The Bogner Story is Basically an Analog Fairytale.

The Bogner Story is Basically an Analog Fairytale.

Posted by Robinson Earle on Sep 5th 2019

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 BeckerSteve VaiEric 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

extraordinary).

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.