Alchemist 1X12 review by Bogner

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.8 (16 votes)
Bogner: Alchemist 1X12

Price paid: $ 800

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 8
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.

Reliability & Durability — 5
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.

Features — 10
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.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SeanX3187 wrote: pretty cool amp. i'm not sure if i'd want to pay that much for a small, low powered amp though. although, Fender amps have been getting pretty expensive too so this doesn't look like such a bad deal. great review.
    A 15 watt amp is low powered and can blow your face off depending on what type (Orange Tiny Terror and Vox AC15 can make your ears bleed). A 40 watt amp is medium powered and frankly more than a lot of people need. You pay for tone, not wattage. If an amp was ten watts but sounded amazing and was loud enough, I'd pay a high price for it because it does what you need it to.
    The MSRP on the Alchemist head was over $1700, its now selling for $499, and the 2x12 cab for $299. I dont care WHO you are, $800 for a Bogner half stack is a smokin' deal...even if it is manufactured at the Line 6 facility in China. Its sounds WAY better than the Spider Valve and is selling for 1/2 the price.
    The Alchemist series was introduced to be a cost-effective alternative to the uber-expensive boutique amp that only pro players can afford. At their list price, it might be hard to justify buying an Alchemist when there was a lot of competition in the 1,700-2,000 dollar range. At what they are now selling them for at clearance prices, everyone should be beating down the doors to get one! I've owned a Shiva, which was fantastic. I now own three Alchemists, and they are 90% of the Shiva tone for 20% of the price. They are GREAT amps! I haven't had them long enough to experience any reliability problems, but they are built like tanks and the tone and versatility make this one of the BEST AMPS I'VE EVER OWNED, and I've owed a lot of amps over 40 years. I can't believe they are selling this cheap now. If I had an extra 1,000 I'd buy 2 more while they're still available.
    outlet said: "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 couldnt have said it better myself. nice review.
    does anyone have an idea what this amp is worth nowadays when it's state is as good as new?