Well... I didn't actually get this pedal today, but I got it right before I recently joined the forum. Even so, I'll put up my first gear review thread and add to the annals of MG forum reviews.
I'd been looking for a cheap, low volume practice setup for my thin-walled apartment bedroom. I decided instead of trying to find a tube amp that would fit my requirements I would use an old USA made Peavey Bandit as a pedal platform and take a chance on one of the many new amp-in-a-box highgain pedals. I've noticed a number of people here raving about the Bogners, so its not unprecedented! lol.
As far as I have heard this family of pedals has really stepped up their tone quality in the past few years, and many people have expressed a preference for their Oppenhaus, Pisdiyuwot, Bogner, Dominator, or whatever for low-volume practice (instead of say, their high-gain heads at very low volume.) I had a chance to play three fairly boutique high gain stompboxes and instantly fell in love with this one:
I run it straight into the clean channel of my amp with amp tone settings at noon. Because of the powerful EQ options on this pedal I prefer to work toward desired tone right from the stompbox. As you can see there are bass, mid, and treble controls. All very responsive. Then there is gain, level, and depth. The depth control seems to have a lot to do with how woofy or boomy the bass is. I prefer it at 12 o clock or less, but even with it all of the way cranked, with a drop-c tuned guitar, machine gun low note riffs remain articulate. Level obviously handles pedal volume. I'll talk about the gain in the next paragraph. Probably the coolest feature on the pedal is a three-way selector switch allowing one to highlight the mid frequencies one wants: low-mids, high-mids, mid...er...mids. I have been compulsively flipping that switch back and forth mid-practice and am enjoying the variety that it allows one to achieve. I'm not sure how this pedal would sound as a sole source of dirt at band practice or gig volume, but I can imagine the midswitch could be a major boon in such applications as it would allow one to find unoccupied mid frequencies to "cut through" without having to mess around with other aspects of eq and level. This pedal also features a solo-boost switch which adds a quite noticeable amount of gain.
Onto the gain and voicing. I had honestly expected there to be more on tap with this pedal. Don't get me wrong. I'm eating my heart out with all-I-can-play soloing and riffing. It'll get you to death metal territory. However, I have to keep the gain anywhere from 9 o clock to full on, engaging boost to taste. Every last bit of gain available is totally usable on this pedal, and you might find yourself wanting to use damn near all of it if you don't have high output pickups. It doesn't ever take you into the realm of searing super-compression or fizziness. In fact, the whole voicing of the pedal is very open, unsaturated, unforgiving, and articulate. It's slightly smoother sounding and less raspy than a Fryette style voicing, but comparisons could be made.
I wish I could record some sound clips, but alas I have yet to get a recording setup. This pedal is not as well-known as some of the other high gain offerings, so finding quality clips is hard. There are a lot of really crappy demos that fail to represent the pedal well due to either lack of chops or bad recording setup. I don't particularly care for how low this player tends to keep his mids, and the off-the-cuff riffs he uses to demo the pedal are uninteresting to me, but this is the ONLY youtube demo so far that I've found that doesn't totally suck balls: [VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7PSCOIrSXA]Weehbo Effekte: MORBID DRIVE High Gain Distortion (ESP-T7 to HIWATT SA212) - YouTube[/VIDEO]
Not exactly Ola demo standard...
Overall verdict? I would HIGHLY recommend this pedal to anyone looking at high gain pedal options. Don't leave this one off your "to try" list.