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Bogner Shiva Head
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Bogner Shiva Head
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Rampage Rampage

« Tone at the flick of a switch »

Publié le 03/21/11 à 09:48
- 80 watts via duet of EL-34s (reviewed) or 60 watts via duet of 6L6s.
- Two channels (clean and overdrive) plus footswitchable boost feature.
- Clean channel controls: Bright switch, bass, treble and volume.
- Overdrive channel controls: Bright switch, bass, middle, treble, gain and volume.
- Global controls: Master volume and presence.
- Other features: Tube buffered effects loop and footswitch (channel, boost, optional reverb).

UTILIZATION

A plug-and-play amp if there ever was one, the Bogner Shiva may be one of the simplest amps available on the market these days. While the older Shivas had the tricky effects loop, this was addressed in the newer models with two outputs for either pedal or rack effects. I used the Shiva with a T.C. Electronic G-Major and never experienced any issues.

SOUNDS

The Shiva has a wonderful array of classic and modern tones on tap. The first thing I noticed about this amplifier was the clean channel. I have owned many amplifiers, boutique and otherwise. I can say that, of the amplifiers I have owned, the Shiva has the best cleans. Considering that the amplifier is a channel switcher and runs on EL-34s, this is quite the accomplishment. While the Shiva’s cleans may not be as pristine as amplifiers such as the Fender Twin, the cleans do offer a jangly character that will keep even the most heavy metal-centric player on the channel.

While the cleans are exceptional, the Shiva’s prowess is overdrive. My recommendation for anyone playing the Shiva is to do the old Marshall trick: Set all of the controls at noon (perhaps not the volume) and begin playing. It is my belief that you will have a much harder time finding bad tones present in this amplifier than you will in finding excellent ones. The beauty of the Shiva is that it takes what Marshall did in the ‘70s and ‘80s and adds some modern appointments so that the user can achieve tones ranging from classic rock to heavy metal (the utilization of the boost feature works wonders here).

One thing is constant, though: Swirling notes. It is hard to describe, but the Shiva has a midrange character that results in what sounds like a light swirling of each note and chord that creates a very harmonically rich tone. Also, if you are like me and dislike Celestion Vintage 30s with most amps, you should try them with the Shiva. I used the Shiva in conjunction with a Bogner Oversized 2x12 loaded with Vintage 30s and I must say that my impression of the Vintage 30 speaker changed immediately.

OVERALL OPINION

Let me begin this section with a little story. After approximately six months, I began noticing a microphonic ringing that would start after thirty minutes of play. Thinking this was a tube issue, I purchased a new duet of SED Winged C EL-34s (Bogner’s recommendation to handle the high voltages of the Shiva) and several Chinese 12AX7s. I replaced the original tubes and biased the amplifier, but to no avail: The ringing was still present. I brought the amplifier to my trusted amplifier technician who found a microphonic component in the footswitch’s power supply. Fortunately, the guys at Bogner were very helpful in diagnosing this problem and mailed a new power supply out to my tech very quickly. This new supply did the trick and I never heard the ringing again.

While I was not happy with the fact that a $2,000 amplifier had an issue so early on, the guys at Bogner were extremely helpful and made the whole situation a breeze. You could say that an experience such as this would leave someone displeased; however, Bogner cannot control what happens to an amplifier after it leaves one of their dealers. All that Bogner can control is customer service, and they do very well. Between the quality of the amplifier and the quality of the people at Bogner, I am a very happy customer.

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