Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: American Musical Supply
Sound — 7
The sound is phenomenal, with unlimited versatility. I play a Parker P-44 so I can get everything from sparkling cleans to Hendrix dirt to Satriani sustain. I play mostly blues and fusion rock, but metal sounded pretty good as well. A more suited guitar would give better metal tones though. My favorite part of this amp's sound is the touch sensitive leads. You can get very nice dynamic and expressive solos. The only gripe is the effects. This amp's effects are made by Line 6. The reverb is actually quite nice until you reach 2 o'clock. After that is just gets messy. The delay isn't bad either, but since there is an effect signal and a dry signal, which Bogner claims keeps the true tone, phase problems are introduced. With delay playing single notes has a sort of "Satch scream" sound in the background. This is just annoying. I've read the reason for this is the parallel effects loop, but I'm no electrician so I'm not sure a series loop would be better. My pedals sound better with this amp, however my separate delay pedal has phase issues, though not nearly as bad as the onboard effect. Plus, when using my delay pedal, switching from dirty to clean channels while the pedal being on gives a huge spike in volume; quite a pain. An amp of this price and quality should not have these problems. But all in all, a great sounding and versatile amplifier that I know I'll be happy with for a while.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'm quite pleased with the Bogner Alchemist. The versatility and sound quality is perfect for me. The problems are there, but manageable. I was testing this, a mesa/Boogie express 50, and an Egnater renegade 65. The Bogner had the best lead sounds and versatility in my opinion. Great amp.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I must say the build quality is pretty top notch. Everything is crafted well, from the handle on top to the Bogner logo. My footswitch has a bad pot for the reverb switch. However I pretty much keep it on all the time anyway, so it hasn't bothered me at all. Still, it shouldn't happen. But I could absolutely gig with this.
Features — 9
This a 40 Watt 2x12 combo with two channels. Both the clean (gold) and dirty (mercury) channels have gain, volume, bass, middle, and treble controls. Gold channel has Clean/Crunch, bright, and deep switches. Mercury channel has punch, bright, and mid-shift switches. There's also a boost switch for both channels. The amp has built in delay and reverb. The delay mix and repeats controls with a tap tempo button and a switch for analog, tape, and ducking type delays. The reverb has a switch for plate, spring, and hall reverb. The Alchemist 212 is a 40W amp but can be switched to 20W. There is a parallel effects loops with level control which I'm not quite fond of for reasons I'll explain later. There are 5 12AX7 preamp tubes and 2 6V6 power tubes. The amp is equipped with a Celestion G12M Greenback and Celestion G12H 70th Anniversary speakers. Footswitch includes buttons for channel, boost, delay, and reverb. Incredible versatility with this amp and good components.