Bogner Burnley Distortion Pedal Review

Today we’re taking a look at the Bogner Burnley – a distortion pedal that promises to deliver signature Marshall-like high gain tone all in the convenience of a particularly compact stompbox. While it might seem like this is just another distortion pedal, the Burnley comes packing an Rupert Neve audio transformer at the heart of its circuitry, similar to ones used in Bogner’s tube amps along with legendary British mixing consoles of the 1960s – an innovative design that should certainly help make good on its lofty claims. While the Burnley certainly passes the test in the looks department (especially if you go for the optional bubinga wood finish), does this pedal deliver the buttery rich tones that Marshall amps are known for?

The Features

The controls on the Bogner Burnley are pretty straight forward, consisting of three knobs and a switch. Along with the standard Volume and Gain, the pedal includes a Tone knob which allows you to dial in a more precise sound, be it brighter or darker. The range of sound I was able to dial in with the Tone knob alone was actually quite impressive. But with that said, it was the included “Tight/Fat” switch that really showed off how versatile this pedal can be. Flipping the switch to its Tight position yields a more aggressive, focused feel that sounds tailor made for metal while the Fat position gives the pedal a much smoother, sweeter tone with a bigger bottom end that should go perfect with both modern and classic rock.

The build feels rock solid thanks to its machined aluminum chassis. There’s a nice bit of weight to the pedal, giving it a good premium feel. The knobs and switch are solid and work with the feel of high-end gear. All in all, this pedal should easily last you years. While the all aluminum design looks great as is, you can spring for the gorgeous bubinga wood finish which will definitely make a few heads turn when they take a look at your pedalboard.

The Sound

This pedal is the real deal. In Tight mode, I was easily able to dial in plenty of great sounds whether the gain was up or set to very low. In fact, with the gain off, the pedal worked exactly like a really good clean boost. But it was in Fat mode where the Burnley truly amazed, delivering harmonically rich, buttery tone that was nothing short of amp-like. The distortion was truly smooth without any of the grind that you might get from other transistor pedals. Pinch harmonics in particular gave off an amazingly sweet sound. It truly was, as Bogner puts it, pure “sonic symphony.”

s-burnley_bubinga-_small_size_file_1 The Bogner Burnley is also available with in a gorgeous Bubinga Wood finish.

What makes this stompbox so amazingly amp-like is its built in transformer, a feature that is very rare in pedals, created by famed recording console and microphone designer Rupert Neve. His choice in transformers are known for their high bandwidth, low noise, thick sound and a solid low end along with a three dimensional quality in the higher frequencies without being harsh. His consoles in particular have been known for this since the sixties and fetch an insane amount of money.

According to Neve, high bandwidth equipment can cover frequencies that although our ears can’t audibly identify, we can feel them as a sensation and interaction between harmonics. Whether or not that’s the case, the fact of the matter is the Bogner Burnley sounds amazing! Another benefit of having a transformer is that they can help reduce noise between gear connected to each other. If the transformer is of particularly good quality, they can also help with grounding issues.

Final Impression

A compact, versatile pedal that offers genuine, rich buttery amp-like tones thanks to its built in Rupert Neve transformer, this pedal takes everything to another level, all in an enclosure that’s built high-end tough. If you’re looking for a distortion pedal that’s nothing short of phenomenal, look no further than the Bogner Burnley!

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