As one of the cheaper Bogner guitar amp models, the Alchemist is my little secret weapon. I’ve seen it for as low as $600 used and this flexible little amp is worth every penny. As far as I know Bogner does not make this amp anymore.
I first got introduced to it when I brought my amp in for maintenance. Jörg at Bogner gave me an Alchemist as a loaner, while my treasured Ecstacy head was re-tubed and fine tuned. It came with an open back 2×12 cabinet with one Celestion Green back and one Celestion Vintage 30 in it. An unusual combination you might think and so did I. But when I plugged in my guitar, I was simply amazed by the tone it produced. The clean tone was warm and transparent. It felt like I could touch every note. It was less aggressive and not as funky as the Ecstacy, but it had a certain softness, that worked well for Contemporary Jazz. The combination of my guitar, a Valley Arts Custom Pro, the amp and the cabinet just worked beautifully.
I started recording with it and I ended up using it for the entire album, my 2011 release “What the Funk”. It was used on the 2011 Smooth Jazz song of the year “ Jump Start”, after “Pacific Coast Highway”, my biggest number 1 Billboard Hit to date.
The guitar tone I had on “Sarah Smile” is my favorite sound I was ever able to record. I used the clean channel with the lead boost on and placed one microphone in the front of the speaker and one behind it.
I did not even ask for my other amp back until I was almost done with the CD, out of fear I would have to return it. And actually I told Jörg and Reinhold that I did not want to give it back and they gave it to my as an endorsement gift. I made a video as a thank you promoting the amp showcasing some of it’s features.
Basically the Bogner Alchemist is a tube guitar amp with two channels, one clean and one overdrive. There is a boost switch, which effectively turns that into four channels, by changing the volume from a rhythm to lead level. One of the things I like about it too, is that it has a built in reverb and ducking delay. So I can take this amp as it is to a jam session without bringing anything else. The lead channel can be adjusted from full shred to a more bluesy sound. But there is also a special lead setting I used on “Detroit Strut”. By switching the punch button on the lead channel off, I got this clean lead tone, but with a lot of sustain. You can check out the Video here
If you like the sound you can get two of my songs as free downloads, just for signing up to my mailing list at nilsguitar.com
Bogner amps are made in California. their web address is www.bogneramplification.com