Finally after almost two weeks of travelling my Bogner Ecstasy arrived and it is glorious. As a nice surprise the Amp Gizmo I bought off that magnificent bastard Cameron arrived today too so it's all coming up Milhouse! What's annoying though is that for the Amp Gizmo to get to Australia from Arizona took less time than the amp to come from the other side of the country to here. Whoever owned this before me loved this amp. A quartet of new Mullard EL34s and a quintet of Mullard 12AX7's that sound glorious. Unfortunately one or two of them are microphonic so I'll have to replace them and there is some rumble in the shell which I'll have to find and deaden. I was kind of afraid of getting a tone on this amp because of all the reviews I'd heard of it saying there are too many options. The moment I turned it on my head was exploding wondering what the fuck those people are on about?!
The clean channel is just pure win. Within about 3 seconds of plugging up the ESP Custom it was singing. The thing is so responsive it's insane. I turned the gain up just enough that when I hit the strings hard it clips softly, when I play with regular attack it lightly compresses and when I soften my touch it is pure dynamics. I melted at just how good it sounded with the PAF style pickup. The pre eq switch works wonders in getting the right amount of oomph from it. Hitting the gain boost allows the notes to open up hard and punch you in the gut. Not something I normally associate with a clean channel.
Switching over to channel two, the blue channel, I had instantly found my rhythm tone. Turning the gain up to about 70%, turning the boost on, leaving the excursion at M and turning the volume up a bit brought a monster tone up that just brought a stupid smile to my face. The channel assignable cabs is a beautiful thing and allowed me to A/B two different cabs (the Recto cab and the Framus cab) and find which worked best. Recto won this one. I flicked the plexi mode on for some fun and it really does become a plexi. Right down to having to crank it to get that classic crunch. Will be awesome once I throw an OD in the front to see how it pushes.
On channel 3, the red one, I used the second presence/excursion control to dial up some tight metal mayhem. Throwing the excursion control to the T setting removed all the low end rumble and brought the clarity. A little less presence was needed and this channel is awesome for single note runs or riffing hard. The EL34's in this thing are marvellous.
There's many switches and options on this that I probably won't use like the line outs and Attenuator loop on speaker 2's output, but the ability to down the amp to about 7w by switching it to triode, half power, class A is pretty neat.
Officially this is now my number 1 amp and will be replacing my Triaxis/2:90 for my live and band usage. Now to build a road case with rack space for it to make it easier to trek around.