2 of my cabs in stock, brand new, unopened, in box. As mad as I was, I didn't go in yelling, I left the door open for the guy to explain to me why he never placed the order. But that didn't happen. No apology. No I forgot. He just said he's glad we can finally be done with "OUR Diezel cab headache"....I did get apologies from 2 other guys there who weren't involved. The new cab showed up like 4 or 5 days later in pristine condition.
All in all, this has to be the worst gear purchase experience I've ever had. FUCK. GUITAR. CENTER. I will never do business with them again.