1990 review by Bugera

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  • Sound: 3
  • Overall Impression: 3
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 7.5 (31 votes)
Bugera: 1990
0

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: American Musical Supply

Sound — 3
I play Gibson guitars with humbuckers, and Fender guitars with single coil pickups, and it doesn't sound very good with either. I own its Marshall counterpart (JCM 900 4100) and I'm glad I went with that. This amp may have all the features as the Marshall, but it doesn't sound nearly as good. It suits my playing style, but only because it's a Marshall rip off. It is very noisy and I haven't been able to find a solution for it yet. The clean channel gets messed up if you get if you get it above 6 (volume) because the sound gets unclear. The distortion gets heavy, but doesn't sound good. it has a sort of lo-fi gain that doesn't ever seem to sound right. i'm not at all satisfied with the sound, and it's not just because I have the jcm 900 it copied.. I played both of these extensively before finally deciding on the Marshall because it sounded much better.

Overall Impression — 3
I play punk and ska, and some hardcore and Acoustic stuff, and I wouldn't buy this amp for it. I've been playing for 10 years and have had my share of equipment and this wasn't a favorite. If it were stolen or lost, I'd probably just shake it off. It'd be upset that I lost that money, but I wouldn't go buy a new one. I like that it has the same settings as the Marshall, but I hate that it doesn't sound as good. Obviously I compared it to the Marshall JCM 900 4100 because that's the amp that Bugera copied for this one. I am in no way hating on this amp because it's "not a Marshall" or anything stupid like that, I'm just saying, completely honestly, that this amp is not as good as the Marshall. I bought the jcm 900 4100 used for $500, the Bugera is $450. To me, saving $50 to get the real deal was a good idea. And Marshalls will last much longer than the Behringer-made Bugera amps.

Reliability & Durability — 1
Every one I know who had this amp complained that the wiring got messed up after about 6 months, and shortly after that, they died. No power was getting to them (from what I understand, that is an issue with several Bugeras). They all take care of them well because we're all broke and can't afford to screw around with amps and potentially ruin them, so we maintain them very well, but I guess the 1990 wasn't meant for long-time use.

Features — 6
This amp was made in 2009, and it's fairly versatile for punk and ska, but I like the JCM 900 better. 120-Watt hi-gain amplifier driven by 4 x 5881 valves Classic 2-channel preamp design (Clean/Lead) featuring 3 x ECC83 valves. Integrated reverb with dedicated Reverb control for each channel. Vintage Equalizer section with dedicated Bass, Mid, Treble and Presence controls. Power Switch to select between 120w and 60w. Impedance Switch (4, 8 and 16 Ohms). FX Loop with dedicated Level control. Frequency compensated Recording output. I use this amp onstage occasionally when my buddy has it available and I can't get my Marshall. It has enough power, but the extra 20w isn't necessary, you just pay more for it. As you know, it's tube, and the 5881 tubes are nice, but 6L6 or EL34s would have been better.

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Kanthras
    Don't you think it's a bit strange to give a 1 to reliability when there's actually been nothing wrong with the amp? You say you like that it has the same settings as the Marshall, but give it a 6 for features. Also, Behringer does not make these amps, they just distribute them. Bugera has their own factories. Have you also tried putting different tubes in the Bugera (like swapping tubes with the Marshall)? Have you biased it correctly? Have you biased yourself? (don't take that badly please, It's just a horrible pun)
    Mlrc
    What kind of review was that? You're comparing a $450 amp to a Marshall JCM which costs what, $2k? Sure it may have cost you $500 for the Marshall, but that's a ridiculously good deal. And it has never broken down on you, yet you feel the need to bash it based on friend's experiences?
    bazzabalboa
    Worst review ive read on this site (thats saying something). Your dates dont even match up... lol... you are pathetic
    soaum
    "Every one I know who had this amp complained that the wiring got messed up after about 6 months, and shortly after that, they died" who here at ug knows alot of people with the exact same model amp as them? this review has low credibility. I have had a bugera 6260 for over a year and not had a single problem with it. everybody wants to say behringer stuff is rubbish but in reality its just cheap and that annoys people who spend over a grand on an amplifier. just my opinion anyway
    Kanthras
    JCM900s cost a lot more than that new.. Go look around for a used Bugera (might not find one, they're still relatively new), you can compare that to a used Marshall's price. Anyway, I know my 333 was biased very badly from the factory (it was biased ice-cold). It could well be that your 1990 sounds bad because it was biased too cold, giving it nasty crossover distortion. You should try biasing it properly, it could well sound much better. Here are tutorials if you don't know how: http://eurotubes.com/euro-video.htm Worth a try right?
    Kanthras
    So let me get this straight: The amp has never broken down or had any issues, yet you give it a 1 for reliability? Bandwagon much? The "wiring" issue you've heard about is the arcing power transformer clip in the earlier Bugeras. They don't have this issue anymore. It's an easy fix too, could've done it yourself. One last thing: did you compare the Bugera with the Marshall through the same cabinet?
    SeanX3187
    Jesstaa wrote: Dude, you realise 5881s/6L6's are interchangeable, right? PRetty much the same tube.
    i use EL34s.
    mekani
    I would like to know why did you buy hi-gain amp for ska and punk?
    SeanX3187
    they aren't high gain like most newer kranks and diamond amps and companies like that. the gain isn't all that crazy at all. it's just higher gain than the jcm 800 when that was what was popular in the late 80s/early 90s. the 900 evolved as a higher gain version of the 800. it's actually used a lot among ska and punk bands. sean p rogan of big d plays one, aaron barrett of reel big fish plays one, lars frederiksen of rancid plays one, just to name a couple.
    cadav3r
    Question: Did you get your tubes biased? Or perhaps your buddies with this amp, did they get their tubes biased?
    SeanX3187
    cadav3r wrote: Question: Did you get your tubes biased? Or perhaps your buddies with this amp, did they get their tubes biased?
    well, the original tubes burnt out after only 4 months or so. when he got new tubes, yes they were biased.
    Widow6
    He compared it to another amp he owns - I see nothing wrong with that. And no, a JCM900 is not 2K. In GREAT condition, they can go for roughly 800.
    TheRanman
    I work in a music store and I always talk people out of buying this. If you are thinking of getting this amp I suggest saving a couple hundred bucks extra and getting a marshall or a peavey.
    GS LEAD 5
    This guy is so obviously biased against Bugera....OK they are unreliable, but they sure as hell sound nie. And how an he moan about unreliaility when it never broke down on him? Its like someone who plays metal buying a Dave Murray strat, finding the sound eminently metal-ish and then saying that Fenders are bad for metal and thus it was not suitable for him, and giving sound a 1.
    Kanthras
    "Anyone wanna get one and give a real review?" Sure, if you pay for it..
    SeanX3187
    hey guys, i just want to point out that i'm not against Bugera amps. i happen to LOVE the 1960, and from what i hear the 333XL is a great amp too. the other guitar player in my band has this amp so i play it pretty much every day which is what most people do when they own things so i thought it would be fitting to review it. my friend went through all the issues i mentioned so you can't tell me they don't happen.. and Kanthras, i did play them through the same cabinet. when i was comparing them at guitar center i played them through a Mesa Rectifier cab with v30s
    saint_berzerker
    Finally, a non-ALL 10's review and this guy gets jumped on. He didn't flat out say it sucked balls, so you know he isn't bitter.
    bazzabalboa
    'i hear the 333XL is a great amp too.' It sure as hell is, i love mines Bugera ftw
    Jesstaa
    Dude, you realise 5881s/6L6's are interchangeable, right? PRetty much the same tube.
    lockwolf
    justinb904 wrote: found a really good video comparing them tone wise
    Excellent vid. Way better than this review
    The^Unforgiven
    This seems to be the same thing as when the first Bugeras hit the store. A lot of them were breaking down quickly, but with newer-built copies of the old series the stability seems to have improved. I hope that they'll start making the 1990 with better quality, as to me it seems like a great sounding amp. The fact that the reviewer personally disliked the tone doesen't mean that I wouldn't like it
    SeanX3187
    anubiz03 wrote: Never heard in person, but from watching ttk's shootout I'd say this review looks pretty biased. But again, never had a 1990 in my hands so can't say for sure.
    i just want to make it clear that it is not a biased review. i've already stated that i like the Bugera 1960 amp and i'll probably even buy one used at some point. i was just saying that this particular amp didn't quite live up to my expectations (set high by Bugera and people who got to play them before they were released) of sounding just like the jcm900.
    anubiz03
    Never heard in person, but from watching ttk's shootout I'd say this review looks pretty biased. But again, never had a 1990 in my hands so can't say for sure.
    SeanX3187
    i haven't seen a new jcm900 since probably early 2000s when the jcm2000s were introduced, and i have no idea how much they were new anymore. and i'm sure you could find a good deal on a used bugera (i'm thinking of picking up a used 1960, love that amp). and i'll give biasing a shot. it may make it sound better.
    SeanX3187
    i compared it to the marshall because that's the amp that bugera "copied". i wouldn't compare it to an amp that's completely different. the 1990 is based on the 900 so i compared them. and i stated in the review that i wasn't saying marshall is better than bugera. i personally think that the 900 is better than the 1990 and is in the same price range. the most expensive 900 i've ever seen was $750. most average around $500-$600. that's not much different in price than the bugera.
    HeavyMetalHokie
    whats the point in writing a review that just compares the amp to a marshall. if they wanted to hear you say the marshall was better then review the marshall, dont bash the bugera because its not even in the same price range if you were to buy them new. you paid $450 for the amp and got that out of it. dont write reviews just to say it doesnt compares to something else, weak
    SeanX3187
    i might not have been descriptive enough, but the one i was reviewing did have those problems, i just added other anecdotes to get my point accross a little better, but i guess it had the opposite effect. it has the same settings as the marshall, but it doesn't have the same jacks in the back that i use a lot. the frequency compensated recording out doesn't work as well as the recording compensated out on the marshall. and it doesn't have the direct out that i use all the time on my marshall. i know bugera has their own factories, but i believe behringer is in control of the designs. i didn't have enough money to buy new tubes for it, and i believe it was biased correctly (i'm not entirely sure what that entails)
    SeanX3187
    soaum wrote: "Every one I know who had this amp complained that the wiring got messed up after about 6 months, and shortly after that, they died" who here at ug knows alot of people with the exact same model amp as them? this review has low credibility. I have had a bugera 6260 for over a year and not had a single problem with it. everybody wants to say behringer stuff is rubbish but in reality its just cheap and that annoys people who spend over a grand on an amplifier. just my opinion anyway
    4 of my friends have this amp. they're not on ug, so that makes them not exist? i knew i was going to have a lot of people freak out, but this is just my opinion. i didn't like this amp as much as other amps i've played. i followed the guidelines for this review, so according to UG, this is a good review, but because i didn't put what you all wanted to hear, it's a garbage? i don't quite understand that. opinions are all that matter, and mine is that this isn't an amp people should go saving for. i'm not taking a shot at the company, or Behringer, i was reviewing this amp specifically. i have several things by Behringer and wouldn't consider getting higher priced replacements because they get the job done for a good price.
    lavaxtris1
    basically bugera is the tube amp versions of behringer. so your going to get a low price, a good tone, but issues that you can easily fix yourself, such as a cold solder.