The designer and name-sake of Bogner amps brings the high cost, high-gain theatrics of the Uberschall to a solid-state pedal.
Smartly presented in high-quality custom packaging, the Ecstasy Blue uses a tough two-piece aluminium clamshell box fastened by four machine screws. Ultra-sharp white screen-printed logos and lettering top a lacquer-coated special metallic paint finish. Custom miniature chickenhead knobs embossed with the 'B' logo sit alongside LED-lit preset pots and heavy-duty footswitches, creating an air of exclusivity and class.
Inside, the electronics are contained on two high-quality printed circuit boards with gold-plated tracks, plus a tiny third daughterboard. There's a mix of quality surface-mount and miniature components, with large portions of the circuits potted in epoxy to prevent competitors from reverse-engineering them. There's also a true bypass on/off switch and a second switch operating a boost.
In addition to input and output, there's a third jack for remote switching of both functions and an external mains connector for a regular nine-volt DC supply. The PP3 battery sits behind a small aluminium flap, fastened by a large-slotted machine screw - simple and practically unbreakable.
The black 'Armageddon in a box' Uberschall pedal has a simple control layout, with rotary controls for volume, treble, mid, bass and gain, and a single preset to alter the volume in boost mode. There's a fully analogue signal path, with a clever digital control circuit that monitors battery voltage and blinks a colour-coordinated LED as the power runs down, before placing the pedal into true bypass mode.
Overall, it's easily up to the standard we've come to expect from Reinhold's Hollywood workshop: it's robust, built with exceptional attention to detail, and looks good, too.
The Uberschall pedal is intended for metal players, with a fizzy distortion and dark overall sound, but for us, it doesn't quite grasp the key European and LA metal sounds, with an attack that isn't as fast and percussive as it needs to be.
This pedal makes up for a lack of switches with a powerful midrange control, the downside being that if you turn it too quickly the best sounds are missed. However, the footswitchable boost function adds extra versatility, and turns any good single-channel amp into a three-channel monster.