#1
I had the chance to play through a fish preamp (i am family friends with queensryche's michael wilton, his son is in my band) and i was floored.

Now, I see on the link provided below that they are making some reissues again?! Anybody heard any dates yet? It says late 2008, and its about that time, so go figure.

Thoughts?

http://www.bogneramplification.com/customshop/FishPreInfo.php
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#2
You know what? I broke my arm today, I'm unable to go to a show I'd been waiting for for weeks on Saturday, my girlfriend's out of town...and this has made this a great day. If it is true, I will seriously break up with my girl and sell my car (my two main areas where I waste money) and take up prostitution to get one. I've had a minor obsession with getting a Fish since I found out Jerry Cantrell uses one, and now I might just be closer.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#3
be ready to spend a lottt of money is all i can say.
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#4
Im glad I could help!

I agree. I would kill for that tone.
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#5
Anyone who wants a good man-wh0re in Sydney over the next couple of months, give me a call.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#6
I was so close to reporting that, and then i rememberd you previous post haha.

Any idea how the channel switching works? I didnt really understand what they said on the site.
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#7
Quote by shadow__666
You know what? I broke my arm today, I'm unable to go to a show I'd been waiting for for weeks on Saturday, my girlfriend's out of town...and this has made this a great day. If it is true, I will seriously break up with my girl and sell my car (my two main areas where I waste money) and take up prostitution to get one. I've had a minor obsession with getting a Fish since I found out Jerry Cantrell uses one, and now I might just be closer.


I have to find a link for you to read. I was just reading some post where Jerry did not use the fish pre for studio tones. While he had one, they ended up using some modded amp by Bogner. I will see about finding that for you. The amp had a very strange name. It was a nickname that they gave it. I am not a fan of Cantrell but, I thought I would mention that was a well kept secret about the amp used to achieve that sound. Wait to you see it- it's not what you think it would be either as, if I remember correctly, it looked like a very small combo amp.

By the way, I have a Fish coming in two weeks or so. I built my own amp and am going to see how Bogner did up the Brown Channel in the Fish. I may sell it soon after I am done with it.

EDIT: Here's that link about that amp combo deal used on Facelift: http://bognerampforum.informe.com/fish-reissue-2008-dt706.html
Last edited by cmcken1 at Dec 18, 2008,
#8
I think you're going to have to find one used. They've been sold out on pre-orders about a week after they were announced, and it's a limited run.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#9
I got one brand new as I just ordered it today in fact. You can still get them but, you have to order them ASAP.
#10
Quote by cmcken1
I got one brand new as I just ordered it today in fact. You can still get them but, you have to order them ASAP.

oh yeah? where did you get it if you don't mind me asking? I have a good friend that wanted to order one, but was told all the pre-orders were spoken for. I'm sure he'll be psyched to hear this!
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#11
Wild West Guitars in Riverside Ca. Ask for Bob and tell him Chris told him to call about the pre. He'll contact Fred and see about getting the last one. I got one and there's one more left.
#12
Quote by cmcken1
Wild West Guitars in Riverside Ca. Ask for Bob and tell him Chris told him to call about the pre. He'll contact Fred and see about getting the last one. I got one and there's one more left.

wow, excellent! thanks man, he's going to be pumped!

I can't wait to hear this thing myself actually.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#13
I know. It is funny how this came about for me. I still am not into preamps as I have used them in the past but, I prefer to have it built into an amp as to my ears it sounds better. Years ago, I was in a VH tribute band on the East Coast and I had a SLO head and the PRE and Power amp. One night I did sound check with the Pre/PA deal and the soundman came over and asked why it was so buzzy and thin. Gone was the PRE right there. I went back to fully cranked heads. Anyway, I was looking for years for a circuit for my second channel on my amp that I am building and that had the brown sound. So, I find this engineer in Finland who makes this single rack space deal that has that sound but, he wouldn't sell it to me once he found out that I am an engineer. We reverse engineer things all the time so, he won't return my emails. Moving on.
Long story short, I had to find something and, while looking around, I saw the Fish back in the news. Well, I had played that thing like...oh, in the early 90s for a short period of time. I used modded Marshall amps and the preamp went south. However, I do recall the Brown channel was really the sound back then that all were raving about with Ed being the man with the tone and all. I also remember trying the Halfer triple giant which also had this same kind of tone for one of it's channels. Well, later on, when I moved to LA, I visited Bogner as I own one of the old XTC combos that they made. I had him work on it a bit and make a cab for the head to lighten it up. Well, when I was in his shop, I mentioned both units and had asked him if he still made the Fish. That was when I found out that he worked on the TG as well. I didn't know that. I also didn't know a few other things about the Fish in terms of design. It's very well made for one like all his products but, the tone; that's the thing. Again, I am not a fan of pres at all and, for the record, I don't like any amp other than my own that I built but, that Fish preamp is something special and I think it's worth the money for 4 channels of that tone generator. Again, to have someone dial in the brown sound alone is something worth mentioning. CAE did it too but, not like this guy did. It FEELS way, way different and in a good way vs. CAE. It's thicker and very chewy feeling. I am getting everything ready to go when it comes in. Time to get out the load boxes and crank the amp to eleven.

I did try the CAE 3+SE model and that did not cut it. It was thin sounding and buzzy to my ears just like all of CAEs stuff. Sure, you can crank the bass but, then it's too boomy and doesn't sound natural like the Fish. So years later, after coming full circle, I think that this Fish may even remain in my rack for years to come. Hell, I completely forgot that it had 4 channels even! LOL
#14
My guess is the Fish reissues gunna be at least 4 or 5 grand, since those are around average for used prices; prolly more like 6 after taxes and whatnot. Awesome sound, but I'm not keen on spending 6 grand to get a good sound.
#15
Quote by cmcken1
I know. It is funny how this came about for me. I still am not into preamps as I have used them in the past but, I prefer to have it built into an amp as to my ears it sounds better. Years ago, I was in a VH tribute band on the East Coast and I had a SLO head and the PRE and Power amp. One night I did sound check with the Pre/PA deal and the soundman came over and asked why it was so buzzy and thin. Gone was the PRE right there. I went back to fully cranked heads. Anyway, I was looking for years for a circuit for my second channel on my amp that I am building and that had the brown sound. So, I find this engineer in Finland who makes this single rack space deal that has that sound but, he wouldn't sell it to me once he found out that I am an engineer. We reverse engineer things all the time so, he won't return my emails. Moving on.
Long story short, I had to find something and, while looking around, I saw the Fish back in the news. Well, I had played that thing like...oh, in the early 90s for a short period of time. I used modded Marshall amps and the preamp went south. However, I do recall the Brown channel was really the sound back then that all were raving about with Ed being the man with the tone and all. I also remember trying the Halfer triple giant which also had this same kind of tone for one of it's channels. Well, later on, when I moved to LA, I visited Bogner as I own one of the old XTC combos that they made. I had him work on it a bit and make a cab for the head to lighten it up. Well, when I was in his shop, I mentioned both units and had asked him if he still made the Fish. That was when I found out that he worked on the TG as well. I didn't know that. I also didn't know a few other things about the Fish in terms of design. It's very well made for one like all his products but, the tone; that's the thing. Again, I am not a fan of pres at all and, for the record, I don't like any amp other than my own that I built but, that Fish preamp is something special and I think it's worth the money for 4 channels of that tone generator. Again, to have someone dial in the brown sound alone is something worth mentioning. CAE did it too but, not like this guy did. It FEELS way, way different and in a good way vs. CAE. It's thicker and very chewy feeling. I am getting everything ready to go when it comes in. Time to get out the load boxes and crank the amp to eleven.

I did try the CAE 3+SE model and that did not cut it. It was thin sounding and buzzy to my ears just like all of CAEs stuff. Sure, you can crank the bass but, then it's too boomy and doesn't sound natural like the Fish. So years later, after coming full circle, I think that this Fish may even remain in my rack for years to come. Hell, I completely forgot that it had 4 channels even! LOL

haha, you're making me gas over this thing man, and I can't afford it right now.

interesting about the TG, I didn't know that either. I'm even more excited to hear this thing now. I have an XTC too, but it's a newer 101B. I absolutely love it, so I can only imagine insta-splooge when I hear this fish. What's your opinion on the best poweramp for it?
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
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#16
As for the fella above about the cost, no, it's not even close to that. They are going for 2495. Man, the Diezle amps don't cost 6K and, those are ridiculously priced.

Ok as far as power amps go, to be totally 100% honest with you, I don't know. I have been out of the loop for years as the last good PA I heard was made by VHT and, I don't even know if they are even still around or not these days. I think they are, check them out.

The thing is, there's a secret to getting that cranked tone that seems to be lost. That is the power amp distortion. I am going to tell you about tri-amping here. I have spent years getting a great tone that didn't get in the way. Not just tone, but how the amp feels to me as far as what I do on my guitar vs. what I hear and feel. The power amp is the number one overlooked part of the equation. Most just get an amp with some lousy class A/B2 built-in Power Amp, turn it up and, for the most part, it's loud, it sounds ok and they go with it. It could be hard and harsh and they just think it's great.

But, the thing is, that when you have a great amp fully cranked up, pre cranked and power amp cranked, that is where the magic happens. That same magic does not happen with a preamp distortion going into a clean tube power amp or solid state power amp. It may work / suffice for some, but, not for me it doesn't. It doesn't feel right. It feels flat, and has a lack of "spring" to the feel. While the tone is good or great depending on the setup and the player who's getting the tone, it still doesn't give me what I need for a feedback from the system.

I prefer to use a lower gain pre- amp in the head to start and max the output section of the pre along with fully maxing the output. I use additional input gain from various pre-amps to drive the amp's output section further into saturation. The tranny, the tubes etc are fully distorting at this point and, the notes just explode from underneath. This doesn't happen with a preamp into clean power amps. Not even close. That is how VH got his sound for starters along with doing "things" to the amp to further fine tune things. One such thing is the Variac which he used to soften the amp and increase distortion. Of course, the amp power supply has to be modifed to keep the heater voltages constant at normal operating voltages and to prevent the head from browning out or, blowing due to excessive current draw.

The trick is to design a power amp that can clip and still sound smooth and not ragged, muddy, shrill, harsh, edgy, or any other nasty side effects from distorting. But really smooth, even order harmonics that are rich and full and compressed with tons of sustain.

That's the hard part as most PAmps are designed to run clean and NOT distort. I designed mine to distort very smoothly and at a lower wattage (20-30W) and with a totally different output scheme using class A for the first 5W and AB1 for the remaining output. IT's nothing like any amp out there and, it's not based on Marshall or Fender designs.

I also run three modes depending on what style sound / feel I need. They are: Ultra Linear-which is super clean and smooth with a very wide frequency response, Pentode for the common mode and Tri-ode for a vintage / softer feel as it's less output and less hi end and distorts sooner.

The last step is to cleanly amplify that sound and MIX that dry sound with the wet sound. Depending on what effect one is after, either series or parallel may be used. But generally, the switcher can be setup to accommodate either mode.

To do that, all you need to do is to simply get a load box- and a great one. Don't skimp on the load box by the way. Blown heads are sure to ensue as a result of a poorly designed / built load box as well as an inferior tone and feel. Take a tap off the output and feed to your FX rack where, there should be a good line level mixer in the FX rack to accept that feed. From there, that signal can be routed any way, in any direction, to any FX, Dry on, dry off etc etc, the possibilities are endless.

The output/s of heads and pres go to a switching system such as ones made by Bob Bradshaw or Digital Music Corp. There's more doing these but, those two were the best when I was heavily into tri-amping. Now that patch bay can send / route the signal/s to an analog line mixer where it sends signal to the FX units on sends and returns as well as feeding the final clean, power amp that feeds your cabs.

The final thing is the mixing of wet and dry signals and overall levels. It's that simple. That is how I run mine and have been since the early 90s. Plus, if you have many amps, pre-amps and different FX devices, all can be switched in and out as needed. It's like having total control like when in a studio.

Of course tone and how one goes about getting it is subjective so, this method is not for everyone and is more costly than just running a head and cab with an FX box in the loop.

The issue I ran into was the constraints of a regular setup. The FX loops killed the tone, robbed gain and worst part was; you would have an analog amp that was fantastic and then ruin it by patching in one digital FX unit. Eventide, Lexicon, TC- they all ruin the tone due to the DACs in them. Plus, at wicked loud levels, the sound quality would rat out as they would be fed into the power amp in / distorting power amp and sound like crap. It was a losing battle running it that way.

Now we have parallel FX loops and all that but the same issue still happens due to DACs in the devices. So, the trick is to run the amps DRY and get that good tone without messing with it and just tap off of it and feed the FX rack and have that feed it's own power amp and use the head / speakers dry. This is how VH did it for a while and so did I out of common sense and frustration.

In fact, many did this back then, Steve Via, David Gilmore etc etc. Tons of folks were doing this. Some still do. Then, some started to just use the mixer and mix the dry and wet signals all into one power amp and FULLY dummy loading the amp - no cab connected. VH did this early on as well as running a the dry cab / center image later on. I have run in both modes.

If the volumes are something that your concerned with, simply use an attenuator / load box and attenutate the speakers to your hearts content. However, there's a fine line where lowering it down so low that the psychoacoustic factor kills certain frequencies to the point of sounding unnatural or flat sounding. That's how my ears perceive it anyway. Some load boxes have eq in them now to compensate for this.

So, if your looking for a power amp, I guess it depends if your running a bi or tri-amp mode setup. I know ENGL makes one, VHT- not sure if they are still in biz doing that or not. You would probably get a better idea off some forums or reviews. There was one place that made wicked point to point power amps and all tube over in England that were oustanding. Oh, there's one guy that makes custom audio gear out here in LA, he's got a rack mountable custom tube power amp. He was doing a limited run on these things but, I think that he was using EL84s in them which, if your not familiar with, they are VOX sounding tubes. You can look him up: Reguisite Audio in Glendale, Ca. http://www.standelamps.com/switchmaster/484/index.html He has two lines and one is Standel amps.

If your looking for a percussive, clean and very, very tight low end sound- VHT was the one for that tone. I don't care for Boogie Power amps such as the Simul-Class stuff. It's just too crunchy, harsh and a treble nazi amp when turned up loud. I don't like them at all. I don't like too many to be honest. I have a Marshall 9200 that I modded but, there's much better out there I am sure. Check into VHT.

Good luck and hope that some of that helped out. Chris M.
#17
the pres are only 2495? Really? that's a really good price. They go for really high prices used.
#18
Yeah, Cowtown guitars and Boston Guitar were selling them for that too. Some were asking more as the orders started to fill up. So, now you can get them cheaper than what they were once going for years back as well as used.
#19
I just got a hold of the schematics for both the Fish and the Triple Giant. The TG indeed has his name on it so, for sure, Bogner was the engineer that did that preamp design and it was under Rockford professional. At least I have them now but, there's some holes in the Brown Channel on the TG where he has the drive on a separate board where, without that, all is left as a question mark. Good thing I have the real thing on it's way so I can get int there and see just what is really in there.
#20
Well, after reading a few forums about power amps these days, it appears as most recommend VHT 2150s or the newer 2/90 models. For those not needing that much power they also make a 50 watt version.

The new Marshall Power Amps are supposed to be dynamite. Fully updated too with a new circuit to address some of the issues that they had with the older ones. They now run EL34s in them as standard.

Some like the old Strategy 500 amps at 150W/Channel. Heavy as all hell and, the same can be said of VHTs 2150 which is also very heavy.

That should get you a head start into where your going.
#21
Well, I finally received my Fish Preamp. I returned it so, there's one over at Wild West Guitars in Riverside Ca. I waited three months for the thing to come in and when it did, I was dissapointed in the sound. It was hard, sterile and no life to the tone. My amp that I made sounds better than this thing. These things are way over rated and, it wasn't versatile at all. Clean channel was nothing to write home about, the Strato Channel was a one sound deal and the only thing of use was the Brown channel. But, my amp running full up had way more life, spring to the notes and way more dynamics.

THere were three people listening to it and it took us less than an hour to make a call. Hands down, the amp beat out the preamp. Clean and dirty, there was no comparison.
#22
hmm, that's rather disappointing to hear, to say the least. I've seen threads of a few people getting them, but no one has put up clips yet.

Is it just the Bogner voicing you don't get along with in general? Like have you played an XTC for comparison?
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#23
I still want one.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#24
I have an XTC that I no longer use and, it's a limited edition version with all the bells and whistles and uses all NOS tubes. I use Bogner Cabs as well as I love their open back speaker cabs but, I don't run those junk celestion speakers that everyone else uses. I use a very rare, hard to find JBL made for guitar range.

To me, preamps all feel the same. They may not sound the same but, I find there's no dynamics to them vs. a cranked head. Everyone that heard the thing vs. my amp that I designed commented how it had no feel and was hard sounding and ear fatiguing. Even with no presence, it was hard.

It wasn't the power amp that was hard as three different models were used- it's the pre- it just sounds dead and lifeless IMO. Not worth half what they charge for the tone you get out of it.

The channels were not versatile at all either and, when backing off the volume, there was no dynamics as it just did not clean up like my amp did. When I run my amp on 10, the notes explode from underneath along with serious sustain but controlled- no noise and no squealing feedback. Just like the amp is going to blow but controlled. The distortion on my amp was much fuller, clearer and there's no ear fatigue even when sitting in front of the cab at ear level.

I can also feel what I am doing in real time without any smearing or mush of the notes on my amp. THat was missing on the Bogner Fish. In general, there's no way to get an AX7 to explode like a power tube so, for me, preamps will never work. It's the magic in a well designed Class A/ Class A/B1 power amp (not A/B2) that makes it work along with running top end trannies, power supply caps and top end valves to get that brown sound.

So, overall, it was an experiment. I had made my amp with a very low gain front end with the help of a engineer in England. I wanted a high gain front end like a Soldano or Modded Marshall as that was what I was used to. I wanted motorized pots in the amp as well but, due to a mess up with the chasssis that he was responsible for, there was no room after we got the power amp in. So, I was forced to go with a low gain front end.

My goal was to see if it improved my amp sound when substituting the Fish for my pre. It was not nearly as good overall. While it had more channels, the sound was not as good. However, it's not just the pre in my amp that was giving me all the boost but the AU7 and 6SL7 and variable control. We made the driver variable that feeds the power amp so, I can adjust how hard it hits the power section. I also use different rectifier tubes for a harder or softer spongier feel and a fine tuning of the tone. All of that is missing in a preamp rack mount box that I feel is the key to a very good amplification system. It's not just the preamp but, the driver and power amp section. I am now all done with preamp testing and have come to the conclusion that my amp as is is all I need and will not even bother to test any more preamps out as they do not sound as good as an all-in-one box design IMO. The XTC fared better vs. the Fish as well.
Last edited by cmcken1 at Mar 30, 2009,
#25
I'd like to hear clips of your amp ^
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#26
I am finishing up my studio wiring so, I don't have it together yet to record the amp but, when I do get it together, I will post some clips.
#27
Quote by cmcken1
I am finishing up my studio wiring so, I don't have it together yet to record the amp but, when I do get it together, I will post some clips.


Wow, I cant believe this thread is stil running I completley forgot about it. How is the Fish?
Gibson Les Paul Custom
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