Price paid: $ 529
Purchased from: The Guitar Factory (online store)
Features: - Made in 2011, China
- 3 channel amp 1 integrated crunch / clean.
- Infinium Thingamajigger Autobiaser
- Stock 4 6l6 tubes and 6 12ax7, I am running it with 2 EH 6L6 and 2 EL34's (the Infinium thing is pretty neat with mix matching tubes.)
- Fairly no frills amp, it's basically a 6505+ with a clean channel.
- Comes with a foot switch with an odd pin layout.
- "Off the site"
- Hand-built 120-Watt amplifier driven by 4 x 6L6 valves (convertible to EL34)
- Classic 2-channel preamp design (Clean, Crunch, Lead) featuring 6 x 12AX7 tubes
- Integrated high-class reverb with dedicated Reverb control for each channel
- Independent Equalizer sections for each channel with dedicated Bass, Mid and Treble controls
- Classic Presence control per channel for awesome sound shaping
- Impedance switch (4, 8 and 16 Ohm) to match virtually any speaker cabinet
- Heavy-duty footswitch for Channel selection and FX Loop function included // 7
Sound: I play mainly hardcore punk, do some blues covers when the $$ is right, and a lot of 1980's hair metal covers. I use the basic amp overdrive, a ISP Decimator, a BBE Sonic Maximizer, and a Line 6 Pod HD500 (when I do covers). It has a slight hiss on the lead channel and pretty whisper quiet on clean. With just the amp distortion and clean you can go from staccato jazz all the way to death metal. Oddly it feels heaviest around 6/7 ish on the gain dimeing it for some reason just makes it muddy. Unless using an active pickup guitar which eh its more than you need. On baritones / 7 strings you will want to back off the gain or it will kindly fart out on you. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I didn't want to write a review till I used it on the town / road for 2 years +. In that time I have destroyed the kinda cheapo tolex. And that is it. It has had a new set of tubes in it mainly because I wanted to hear what it sounded like without the stock tubes. The stock tubes weren't bad but you know how it is when you have cash in your pocket burning a hole, and with the sheer amount of tubes on this it will burn to the tune of over $150 for a decent set of tubes. This is one of 3 amps I use, 1. A 6505+, 2. This, and 3. A Line 6 Spider IV (yeah I know laugh it up a bit but I never leave home without a solidstate as a backup) vs the 6505+ it has given me the same amount of problems in 2 years which is none at all. I know the old Bugeras had a tendency to go up in flames but this new run seems very well built (unlike my 2010 333XL that after a month had no power running to the tubes...) I rolled the dice and tried this one before swearing off the brand. To be honest I prefer the tone of this amp to the 6505+ it performs above it's price point. // 8
Overall Impression: I have around 8 years experience on guitar and about 15 on bass. I wish I had a chance to play this amp prior to purchasing it, none of my local stores house any Bugera in store so it's a roll of the dice. If it were stolen or lost I would replace it with the 212 version after a speaker swap. It has been an amazing amp all things considered. I love everything about this amp minus the integrated dirty / clean channel. To get a good crunch sound you sacrifice clean tone and vice versa. The only comparison I have at this price point was the B52 ATX100 (problematic) and the 333XL which I actually like the tone on more but after having it crap out after one month swore off it. I wish it had separate clean and crunch channels thats all I would change. // 8