Alchemist 212 Review

manufacturer: Bogner date: 11/30/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Bogner: Alchemist 212
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.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Alchemist 212 Reviewed by: Chris Schementi, on january 18, 2010
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Price paid: $ 1200

Purchased from: American Musical Supply

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 9.5
Alchemist 212 Reviewed by: neoamir, on november 30, 2010
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Price paid: $ 850

Purchased from: Guitar Center - Clearence

Features: The Bogner Alchemist 212 combo, is an all tube made in china amp. It's a 2 channel amp, when the first channel (gold) is a clean/crunch channel, and the second channel is a distortion channel. this amp is made in collaboration with Line 6, and contains a Line 6 built in reverb and delay, both controllable by the effects loop - 3 types of reverb, and 3 types of delay. The only thing I don't like about this amp is that the daly can be set only with a tap tempo - that is located on the amp itself, and there is no other way to control the tempo of the delay. It also has a parallel FX loop, and you can choose with a back nob near the loop the amount of the signal that is sent (you can set the fx loop to work parallel to your original sound if you want). You can also choose weather you want it to work on a 20W settings (a nice brown sound setting) or a full 40W settingI'd rate it 9 since the delay tap tempo is a bit bugging. // 9

Sound: I've tested this amp with a Peavey Hp Special USA Ft guitar. I'm using it for a varity of genres. The Clean channel is very versatile. It has a bright switch, Deep switch, a volume nob, a 3 band eq, and a gain nob. Pushing with the gain nob to maximum can get you to a sound of a pushed Marshall, while backing with the gain gcan give sparkly Fendery cleans. Switching to crunch (you have to do it manually) you can get a great ACDC tone. backing on the gain nob gives you the pushed edge of the clean channel, and when you put the gain on maximum, you can get that pure ACDC tone. Can also take you into the sound of Guns And Roses' rhythem parts. Switching into mercury schannel (distortion) the amp glows here. The Mercury Channel has a 3 band eq controls, a gain nob, a punch switch, bright switch, and a mid scoop switch. Natural, the mercury channel is quite fuzzy, but when you engage the punch Switch it tightens up the sound into a mesa esq tone. The bright Switch is well, a bright Switch - brightens up the tone into a more strat esq tone. The mid scoop scoops your mid into a more metal sort of tone. The gain itself on the amp is not that high, but it's surely heavey. If you want to get to high gain, you may just hit the "boost" buuton on the footswitch/amp's front panel. The "Boost" boosts up your gain into the heavy gain of modern metalcore and you can easily get that nice Disturbed tone, or a modern metal core sound (think Parkway Drive of killswitch engage), depanding on how you play with the EQ. I use an MXR Zakk Wylde OD for a Solo Boost, and it sounds great. My amp setting for distortion is Treble at about 2 and a half oclock, Middle at 3 oclock, and Bass at about 5 Oclock, full gain, punch Switch on, and Mid scoop on. If that's not enough, the built in reverb and delay are just amazing. can settle you for a live gig easily. The FX loop is dead silent when not used, and the positive thing for it to always be working, is that you don't need to push an FX LOOP button on your footswitch to activate it. At least I like it. I'd rate it 10 Sound Wise. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I had 1 gig with it, since I own it for month, and I have retubed it before the gig. Didn't breakdown, everything worked amazing. I'm the "always bring backup" person, but it, it has no sign of being any close to breaking up. It also has wheels on its base, so if you want to move it, you can always attach a dog strap and "walk it to the gig". // 10

Overall Impression: I was very lucky to get the last Bogner Alchemist at guitar center in new york, since it was on clearence, and was the last one. It's a great high gain amp, that can compete very well with the commonly used boogies, and is better by my opinion. I play music ranging from Blues to Metalcore and Deathcore, and this amp is perfect, and can get heavey enough even though I'm not using active pickups on my guitars. This is my first tube amp after 2 years of searching - I wanted the best and got it. I've been playing for about 5 years. I had nothing more to ask before buying it - I came prepared and knew exactly what I was getting. I it was lost or stolen, first of all I'd laugh since it weighs 80 lbs, and the thief is probably in physiotherapy right now. Then I'd grieve. No other amp is similar to this amp, and I can't save the money again. I love everything about, except the tap tempo, but that's fine :). I had compared it to Mesas, Peavey 6505, And Marshall JCM 800s. None of them was as versatile and sounded as good as this one. // 9

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