333XL-212 review by Bugera

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (33 votes)
Bugera: 333XL-212

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Discount Music Center

Sound — 10
This amp's main focus is on gain, and it has more of it than anyone could need. From Steve Vai to the most insane death metal you can think of, the lead channel does it all. But this is by no means a one-trick pony. The crunch channel can do anything from classic Led Zeppelin to chunky AC/DC even up to some metalcore like ATR. The clean channel stays clean even at very high volumes and can do anything from sparkly jazz to almost acoustic tones. I play a LTD Viper 400, mahogany body, EMG 81/85, etc. and it is a perfect match. the lead channel gets a little noisy with lots of gain, but that's expected.

Overall Impression — 9
Some might have something bad to say about Bugera because of their association with Behringer, but honestly, I've played some of Behringer's amps and they seem like very decent pieces of equipment. These are definitely metal amps, but they break the stereotypes of bad cleans by being quite versatile all across the board. With plenty of features and more gain than anyone could ever need, these amps are definitely worth the price. Just make sure you treat it right.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Like I said, Bugera is pretty new, so there aren't many people Who can say much about their reliability. The amp seems decently sturdy, but it could still use some work. I have heard some stories of receiving the amp DOA, and a few breaking down. If you travel a lot with your amp or if it just receives abuse on a regular basis, this probably isn't the amp for you. But if you just need a good sounding amp for local gigs and are generally moderately careful with your stuff, it should be fine.

Features — 10
Bugera is a fairly new player in the game. I believe this amp was made in '07. This amp is most suited towards metal, but you can dial in a good tone for any genre. It has three channels. The clean channel has a three band EQ (bass, mid, treble) and a dedicated volume knob. The crunch channel again has a three band EQ and volume knob, plus a gain knob. The lead channel has the same setup as the crunch channel. The crunch and lead channels also each have an "XL" Switch, which boosts the gain a little. There is also an effects loop, switchable reverb, presence knob, noise gate, and master volume. In the back is a line-out separate from the speaker-outs with its own volume knob. It comes with a sturdy 4-button footswitch with a button for each channel and a button to Switch the FX loop on and off. This amp really has all the features you would expect, and any it is lacking is really something that should come from a pedal anyway. This amp is VERY powerful. I rented it for BOTB, and I only had to turn it up to about 2 and people even said they could hear me a bit more than the other band members (and we were LOUD as it was). 120 watts is more than anyone could ever need, and two 12" speakers projects that power very well. Its power comes from four 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL34 power tubes. I believe Bugera's tubes are rebadged Sovteks, which are decent. They use their own speakers, which are very balanced across the spectrum.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I've played a Dual Recto and I would honestly say the Bugera sounds better. But I didn't spend much time dialing in the Recto.
    I'm deciding between this and a Peavey Valve King, thanks for the great review, and by any chance could you get an industrial metal sound from this amp?
    Definitely. IMO it has a lot more gain and an all around better tone than the VK.