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#1
Hey guys,

I was planning to buy a new guitar, but then I heard about the Bugera 333XL, and damn does it sound good.

The thing is though, I'm new to tube amps, and wouldn't have the slightest idea how to deal with them. For example : I heard stuff about needing to let the tubes warm up in standby first and that stuff. Could anyone tell me some of the stuff like that I need to know?

Also, how often will the tubes need to get replaced? I'm 15 and spending 130 euros on tubes every 6 months isn't something I'll look forward too.

Thanks!
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#2
for general home use you can probably get away with replacing the tubes every year or so or as required. About 30 seconds on standby is enough to warm them up but it's best to leave the amp on standby for a few minutes again before switching off this is where you can damage them.
#3
tubes can fail at anytime particularly power tubes, but if you run them 3 or 4 times a week and they don`t fail 12 - 18 months life from them is normal before you notice any degradation, but that also deends on how many hours you run them for and how hard you drive them.

yes you get the best tone when the the tubes are nice and warm, pre amp tubes potentially last forever...(in reality you`d probably change them every couple of years)

the turn off procedure is standby then power off there`s no need to to leave it in standby when shutting down it`s a common misnomer that you do this.

when turning on power then leave for a couple of minutes then turn the standby switch on.

if you need to leave the amp to answer the phone make a drink etc then you`d put it into standby, providing you are coming back to play through it within the next 10-20 minutes
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Sep 19, 2010,
#4
I'm an electronics technician. Let me give you the skinny on tubes and what to expect.

Allowing your tubes to gently warm up and cool down will extend their life. Letting them warm up for a couple of minutes is generally all that's required. The same applies to after you're done playing. Place the amp in standby and let the tubes cool down for a couple of minutes before turning it off.

Although tubes can fail overnight, they typically give warning signs as they begin to degrade. A good preamp tube can last for years, typically 4 or longer. A good power tube can last a couple of years. Again, it all depends on how much play time your amp receives. What are the warning signs?

Muddy tone or change of tone
Change in volume level as you're playing
Decreased volume level
Popping or crackling sound heard in speaker
Fuse blows
Amp suddenly becomes more sensitive to microphonics
#5
I get confused by the phrase 'tube amp maintenance', makes it sound as though you have to spend an hour a week cleaning everything out, tightening screws, recalibrating the flux capacitor etc.

In reality, care and feeding of a valve amp is very simple - it either needs new tubes, or you take it to a tech.
#6
I agree with KG6_Steven. You shouldn't need to replace your tubes very often, realistically. Even once a year is a bit frequent, but that's understandable if you're a gigging musician. 2-4 years of life is a good estimate, but again, it depends on how and how much you use them. Also, any tubes can die at any time. That estimate is given assuming they don't die. And don't let that scare you. Tubes don't usually just die - it's pretty rare for this to happen. But it can happen.

Also, in the case they do just die, you'd most likely only need to replace one - tubes extremely rarely die at the same time - they're not a single unit, each one is individual. Most of the time you only need to really replace one. People usually just replace all of them at once as a precaution. A single tube should only cost you around $15 (however that converts to your currency), unless you're getting a special kind.
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#7
Quote by Offworld92
I agree with KG6_Steven. You shouldn't need to replace your tubes very often, realistically. Even once a year is a bit frequent, but that's understandable if you're a gigging musician. 2-4 years of life is a good estimate, but again, it depends on how and how much you use them. Also, any tubes can die at any time. That estimate is given assuming they don't die. And don't let that scare you. Tubes don't usually just die - it's pretty rare for this to happen. But it can happen.

Also, in the case they do just die, you'd most likely only need to replace one - tubes extremely rarely die at the same time - they're not a single unit, each one is individual. Most of the time you only need to really replace one. People usually just replace all of them at once as a precaution. A single tube should only cost you around $15 (however that converts to your currency), unless you're getting a special kind.


i`ve always replaced power tubes as matched pairs
#8
Quote by Offworld92
I agree with KG6_Steven. You shouldn't need to replace your tubes very often, realistically. Even once a year is a bit frequent, but that's understandable if you're a gigging musician. 2-4 years of life is a good estimate, but again, it depends on how and how much you use them. Also, any tubes can die at any time. That estimate is given assuming they don't die. And don't let that scare you. Tubes don't usually just die - it's pretty rare for this to happen. But it can happen.

Also, in the case they do just die, you'd most likely only need to replace one - tubes extremely rarely die at the same time - they're not a single unit, each one is individual. Most of the time you only need to really replace one. People usually just replace all of them at once as a precaution. A single tube should only cost you around $15 (however that converts to your currency), unless you're getting a special kind.


Thanks a lot, I think it's mostly clear for me now. The amp will be staying in the same spot for years and I will probably play it about 5 hours a day.
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#9
Quote by kyle62
I get confused by the phrase 'tube amp maintenance', makes it sound as though you have to spend an hour a week cleaning everything out, tightening screws, recalibrating the flux capacitor etc.

In reality, care and feeding of a valve amp is very simple - it either needs new tubes, or you take it to a tech.


+1

though for a bugera you might want to check you have the number of the local fire station handy...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#10
Quote by KG6_Steven
I'm an electronics technician. Let me give you the skinny on tubes and what to expect.

Allowing your tubes to gently warm up and cool down will extend their life. Letting them warm up for a couple of minutes is generally all that's required. The same applies to after you're done playing. Place the amp in standby and let the tubes cool down for a couple of minutes before turning it off.

Although tubes can fail overnight, they typically give warning signs as they begin to degrade. A good preamp tube can last for years, typically 4 or longer. A good power tube can last a couple of years. Again, it all depends on how much play time your amp receives. What are the warning signs?

Muddy tone or change of tone
Change in volume level as you're playing
Decreased volume level
Popping or crackling sound heard in speaker
Fuse blows
Amp suddenly becomes more sensitive to microphonics


how exactly does leaving the tube heaters turned on allow the tubes to cool down? I mean, you're the electronics technician, but I was just wondering if you've figured out a way to subvert the laws of physics there.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
tubes are funny.

they can last 3 months or they can last 30 years.

I agree with Dave too, just turn the amp off. There are lots of amps that do not have a Standby switch and they don't blow up or eat through tubes.

Yes - power tubes need to be purchased in matched sets.
#12
well i mean if you have a standby you may as well let it warm up, you're not hurting anything by doing it. And i normally flick to standby before switching off so that it's in the right position the next time I turn the amp on. But you don't need to leave it on standby before switching off, because it doesn't make sense...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
I'd also be interested in hearing the electronics tech explain WHY using the standby when you turn off the amp helps.

And you do need a matched pair of tubes, unless the tubes can be individually biased, which you occasionally see with really high end, boutique stuff.
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#14
i heard unmatched might be ok in cathode biased amps too (that's what valvepower told me about my 18 watter, anyway). but yeah in most instances i think you want them to be matched.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
+1

though for a bugera you might want to check you have the number of the local fire station handy...

because they heat up too much?
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#18
Quote by Dave_Mc
i heard unmatched might be ok in cathode biased amps too (that's what valvepower told me about my 18 watter, anyway). but yeah in most instances i think you want them to be matched.

I wouldn't purposely put unmatched tubes in a cathoded biased amp. I thought that was part of the problem with the Behringer stuff. Poorly matched tubes and not being biased correctly.

Yeah, some people may like unmatched tubes from a tonal perspective but they are doing something on purpose knowing the risks (mainly lower tube life). I don't think that is relavent in a thread like this.
#19
Quote by eyebanez333
No...because they catch on fire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2Cj2vc9brE




so, if I were not to buy the Bugera what amp should I buy?
Mind you I don't have a cabinet yet. price range max 1000
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#20
Quote by constructbot


so, if I were not to buy the Bugera what amp should I buy?
Mind you I don't have a cabinet yet. price range max 1000

We would need to know a bit more than that.

Budget? 1,000 what currancy
Genres? What do you play mostly?
New or Used?
Closest City?
Current Gear?
Home or Gig?
Combo or Head/Cab?

stuff like that
#21
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
We would need to know a bit more than that.

Budget? 1,000 what currancy
Genres? What do you play mostly?
New or Used?
Closest City?
Current Gear?
Home or Gig?
Combo or Head/Cab?

stuff like that


Oh my bad, sorry!

1000 Euros
Genre: anything from clean riffs to blues to steve vai to all sorts of metal.
Preferably new but if I can find the gear I wouldn't mind going used.
Well I live in Holland so...
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both are fine I suppose.
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#22
^ could you write out the genres you play, along with a rough percentage of how much you play them? You probably do play a bit of everything, but you probably play more of some stuff than others.

Quote by constructbot
because they heat up too much?


i'm only joking. they have a bit of a rep for being unreliable.

Quote by eyebanez333
No...because they catch on fire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2Cj2vc9brE


holy cack

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I wouldn't purposely put unmatched tubes in a cathoded biased amp. I thought that was part of the problem with the Behringer stuff. Poorly matched tubes and not being biased correctly.

Yeah, some people may like unmatched tubes from a tonal perspective but they are doing something on purpose knowing the risks (mainly lower tube life). I don't think that is relavent in a thread like this.


i'd have thought the bugera stuff (the high gain stuff, anyway) was fixed bias... EDIT: I was only mentioning it in passing, in reply to kyle's post. I didn't mean it to be advice for the ts.

But yeah you probably don't want to be doing anything which makes a bugera less reliable...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Sep 19, 2010,
#23
I play mostly stuff like steve vai, joe satriani and metal( trash, heavy etc.) the rest is not as important.
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#24
when you say thrash and heavy metal, do you mean kinda like 80s metal? maiden, megadeth, that type of stuff?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#25
Yes, but a little bit of modern metal wouldn't hurt.
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#26
a peavey 6505 combo or a marshall jvm 215c combo will do what you want, lokked up prices on thomann, jvm is slightly over budget but shop around, otherwise go used, for satch an vai stuff you have the right budget for a jsx or carvin legacy.
#27
Quote by ibanezgod1973
a peavey 6505 combo or a marshall jvm 215c combo will do what you want, lokked up prices on thomann, jvm is slightly over budget but shop around, otherwise go used, for satch an vai stuff you have the right budget for a jsx or carvin legacy.


hmm the JSX is 1090 head only, so that would go way above budget and I don't know any dealer in Holland who sells legacies, and if they would it would probably be over 1000.( no meme intended )
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#28
does that thousand need to cover a cab too? I'm guessing it does... how flexible is it?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#29
Quote by Dave_Mc
does that thousand need to cover a cab too? I'm guessing it does... how flexible is it?


well yes , it could be flexible meaning I would have to save longer, so if you have a really good deal...
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#30
Link us to the store you go to so we can see what used inventory they have. JSX or XXX or Ultra+ or possibly a 6505+ is what I would go for (fanboi here)

Being that you are in Europe a used JVM or DSL/TSL might be a better value. Or a used Engl or Orange.

Dave and
Yeah, not sure how the bugeras are biased.
Last edited by 311ZOSOVHJH at Sep 19, 2010,
#31
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Link us to the store you go to so we can see what used inventory they have. JSX or XXX or Ultra+ or possibly a 6505+ is what I would go for (fanboi here)

Being that you in europe a used JVM or DSL/TSL might be a better value. Or a used Engl or Orange


www.musicstore.de ( change language to english )
www.thomann.de
www.feedback.nl (dutch, sorry.)
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#32
well originally i was going to say an engl blackmore, but it's about 1200 euro without the cab.

i was thinking maybe a koch multitone combo, it's a similar price to the blackmore but is a combo so you don't need a cab.

Depending on how cheap you can get it, though, laney might be the best bet if you want to stay under budget, and you can get somewhere in the UK to ship you one for cheap (laneys tend to be cheaper here than on thomann)... something like a tt head, or maybe a gh head (or vh- I've only tried the vh, but i'm guessing the gh would work too).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#33
My advice would be to look for a used JSX or XXX. Obviously getting a combo is going to be cheaper than buying both a head and cab.
I think it's great that Bugera has really changed the game when it comes to the price point of tube amps but I wouldn't personally go the Bugera route unless I had to buy the amp new. Most of the amps Bugera copies sell used at the same price point that the Bugera's sell new or only slightly more. The Bugera's sound good but they are made with lower quality components and corners are cut to keep costs down. I wouldn't call them unreliable but they are undeniably lower quality.
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#34
Quote by Megdidar
My advice would be to look for a used JSX or XXX. Obviously getting a combo is going to be cheaper than buying both a head and cab.
I think it's great that Bugera has really changed the game when it comes to the price point of tube amps but I wouldn't personally go the Bugera route unless I had to buy the amp new. Most of the amps Bugera copies sell used at the same price point that the Bugera's sell new or only slightly more. The Bugera's sound good but they are made with lower quality components and corners are cut to keep costs down. I wouldn't call them unreliable but they are undeniably lower quality.


Yeah but the thing is the Bugera 333XL is like half the price of the amp it's simulated after and I heard some guys say it's even beter than the XXX/JSX.
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#35
The Bugera's don't sound bad at all but the people who have the Bugera are going to tell you that it sounds as good or better, the people who have the peavey or the marshall are going to tell you the bugera is junk.
The way I see it here in the states I can get a used XXX head for between $500 and $600 at the most and I see the 333xl head for between $550 and $600 new. I like that the 333xl has reverb but if they're going for the same price, I'm going to go with the better quality amp. There's nothing wrong with the Bugera's though, they're not going to burst into flames the moment you turn them or something. It's just my personal opinion that if you can get the real deal for the same amount of money as the copy why not get the real deal?
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#36
Quote by constructbot
Thanks a lot, I think it's mostly clear for me now. The amp will be staying in the same spot for years and I will probably play it about 5 hours a day.


Honestly if you are playing 5 hrs a day you might want to consider a good SS amp.
When I got my 6505 I played (or kept it on standby) 5+ hrs a day most days and in less than 6 months it was degrading in tone.

Cheaper to use something else when just practicing if you practice that much (over 1500 hrs a year) IMO, I use my tube amps mostly when gigging or recording now, but sometimes just for practice when i feel the need.
Last edited by Tempoe at Sep 19, 2010,
#37
OK, First, you solved one of the problems in buying an amp...you found one you like :-)
Now the only thing stopping you is someone said the amp isn't reliable (if in jest).

WHY get a NEW Bugera when you can get a USED Peavey (decide for yourself if one sounds better...close enough for me)?
1) you get a warranty with the Bugera...not with a used Peavey
2) You have NO idea what problems there might be with a used amp. How are the pots? Are the tubes ready to be changed already?

Do yourself a favor...get the Bugera....it's as realiable as any other amp now (problems have been fixed) AND you get a warranty just in case.

NEW Bugera> Used Peavey
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#38
I'm confused!

although you did make a good point with the warranty thing, I can get 3 year warranty at thomann.
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#39
The Bugeras aren't bad, the 333/333XL are very versatile amps. The newer amps are better as the bugs are worked out. The plastic clip on the transformer is gone since the middle of 2008. Ask about Bugera reliability on the Bugera Thread (link in my sig). One of the main guys on there, Karahas (I think his name is, or something like that), has a 333.

I got my V22 from musicstore.de they have 3 years warranty and 30 day money back guarantee.

Although I wouldn't get a Bugera Cab, I'd get a Marshall or an Orange.
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Quote by Kanthras
2/10

No fire extinguisher reference, unoriginal, no Militia flamebait, disappointing.

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#40
^yeah, you're going to get real good, unbiased advice from the boogera mulisha...

Quote by Vinson


NEW Bugera> Used Peavey


My peavey is 6 years old and hasn't caught on fire once...played everyday, gigged, etc. My bugera shit out on me the first day I had it. I would never buy another bugera...even for home use...let alone try to gig with one.

But you're right...why buy a used amp when you can buy a copy for the same price new But that extra money will be great towards a fire extinguisher...or towards your next amp after the bugera shits out on you
Last edited by eyebanez333 at Sep 19, 2010,
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