Price paid: £ 445
Purchased from: Thomann
Features — 8
This is a 3-channel 120 watt amplifier head that is absolutely awesome for the price, when my Marshall TSL 100 died on me, I needed a cheap replacement quickly and came across this gem. Now I've owned Fender, Laney, Marshall and Peavey amps and after 27 years of playing, this amp had a lot to live up to. This amp competes very well with all these manufacturers. I was a little apprehensive at first, but it is a surprisingly versatile amp and it needs to be. I play all sorts from Muse to Pink Floyd, Satriani to Metallica, general pop music, pop rock like Van Halen and just good old classic metal such as Iron Maiden and Motorhead and it can deliver on all these fronts. I've now owned this amp for well over a year and had no problems at all.
Sound — 7
As stated above I play extremely varying styles and it has a nice tone. Now I play this through my 1960A cab so I can't really offer an opinion on the Bugera cab but it sounds nice with the one I have so I won't be changing the cab. It has pros and cons with the sound so I'll go through the pros first:
Reliability & Durability — 8
Well I've done quite a few gigs with this now and had no problems whatsoever. As I've only had it for a relatively short time (like I said over a year) so I can't comment on the long term, but I have certainly put it through its paces and it hasn't let me down once. The only thing that has let it down is the "tolex" covering, it's very soft and tears very easily, so certainly not to Marshall standards but the 333XL is about £550 cheaper than the Marshall, so you'll just need to look after it a little bit more.
Overall Impression — 8
Despite a few drawbacks, this amp is definitely worth a punt whether you're on a budget or not. You will not believe that such a cheap amp could sound so blisteringly good. I loved my Marshall, but in the gain department the 333XL Infinium leaves it for dead; although the Marshall (now repaired) still beats it for tonal variation. When it came down to a choice between the two it's like this: if you want to do balls out thrash metal, or whatever they call it these days, it's the 333xl all the way, just want to do indie or classic rock? Then it would be the Marshall, but it's a close call on that. If you are after an amp that is versatile and don't want to spend ridiculous amounts of money, then I highly recommend this amp.