The Bogner Uberschall name already carries much weight with metal guitarists. This pedal’s namesake amplifier is known to take anything the most aggressive guitarist can throw at it with ease. So, when Bogner introduced their Bogner Uberschall pedal as armageddon in a box, metal players everywhere took notice. The question is, does it compete with the best distortion pedals on the market? Let’s find out.
This pedal shares more than a name with the Bogner Uberschall amplifier. Like the amp, the pedal features five discrete class-A gain stages with no op-amps or diode clipping.
Bogner has taken so much care in putting together the circuitry of this pedal that certain parts are potted in epoxy to prevent reverse engineering. A boost feature isn’t unusual on a distortion pedal, but this one is rather nice. The boost has independent volume control, so you have complete control over your sound — meaning you can either raise the stakes a little or cause absolute carnage.
There is a simple 3-band EQ to sculpt your tone in finer detail than most might expect. That’s thanks to the class-A design delivering a fantastic amp-like response. There is a fully analog signal path that has a very clever digital control circuit that monitors battery life. A color-coordinated LED shows the status of the battery and blinks when the power starts to run down before putting the pedal into a true-bypass mode.
The controls are exactly as we would hope – nice and simple. From the top, we have rotary controls for the volume, EQ (treble, mid, bass,) and gain. Again, nothing unusual for this type of pedal, but the build quality of these controls is something to admire. They are custom chickenhead knobs that look and feel up-market.
There is a single preset button to set the volume in boost mode that sits right above the boost footswitch. Opposite that sits a true-bypass on/off switch, and like the rest of this pedal, the footswitches are incredibly robust. There is an extra 1/4″ jack (in addition to the input/output) that you can use for remote switching of the boost/bypass functions.
As we said already, the Bogner Ubershall is intended for metal players. It delivers a pretty dark sound overall with fizzy distortion and absolutely can be armageddon in a box. As far as a pure metal sound, it’s slightly off in comparison to other pedals. It doesn’t quite have the attack or percussive feel of some competitors.
Everything about this pedal is so purposeful that we have to assume this is by design rather than by fault. Instead of sounding like a typical distortion pedal, it sounds like a Bogner distortion pedal. What we mean by that is that if you are one of the many who already adore the Uberschall amplifier, then this pedal is perfect for you.
It’s easy to miss some amazing tones by assuming the EQ is as basic as some other pedals and sloppily dialing in a rough tone. Although, if used properly, you can be very precise in sculpting your tone.
The Bogner Uberschall distortion pedal is everything that you’d expect from the renowned manufacturer. It’s extremely well built with the highest quality components, and it’s fairly expensive. It’s unlikely that you’d feel cheated after paying a premium for this pedal; it sounds and feels like an expensive bit of gear. If you have previous experience with the Uberschall amp, then, by all means, jump straight in. If not, try it out first; it sounds great, but there is something a little different that might not be for everyone.
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