First things first, I have no affiliation or ulterior motives to promote Bogner and this amp. Now, I've been chasing tone for many years, and with the fortune of living in the LA area, I've been able to try out a lot of amazing gear between the boutique shops and NAMM shows. After owning the Bogner Helios 100 for about a year and a half, I can confidently say that it's the best amp I've ever played both live and in the studio.
It all started by trying out a killer Marshall JMP that blew my mind. This got me intrigued by vintage Marshalls, but between the random mods, tonal inconsistencies, and lack of modern features, it was difficult to feel confident about buying one. I then looked into all of the modern JMP-style amps and discovered the Helios, especially thanks to the awesome YouTube demos created by Bogner. I got the opportunity to A/B the Bogner with my trusty Orange Rockerverb fitted with KT88s, and the gain sounds blew the Orange out of the water. I knew I needed this amp.
I used to have 4 very different amps that I loved (for years in some cases): the Orange Rockerverb 50 Mk II with KT88s, Peavey 5150 II, Marshall JTM-1, and an Orange Tiny Terror. These amps had widely different designs, power outputs, and possible tones. After careful recording comparisons, the Bogner was able to achieve all the tones I liked from those amps and way more. Full disclosure: the only 5150 tone that the Bogner couldn't do was a scooped pop punk sound, but since I personally would never use that sound, I had no remorse letting it go. Even though the Bogner wasn't cheap, in the end it was more cost effective and practical than owning all of those amps, and most importantly, it sounded BETTER!
This video is a tribute to some of the best tones I've gotten out of this thing, and I'm sure there are way more to enjoy. Truth be told, I only wish that these sounds were easily footswitchable for live purposes. I believe a new version of the Helios, the Black Sun, will be revealed at NAMM later this month, and I can't wait to see what they've done with this already incredible amplifier.
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Dr. Danny Mann
This blog keeps it short. All posts are 500 words max. We know it's easy to get carried away talking about gear...