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Up until fairly recently, most guitar players who play heavy hitting genres of metal were relying on standard amps to get the job done. Ever since 7 and 8 string guitars, low keys and chugging riffs became a thing, many amp manufacturers rushed to meet the demand of this crowd.
Bogner did the same. Their Uberschall series of amps were designed with the simple task of delivering high amounts of bone shaking gain to those who need it.
But wait, you might say. How practical is it to push a tube amp so hard? As it turns out, very practical. Lets take a closer look at this beast and see what makes it tick.
Truth be told Uberschall is far from being the first amp of this kind.
Many before it, including legendary Peavey 6505+, various Mesa/Boogies and similar. Its not about being the first to deliver hard sound on demand. It is about it being one of the best models of this type on the market.
As you probably know by now, every amp has its own character, its own nature. So does Uberschall. Speaking of which, the name Uberschall means super sonic in German.
Without falling for the cultural prejudices too much, it’s hard not to call this amp German space magic. It has that distinct German quality to it.
Looking at the Uberschall, it is hard to figure out what Bogner went for in terms of design. This head has a very vintage look to it, but it’s missing all of those little details which vintage amps are known for.
I’m talking chromed pieces in large quantities and similar aesthetic details. Instead, you get a hybrid look. An amp that is halfway between a cultured vintage guitar head and something so sinister it makes the hair on your neck stand up. Seriously.
The all black everything approach Bogner took, aside from the logo and the a few labels, lets you know right away that Uberschall was designed for metal.
Being a proper tube head, Uberschall isn’t exactly easy. Even so, it’s probably lighter than most of its competition. The grille in the back is promiscuous, giving you a hint of what’s in store but not really letting you take a good look.
Looks aside, this amp is all about hardware. So much so that Bogner actually allows you to pick and choose what you want to get. For example, you get to choose between the 120 Watt EL34, 100 Watt KT88 or 100 Watt 6L6 power stage.
No matter which one you go with, you won’t be disappointed. Looking at the available controls, we see two distinct channels with independent controls.
Each one has gain, bass, treble, middle volume and presence controls. The clean channel was quite a surprise. You don’t really expect something as refined from an amplifier which is known for its brutal sound. The gain channel is a story of its own.
Aside from the already mentioned features, Bogner ships these with a foot switch that you can use to activate the channels as well as the effects loop.
If you are up to treat yourself, I suggest pairing the Uberschall with a matching 412 straight front loaded cabinet that Bogner offers as an option. It just compliments the head in ways other cabs simply can’t.
Setting the entire rig up and flipping that on switch leads to pure ecstasy with this bad boy. The clean channel, in all of its refined glory, is packed with headroom.
That’s no exaggeration either. If you’re the type of guitar player who has a fine tuned dist dialed in on your pedalboard, this channel will allow you to use your setup to its fullest potential.
Seriously, you can go as crazy as you want to with effects and Uberschall’s clean channel will keep up.
Honestly, that’s not what this amp is known for. The real fun starts when you access the high gain channel. There is just something about a proper tube amp being flooded with gain to the point where it falls into heavy distortion, which is hard to describe with words.
Overdrive alone can be pretty impressive, but once you go one step past that and enter the narrow band of madness, your guitar starts to sound different. What I have noticed about Uberschall is that it plays well with low tunings.
Testing the amp with an 8 string guitar has yielded great results as well. It’s not easy to make those low, heavy gauge strings sound good under high amounts of gain, yet Uberschall has done exactly that. It is an amp that packs enough gain where you really don’t have to add any more.
One thing I do suggest is that you experiment with different tubes. We all have our own favorites. Some may say that the difference in sound is miniscule at best, but I say go for it. You won’t know if it’s better or worse until you try.
I haven’t experimented with this head in that regard but something tells me it would enjoy a fresh set of high end tubes.
At the end of the day Bogner has done what they do best. Uberschall is a distinctly boutique head that packs heaps of power and gain in a very refined and controllable package.
It is a brute, but one that you can bend to your will. Because it plays so well with low tunings and heavy gauge strings, it is by far one of my favorites for anything metal.
If you are looking for an alternative to all those Mesa/Boogies, Peaveys and EVH 5150s, this Bogner might be exactly what you are looking for. It definitely has that refreshing vibe to it.