#1
Just got a G5 and 112TS. It's my first real tube amp.

It's not as loud as I expected at 5W. There is noticeable distortion in the clean channel starting around 6. I know tubes have a certain color, but I expected it to be pretty clean using the clean channel. I'm using speaker cable to connect the head to the speaker. 

My guitar is a Squier Bullet Strat, so not the best, but it's new and sounds ok through my combo amp. Here is a recording that starts with the G5/112TS, and then I switched it out for my Vox VT40+ : https://www.dropbox.com/s/o46txvgsgpgj8ho/20170527%20Bugera%20G5%20vs%20Vox%20VT40plus.mp3?dl=0

Not a great recording but it gets the point across, I think. The G5 was turned up higher than the Vox, but the Vox is louder and cleaner. The G5 has all the knobs around 5 except the clean volume, which is about 8. It's a little tough to compare settings because the Vox has gain, volume, master, and 'power level' on always. I did make sure to bypass any modeling on the Vox, making it as clean as possible. The G5 seems pretty straightforward.

Is something wrong? Should I check the tube? Could it be the speaker? I don't have another amp, so I'm not sure how to test the speaker.
#3
It varies from amp to amp and I don't know that model so I can't speak specifically for that, but in general if you turn up a tube amp it will break up, even on a clean channel. The Vox is a solid state amp with a higher power so yeah, it should stay cleaner at higher volumes.
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#4
The Vox has 40 watts so it has more clean headroom, i.e., you will be able to achieve clean tones at higher volumes. Also, to my understanding solid state amps don't usually distort just by turning the volume up, probably because that's just not a desired sound. But you can overdrive tube amps just by turning the volume up (actually, "gain" and "volume" are basically the same thing - your "gain" control just controls the pre-amp volume whereas the "volume" or "master" controls the power amp volume). Actually, before the invention of master volume controls, the only way of achieving distortion was to crank up the volume. That's how a lot of classic rock tones were achieved. Amps with separate clean and distortion channels are a more recent invention.

But yeah, since it's a 5 watt amp, I wouldn't expect it to stay clean at high volumes. If you want clean tones at high volumes, you need more power. People buy lower wattage tube amps to achieve those "dirty clean" sounds at lower volumes.
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#5
Vox VT40+ is a 60W amp and your Bugera is a 5W amp. What did you expect? The Vox has much more clean headroom when you crank it compared to the 5W amp. 5W amp can get ridiculously loud but it definetly wont stay clean when you push it.

That said, it should still get almost painfully loud before breaking up so if you feel the amp is "suspiciously quiet" a little tube check might be in order. But if you were searching for amp that is more powerful than your Vox you should have gotten at least 50W tube amp in the first place.

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#6
Thanks for the info. It's starting to make sense, I think.
Quote by MaaZeus
Vox VT40+ is a 60W amp and your Bugera is a 5W amp. What did you expect? The Vox has much more clean headroom when you crank it compared to the 5W amp. 5W amp can get ridiculously loud but it definetly wont stay clean when you push it.

That said, it should still get almost painfully loud before breaking up so if you feel the amp is "suspiciously quiet" a little tube check might be in order. But if you were searching for amp that is more powerful than your Vox you should have gotten at least 50W tube amp in the first place.

The 5G gets pretty loud, but I wouldn't say ridiculously or anywhere near painful. When the overdrive channel is used, then it might start getting there.

Is there an easy way I can check the tube?
#7
doesn't sound like a tube issue it's more about errant expectations. a tube amp turned up to 6 or better is going to start to distort even the higher wattage ones.  an amp like the one you have is meant for lower volume practice or is great for recording when you want a nice breakup tone as they do begin to distort at more manageable volume levels. many recordings in the 70s were done with a 5 watt Fender Champ for this very reason. 
#8
Quote by monwobobbo
doesn't sound like a tube issue it's more about errant expectations. 

Thanks. It sounds like the amp is working as it should. Supposedly the VT40+ has a tube, but it behaves very differently. This is all a good learning experience for me. I've been around Twin Reverbs and similar loud amps, but they're in a different league. I'm pretty sure I much prefer the tone of the G5 to the VT40+, but I need to spend more time comparing. I'm just glad to know that I didn't get a bad amp or speaker with the Bugera stack.
#9
The type of tube will matter and some tubes give more headroom then others, but what you describe sounds normal to me. Buy a handful of tubes and try different ones. Not sure whats in a G5, but certain theres a flavor out there you'll like.
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#10
People who say 5 watt tube amps are loud, say that because some people buy them and expect to achieve power amp break up at bedroom volumes and that is not going to happen. A 5 watt tube amp cranked up will be heard over a drummer (well, probably not if your drummer is John Bonham), so it can get pretty loud. It obviously won't instantly damage your hearing, but using earplugs would still be recommended when you crank it up.

But yeah, it has to do with people's expectations (and it also has to do with your definition of "loud"). People expect a 5 watt amp to be quiet and get surprised when they realize that it's way too loud for cranking up in the bedroom (at least if you have neighbors).

The fact that your Vox has a tube in it doesn't matter. A 40 watt amp, solid state or tube, will have more clean headroom than a 5 watt amp, solid state or tube. This means, you will be able to achieve clean tones at higher volumes. I'm really not sure why you expected it to be louder than your Vox.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
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Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#11
I have a related question. Why is the Bugera G20 cheaper than the G5? And I read people saying that they G5 is loud enough to practice with a drummer, and other people say the G20 is not loud enough for practice... I realize "loud enough" is subjective, but this is confusing.
#12
Quote by ergalthema
I have a related question. Why is the Bugera G20 cheaper than the G5?

It's not. Or it depends where you are buying it, but I checked the MSRP of both amps and the MSRP of G20 is $450 and the MSRP of G5 is $375.

And I read people saying that they G5 is loud enough to practice with a drummer, and other people say the G20 is not loud enough for practice... I realize "loud enough" is subjective, but this is confusing.

I think it has to do with expectations. Somebody who buys a 20 watt amp is more likely going to try it with a full band, and gets disappointed if it's not loud enough for band use. Then again, somebody who buys the 5 watt version probably doesn't plan to use it as their main gigging amp (at least not in a loud band), but they may be pleasantly surprised when they realize it can be heard over a drummer.

So nobody really complains when a 5 watt amp is not loud enough for band use because people usually don't buy 5 watt amps if they want to play loud. But people expect a 20 watt amp to be loud enough for band use, and if it's not (for example because they have a really loud drummer), they will complain about it. So just because you hear some complaints about the 20 watt version not being loud enough, and you hear people say that the 5 watt version is loud doesn't mean that the 5 watt version is louder than the 20 watt version. People buy different gear for different reasons and they have different expectations.

That's kind of the same thing as when people give a cheap guitar a 9/10 review and an expensive guitar a 7/10 review. That doesn't mean the cheap guitar is better than the expensive guitar, even though it got a higher rating. The rating has a lot to do with people's expectations.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at May 28, 2017,