Which Bogner Are You?

November 21, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

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.

Category: Bogner, Celestion speakers, Edward Van Halen, Marshall

Comments (3)

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  1. Michael says:

    I love Reinhold’s stuff! I started with a Uberschall but when I added a couple of other projects, I picked up an Ecstasy, and wouldn’t trade either of them for anything. If you get out to a NAMM or Musikmesse, talk to Reinhold, he’s a trip!

  2. roger bell says:

    I’m vai’s old tech over 6 years to this day bogner is still my fav.

  3. Steve Steele says:

    Right now I have an Ecstasy Classic. In a good room, after about an hour of stage warm up time, the Ecstasy is singing by itself. It doesn’t even need me anymore. The hotter and sweatier the better. Other amps get nervous when she comes into the room. For me it’s the middle ground between a Shiva and an Uber. I love all three about the same. I love the new Twin Jet Uber a well. I’ll probably get the KT88 Twin Jet head and a Shiva EL34 combo next. With the Classic, it’s so open, any mistakes will jump right out. But if you’re on your game, she’ll make you sound like a 70s guitar god. No hype. Just a great amp. Even makes V30s sound ok.

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