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Sound Quality

I dont know where to start with this. There are so many sounds available from this amp it's untrue. With the use of the excursion controls and pre-amp brightness switches there is a hell of a lot of ground you can cover. I cant really think of any style that you wouldnt be able to play on this amp. Because there are so many options, its not at all a plug and play amp - it takes quite a long time to get used to how all of the settings effect each other. I mostly use a mahogany PRS 1993 Standard 22 with Dragon I pick ups & Reverend Rocco Custom. Im also using a Marshall 1960AX with Celestion Greenbacks (which this amp seems to love!). I use quite an extensive pedal board through the effects loop, but in all honesty, i love the natural sound of this amp so much, that im starting to shy away from my effects. Green Channel - this is the cleanest channel of the three. With the gain set quite low, and the excursion on this channel set loose - you're in Fender realms. Crystal clear with bell like chime, and plenty of low end. Tighten up the excursion and roll the gain up and you're closer to cleaner Vox sounds. Crisp clean, with a touch of break up, very responsive, and great sustain. With the gain all the way up you get some fantastic blues tones, which are incredibly responsive to picking and dynamic playing. If you hit the gain boost with the gain already max'd on this channel you get a nice vintage solo sound. Blue Channel - this channel is fantastic! Very, very transparent though. If your playing is a little sloppy then this channel is very unforgiving - but otherwise it is definately the most rewarding. With the gain quite low and brightness set to Normal, it starts off sounding very bluesy, and nicely gets more and more bite as the gain increases. Put the brightness switch to B1 and put the gain up and I'd compare it to a refined JCM800 mixed with a Soldano SLO. As you turn the gain up on this channel, it does get quite compressed. As a general rule i dont normally have the gain for this channel past 12 o'clock. For rhythm crunch this channel is PERFECT. It sounds quite British, but in it's own way. With the boost on, its very good for solos, or fat modern rock rhythm playing. Red Channel - This is the highest gain channel. It follows on perfectly from the blue channel into a very liquid lead tone with lashings of sustain. This channel really screams! This is the channel that metalheads will love. With the gain at about 1 - 2 o'clock you get a massive modern metal tone with plenty of punch, and then engage the boost for howling solos. This channel is not as transparent as the blue channel due to the larger amounts of gain available, but will still reveal any sloppiness quite easily. There is nothing i can really compare this channel to. Plexi Mode - There's not much to say about this that isnt already obvious. It does sound very convincing, but just a touch darker than an actual Plexi. I've used this channel the least. Mostly because i firmly believe if you want the sound of a particular amp you shouldn't expect to get that sound from something else. And also, i found the Blue and Red channels to sound so good, that i didnt want to disable either of them.


The amp is 4 years old, and -touch wood- is going strong. There is, however, something that now rattles when i play muted high gain parts, but i think its just the grille on the back - as it only fixes at each end, leaving the middle top and bottom a bit loose. I'll investigate it when i get chance. The amp does seem very reliable. It definately weighs enough!


General Comments

I've been playing guitar for about 8 years now.


This amp quite simply has everything i need tone wise. In the last few years ive owned a Framus Cobra, rack mount Mesa Rec, H&K triamp (which is getting sold) and a Soldano HotRod 50+. The only one of these amps i would keep aside from the Bogner XTC would be the Soldano, purely because they have a similar voicing, its so straightforward and a great workhorse, and makes a reliable back up. I bought the Bogner XTC because i liked the idea behind the Triamp, but felt that the H&K was really lacking tonally. The Bogner hasn't let me down at all. Being an American take on British voiced amps, it couples nicely with the Soldano but takes it up to the next level.


If someone stole my Bogner XTC i'd buy another as soon as i possibly could! This is one peice of gear that i couldnt bare to lose. The tone and versatility of the amp are absolutely incredible. The only other amp that really comes anywhere close is the Diezel VH4.


There are only 2 negative points i have. The first is that you cant assign excursion controls to JUST the blue channel. It has to be 'Excursion B' to Green / Green&Blue&Red / Red, which means 'Exc A' will only affect either Blue&Red or Green&Blue. This isnt really such a big problem, it would just be nice to be able to have that option. My other negative point is that there is no overall master volume. I really cant understand why there isnt one.


Either way though, this amp was perfect for me tonally, and is genuinely a pleasure to play!

Reviewer's Background

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