EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT BOGNER’S ECSTASY BLUE AND ECSTASY RED
Designed to replicate the tones of the Blue and Red channels of Bogner’s Ecstasy tube amplifier, the Blue pedal aims at classic “plexi” style tones while Red is all about high-gain aggression. Common to both are discrete class-A gain stages (Blue has four, Red five) along with a Variac switch (simulates dropped-voltage dynamic response), a 3-way Pre EQ switch (controls high-frequency harmonics), and a 3-way Structure switch (selects EQ and gain structures of various Ecstasy amps). Both pedals have trimpots for presetting the amount of gain and level increase for the footswitchable Boost, along with a Mode switch: Blue’s selects lower or higher gain, whereas Red’s chooses between three different EQ curves and gain structures.
Both pedals deliver rich, tube-sounding distortion over huge range of gain and output. The Blue can serve up everything from bluesy, old Marshall-style grind to heavy rock rhythm and lead tones—while Red has more of everything—including searing gain and a huge EQ range that’ll go deep into scooped-mid territory for skull-crushing metal tones. Amazingly, though, even at the highest gain settings, it’s quiet and the tones clean up well with a twist of your guitar’s volume knob. I dig ’em both, but the Red has so much going for it on the rock and metal side it earns an Editors’ Pick Award. Either way, though, these boxes put an inimitable Bogner stamp on whatever you play them through.
What We Used to Test These Pedals
PRS McCarty, Fender Stratocaster, Bad Cat Hot Cat 100, 1973 Marshall JMP 50-watt through PRS Stealth 2x12
PRS Custom 24 Brazilian and Custom 22, Fender/ Roland GC-1 Stratocaster, Bad Cat Hot Cat 100, Rivera Venus 6, Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II Mark II
Fender Telecaster, Gibson SG, Fender Deluxe Reverb, Fender Princeton Reverb
Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Vox AC30, Fender Blues Junior
Fano JM6 with Fralin P-90s, Gibson 1958 Les Paul Reissue, TopHat Vanderbilt 33 amplifier and 2x12 cab
Epiphone Dot Studio, custom LAG Jet, Fano Retrosphear, California Guitars custom Blue with single-coils, Mesa/Boogie Stiletto, Orange Tiny Terror
PRS SC58, PRS Quatro, Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Paul, 1973 Marshall JMP 50-watt through PRS Stealth 2x12, Fender 1964 Super Reverb, Bad Cat Hot Cat 100 through Bad Cat 4x12