Price paid: $ 599.95
Purchased from: Motor City Guitar
Sound — 8
Currently I'm using a ESP LTD KH-602 with EMG 81's as well as a Fender American Deluxe Strat with three SCN single coil pickups. Mainly I play metal and hardcore (deathcore) music and this amp works great for it. Scoopable mids make for a great chugging sound, but if you don't want such a brutal distortion you can throw it in Crunch with the gain up and still have a perfect sound for Metallica or Megadeth. Mainly I'm doing distorted stuff, but really, the clean is what makes this amp well worth the money. It's understandable that at high volumes there will be some hiss on the distorted channels, but the clean is near silent. Right now, mine has a really fat, warm sound which is great for the stuff that I do play clean in songs. As for variety, I'm sure this amp would be a good choice in any situation because of so much variability within the sounds from Classic Rock to Hard Rock, and maybe even country (I'm not sure I don't play country). If you want a brutal distortion, this is your amp. I tested my old Fender FM100 against it, and the Bugera's gain on the Crunch with a volume level of 3 beat out my Fender with the gain on the lead all the way up.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this amp is great for metalheads and rockers alike. I've been playing 5 years now and seeing as I was on a fixed budget, this fit the constraints of a next step up amp- cheap, reliable, great sound. I love the XL function because it really adds the punch-you-in-the-face sound that metal guitarists look for. Not sure if this is true or not, but the salesman claimed that this was actually a clone of a Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier. If so, this a quite a bargain. As it has everything I was looking for in a head, I was completely satisfied, and would recommend this to many a guitarist looking for a decent priced amplifier with a sound comparable to higher-end tube heads.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've only had this amp for 4 months but no problems so far. Only thing is that it's heavy, but that was expected it being a tube.
Features — 9
Made in 2008, this amp has all kinds of little features that bring it up to snuff with big name tube amp brands. Comes with 3 channels, Clean, Crunch, and Lead. The thing that separates this head from the regular Bugera 333 is the XL function on the Crunch and Lead channels that acts as a slight boost and gives a fat sounding valve tone. Another nice feature is the built in noise-gate so when you're doing stops, you don't get a lot of gain in between. Another nice thing is that each channel has an independent reverb function, an overall boost and each channel is eq-able independently as well as having a master volume and presence control. Has an effects loop that can be controlled with the footswictch that is given with the amp. The best thing about the amp is that it's a tube and it's cheap compared to similar heads.