Ecstasy 101B review by Bogner

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (16 votes)
Bogner: Ecstasy 101B
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Price paid: $ 3495

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
The sound is obviously the reason you buy such a high-end amplifier. All of the EQ's highly affect the sound of the amp. Every one of its seemingly useless features has an extreme affect on the over-all texture of the amplifier. All of the features work together in a glorious symphony of versatility that I have never seen before in any other amplifier. It's glorious The clean channel can vary from a stunning bright glassy sound to a very bassy thick tone. You can also get a decent amount of crunch by using the boost and gain knobs as well. The rhythm channel might be my favorite channel on the amp. You can get sounds out of it ranging from a Mesa lone-star to a perfect Vintage Marshall sound; after a few minutes of tweaking I nailed down both Andy Timmons' and Jimmy Page's tone perfectly. With the boost option its ranges into early thrash Megadeth tones. The lead channel is just simply crushing. There are scary amounts of gain on tap with tons of headroom, while still never sounding sterile or cold. It sounds like there is a raging inferno built inside the amp. The boost option fits perfectly on this channel. Solos scream and rhythms are devastating. Its ranges from a perfect scooped Soldano to a flawlessly voiced, round, British Orange. Every channel on this amp takes pedals extremely well, except for distortion pedals. I put my ds-1 both in the loop and in front of the amp as well, it just sounded terrible. I'm not sure if that's every distortion pedal, but it's defiantly the case with the ds-1. Also the plexi channel is kind of a joke. You have to turn it so loud to get any distortion from it, it just becomes unbearable.

Overall Impression — 10
The Ecstasy truly lives up to its pedigree. It comes from a man whole truly knows his ART, and it shows. I got tired of buying amps that constantly broke down on me, so I saved my pennies and went all the way. It is quite possibly one of the sexiest amps I have ever seen, and it sounds even better than it looks. I would highly recommend playing one, and of course buying it. You get what you pay for, and in this case it's a lot.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't had a chance to test this on the road, but it's built like a tank. The construction is very firm and it doesn't rattle around like a few other tube amps I have owned. I would for sure gig this amp without a backup. The chassis is a very solid single piece of metal. The tubes are set very sturdily into place. It has the quality you would expect from such an amp.

Features — 10
The Bogner Ecstasy is a beautiful hand-built amplifier, I'm not sure of the year as I am the second owner. This 120 watt monster has 4 Svetlana c-wing el34's and six China 12AX7's. This amplifier has a colossal amount of features. It has 3 channels, clean (green), rhythm (blue) and lead (red). These are all switchable by a massive footswitch. The back panel of the 101B can be a tad overwhelming when you first look at it. On the far left you have the send and return for the effects loop and the volume control for that. It also contains a new/old Switch. The old option actually kills certain parts of the power tubes giving you a Vintage sound throughout the whole amplifier, whereas the new allows for full use of the tubes. Next to that you have the speaker input which is switchable from 4, 8 and 16 ohms, and also the half power and on/off toggle. The front panel is a much simpler layout. There is a massive row of chicken knobs that are split into their respective channels by colored lights on either end of the EQ's depending on which sound you want. The clean channel is mostly independent but the red and green channels share EQ's (apart from gain and channel volume). Each channel has its own pre-EQ option, which gives you a treble, mid or bass sound. The entire amp has a gain structure Switch, high or low. The clean channel contains an independent boost control while the rhythm and lead channels share a boost option. There is an entire excursion system, which basically gives you even further control over the sound coming through the speakers. Bogner refers to it as cone control. There are also assignable presence knobs which can be a tad confusing at first. There is also a plexi option, which is assignable to either the first or second channel. After just a day of tweaking, you quickly come to understand the layout of the Ecstasy.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    schtick_bomb
    If i had bought the other amps i would have had to buy a fender deluxe/mesa lonestar/marshall superlead/soldano avenger, and i still wouldnt have the versatillity, or reliability.... and yes, the tone is good, thats why i bought it.
    LeoKisomma
    Here's my two cents to why to buy a Bogner rather than a Mrashall. I have a Bogner alchemist stack. It's the least powerful stack that Bogner makes, with 40 watts at full power. They tested it up against the signature Marshall stack used by Kerry king of Slayer, a top of the range product. The Bogner was louder and Clearer. The cheap stuff from Bogner beats Marshall top notch stuff. I rest my case.
    Mr. Kyle
    I love Bogner, but honestly I wasn't impressed with the Alchemist line.
    SeanX3187
    why would you pay so much for an amp? sure, the tone is good, but that's not enough for me to want to buy an amp that cost that much. it would have to serve beer and talk and have laser beams in it to make it worth nearly $4,000. and you compared the tones to other, much less expensive amps. why not just buy those? also, why would you try to use a distortion pedal on that amp? for that much money, it should have better distortion than a cheap, solid state distortion pedal. i'm not ragging on you, just the idea of massively expensive amps. it's just ridiculous.
    SeanX3187
    i don't know man, it just seems crazy to me to spend that much on a head, not even a half stack, or full stack, but a head. my half stack cost me just shy of $1,200, and even that to me was too much. and it's not shit either. Marshall JCM 900 4100 and Marshall 1960AV Cab. but if you have the money to spend on it, more power to you, i'm just not that lucky. i hope to pick up a Mesa Road King at some point when i can afford one, and those are about $3000, so maybe i'll see where you're coming from.
    TRH
    You have to play a Bogner to understand the price. They are simply the best amps that I've played. Personally, I believe the Shiva 1x12 combo is their best model, but they don't make a bad amp.
    LostKeys
    LeoKisomma wrote: Here's my two cents to why to buy a Bogner rather than a Mrashall. I have a Bogner alchemist stack. It's the least powerful stack that Bogner makes, with 40 watts at full power. They tested it up against the signature Marshall stack used by Kerry king of Slayer, a top of the range product. The Bogner was louder and Clearer. The cheap stuff from Bogner beats Marshall top notch stuff. I rest my case.
    +5 I too have the Alchemist, and it blows aways any Marshall I've ever played!
    _Kramer_
    Don't buy Marshall, they care garbage and their support isn't what it used to be. I traded my JVM410H for the this head and man what a difference, plus its actually reliable on the road. Don't listen to these newbs about their $1200 stacks, that stuff is made in China