Bogner Lafayette Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DexterT, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. DexterT

    DexterT Member

    Messages:
    559
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    A few weeks ago I got a Bogner Lafayette head and after using it at home and with a band I think I can make a fair assessment of the amp. There is almost nothing out there on this amp so I thought I would give my opinion.

    Disclaimer: A lot of this 'review' is my opinion. Some will be fact. I will not be going over every single feature but I will give a quick run down of the important ones. I've been throwing just about every guitar I have through this thing, but mostly a Les Paul and a PRS studio through a THD 2x12 ported cab with stock speakers.

    - 12 or 6 watts (2 ecc83's, 2 el84's)
    - Volume, Tone, Schizo Switch (more on this later)
    - No effects loop or reverb

    The look of this amp still blows me away. The subtle little swirls in the tolex are really cool. The over sized knobs serve a dual purpose, the look cool and they are easy to see where your knobs are. This is something that I never knew was an issue until I got this amp. On my other amps it's tricky to see the knobs, especially in the dark or on stage. The amp is very light but it feels solid. The knobs feel good and the switches have a very satisfying click to them. Even the input jack feels snug. These types of things may not be important but I think it speaks to the overall quality of the amp. You can just tell that no corners were cut.

    So how does this sound? I think it's supposed to be based loosely off of a Vox AC15, but who knows? I don't have a ton of experience with an AC15 so I can't comment too much on it. It's a bare bones amp. You want more gain? Turn it up. You want cleans? Turn it down. There isn't much headroom so if you're looking for a 'pedal platform' amp, look elsewhere. The schizo switch is where your tone lives. It has four positions. Position one has the most clean headroom (breaks up around 2 o'clock with humbuckers). It seems to have more highs and sound great with a strat. I like this position for an in between clean and dirty type thing. This position made me want to play cheesy texas blues all day long. This position also gives great clarity and articulation to humbuckers. Switching from position 1 to 2 increased the volume quite a bit. You lose a lot of headroom, it starts breaking up around 11 o'clock. To my ears this is the most raw sound I've heard from an amp, meaning it sounds like your guitar and how you play. It doesn't seem to color the tone very much (this is my personal favorite position as it allows the character of your guitar to shine). Position 3 and 4 are like position 2 except in 3 the lows and highs are boosted and in position 4 everything is boosted for maximum gain and volume. Position 3 really made my Les Paul shine. It balanced out the midrange heavy humbuckers and just made my guitar sound better. Position 4 is full on loud and gainy. A bit too much gain for me but fun none the less.

    The tone control works very well. I can't really describe how it works but I find it to be usable in all positions. With it all the way up it almost sounds like a bright switch was turned on. It isn't shrill it's just bright. I will also add that no matter where the tone control is the bottom end stays true. The low end is perfect (this is also partly because of the cabinet I am using, which seems to sound good with just about any head) it's full without being boomy.

    The volume knob works just like any vintage amp volume knob. There is no master or gain or anything like that, if you want gain you turn it up. At about half volume it's about as loud as it will get, after that you get more gain. It's a volume knob, you know how it works. I know someone is going to ask, will it hold up with a band? I've been using this head with a 2x12 cabinet with a band at it holds up just fine. It is the perfect volume for how loud my band plays. We have a hard hitting drummer and another guitar player using a 50 watt amp. I usually keep the volume on 2 o'clock and using my guitars volume to clean it up. I haven't gigged this amp yet but if it's too loud (most amps are) I can put it on half power and it will be perfect.

    As for the negatives. Nothing is perfect and this is no exception. The biggest thing for me is (opinion alert) it tends to get fizzy above 3 o'clock on the volume. Below that the gain is perfect, however if I wanted more I would probably need a pedal since I find it unpleasing past 3/4 volume. This amp is very light, that may sound like a positive but it shifts on my cabinet after an hour of playing at loud volumes. I have to put foam pads under the feet to keep it from falling off. That being said, I like that it's small.

    TLDR: This is a great amp. It sounds best when loud. It's small and lightweight without feeling gimmicky and toy like. I know every amp company seems to be on this micro amp kick (nothing wrong with that, a lot of them sound great!) but this feels like the real deal. It's extremely touch sensitive and responds well to your guitar's volume and tone knob. It has that raw unforgiving el84 saturation, there is not a lot of clean headroom, so get your favorite boost out plug in your guitar and stop making excuses for your tone because this amp will put out what you put in.

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    wired likes this.
  2. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    Alexandria, Virginia
    Very cool amp! I know nothing about it and I'm a Bognerphile. So it's good to hear a review. You have fine taste with that THD cab and PRS!
     
  3. woodylong

    woodylong Supporting Member

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    The Land Of Lincon
    good review thanks
     
  4. HonkyBach

    HonkyBach Supporting Member

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    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I wonder how this compares to the Swart Mod 84. Both are touted as a mixture or american tweed and british (I assume vox) tones....
     
  5. Jgonzo86

    Jgonzo86 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Location:
    Bakersfield, CA
    Just got a 112 combo of this amp. I absolutely love it! Awesome and very accurate review in my opinion! Thanks for the write up!
     

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