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Review: Mesa/Boogie “Throttle Box” distortion pedal

All I did was to to wear my Dream Theater shirt while visiting one of the local music stores. The guy immediately said, you gotta check this pedal out, it’s John Petrucci in a box!

I opened the box, and there was no teeny-tiny JP inside. That kinda would have creeped me out. Instead, you could say that it is more of a Dual Rectifier squeezed into a rather small and nimble, yet sturdy distortion pedal. It has four knobs and a toggle switch. Three of the knobs are your standard garden-variety controls that every dist pedal comes with: level, dist and tone. The fourth is a midrange sweep control that scoops out everything between the rumbling bass and cutting treble for a really threatening sound. Or leaves it in for a more snarling, aggressive rock tone. The little toggle switch selects low or high gain, it basically takes the pedal from standard to insane.

So, how good is it? Judging by my most recent Boogie experience, I’d say: really good. This pedal delivers an obscene amount of distortion! It also completely takes over the signal chain – there is not much left of the actual amp tone. I was able to plug a Les Paul into a small Fender combo and without much fiddling nail a solid Petrucci lead tone. I’m not necessarily a Boogie freak, but if I were into that sound, I would definitely take this pedal into serious consideration before shelling out the massive amounts of cash a Mark or a Recto commands.

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Posted by on 17 March, 2013 in gear, review

 

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Review: Bogner “Ecstasy Blue” distortion pedal

The Bogner Ecstasy Blue is a combination distortion and boost pedal. It comes armed and ready with lots of potential settings: I counted seven knobs, four toggle switches and two footswitches. The distortion section comes with your typical level and gain controls plus a 3-band EQ. The toggle switches enable you to switch between 1) regular and Variac, 2) Plexi and Blue, 3) three different pre-EQ voicings and 4) EQ and gain shifts. There are also two very small knobs that control the gain and volume of the boost function; these small plastic knobs double as on/off status lights for the boost.

I have to say I was pretty amazed by this pedal. It managed to preserve some of the feel of the amp I ran it through (some form of modern Fender tweed amp) and at the same time sound very classic and British. It was extremely responsive to my pick attack and the volume settings on the guitar. On one hand, I’m the sort of guy who prefers MXR pedals just because there are fewer settings that I can mess up, and therefore I felt rather bewildered by the plethora of adjustments possible with this pedal. On the other, there is no doubt that anyone looking for a classic rock tone might not have to go further than the Bogner Ecstasy. Even without the boost, it would be a darn good distortion pedal. With the boost, you basically have two distortions in one.

 
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Posted by on 17 March, 2013 in gear, review

 

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