333 Review

manufacturer: Bugera date: 03/01/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Bugera: 333
With 120 Watts, three channels and eight blazing vacuum tubes, the BUGERA 333 practically bleeds rock and roll. Everything from furious metal to sparkling clean jangle is waiting inside this performance vehicle.
 Sound: 6.8
 Overall Impression: 6.6
 Reliability & Durability: 6.8
 Features: 7.8
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reviews (5) pictures (2) 33 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
333 Reviewed by: hammers, on september 05, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 799

Purchased from: CC's Light & Sound

Features: The Bugera 333 is a 120 watt, 3 channel valve head, comes with a 4 way metal footswitch, switching between the 3 channels (clean, crunch and lead and the FX loop). The 333 is exactly the same as it's big brother the 33XL minus the Master Presence and Noise Gate knobs, and has a single input, rather than the Low Gain and High Gain inputs present on the 33XL. Bugera are a relatively new entrant into the amplification market, with their distribution being funded by Behringer. However, do not let this scare you, these amps were not built or designed by Behringer, they are completely Bugera unique, and bleed Bugera power. The head comes with 4 6L6 valves and 4 12AXL valves for the preamp. However at the flick of a Switch located next to the 6L6's this head comes ready to swap straight to EL34 valves for the more contemporary player with a British sound. The head has a FX loop with a level control for both the send and the return jacks. A line out with a level knob is also present. A damping switch is also on the back, switchable between high, mid and low. This is a boost for EQ, I.e. high gives more treble definition. The 333 has 3 channels, clean, crunch and lead. The clean channel is bright and gives a nice warm sunny feel. The EQ is simple to use with volume, treble, mid and bass dials. The volume acts as a gain switch, the higher the volume, the more gain, to get a nice crystal clear and clean tone, run the volume high but the master volume low. The mid range doesn't effect much so Bass and Treble tweaking is vital. The crunch channel is by far one of the heaviest I have heard, with a lot of gain available to use to get that classic rock sound. Channel is controlled by a volume, gain and treble, mid and bass eq. Lead channel also controlled by a volume, gain and treble, mid and bass EQ. Lots of gain also at the players disposal to get a real metal and heavy grind out of this amp. The Amp also has a reverb control which gives a top quality reverb. // 8

Sound: I am a very mixed player, I play everything from Vai to Blues, Jazz, contemporary rock to Heavy metal to melodic death metal. Especially a lot of Metallica and Arch Enemy and Annihilator. This amp gives great coverage of everything except the death metal sound. I like the harsh staccato attacking distortion which this amp doesn't give off the main channels. However, the distortion is great for playing Metallica style music and all other forms of alternative rock and metal. The 333 is basically a budget Marshall yet gives off a fiercely competitive and maybe better sound than a Marshall JCM-2000 for less than half the price. The amp has great grind on the lead channel. The Crunch channel is one of the best I have ever played through. You can get as little gain as you want out of it or you can get as much as you could imagine out of a crunch channel, great for old school rock sounds or blues riffs. The clean channel is good, gives nice bright and warm tones but the EQ lets it down a little in the lack of mid range control. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The Head is a brick. It is rock solid and the tubes are protected by hard metal mesh. The plastic decorations on the side extremities of the face of the Head look like they may fall off easily but they won't if you look after it. Like any amp look after it and the 333 will never let you down. As I said before, the Bugera range's distribution is funded and and controlled by Behringer. However, Behringer did not design or produce or manufacture any of the Bugera amps so you can expect a reliable amp. Valves should last 18 months if cared for properly, however if one set blows, a replacement set of 4 of either 6L6's or EL34's or 12AXL's are part of the Bugera range and are easily accessible through a Bugera dealer. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a great amp. For such a small price you get a better sound than that of a Marshall JCM-2000 which is $2000 upwards. The 333 gives a very harsh grinding sound, heavier than a Marshall yet with tweaking you can get a classic Marshall tone, or a Mesa/Boogie tone. If this amp was stolen from me I would definitely buy a new one, considering the range of tones and the range of uses for such a small price, and considering the fact that it's valve. I think this compares to the Peavey Satriani head, yet gives a better tone for a better price, and also the Marshall. But a better price for just as good if not better sound. // 10

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overall: 8.8
333 Reviewed by: ASClark, on december 04, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: Musicians Emporium

Features: The Bugera 33 is a 120w tube amp with great versatility. I play in a heavy metal band, but also really love playing blues and even reggae. This amp can do it all. It has 3 channels, all with independent EQ and volume, a master volume, and reverb. It also has a fx loop with indep. send/recieve levels. It also comes with a 4 way footswitch(lead/crunch/clean/fx loop on). I use this amp for band practice, as well as on stage. It is **ckn loud! This thing has way more than enough power. I have it hooked up to 2 mesa cabs (yes, this amp has stereo output) and I couldnt ask for a better tone, especially for the price. // 9

Sound: I play through this on an ESP LTD EC-1000 with EMG 81s/60s. It suits my metal playing style perfectly, the heavy chunk is prevalent, the harmonics are screaming, and the pick response sounds amazing. This this has amazing amounts of gain, and it's amazing how easily you can change your tone with the EQ. Even just on the lead channel, you can go from Amon Amarth distortion to EVH crunch with the change of the EQ and Gain, or just rolling back the volume on your guitar. The crunch channel is awesome for rythm guitar or blues/rock (GnR and the likes). The clean channel sounds really good up to a certain volume, and then it starts to break up a little, but I found that if I leave my guitars volume around 7, the sound stays clean at much higher volumes. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it for 4 months, but no problems yet. I don't plan on having to change the tubes for a couple more months. I don't have much info on how reliable it is yet, but it seems to be working like a tank. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, this amp was exactly what I was looking for. I needed an affordable metal amp with a badass tone, and this is exactly what I got. If your looking to play strictly blues or reggae, this amp may not be perfect for you, but it certainly will work. I have been playing for 2 years, and I own an ESP LTD EC-1000, a DigiTech RP250 multi effects pedal, a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Dunlop Original Crybaby, and an Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I love this amps distortion, it just takes the cake. And the picking dynamics always sound amazing, pinch harmonics are a breeze! I would compare this to a Mesa Boogie rectifier, and it certainly stacks up. If you want to play metal, this amp was made for you. If it were stolen, I would buy it again in a second. // 9

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overall: 8
333 Reviewed by: Robbgnarly, on march 01, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 430

Purchased from: zzounds.com

Features: I beleve mine is a 2009 model. 3 chanels (clean, crunch, lead), Low, Mid High eq on each ch, seprate chanel volumes and a global master volume, Gain for crunch and lead chanels, reverb that is assignable to each chanel independently, FX loop that is foot switchable(it also acts like a boost if you don't use the loop), Hi/Mid/Lo dampining switch(acts like a sweepable eq switch), 4 button foot switch(clean, crunch, lead, fx loop). My biggest problem is there is no presence knob, but that isn't a deal killer. I bought mine sight unseen(having never heard or played one live) because of the positive reviews out weighing the bad IMHO(I own a mk 1 sv hd100 that was awesome untill the black bars of death apeared almost 2 yrs after I bought it). I use this head live and at least one a week in practice, I will never gig with out a back up head again. // 8

Sound: This amp will astound you with the quality of sounds it will produce. The cleans are exactly that clean, not Fender clean, but not bad at all. The crunch chanel is where the fun starts great gain control(this chanel is good for anything form bues to metal) and it doesn't feed back with the gain fully cranked. The lead chanel is use able if you set the eq right, the gain on this chanel is realy only useable up to the 12-1 o'clock area with out major fead back issues. I use this with a variety of guitars: a PRS CE22, Sanox LP copy, Epi WG-400, and a K.L.T. 0001 Teli style. It sounds great with any of them doing anything from Jazz to Metal. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Now this is the part most seem to have problems with.I must say I am extreamly satisfied with my 333, other than my stand by light going out, I have had absolutely no quams with this amp. I've owned this amp for a little over a year and it still sounds great with the stock tubes(I even have a set of mesa 12ax7's but have left them out so far). // 8

Overall Impression: I can not believe that this much tone is avalable for so little money. No it may not be a Mesa, but can it hang with one? You bet your ass it can! Will it ever stop me from wanting a Bogner Uberschall? Hell no, but it will do for a few years. Should you be sceptical because of their rep? I'd say give them the bennifet of the doubt, even Mesa's break down. And if you have the money to throw down on a $2000 amp good for you(wish I did). But if you are a giging guitarist with a budget cap I would get this any day. And yes if it were stolen I'd buy another. // 8

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overall: 4.5
333 Reviewed by: sesstreets, on november 17, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: SamAsh

Features: Amp was made in 2008 in china. The amp was versatile. It went from a very nice clean to an old school over driven tube sound. 3 channels, clean crunch and lead. Lead is just the crunch channel with more lead. It had a nice effects loop and a fairly decent line out. 4, 8, 16 ohm selector with the possibility to use two cabs. I kept the master volume at.5 anything louder would be too loud. // 8

Sound: I used mine with a Schecter hellraiser outfitted with 81/89 emgs. It suited my style of melodic metal mostly. If you crank the gain past 4 on the lead channel you start getting that annoying hum. The clean channel the only worth while thing. it's worth it just to buy it for that channel. The clean doesn't really get distorted till WAY loud. Distortion isn't brutal at all. it's just loud. // 6

Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't ever use this amp again. Twice in a row I had tube/fuse/whatever failures. People have complained about what I've said on these forums stating that all you need to do is replace the tubes/speakers/fuse/everything in order to get a dependable amp. I say that if I spend almost 700 dollars on something it should work for more than a week. Sadly I cannot say that it performed more than 10 hours of service before dying on me. Twice, one I returned because it blew a fuse the second I turned it on and the second died without any warning about a day ago. // 1

Overall Impression: I liked the sound. I can't lie about that. About 2 years now. I used it with an array of Boss and MXR pedals. I wouldn't care if it got stolen since I would know that it would stop working. I hate that it died on me after a week. Bugera needs to get their quality control... under control. I'm glad it had a warranty, that's about it. Overall it left a bad taste in my mouth. // 3

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overall: 4.8
333 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 03, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Ebay Dealer

Features: This amp was purchased brand new from an Ebay dealer. It has 3 channels, an FX loop, and onboard reverb. The reverb is nice to have, but nothing spectacular. It gets the job done as far as onboard reverb goes. Mine came stock with Bugera 6L6 tubes. It has 120 watts, which will effectively demolish a small building if turned up all the way. // 6

Sound: This amp has one of the nicest sounding clean channels I've heard on an amp. It's sparkling and has a nice jangle to it. It's a good clean channel to run pedals through, which is nice, cause you're gonna need pedals to get a decent distortion out of this thing. The crunch and lead channels are completely disappointing. After teasing me with a beautiful clean channel, I switched over to the crunch channel to find that it was lacking in any sort of "balls". I came to the same conclusion about the lead channel after fiddling with the settings for a while. Now, this amp has PLENTY of gain on tap. I'm sure you've read that before. The problem is, that's all the channels offer. You wind up with your gain channels being totally fuzzy without any character or low end to speak of. They were practically unusable for me. I'll give it a 3, cause only 1/3 of the channels were any good for ANY style. Unless your style involves tinny, fuzzy gain. // 3

Reliability & Durability: I only owned it for about a month, so I can't really comment on this. I've heard that other people have had trouble with it breaking down on them, but I have no experience with it. The only issue I had was that the grille and knobs were all made of plastic, so I doubt they'd survive any sort of fall. Then again, if you drop your tube amp, the grille and knobs are the least of your worries. // 7

Overall Impression: To be honest, I wouldn't recommend this amp unless you plan on using only the clean channel. It just doesn't have the headroom and versatility you'd expect from a tube amp. From what I hear, this amp is meant to be a Peavery Triple X clone. I own a Triple X now, and this amp is NOTHING like the Triple X. If it were stolen, I'd feel bad for the sucker who is stuck with it now. If you're looking to buy this amp, I'd recommend you check out the 333XL, which SUPPOSEDLY has a Switch to make the tone ballsier than the plain 333. Or you could skip the copy and go buy an actual used Triple X (which is built like a tank, I might add) for about the same price of a new 333. But really, you can buy much better amps for the price of the 333. Skip this one, guys. // 3

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