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Bogner Caveman
By Bob Pletka 10/19/11   It’s a Bogner what? Caveman! Back in late 90’s Bogner made a few amps called the Caveman. To my knowledge only about 4 or 5 heads were made and somewhere between 5 to as many as 20 Caveman combo’s were made. A good friend of mine, Brian Hadley, bought one of the combo’s back in 1998 from a local Portland OR music store that was going out of business. I was familiar with the Ecstasy having tubed a number of them but when I heard the Caveman I was very impressed! It didn’t say “Caveman” on the amp anywhere, all it said was “Mojo” on the back panel. I later found out the Mojo was never put into production and the chassis’ were used for the Caveman. Brian and I called it the “Uncle Fester” amp because it uses a light bulb as a standby load, so when the amp is in standby the bulb lights up. After owning the Caveman for a couple years Brian let the amp slip away to a friend who is also a Eurotubes customer, and replaced it with a Shiva. In September of 2011 Brian re-acquired the Caveman and brought it in for a little general maintenance. We cleaned up all the pots, cleaned and retensioned the sockets and installed and biased a fresh set of tubes. The amp was designed to use 6L6’s and all the sockets are recessed inside the main chassis and mounted on a spring loaded plate to help isolate them. Even though the plate does help to isolate the tubes from vibration we still used a pair of our JJ 6L6GC DM (Double Mica) tubes to further reduce any tube rattle. We used standard ECC83S’s in the front end and a balanced ECC83S for the phase inverter. I had not heard the amp in a while but once it was fired up I was reminded why I often make the statement that “the Caveman is the best Bogner amp I’ve heard to date.” Just as I remembered, this amp has the “Mojo”! Killer cleans, a great drive tone and it’s extremely versatile. I would not say that the EQ alone is quite as versatile as the EQ on my Anderson 20/45, but with the six position Schizo (dynamic voice) switch which is available on both channels, and the “Vintage / Modern” switch the overall tone shaping ability of this amp is stellar. So, is it all that? Yep! Dial the Schizo switch to position six, set the EQ straight up and flip to the “Modern” mode and it’s very “VOX-y”. Dial the Schzio switch back to position #3, flip to the “Vintage” mode and it’s very “Fender-y”. Via the foot pedal there is channel switching, effects loop switching and there is a “Boost” for each channel. All in all, a great amp, if you’re lucky enough to own one KEEP IT! Bob
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