unregistered, on september 17, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1600
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: The Bogner Alchemist is an incredible guitar with many features. There are 2 channels, Mercury and Gold, (Mercury is clean and Gold is distortion), along with the option to play with 40W or 20W, 20W Having a more compressed tone, which I don't like very much. The Gold Channel Can have great metal tones, along with Removing punch which takes out the power and can make good rock songs, The Mercury channel can play clean (a great jazz tone) or crunch (very Vintage blues feel on 40W) and overall the amp is good for all genres. The amp although a tube amp has built in Delay, and Reverb, You can change how many repeats are in Delay, along with how much reverb or delay you want. This Amp comes with a complimentary footpedal that lets you change between mercury and gold channels, along with activating boost, Delay and reverb. Overall The amp has many features I use often and many I use occasionally, but all of them are very strong and useful. // 10
Sound: I have a Gibson Les Paul Standard, and I mostly play metal, and jazz for school. The amp is alot louder than you think but can also let you submerge yourself into The Music. The alchemist uses Vintage speakers that provide excellent tone, that can fit all tones, modern or Vintage. The delay in the amp also helps make the distorted channel more overall emotional, wheather that emotion is epic, sad, exciting, etc. This guitar works well with all tones, and when i first plugged my gutiar in, I said, This is GODLY! // 9
Reliability & Durability: I've never really had any problems with this amp, the tubes do get worn through pretty fast, but thats it. // 8
Overall Impression: This amp is perfect for me, it provides an excellent tone, and never dissapoints me, I find that this is one of the best and most verstitle amps out there. // 9
outlet, on july 22, 2010 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 595
Purchased from: Used (barely)
Features: This the newest latest that Bogner has created to date. Its no boutique custom shop job, but it is a great sounding and versatile amp that doesn't break the bank. This is because Bogner decided to outsource the work to Line 6 in China. This has created some considerable debate, but this amp was all designed by Bogner, which I think should be worth something to anybody. On the outside this amp is very sexy, with a considerate and thoughtful design. It is housed in an open-backed cabinet loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker. It is driven by an A/B power section and housing two 6L6 power tubes and five 12AX7s in the preamp. All the Alchemist amplifiers, including this model, are variable 40 watt amps with a variable 20 watt mode. For those of you who don't know: half the watts does not equal half the volume. The main difference in the different modes is that I would describe the 40 watt mode to be more modern, and tighter, whereas the 20 watt mode is a little looser and little spongier - especially in the bottom end. This amp also includes a non bypass-able buffered parallel effects loop. I don't play with a lot of effects and the ones I do I prefer in front of the amp, but to each his own. As with any tube amp, this piece of ART isn't light (65 lbs.) but lighter than its bigger siblings which could require a dolly if taken very far.
This is a two channel amp with a clean (Gold) and a gain (Mercury) channel. Each channel includes its own bass, mid, and treble knobs, as well as gain and volume for each. There is also a boost feature which gives just a little extra umf to either channel. There is also on-board digital reverb and delay. The reverb has three modes: plate, hall, and spring, and the delay also has three modes: ducking, analog, and tape. Without getting into the details of what reverb and delay is, I'll simply say that each is different and useful in its own right. There is also a tap feature to control the tempo of delay as well as a knob for number of repeats. These effects are Line 6, I believe, and aren't really incredible by any means, but useful nonetheless (not too mention more than I would want to pay for if they were really over the top excellent). This holds especially true since both can be toggled on/off via the included footswitch. The footswitch can't change the mode of either the reverb or delay, but toggle them on or off. The footswitch also includes a Switch for toggling the boost feature on/off as well as a Switch for channel selection.
The Gold Channel has switches for either clean or crunch, a bright switch, and a deep Switch for the bass. The clean or crunch allows the user to really choose how clean they want their amp to be. The crunch can take you from slightly breaking up to kind of a british rock sort of a feel. The bright switch, a common feature on a lot of amps, is a simple but effective feature that does as the name implies - it brightens up the tone. This can be especially useful if your guitar is naturally dark sounding. The deep feature really expands the bass quite a bit. Again fairly self-explanatory. Kind of like a bass boost on a stereo.
The Mercury channel, along with the aforementioned features, also includes a punch switch, bright switch, and mid-shift. The punch can be really useful for agressive rhythm patterns or other intense styles. The bright Switch here is the same as the one on the gold channel. The mid-shift is fairly interesting. Its really good for that metal-ish tone. Notice the -ish. As this combo is open-backed, I would hardly put this amp in the metal category, but it can be done with a little encouragement in the right direction.
Features are what really set this amp apart. Is is remarkably versatile for such an inexpensive package. // 10
Sound: With all the features on this amp, its easy to dial in the tone you need. I play a Les Paul Standard with Seymour Duncan SH-1 and Custom-5s. The guitar is fairly dark by itself so I make good use of the bright switches and EQ. This amp is very versatile. One person who plays rockabilly, surf, or country could be using the same amp that someone who plays alternative, classic rock, grunge, or some metal does. The clean channel is very articulate and warm. With the crunch option it allows the user to either change the amount of breakup they want, or how close they want their channels to be as far as volume and voicing goes. The gain channel is a little more compressed. It can go from mild mannered to fairly pissed pretty quick. Not soul crushing gain, by any means, but nothing less than most players would need. The variable wattage also allows for more tweaking of tone. No notable volume difference, obviously, but you can find some different tones in the 20 watt mode.
Granted, the labor was outsourced here, but quite frankly, who cares. If it weren't for that I never could have afforded this amp. Its not a custom shop Bogner, but its still a Bogner. It doesn't always hold true, but I believe in a trickle down of quality from trustworthy companies, be it amps or anything.
This amp is definitely loud enough for a small to medium sized gig, by the way. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This amp is solid, and is built well. Chassis seems to be built like the rock of gibraltar. I haven't had any problems with it (as I jinx myself) thus far, but don't anticipate many anytime soon. I did buy this amp used, but the guy from whom I bought it had played it for under an hour. His wife got him an Alchemist, he got himself a Fender at the exact same time, so obviously he preferred the second. Pretty much a brand new amp. // 8
Overall Impression: I play a lot of different things because I like a lot of different genres. This amp lets me keep my options open. Some people can buy every other amp under the sun for different tones, but for those of us who have to pick one or the other, its nice to have an option that doesn't compromise. I like to play heavy, aggressive rhythms at times, but I also like to blues it up once in a while, too.
A lot of the criticisms I've heard over this amp come from the guys that already own a fleet of amps, so I don't feel like their opinion counts as much with an amp that was obviously made to be more accessible to a larger group.
I'm in college. That pretty much rules out most nice amps out there. For the same price range, you really can't get a more well made, thought through, swiss army knife of an amplifier. I did a lot of comparisons on this amp to others of similar price range at the time. I could of gotten an amp that either had a really great clean tone, dirty channel, or lots of modes and effects. Instead of choosing one or the other, this amp lets you get all of the above. If it were stolen, I would replace it hands down. // 10
unregistered, on december 10, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: Ebay
Features: I've had this amp for over a year. It features a 20/40 watt variac Switch and a 1x12 Celestion Vintage 30. The amp I bought off of ebay came with different power tubes than what they ship with. It has a Clean channel (called Gold Channel) with a Clean/Crunch option. The "Gold" channel features a bright Switch which can help add treble and an overall brightness to the sound). The "Gold" channel also features a deep Switch which adds a lot of bass. The 2nd channel called "Mercury" has a Switch for gain and more gain. A bright Switch and a mid Switch (I think the mid Switch makes the mid control more effective as opposed to scooping it).
There is also a digital delay and reverb option. The Delay has a tape/analog/ducking option; a delay knob and repeat knob. The Reverb effect has a spring/plate/hall option with a general reverb knob. // 10
Sound: Fender USA strat with stock pickups and later I modded that strat with a JB jr. in the bridge. The sound you get in every channel is really good. You can really get a milky tone when playing something like under the bridge. Although the Mercury channel may not have enough gain.
G&L Rampage Tribute: It makes the amp really Shine when playing through the mercury channel with the high gain Switch on. I get a really great hard rock tone.
It can take a lot of work to get a sound you like through this amp. But that is because it gives you a lot of options. Some say that the amp sounds like a blanket is over the amp. And it's true to an extent. I personally love it. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I've been playing it for almost a year now and even played about 3 shows and practice once a week (that goes from 3 to 5 hours). I think once it got a little hot and it seemed like the channel switching might have been affected, but that was before I even played any shows with it. The 3 shows I've played have been in normal sized bars with stages and it is more than louder enough for those venues. // 5
Overall Impression: I'm a really big fan of Alice in Chains and the sound Jerry Cantrell gets. I searched around and found out he used Bogners on a lot of earlier work. He mainly used the fish pre-amp. So ever since I found that out I've been looking for a Bogner. They were a little over my budget when they came out new, but I was able to find one on Ebay.
I had a point were I didn't like it and wanted to sell it, but along the way I fell madly in love with it. I don't think I'll ever try to sell it again. I highly suggest watching youtube videos of people playing the amp and even play it yourself. It definitely has a unique sound. // 8