333XL-212 Review

manufacturer: Bugera date: 10/24/2016 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Bugera: 333XL-212
The Bugera 333XL tone machine cranks out mind-blowing lead distortion and tight crunch due to its raw tone and massive power. Whether you want crystal clean punch, sultry smooth classic rock lead tones or that bone shattering metal crunch, the 333XL provides extensive tone shaping abilities with virtually unlimited dynamics in a three-channel configuration.
 Sound: 9.8
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 9.5
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reviews (6) pictures (1) 46 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
333XL-212 Reviewed by: mafropetee, on may 12, 2008
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Discount Music Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 10
333XL-212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 09, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699.99

Purchased from: American Musical Supply

Features: My amp was made in 2008.This is the best amp I've ever ouned! This amp is so solid and has 3 channels comes with footswitch, clean, crunch, lead FX loop. The Reverb is outstanding! Boutique-style 120 Watts Hand built 4 x 12ax7 valves for terrifying punch and mind blowing gain. Bugera is the soul of valves! This amp will match any speaker cabnit, and can also be used for recording studio. // 10

Sound: I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio with classic humbucking pickups and it sounds super! excelent on every footswitch you choose to use. I also have a Gibson New Century Flying V This is a Guitar I won from The Gibson Guitar Company! There were only 400 made! The neck pickup is a496 ceramic magnet humbucker bridge pickup 500T ceramic magnet Humbucker. When I play my V after playing my Les Paul it sounds like I've turner the volume up! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would most certainly use this amp without a backup, never had any trouble with anything going wrong with this amp. This amp is so well built that it can be transported without any proublem at all. For a combo amplifier I think it weighs 79 pounds.never had a tube go bad. So this is a godsend to me. Figure I bought this amp for $699.99, it was on sale when I got it it's regular price was $1300.00 I got a great buy! // 10

Overall Impression: Hard rock mostly, but I also play the blues clasic rock heavy metal not a proublem all styles this amp can handle it. I love everything about this amp. I've been playing for 38 years. I will say that if someone stole amp I would buy another. I have six different guitars and they all sound good with this amp.I use a Mark Tremonti wah-wah pedal, also a Scott Lan P.M.D. Bad Dog foot pedal. I own Eppiphone, PRS, Gibsons I have the Hawk by Gibson solid body like an SG only with Les Paul body style. // 10

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overall: 9.8
333XL-212 Reviewed by: edusty2010, on july 24, 2008
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: Amp was made in 2008 I believe, but cannot be sure. I'm assuming it was because Bugera is a pretty new company. With 3 channels (comes with footswitch, also an effects loop), this thing can play just about anything. And I mean anything. I play in my schools jazz band, and I get a great thick tone out of it with my Schecter 006. I play metal in my personal time, and this thing has gain out the ass! The only thing I've played with more gain than this are a Krank Krankenstine and a Marshall 2203KK. Both are over $2,500. If you're on a budget, this thing is great. I use just about everything on this amp, except for the XL Switch on the crunch and lead channels. They're hardly any boost at all. I use this amp both at home, and when I play concerts. Because it's so loud, you really can't turn it up at home, but when you do (or atleast when I do) I can't help but get a big ass grin on my face. Awesome tone. I love the high/low gain input jacks. More power than I need really. Only things I wish it had were a better noise gate (it does the job, it's just not really. Well, natural.) and a headphone jack. Other than that, I couldn't be happier. // 9

Sound: Sound is bone crushing. I use a crappy Schecter 006 Deluxe, but before I bought it I played it with an ESP LTD EC-1000 and it screamed. Fits every style well, rock and metal just seem like they have to be played on this amp. Like I said before, it just screams. It's really not noisy (no "white noise" at least). Clean channel stays clean up until way louder than it will ever need to be. You'd have to set both volumes on ten to get it to distort at all. Distortion is crazy. Like I've said before, I have never heard better gain on an amp this cheap. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would gig this without a backup, it's heavy as hell and I can't see it breaking without someone TRYING to break it. I suppose if other people are handling your equipment then I'd bring a backup, but if it's just you then no, going without a backup is going to be fine. Only time amp has screwed up on me is when I tried to put headphones into the output jack. That was my fault. I just shut it off, let it cool down, started back up and all was fine! // 10

Overall Impression: This amp is a great match towards almost any style of music really. I've only been playing for about a year, and don't own much gear at all. Check my profile if you want to see all my stuff. There isn't really much hidden with this amp, so far it's holding up really well. If it were stolen or lost I'd probably replace it, unless I had money for a hot-rodded Marshall. If I was on a budget I'd call the store ASAP to make sure they had one and ask them to hold it for me. I love the three channels, plus the tone and high gain. I hate that it's too loud for home practice really, but you can buy something to solve that. My favorite feature is probably the high/low gain inputs. They make a huge difference, and make the amp very versatile. I compared it to the 100w and 50w Peavey VK, and it totally blew them away. Cleans were better, and this has more gain on level 2 than the VK does on 10. Just an all around amazing amp, for an even better price. The only thing I wish is that it had a headphone jack. That's about it, and that's not too important. // 10

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overall: 10
333XL-212 Reviewed by: devit, on april 10, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: AMS

Features: Comes loaded with 3 channels, clean, crunch and lead. Features master volume, master reverb, master presence and independent gain and volume for each channel. it's fueled by 4 EL34 and 4 12AX7. Has a effects loop/boost function and a return output. Has 2 Inputs hi gain and low gain. Plus XL switches that give an extra edge. Includes a free footswitch. You get all this for 700 bucks. And in my opinion this is great. You get awesome features for a relative low price. The EQ is really dynamic, you can really hear the changes in the EQ. // 10

Sound: I play mostly death metal, this amp is perfectly capable of handling so. This amp does not lack in the gain department, the lead channel will probably have way to much gain for the average non metal player. But for those of us who enjoy metal, you are able to get extremely Heavy and crushing Chugging out of it. Even with the crappiest of pickups(I still have my starter guitar, sounds great with it's like 10 dollar pups). The crunch channel can play anything from classic rock, AC/DC to Metallica. The EQ in this amps really makes differences, you can hear how your tone changes as you twist the knobs. The crunch channel has it's fair amount of gain, not as much as the lead, but it has enough. The clean channel is clean, no gain on it. it's as clean as it gets. // 10

Reliability & Durability: There are a lot of rumors saying that bugeras brake rather quickly, I myself I'm happy to announce that mine has worked perfectly. I once was playing and somebody stepped on the AC chord and unplugged it, but it worked fine after that, and it also shows no sings of breaking in the future. I've played some gigs with it and it hasn't failed me, thought I'm skeptical about moving it around much. The only thing that I see as a flaw is that sometimes it looses gains, the lead channel stops getting that chug chug, nothing restarting wont fix but still sometimes it worries me. // 10

Overall Impression: I play death metal and it great for it, thought it's not limited to it, I can bet my life that this amp can handle any kind of music. For the price this amp kills and owns all other amps in it's price range(and some others that are more expensive) I've played the tube Line 6's and this amp eats it alive. I've also played a Marshall AVT900 or so and my amp raped it. If it was stolen I would go out and buy an new one. I love everything on this amp. The only thing I hate is that in order to turn on the FX loop you have to turn on the boost so when you want to add FX you get a volume boost, thought this may be fixed with the send/receive knobs in the back that I've yet play with. // 10

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overall: 8.5
333XL-212 Reviewed by: KevINtexas, on december 10, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: AmericanMusical.com

Features: Mine was made in 2008. It's got 3 completely independent channels. Clean, crunch, and lead. Mine is very versatile. I own two American strats. One is HH the other is SSS. I got mine at American musical's web site. The great thing about them is they allow you to do 3 payments on any credit or debit card so you only have to pay $233/month for 3 months. As far as features you can just go to their web site and read about them. I will say they all work well. The EQ has very good ranges on all 3 channels. That allows you to dial in a very wide range of sounds. The footswitch is built like a tank. The effects loop has it's own volume so if you prefer you can just use it as a boost on all 3 of your channels for soloing or whatever. That's how I use it and consider it a great feature. The XL feature I really haven't found does much of anything. I don't really care about it one way or the other, the amp sounds great with or without it. One nice feature, the amp remembers if you have reverb enabled or not on each channel. Overall this doesn't have the features of a Line 6 but you don't need a PhD to operate it either. It's got all the features that any serious guitar player would want. // 8

Sound: This is the bread and butter of this amp. Definitely think Marshall tube tone. This amp has it nailed but actually has a much brighter clean channel than stock Marshalls. You can really hear the EL34 sound. The cool thing is if that's not your bag you can just swap the EL34's for 6L6's and flip one Switch and you're off and running with Fender tube amp tone. Mine already gets very close to Fender cleans when I'm using my SSS American Strat. I play everything from thick blues (BB King) to texas blues (SRV) to ice pick blues (Albert Collins). I also play Metallica, Sabbath, Priest, BLS, Pantera, Hendrix... you get the picture. I've played for 30 years. I can dial in great tones for all these artists with just a few tweaks of the dials. There is separate EQ for each channel and each band has a big range. I hate amps where the EQ has a very short frequency range and you can turn a knob from 2 to 10 and not hear much of a change. Not with this amp. The great EQ allows you to really explore a very broad range of tones without over complicating the issue. I'm giving this a 9 only because I'm an eternal tone chaser and will never think any amp is perfect. Honestly though this is as good as a Marshall, Fender, or Mesa tube amp. Definitely leans more Marshall at a fraction of the Marshall price. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't owned it long enough to write a credible review about this amp's reliability and durability. I will tell you mine works great and is built very very well. Although they're made in China if you look at Bugera's web site you can see that they have their own factory there and these are all hand-made. It's really a new kind of amp company. Anyway, mine seems built very well and the footswitch is all metal and should last forever. For first impressions on this though I'll give it an 8. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall? I love this amp. Why specifically? It's easy to use, it sounds amazingly good, and it only cost me $699.00. I've owned $3000 Marshall and Mesa combos but always felt like I paid too much for what I was getting. I've also owned Line 6's with a zillion features but felt those took too much tinkering to come up with any decent tones. That outstanding tube tone that all us tone chasers are looking for is there. I'm always trying, buying, selling, using, and abusing amps in my Quest for the perfect tone. I can't think of another tube amp in this price range that is as versatile and sounds as good as this. The Fender Hot Rod line has killer tone at a comparable price but that amp doesn't have the tone range of this amp. With that one you get what you get and you won't find many different tones. With this amp you will. // 9

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overall: 9.8
333XL-212 Reviewed by: musiclover420, on october 24, 2016
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Worldmusicsupply.com

Features: 3 channel 120 watt 2x12" tube amp, the XL has EL34's and the regular has 6l6 I believe but both feature auto biasing and are compatible with either kind of tube and possibly others. The lead/ crunch channel have a noise gate that is great for taking some of the hum out of high gain settings. Built in spring reverb, presence control and an FX loop/ boost. All 3 channels and the loop are controllable via a foot switch. The loop features in/ out volume controls which can be used to reduce or boost your signal with or without anything in the loop! Also features a line out, 4/8/16 switchable impedance and 2 speaker outs. I have only used it with the built in speakers but they sound great! Line out works alright as well. For the price it has all the basic features most guitarists will need and then some! // 10

Sound: I mostly play classic rock/jazz so I tend to stick to the clean channel. On its own it produces beautiful thick lush warm tones. I like to play through it with single coils and the presence set pretty high for beautiful bell like highs. With the channel volume pushed and the mids cranked you can get a great tube OD especially with humbuckers/ hotter pups. The clean channel is an absolute workhorse and has taken every pedal I have thrown at it very well. Also sounds great for keyboards and vocals.

The crunch channel does a great job nailing hotter classic rock tones. This channel is identical to the lead channel pretty much but has considerably less gain. I keep the gain down low and the EQ cranked for a great classic rock crunch tone. Throw in an OD/boost and your screamin! This channel can really scream all on its own when cranked though.

The lead channel I use the least due to its insane gain levels. I tend to have the gain as low as it can audibly go and the volume near 50% to compensate with a mild EQ. This gives me a pretty solid lead classic rock tone. I love to push this channel with a fuzz and use a wah pedal for some facemelting gnarly snarling psychedelic rock lead tones. The gain is a bit too far into metal territory for me but I still can get some milder usable tones and its nice having a seperate hotter drive channel from the crunch.

All in all I love the sounds it makes. I still have stock speakers/ tubes in and have had them for 2-3 years with no issues. When I do finally upgrade I imagine the sound will be even more magnificent! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Like I said I have owned this amp for 3 or so years no and have had little to no issues with it. One time a friend of a friend asked to try and it turned it off without putting it into standby first. It made a crackle I have never heard it make before and occasionally would crackle/ be finicky for awhile after but I never had it looked at and it started working fine again eventually. I have not played it live but I imagine it would do a wonderful job for small to medium/large venues. It is pretty heavy but has solid handles that make carrying it a breeze even though it weighs in at 70 pounds! I have moved it around a decent amount pretty easily and it has held up.

All in all it has been extremely reliable for me and I imagine I will keep it forever. Eventually I hope to upgrade it with some mods and replace a few parts but there is nothing urgent it really could use. // 9

Overall Impression: I love this amp! It is great for jazz, rock, funk, blues, metal, country, and everything in between! Does a great job with keyboards/ synths as well as guitar and handles all sorts of pedals. If it was stolen I would definitely buy another one or maybe upgrade to a Bugera TriRec.

Here are the few cons I can think of:

The reverb can be a bit noisy when turned up past 75% and the noise is present even with the reverb disengaged. Turning it down around 50-60% fixes it though and that area is plenty of reverb for most stuff.

The EQ is pretty powerful and can make things noisy depending on how it's set up. Using a quiet humbucker set up and reasonably EQ work it can get pretty loud with minimal noise

Lead channel has way too much gain for my tastes. Hopefully one day I can add a half power switch or something to create a lower gain setting for it. // 10

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