It is a strange sight to see mass produced Bogner amplifiers, and if you know anything about the somewhat eccentric German born, California living Reinhold Bogner, his expensive boutique amplifiers are looked at as some of the top of the line amps. So when he struck a deal with Line 6 to help produce their popular line of Spider Valve modeling amps, he took the opportunity to take advantage of lowered cost of Chinese manufacturing, and with that experiment, Bogner brings you their newest amplifiers, the Alchemist!
When I opened the door to the sight of a massive combo amp, I lauded at the magnificent black telex covering the entire frame. The solid wood construction weighs in at a beefy 80 pounds, and the configuration of two 12 inch speakers, a Celestion G12M Greenback (the classic ‘Brown Tone’), and Celestion G12H Anniversary (the 1960’s rock tone), this amp had all the fixing’s of an immediate classic.
When I turned it on for the first time, I knew my initial excitement was well met. Playing through an Fender American Stratocastor, the amp sparkled with light gain and a smattering of reverb. The guitar opened up with more grit when I pushed the gain up, and obtaining a strong Stevie Ray Vaughn-esque Blues tone was apparent after a little treble reduction. When plugging in my Les Paul Custom, I immediately started whipping out all the licks I could think of to overpower the amp, and there wasn’t a single moment that I felt this sound-box couldn’t keep up!
Using the full amplifier controls gives the user the joy of having close to six different voicings, with DSP effects on top of that! The reverb has three different settings, Hall, Plate, and Spring, that accurately model the best of that silky smooth reverberation. The Delay is also on par, featuring Ducking, Analog, and Tape. The delay is Tap Tempo, so you can set up your echo to your hearts content. Both effects are controllable from the provided footswitch (without Tap Tempo, though), and it also features access to the Top Boost setting, a la the AC30 Top Boost. This switchable effect gives each channel a little bit of extra sheen, so be sure to test out each setting to find your perfect voice.
So, if you’re looking for a great dual channel amplifier that has a little bit of on-board effects, great boutique styling, and a multitude of user friendly options, you have found your new gigging buddy!