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Bogner Ecstasy XTC 101B Head
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Bogner Ecstasy XTC 101B Head
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« Boutique Workhorse »

Published on 03/16/11 at 06:43
The Bogner Ecstasy 101B is an all tube 120W head packed with features. The 101 came as two versions the "A" and the "B". The latest being equipped with EL34 output power tubes.

3 Channel head, although channels 2 and 3 share the same EQ knobs, with the difference that the switches such as "Excursion", "Brightness", are independent for all of them. This makes the tonal possibilities of the amp almost endless.

Included is the 7 function footswitch, which controls the boosts for all channels and the On/Off switch for the Loop.

The Ecstasy 101B has other tone shaping options such as "Half power", "Class A/AB", "New/Old" on the back panel, as well as the send and return jacks for the effects loop.

Last but not least channel 2 or 3 can be assigned "Plexi mode" basically a plexiglass Marshall amp lives inside this amplifier.

UTILIZATION

The Bogner Ecstasy is so packed with features, knobs and switches it can be quite confusing and overwhelming at first. It is not an easy amplifier to set up, but the tonal reward when done so is well worth it.
It is not a beginner amp by any means, the manual available on the Bogner website is clear and helpful although there are tons of tricks on setting this beast up.

The build quality is up there with all the boutique makers, and I have not dealt with customer support from Bogner.

SOUNDS

First Channel (Green Channel): Can go from pristine cleans when set up correctly to classic rock when used with the boost. The clean channel's circuit is based off a vintage Fender, and the tip to getting a good sound is:

- Volume on 10, and use the Gain knob to control the output volume.
- Mids on 4 with treble and bass knobs adjusted to taste.
- Brightness switch on B1

There is no other way around it, but once done correctly the amp sounds gorgeous.

Second Channel (Blue Channel): This is the Bogner trademark sound right here, unique signature sound worth the price of admission. This channel can do it all. Needs to be heard to be believed. Boosted it can nail the 80's hard rock tones. If you need more gain...

Third Channel (Red Channel): More compressed and liquid than the Blue Channel, very good soloing channel but lacks a bit of low end tightness when needed. Seems less voiced for rhythm and more for leads. Lots of sustain and harmonics of course.

Plexi Mode: A nice addition to an already great amplifier, the Plexi mode behaves just like an old Marshall Plexiglass, it needs to be turned up loud to achieve greatness. Anyone who has played a vintage Marshall knows what I mean.

OVERALL OPINION

Pros: Build quality, lots of tone shaping features, and its versatility

Cons: The Red channel could be improved (In fact it was in the 20th Anniversary Ecstasy) to sound tighter and have more low end, for those Metal moments.

Overall this amplifier will do everything well, from Fender, to Marshall... while adding that addictive Bogner voicing that is so unique and special!

I would buy it again if the 20th version were not available. If you have the cash I suggest checking that one out first, as it carries the best features of this amp and then some...
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