« Good Features But Not the Best Sound »Published on 04/06/15 at 11:19
Many of the reviews I read about the pedal said that the distortion was too much. I thought about getting the blue version because of this complaint. I am glad I went with the red. My gain is at 2 o’clock, and I could probably go higher but I use it in conjunction with some overdrive pedals for layering my level of distortion. I do not think that the distortion is too heavy. I play mostly classic rock, progressive, some pop, and heavy rock, this pedal handles these genres well.
It took me a while to dial in the right sound. To me the EQ settings that I settled on seem odd. The treble is at 9 o’clock, mid is at 4 o’clock, and bass is at about 9:30. I still cannot believe that this is where it sounds best, but it does.
There are four mini-switches atop this pedal. They each have an effect on the overall sound. You will have to spend some time figuring out which one sounds best with your rig. Mine is set as follows- Variac: On, Mode: Full, Pre EQ: n, and Structure: 10. Again, you will have to spend some time flipping switches and turning knobs to find what sounds best. I use both single coil and humbucker loaded guitars, and all of them are active electronics.
At first I was upset that the boost switch did not work unless the distortion was engaged. I wanted to use the boost for my clean sound as well as for solos. Then it hit me that I could have the boost on ready to take me to a solo sound straight from my clean tone. This was a revelation, and is now my favorite feature of the pedal. The amount of boost and distortion added when the boost is engaged have independent controls which is great.
The input and output are all on the top of the pedal which is great for putting it on a pedalboard. There is also a remote in for controlling the pedal with an external footswitch. I can see good applications for this feature, but I do not have a need for it at this time. The pedal is not too large and does not hog up a bunch of real estate on a pedalboard.
It is not the best sounding distortion pedal I have ever heard. It is not bad, it just is not mind-blowing. This might be due to my own tone chasing tendencies, since I am not hearing the sound that is in my head. Then again it has been on my pedalboard for over a year so there is that. Also, the boost switch went bad on me, and I had to have it replaced. I did buy the pedal used so that might be due to poor treatment by the previous owner, but the local guitar tech put in a much better and smoother switch.
Would I buy the Bogner Red Ecstasy again? It has some very nice features, and the sound is good just not fantastic. I am sure I could find another pedal that does all the same things, and I admit that I have my eye on some contenders, but it works. The sound just is not my taste. It would work fine for someone doing pop to heavy rock. Take it for a test drive if you are interested, and see if it is more to your liking.