Shiva Musings

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Ken, May 24, 2005.


  1. Ken

    Ken Member

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    I have had my Bogner Shiva head for about 3 years now and at times I love the amp and at times, although I don’t hate the amp, I think about going in a different direction.

    I guess in summary, the Shiva does a very good clean and has a very good Overdrive and in that, the Shiva makes a great amp if you’re looking at a versatile one amp set-up. I have found that I much prefer Pedals with the Shiva vs. using the actually overdrive channel for lead playing. I like channel 2 for its smooth deep crunch, but at times with humbuckers the crunch tone can get a bit muddied up.

    If your tonal needs are much stronger in the clean department, (Jazz etc) then you may look elsewhere and the same can be said for overdrive. (Hi Gain etc.) But if you need an amp that will cover lots of different material, then the Shiva may be something to consider.

    For me, I play everything from Pop/Rock to Classic Rock to Funk to Pop/Country, so trying to find one amp that covers all this is just about impossible at the tonal levels that I want to reach. I never could warm up to modeling amps, although I love some of the sounds, I am always left feeling a bit cold.

    As Leon has said, and I’m paraphrasing here, it’s not so much the amp as the way you play that is most important, and while this is true, we all look for different tones to appease our pallets and what our own perceptions become as we grow as musicians.

    I guess I really feel at home with the Fender and Marshall sounds, mostly because my early influences reach deep into those tones.

    The Aiken Sabre, the VHT Pitbull or the Rivera Fandango all come to mind when I think about replacing the Shiva, but I wonder if I would be any happier in the long run?

    I have thought about going with a two head set-up, one head for great Fender cleans like a cowtipper head and one head for Marshall type overdriven sounds that could even get into hi-gain territory, even like a Soldano.

    There are just too many choices out there!

    Well I better get back to practicing instead of typing because that is more than likely where the truth lies in finding tonal nirvana! :)
     
  2. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Think I know how you feel about the Shiva. I finally dumped mine without being able to put my finger on what it was exactly that the amp didn't do for me.

    In hindsight, I think the amp was just a little too 'hi-fi' sounding for my more 'organic' taste in amps. The Shiva was just a little too large an ingredient in the overall tone recipe for me.

    Great amp, no doubt.

    dave
     
  3. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    Yup me too
    I think it has to do with the way I play..........The shiva just doesn't bring out the best in me.......
    I'm mostly playing lead.........and I always seem to wrestle a bit with the shiva when trying to pull of some very technical lead stuff.
    I also notice that 'hi-fi' sound that you speak about and a general looseness or merging of notes to each other on the gain channel.
    It is not very tight for those fast lead runs that I like to pull off.

    I have realised that the shiva would be far better suited to me if I just played rhythm and a bit of lead here and there......obviously IMO........
    I have a budda sd80 that just merges with my playing style.
    I've got the koch multitone that also gets close.

    All I can say is if you are a lead player who wants a killer clean and OD channel.....you can't beat the tight smooth phat sounds of the sd80.
    It may not be everyones cuppa tea as the Budda is easily the most compressed volume wise out of the 3 that I own.
    I love that even compressed feel as if the power tubes are maxing.
    When you dig into the shiva clean channel you mostly get a volume jump.
    When you dig into the budda you get less vol jump and more dirt which is what I really like........also a very fast and percussive pick attack is what the SD80 offers me.
    The OD channel.....nice liquidy and compressed..........cleans up with light picking but hard to drop the volume..........

    And so I guess it's these things that we need to know about an amp before we buy........these small little nuances are big deals.

    Cheers
    Rick
     
  4. Ken

    Ken Member

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    Gee Dave, I wouldn't call the Shiva Hi-Fi sounding...When I hear the clean channel, I'm reminded of that old time warmth that always poured out of an old AM Tube Radio from the 60's...LOL...If that analogy makes any sense.

    But maybe the lead channel has been the part of the puzzle that has me wondering if there is a tone on another amp that will do it for me more than the Shiva's overdriven tones...

    I have found myself, lately getting more focused on the tones I here from some of the great players from my CD collection...

    Someday it may be worth it for me to take the trip to the big city and visit Ultrasound and give some of those amps a real workout!

    Who knows...maybe I will walk away still wanting my Shiva...But its time to go on a mini-tone quest of sorts and see what else is out there that might dethone the Shiva...

    Or maybe there is room for a few more amps in the house :D
     
  5. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I was a hardcore Bogner Shiva guy for 3 years. I absolutely love that amp. I owned three of them at different times (not all three at once!)

    For me, I just wanted to try a different direction. I ended up with the VHT Pittbull 50/ST and Pittbull 45 and 6 months into it, I couldn't be happier.

    No matter how good an amp is or how well it fits you, sometimes you just need a change. Simple as that. At least for me.

    I have no issues, no bad points, nothing negative to say about the Shiva. I still feel it is a perfect amp for the rock stuff I like to do; but the VHT's do a great rock tone too.

    Just different ways to the same happy place for me.
     
  6. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Ah yes the problem child of the Bogner family.

    The Shiva got this huge reputation for clean. OK it has a nice clean, but it's a shiny, cold, dark clean. It can tend to the thin side depending on what you are hitting it with.

    It's not a sound I ever have been enamored of, but it is a sound with a very definite character. And that is a valuable thing. If you are on a steady diet of fat round amps with growl and edge drive, then the Shiva is like the other side of the pillow. It's a great change but a steady diet of that would make me think about Adrian Belew when I'm trying to think about Alex Weir.

    It's not a bad amp. It's a really good amp. If you are at the point where you can shape a lot of tone from the guitar and your hands, then Shiva can show off a lot of your ability. I've seen at least one amazing live performance done with our Shiva.

    But nobody tracks with it. I'm not sure why, but then nobody tracks with some of our other amps and that surprises me too. (No tracks yet cut with our blackface Deluxe either - makes no sense to me). But when guys try out the amps it's always been a bridesmaid.

    A good deal of the time it loses out to the Bogner Metropolis Reverb which has a lot more fire in it. That and the 40 Watt Stephenson Reverb head get the most sessions.
     
  7. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    I too used to be a die hard Shiva fan. My personal taste led me to the 6L6 version, but I thought the EL34 version was great as well. I found that as my ears developed, my tastes changed. Now when i play through a Shiva it is not as pleasing as it used to be. i still love the clean channel, but the overdrive doesn't really make it happen for me anymore.
    Great amp, but after playing many of the other boutique options out there, it just isn't for me anymore.
     
  8. * velcro-fly *

    * velcro-fly * Supporting Member

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    Shiva came.....Shiva went...

    Cool amp - just not quite happening for me. Although, my bass player at the time said it ws the best tone I had achieved.....man were his ears f*cked up :D

    Steve E
     
  9. dankayaker

    dankayaker Supporting Member

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    I had a Shiva for a while and still think it's the best channel switching amp
    out there. The clean tones were as good as any Fender I've played and the Plexi type tones were pretty darn good also. The verb was nice, the loop worked well . . what's not to like. I've owned several Rivera's also and preferred the Shiva. It was the size and lack of chimey clean (I've discovered my taste moving more voxy clean lately) that led to me parting with it. I bought a Gainstar and am in love. The Shiva is a killer though, and if I could afford both I'd have them.
     
  10. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    I guess I am the minority here! Ahhh my Shiva.....I apologize to her everyday for ALMOST selling her to keep the modded shiva! But in the end, even the modded shiva with MORE gain, couldn't replace her. I've tried alot of amps, before and during, my time with the Shiva. Still...nothing can replace her. When this amp is turned up, in practice or at a show, the harmonics and beauty of the tone, on both channels, are just second to none for my needs. Every show someone from the audience comes up and asks me what amp I am playing. "DOOD, that is a sick amp!"

    Maybe in a few months, few years, I will come across something else. For now, I just can't beat, or replace, the Shiva.

    ~t
     
  11. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Ken:

    Good analogy. Guess I should have been more specific. The clean channel on the Shiva was wonderful as you stated. Kind of Twin Reverb meets VOX. One thing I couldn't get past was the compression that the amp developed when turned up. You'd expect the amp would open up MORE as you turned it up, but mine seemed to get more compressed on the clean channel.

    The lead channel, OTOH did open up when turned up. Sadly, I couldn't get the Shiva into that 'sweet spot' during gigs without risking the wrath of a bass player and keys player!

    Great amp as mentioned--just not the right one for me and my situation.

    dave
     
  12. dave s

    dave s Member

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    It's ironic that you mentioned that nobody tracks with the amp. I bought my Shiva head used from a studio owner. In two years the amp had been fired up only a handful of times and the owner said he couldn't recall a single player using the amp in his studio.

    dave
     
  13. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    :confused: :confused: :confused:

    I did all my 2nd EP with the Shiva and will be doing our 3rd full length with it (along side our other guitarists mesa recto) It's an AWESOME amp to record with.

    ~t
     
  14. gregc

    gregc Member

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    I've bought and sold 2 of them. I loved em both and will probably get another at some point. I have nothing bad to say about them. I just sold them for some other 'shiny' toy. You know what I mean. Last time it was a trade for a Fender Tweed twin. I still have a warm spot in my heart for the Shiva, especially with the 1x12 ported cab. Killer, small package. The combo weighs a ton though and I never did like moving it.
    gregc
     
  15. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Yeah, and although it's not my favorite amp, it's _different_ than a lot of things. I sort of get annoyed at how much players want to be _the same_ when in the end, playing that game means _being no better_. So many guys think they play that much better than the other guy. I got news for everyone: even if you are better there is great value in being a little different.

    Nothing I like better than the guitarist who reacts to a suggestion with "never heard of it....so we better try it and see". I mean, what is so hard about try it and see? It's not in the studio when they're checking out amps here so there is no clock running down.

    I get really annoyed with some strange prejudices we've come across - one producer refused to even consider our 100 Watt Overdrive Special, even when recommended highly by another producer who has used it. He said "Dumble? that's a _white man's_ amp". Of course, this guy was a white man himself. But that takes the cake for the least convincing reason not to use an amp.

    It's like when we had the Germino HR-100 and the Louis Electric 100 Watt plexi clone. They sounded so _different_ that I was seriously tempted to get the Louis. Another guy there at the same time thought the Germino wasn't really a good plexi because it wasn't like the ones he likes. One thing you learn when you have a lot of people borrowing your amps is how different their preferences are.

    So yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the Shiva. But we're not getting rid of it any time soon. I have heard at least one unbelievable live performance done with it - and when we find an instrument that can do a great job, we keep it. We are in the process of having our Kay Thin Twin bass restored by an expert at a cost well in excess of the value of the bass. But because of the tracks we cut with it, we think it's worth it. (And they are not exactly easy to come by). Not every stick of wood you come across has the mojo - no matter whose name is on the headstock. I guarantee that we can find all sorts of people that can't work the magic that is in that Kay, but we can find at least one who can cast the spell. It's this sort of reasoning that leads me to the conclusion that I need to get an early Mesa Dual Recto even though I would hardly use it myself.
     
  16. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    That head isn't exactly light either. We have ours in a flight case and I can't remember how often we have taken it out of the case to go up stairs. And I'm used to Riveras.
     
  17. Ricker

    Ricker Member

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    It's funny ...this post got me thinking.........and I decided to have a good crack at the shiva today with the volume up.
    I don't often use my hotplate with the Shiva especialy live.......I've always thought it was unecessary as the Shiva has a "good" master volume.
    Well today I cranked the baby with master on 12 o clock.........both channel volumes at noon..........now as you guys will know .......that is ear shattering and I could never gig with that Volume............But I thought this is the shiva's sweet spot........so enter the hotplate.............and I'm telling you it was fatter sounding .....it was tighter and more harmonically rich.....than the same volume with the master down.

    I run my Budda like this but it has a very abrupt master.........and although I have used the hotplate with the shiva before it was always just to tame it by -4db and the master was never on noon.

    Anyway I found both channels to be more compressed to my liking........but they still felt quite open.

    I think I'll take her for a few more gigs with this arrangment......

    Cheers
    Ricker
     
  18. Shemp

    Shemp Member

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    I think it's a good, no make that great, swiss army knife amp. The clean is very, very good. Especially with the reverb turned off. I've been using mine lately with a TTE in front and the verb off. Amazingly good el34 clean tones.

    I agree with the comment that a good OD pedal on th eclean channel is better for leads than channel 2, but channel 2 is a pretty impressive crunch channel.

    I think it's a great rock and heavy blues amp. It may not be "the best" at anything, but it's the best multi use amp I've ever owned.
     
  19. Ken

    Ken Member

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    And you know Shemp...That is what I have been thinking about...

    Sure its not the best of the best on the clean side, but it is still pretty darn good and we know that the overdrive channel does have some issues, but for an all around multi-purpose amp like I would like to have vs going for a two amp set-up, the Shiva could be my best bet!

    I was getting close to selling the Shiva, but then running the Shiva with the TIM pedal and the Pro Analog Dual Drive got me excited enough to keep it around and to see what happens down the line!

    But that two amp set-up has me thinking...I already have a Rambler to cover the clean side...LOL...

    But then again aren't most of us here always thinking of ways to "Improve" our tone or find something different tonally that we like better...

    I tend to agree with Leon once again when he said that man can't live by one amp alone...Or something like that...Man that Leon is wise beyond his age ;)
     
  20. RSRD

    RSRD Member

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    What OD pedal would you recommend. I already tried the Tonebone Hot Brittish, but that just didn't do the trick for me. Then again I am looking for a hard rock tone.


    ~t
     

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