333XL Infinium Review

manufacturer: Bugera date: 12/21/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Bugera: 333XL Infinium
This is the 333XL Infinium. It has 3 channels with independent EQs and the Crunch and Lead channel has an XL function which adds a bit more "Ooompf" to your sound.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Features: 9
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 27 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
333XL Infinium Reviewed by: XxGitaristaxX, on march 05, 2012
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 700

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: Just to let you all know this is not the old Bugera 333XL that many guitarists have been complaining with the failure issues - and I am not in any way an endorser of Bugera. So this is the 333XL Infinium. It has 3 channels with independent EQs and the Crunch and Lead channel has an XL function which adds a bit more "Ooompf" to your sound. This amp comes with a foot switch between clean, crunch, and lead, then there is an FX boostin which you can adjust a knob at the back of the amp. It comes in with 4 EL34 tubes installed but according to the manual, with the new Infinium, you can mix and match between 6L6 or EL34 or combination of both - so imagine all the tonal possibilities with this feature... I personally haven't tried it since I am already satisfied with the sound this amp is making. One thing that I think should have been included in the footswitch is the reverb function on/off but that's an easy fix since I use a reverb anyways with my effects pedals. Oh, and yeah this one's sound gets better as you crank it up louder. This also has a built in noise gate which can reduce some of that "tube hiss" that many tube amps make. If you haven't checked out what exactly what the "Infinium feature" does, would be better to check out their website as they go more in depth of how Infinium works. // 10

Sound: Ibanez S470 with Duncan Blackouts. I mainly play metal in the lines of Tessaract, Parkway Drive, In Flames, Periphery and let me tell you that this amp does the job. Not noisy at all, I say the louder this amp gets, the better it sounds. The clean channel stays clean no matter how loud it gets... Nuff said. Please beware... This amp has A LOT of distortion and could keep up with the likes of amps like 5150s, Peavey XXXs, etc... Totally in love with this amp head. // 10

Reliability & Durability: They have a 1 year warranty but I have never needed it. This hasn't broken down on me yet and I'd say this amp is very reliable. Besides, with the Infinium technology, whenever one of the Infinium leds lights up permanently, all I have to do is remove the tube and replace it with another one... Possibly a 6L6 (just to see how it would sound with different power tubes)... No need to buy matching tubes which could be really expensive. // 9

Overall Impression: As I had said, I play mainly metal to Djent style of playing... I need a ballsy, punchy, and loud amp for my sound and this delivers. I've been playing for approx 4 years now and I have played through many high gain amps such as Diezels, Framus, Mesas, Peaveys. This bad boy keeps up with these guys, and maybe does just a bit more. I would get another one in a heartbeat if it was stolen or lost... Or maybe get a Bugera 6262 Infinium... It looks amazing in person and seems to me that there is nothing to hate about this... And to think this costs less that 1k. So far so good! // 9

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overall: 7.8
333XL Infinium Reviewed by: mutley365, on december 21, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 445

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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:

  • Although I don't use the crunch and lead channels very much, the range from calm to insane is a nice thing to have in your arsenal, the crunch is nice and tight and doesn't sound like glass smashing on the floor. Also the variation in the tones are good, so if you like scooping out the mids then you'll get what your after, plus the addition of the xl buttons on both these channels beefs up the sound nicely.
  • The clean channel is lovely and gives me the warm tone that I build any of my sounds on. I have my effects (which is why I don't really use the other 2 channels very often) but remember you can't build your effects on a crap tone as you'll just be increasing your problems.
  • Reverb is ok, but again I don't really use it as I have superior reverbs in my effects, but if all you wanted to do was rock without the technical crap, it will give you what you need.
  • The boost is a nice touch (available on the foot switch too) when you need to stand out during a song doing your guitar hero stuff. Now the cons:
  • The noise gate is next to useless, which is a shame as I definitely get more hiss out of it than I did on my TSL 100. Again because I mainly use the clean channel and I have a noise gate it isn't an issue for me, but if you plan on using all three channels and not much else it is definitely worth investing in a decent noise gate.
  • Reverb. I really can't fathom why they didn't build a reverb button into the foot switch I mean it's a basic thing that you expect with every amp. I have never bought an amp that has come with a foot switch not have a reverb switch on it, bizarre. Even more irritating though is that the reverb turns itself off when switching channels, so it's really not fit for purpose (whether this is a manufacturing fault or not, I don't know), either way I've never bothered with amplifier reverbs any way so I wasn't bothered, but I can imagine a kid starting out in his/her first band would be a little annoyed with this. I love the fact that you don't need to have matched valves on this amp and that you can swap between 6L6's and EL34's or have a combination of the two. I may swap them around for a bit of fun some time in the future, but for now I'm happy with the the four EL34's it came with. I also like the power tube monitor on the back so you know if one is on the way out. Another bonus, no biasing the bloody thing, plug them in and your good to go. // 7

    Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

    Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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