Recorded through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV and miked with a Royer R-121 feeding an Apogee Duet into PreSonus Studio One
Clip 1: Variac off, B2 setting, M gain, all EQs at noon, volume at 11 o’clock, gain at 1 o’clock
Clip 2 Rhythm: Variac off, B1 setting, L gain, treble and bass at noon, mids at 1 o’clock, volume at noon, gain at 1 o’clock
Lead: Variac on, B1 setting, H gain, treble and bass at noon, mids at 1 o’clock, volume at noon, gain at 1 o’clock

 

Ratings

Pros:
Incredible low- and mid-gain tones. Versatile EQ controls and useful EQ profiles.

Cons:
Would love option for a switchable boost.

Street:
$199

Bogner Ecstasy Blue Mini
bogneramplification.com



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Nearly 30 years ago, Reinhold Bogner debuted the Ecstasy amp and planted his flag as an in-demand builder for the hard rock and metal set. The flagship Ecstasy models were so successful that in 2012 the company introduced pedals inspired by Ecstasy circuits. The logical next step was to offer a pared-down stomp with nearly all the features in half the space. Naturally, the sound of Bogners brings to mind gained-up heavy riffs, but the Ecstasy Blue offers quite a bit more to those who live near the lower end of the gain scale.

Reinhold packed all the essential elements of the Blue’s big brother into this compact pedal. It has an active 3-band EQ, a variac switch, a 3-way gain toggle, and three different EQ profiles. The variac offers a more compressed sound, which worked great with my T-style Schroeder. I was able to get that sought-after sag and feel at a more manageable volume. On the low- and mid-gain settings, the clarity and harmonic richness was quite stunning. Hang with me here, but I could totally use this on anything from a honky-tonk gig to the Wednesday night blues jam.

Don’t let the Bogner pedigree fool you. The Ecstasy Blue is a fantastic and powerful dirt box that covers more ground than one might expect. Not surprisingly, it’s built like a bomb shelter and adds just enough features to keep more simple-minded players like myself from being paralyzed by choice.

Test gear: Schroeder Chopper TL, Fender Jaguar P-90, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Fender Hot Rod DeVille IV