This head feels like great value for money. The tones that are possible are far reaching and diverse. A great metal tone, you got it. That classic crunch, you got it. If you can find one below the list price of $700, I'd pick it up.
Spay, on september 24, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 600
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Features: The Bugera Trirec Infinium is Bugera's flagship all tube 100 watt amplifier head. Powered by an impressive array of four 6L6 power tubes, two 5U4 rectifier tubes and five 12AX7 preamp tubes. It sports three channels (clean, crunch and lead) with respective increases in gain and compression. A built in "Varipower" attenuator allows you to smoothly go from 1 watt to 100 watts depending on your needs. Included is a six button footswitch that controls channel selection, reverb, FX loop and boost.
The latest generation of Bugera's feature "Infinium" technology. In a nutshell; each individual power tube is self biasing and does not have to be matched or even of the same type as the rest. This allows for combinations of 6L6's, EL34's, KT77's, etc. Whatever fits in the 8 prong sockets. This seeks to remedy the reliability problem that has plagued Bugera owners since the brands conception. Included in the system are four LEDs on the back of the unit that will light up when a tube has failed or is close to failing.
Three rectifier modes (Silicone, Tubes and combination of both) are available to choose from. An impedance selector (4ohm, 8ohm, 16ohm) allows it to pair with almost any speaker cabinet. The dedicated FX loop was a nice touch and has controls that make it easy to use. // 9
Sound: Let me start out by saying it sounds great. It sounds far better than it should sound for the price point it is at. And that's always been the appeal of Bugeras. An entry priced genuine tube amp that sounds as good, or better than the product it's attempting to mimic. Each channel has its own set of treble, mid, bass, presence, gain and volume controls in addition to the master volume. The crunch and lead channels have three voicing options (modern, vintage and classic) and the clean channel has a drive option that boosts it to a classic crunch tone. The note definition is great and as long as you're sensible with your gain and mid settings you'll find the compression and hiss is well within reason. Though a noise gate is still recommended. Each control does exactly what you expect it to do and has a very linear curve.
The stock Bugera power tubes sound sub pay; thin and lacking in head room. It's definitely worth the effort to replace them with better quality ones from the get-go. I've been running a combination of two JJ 6L6 power tubes and two JJ E34L power tubes and have found it very satisfactory. Though the options are limitless. Through passive pickups the clean channel is genuinely clean, no matter how hard you push it it refuses to break up. Active pickups will break up the signal at almost any volume level. Though, as it clearly aspires to be a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, mind blowing amounts of gain are what it excels at. Note definition is left surprisingly in tact on the heavier sides of both the crunch and the lead channel. For metal and hard rock, look no further. // 8
Reliability & Durability: So let's talk about the elephant in the room: reliability. Bugera are infamous for delivering a decent to great sounding product at a great price point at the sacrifice of reliability. I've heard as many praises as I've heard complaints. I've owned a first generation Bugera 333XL combo amp and have had it to the shop multiple times. I've also owned a Bugera V22 combo amp that has yet to fail or even show signs of abuse.
I like the idea behind the Infinium inclusion. It seems like a progressive fix to the problem that earlier generations have had; since most of the problems stemmed around the power amp section. Within the first week of owning the Trirec the LED indicators flashed that two of the power tubes had failed. So I brought over a buddy who was more knowledgeable than I and tried to show him the problem. However, it appeared to fix itself and never came back again. This was with the stock tubes.
I've had it for six months now and it has been gigged, it has been abused, it has been pushed and pushed and shows no sign of stopping. I pray this lasts and the problems are truly behind Bugera. But a healthy amount of caution (and a back up amp head) are never a bad idea. // 6
Overall Impression: I like this head. I love the idea of this head. It feels like great value for money. The tones that are possible are far reaching and diverse. A great metal tone, you got it. That classic crunch, you got it. Jazz cleans, well... almost. If you can find one below the list price of $700, I'd pick it up. It's well worth the risk. I do hope that the cloud of uncertainty that past Bugera products drilled into my head remain unfounded. Only time will tell. But they made something that, at least for now, sounds and performs great. // 8