Recently I was ruined yet again by a good amp. This time a bud’s Bogner Shiva, EL34 version. Let’s call him Sean – because that’s his name…. He’d been talking about how awesome it was for a while, and even though I know he has good ears, wasn’t too motivated to go try it.
I’d played two Bogners before the Shiva: a Metropolis EL84 combo, sounded really darn good, and one of those lower-end Bogner Alchemists, which to my tone-holes sounded like crap – though to be fair, once I heard the cardboard I didn’t give it a full test-drive.
But there I am at Sean’s studio one day so naturally had to hear it. He plugs in and plays the Shiva (with a stock, solid Lester Paul) through the companion Bogner 2×12 which I believe had Celstion V30s. It sounds good, really good, and I resist the urge to twiddle the knobs to hear what I want to hear.
(He also had a pedal board that I, a non-pedal guy, ignored until I heard him stomp on a few things and sound like Robin Trower’s best day ever. Dang! Here ’tis – the EP-booster, Deja Vibe and OCD were my faves:)
Anyhow, he lets me plug in and wow, it’s so different being able to play something yo’sef. I want it louder, more mids, more presence, got it, and holy crap it sounds good. Not a huge fan of V30s, but if that’s what they were they sounded killer. Wood fer sher.
And the BALLS the Shiva had. Like this:
Couldn’t get those balls outta my head…the Shiva’s balls, that is. Still can’t.
So I go surfing: what do Shiva’s cost (used!), what are people saying about them, any eBay or TGP bargains, etc., and I come across some vids. A bunch o’ vids of Bogner stuff on YouTube – I started to wonder if it was possible to make a bad-sounding vid with a Bogner because they all (mostly) sounded so freakin’ awesome.
By way of example I give you the following:
Okay. If you don’t want to at least play a Shiva after hearing that, do 50 pushups, slap yourself in the face and have a beer. Then watch it/listen again.
Sounds great and the playing helps for sure, but now take those Marshall-flavored tones and add BALLS. Not just high-wattage chest thump, but BALLS. That is the true Shiva experience – one I think I need to have regularly….
But surf some more, and come to find out…is it all about the Shiva? Maybe not. Stay thirsty, my friends, because I hit this vid:
That’s the Bogner Ecstasy. Wow. Once again the touch helps, but for a classic rock Neandertal like me, that vid makes me want to crank it and dig into the strings like a mofo!
Supposedly the classic rock goods are on the Ecstasy’s blue channel (a favorite of Joe Bonamassa, among other players), and is supposedly mimicked decently in Bogner’s pedal line – along with the red channel and the Bogner Uberschall, Bogner’s high gain/detune-targeted amp. Drool for yourself here, some great frickin’ tones and playing:
If that’s not enough or too much, here are a couple more Bogner amps and vids – and there’s more.
> Bogner Goldfinger 45, a 4x6V6 amp. Would love to plug into that thing.
> Bogner Barcelona, which interestingly comes stock with two 6CA7 power tubes, EVH’s classic tone tube of choice.
> Bogner Mephisto, which has EL84s and 6V6s, two amps in one.
The EVH Connection
So the story goes like this: Reinhold Bogner shows up to L.A. with a couple bucks and a modded Marshall. Ends up working at Andy Bauer’s shop, takes the amp up to Ed’s studio, Ed buys it for the “name your price” of $600 and a guitar, which Reinhold parted out and sold.
Just in case you thought Ed only played the same amps over and over. Btw, that was in 1989, just after OU812 and a couple years before For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Bottom line: A set of good ears was digging Reinhold’s stuff.