BC30-212 review by Bugera

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (24 votes)
Bugera: BC30-212

Price paid: C$ 600

Purchased from: AXE MUSIC

Sound — 9
If you have ever heard a Vox AC30, then you have a good idea what Channel 1 of the amp sounds like. Channel 1 has a volume, treble and bass control. The treble and bass operate the same way they do on a VOX, that is to say that if you increase the treble, you cut the bass in the process. You can get super nice cleans on channel 1 with a single coil guitar. The amp does not breakup until the channel 1 volume gain hits 50%. With a double coil guitar, the amp breaks up around 25% of volume gain. Channel 2 on the amp is a beast. It only has a volume control and a high pass filter. As you turn the filter selector to the right, you add more bottom end. You can get clean tone with a single coil guitar at about 25% of volume gain, but next to no clean with a double coil guitar. The distortion, as expected, is heavy... Black Sabbath heavy with lots of bottom end. I should point out that this amp is crazy loud. I also own a Vox AC30C2 which is also loud, but this is a different kind of loud... The kind that hurts your ears. I have not been able to crank the master volume beyond 10%. I give the sound a 9 because I'm so used to my Vox AC30C2 that if I had to compare the harmonics of the tone, my hat goes off to the VOX, but this is a really close second.

Overall Impression — 10
I have numerous guitars that I've collected over the years. I've been playing for more than 30 years and have touched most styles of music. I still like the classics (Zepplin, Rush, Black Sabbath, Stones, Clapton, Foreigner, etc) and play them all on this amp. It produces the tones very well. It also has a nice tone when you run a single coil guitar through it and do some blues. I'm certain you'll see plenty of musicians gigging with this amp in the near future because of its versatility. I've also tried it with your standard Boss stomp boxes and it takes pedals with no problem. I give this section of the rating a 10 because for the price you are getting a great amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have only had the amp for a month. It seems really well made. Here's hoping I never have to get any major repairs.

Features — 9
The BC30 212 was released in early 2010. The amps shipped to suppliers during the month of March. This is a 2 channel amp that is modelled after the Matchless DC30. Side by side the amps look the same right down to the backlit face plate and controls. The amp has three 12AX7 tubes and four EL84 tubes. It also has a value rectifier vice a solid state one. There are two mismatched twelve inch speakers (80 and 100 watt) to give some extra tone. There is also a speaker reverse Switch to change the speaker phase. Something most wouldn't use unless you were into recording the tone and were doing backing tracks. Bother channels have their own effects loop. You can also reduce the power output from 30 watts to 15 watts. As for attaching external speaker cabinets, the amp is designed to handle any type of external speaker cabinet you throw at it. This is an extremely versatile amp. I gave this a 9 and not a 10 because I really, really miss Reverb... There is no reverb on this amp.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rickyj wrote: C$= canadian dollars?
    No, it obviously stands for canneloni dollars.
    Rickyj... those are Canadian dollars. I believe it is even less in the U.S. This amp is impressive in sound, build quality and features for the price. Like most tube combo amps of this size, it weighs enough to give you a serious workout moving it up and down flights of stairs (thank God for the multiple handles).
    I just added a BC 30 212 to my studio lineup, and after playing through it, as well as several guitarist trying it out my impression is that it was money well spent. The clean channel at half wattage works very well for recording and handles pedal boards without issue. The Drive channel breaks up a little early but the crunch is full bodied and needs little EQing to maximize the tonal range I demand. I am comparing it to Boogie lonestar,Fender Vibroverb,Marshal jcm 800, Orange Rockverb, Hiwatt 30 , AC 30's and 15 as well as some other Fenders and a plexi. For the money its a clear winner and I would buy another if the need arose.
    I have had several Bugeras, and although the older stuff had issues (10-15 years ago) the new stuff is made with a very conscious effort to fight this image of bad quality. Actually they are actually excellent for the price, although we guitarists don't want to admit it.
    nice review, lets hope that bugera have put some more money and time into quality assurance for all lines they produce :p
    lets hope that bugera have put some more money and time into quality assurance
    I've seen a lot more around and a lot less negative reviews of them. Most of the negative reviews are from late 2008 when they first rolling products out so I'd say they've improved quality a bit. Personally I'd love to get a 333xl