The Bogner Story is Basically an Analog Fairytale | MGS
Posted by Robinson Earle on Dec 31st 1969
The Bogner Story is Basically an Analog Fairytale
The Bogner story is basically an analog fairytale. Born the son of a Telefunken employee in the
German town of Ulm where the EL84 was invented, Reinhold Bogner was destined to become
an amp builder. After falling in love with Rock & Roll, he bought a cheap electric guitar and set
about figuring out the rest. It was while cobbling together this first amplifier from parts in his
father’s workshop that he discovered the sonic flexibility that could be achieved by manipulating
the circuit and components. He continued picking and soldering and before long had developed
a reputation for his ability to shape the tone and responsiveness of tube amplifiers.
After much encouragement, he set sail for LA in 1989 to ingratiate himself to the world’s top
session players. It didn’t take him long. The heavily modified JCM800 that he brought with him
from Germany was purchased by Eddie Van Halen. He began making one-of-a-kind, souped-up
Fender Showmans that ended up with players such as Steve Stevens and Allan Holdsworth.
During this time, he was able to refine the unique Hot-Rod Marshall meets Fender sound that
came to define his own line.
In 1992, Bogner released the Ecstasy, one of the amps that heralded the arrival of the boutique
era. At the time, players were attempting to make their setups more versatile in ways that
Bogner considered highly inefficient. By combining 3-channels with switchable pre and power-
amps, he gave players access to a massive array of tones with an immediacy and
responsiveness that was usually only found in relatively simple vintage circuits. The Ecstasy
was unanimously embraced by living legends of the electric guitar such as Walter Becker, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, and Buddy Guy.
It’s 2019 and Bogner is still one of the leaders of the industry. Their longevity is a testament to
the deeply musical character of their amps. Instead of embracing new trends, they’ve
continually refined and differentiated each of their models so that every sort of electric guitar
player can enjoy the signature Bogner sound. High-gain enthusiasts adore their Überschall head,
affectionately described as “Armageddon” in a box. To celebrate their 25th anniversary they
released the Helios, a quintessential EL34, Plexi-inspired amp that combines every nuance
contributing to vintage mojo with modern flexibility. One of our personal favorites at the shop is
the Goldfinger 54 Phi, a combination 6V6/6L6 “guitar system” that lets you sonically leap from
country to country, decade to decade (it admittedly takes a while to dial in, but the results are
Ever restless to perfect the signal chain, Bogner is also an esteemed builder of cabinets and
pedals. Their 4x12s are uniquely voiced for each of their heads and are a fixture in the heavy
music community (they make 2X12s and 1X12s, too). Their pedals, such as the Ecstasy Blue
and the La Grange offer cultivated Bogner amp tones in tiny packages. Basically, anything with
the name Bogner on it is sure to delight and awe. We’re honored to carry the line here at
Midwood Guitar Studio and invite you to stop by a try them out! The only catch is that you gotta’
play ‘em loud.