Bogner Alchemist Review
Whether you’re a serious musician or just like to dabble for fun, you’ve probably heard of German amp creator, Reinhold Bogner. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1989 where he became known for his spin on classic guitar tone. While doing amp repairing and modifying for such big names as Steve Stevens and Eddie Van Halen, he was given while acclaim and vaulted to the status of Bogner Amplification.
The Alchemist is no different than his other creations, in that they’re built on the same principles of quality craftsmanship and a sophisticated arrangement of circuits, currents, metal, and wood. As a result, Bogner’s amps are very versatile and have multiple effects and tonal options in addition to allowing the user control over even the smallest detail. Combined, the player has the ultimate authority over how their music sounds.
What Does The Alchemist Feature?
This amp is packed to the gills with features. It has a pair of matching 6L6 power tubes and five 12AX7/ECC83 tubes in the preamp. Additionally, it has two channels. Channel one is Gold and is the channel featuring a clean start but can gear up to quite a simmer when the crunch switch is utilized. The crunch channel is great for rhythm or blues. From there, channel two, Mercury, picks up, with crunchier rhythms and lead tones from the Bogner gain. Both channels also have a bright switch.
Both of the channels have knobs for Gain, Treble, Middle, Bass, and Volume so that each can be customized to your liking.
What Other Options Are There?
In addition to these two incredible channels, the amp also has a plethora of options for you to explore. You have the choice between a 1×12 or 2×12 open-back combo, head, and 2×12 open-back extension cabinet. There is a switch for a 20-watt mode as opposed to the 40-watt standard mode.
Crunch mode and the deep switch options on channel one add low mid depth and bottom end. Not to be forgotten, channel two offers a mid shift which allows for more intricate tone adjustments at varying volumes, as well as a punch switch to go between Fenderstyle and British-flavored tones.
There are also a variety of options shared in parallel, such as reverb type, reverb level, delay type, delay level, delay repeats (also known as feedback), and tap tempo.
What Are The Delay Settings?
Regarding the delay setting, there are three different modes featured, each more innovative than the last. The Ducking delay is digital and automatically reduces the level of the delay while you play and increases the level when you stop, basically automatically responding to your playing volume. Analog is similar to the classic delay pedal wherein warm, rich sounds are used with subtle modulation. Tape has classic darkening echoes and organic variations of classical echo units. The reverb effects have studio grade digital processing for the best possible sound quality. Lastly, the switch has three positions: plate, hall, and spring.
The amp features celestion speakers and has a footswitch with four pedals. The footswitch has options for channel select (one or two), boost, delay, and reverb.
Who Should Use The Alchemist?
Given that the amp is so versatile, it’s appropriate to use for just about every musical genre, making it a great purchase, especially if you’re the type of musician who likes to dabble in different varieties of music. You can get pretty much any sound you want from the Alchemist, so you shouldn’t feel pigeonholed into a certain type. You can get an ear-splitting crunch, sweet sound, classic clean, or anything in between.
What Are People Saying About It?
The Alchemist comes very highly recommended by musicians all over the world. One enthusiast has said in his Bognor Alchemist review, “Played one a few days ago at Guitar Center. Sounds amazing…you can dial up just about anything you can imagine…I gotta give credit to the fact that it’s a great sounding rig.”
Another went even more in depth saying, “I’ve had mine for a while…and absolutely love it. The gain channel with the boost is sheer beauty that is all Bogner…the reverb and delays are better than good. The gain channel has such clarity even with the gain fully on. LOVE this thing…buy it!”
What Else Should I Know?
As mentioned above, some music stores will allow you to try items before you buy them, so that could be a great idea for you if you’re uncertain about committing to a new amp. If you’re anything like thousands of other satisfied musicians, you won’t want another amp ever again. The only way to know for sure is to try it so that you can see all the features and play around with them and see the difference it can make in your music or that of your bandmates.