Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 8
This amplifier ain't no Boogie but it sure can dance. I play this with an RG321MHE the mahogany body of the guitar and the smooth low end of the amplifier compliment each other well. My music style can be generically named as Hard Rock and I feel any aspiring Rock Musician will be happy with this amplifier regardless of sub-genre. The amplifier is not noisy at its softest levels, but it purs like a tube amp should when pushed on its levels. The clean channel stays consistent at high volumes and the dirty channel stays clear at high volumes. The distortion on the amplifier saves me from buying a separate pedal, but I rarely venture into the Dethklok ranges of distortion, so unless you play like Skwissgaar, you should be safe.
Overall Impression — 8
This is a great match for the style of music I play. I play in a band heavily influenced by different varieties of Rock Music ranging from Pearl Jam to Rush. I have been playing music regularly for 6 years now, and during this time have had the pleasure of experimenting with different qualities of amplifier, ranging from your everyday solid-state to your high-end Mesa Boogie or your Classic Marshal JVM. This amplifier was $300 and provides me with great tone, it's obviously not gonna sound like an $1000 amplifier, but you shouldn't expect it to. It comes close and definitely surpasses any of its equivalents from different manufacturers. I'm happy with the amplifier, however the functionality of the footswitch leaves a lot to be desired. If it were stolen or lost, I would find the guy who stole it and kill him with my guitar strings used as a garrots wire... I would rather spend the rest of my adult life in prison than have this thing stolen from me. I would buy this amplifier again if I was under the same monetary constrictions. I enjoy the tone of this amplifier, I can compare it to the AD30VT that Vox has, which I believe has a tube preamp as well as solid-state functionality. The Vox is definitely more affordable, but lacks the smooth low ends this amplifier excels at. Also, if one desires louder sounds from this amplifier it can be plugged into any external speaker, which is great if I want to go louder without dishing copious amounts of money for a new amplifier.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have not gigged with it yet, but it has suffered through trips to practice rooms and back, I wouldn't say its built like a tank, because its obviously not. However, it is well built and can clearly handle the pangs of transportation and the life of a gigging musician. It is however a tube amplifier at a great price so I wouldn't go out of my way to find out just how durable it is.
Features — 7
The Bugera website advertises with the following: "- Hand-built 22-Watt guitar combo driven by 2 x EL84 valves - Way cool Vintage look and feel - Original heavy-duty 12" Bugera guitar speaker for true Vintage sound - Authentic 2-channel preamp design from the '60s featuring 3 x 12AX7 valveseverything from purring blues to mind-blowing crunch - Integrated high-class reverb with dedicated Reverb control - Vintage Equalizer section with dedicated Bass, Mid, Treble and Presence controls - Normal and Bright inputs for ultimate sound character to perfectly match your guitar - Multi-gain stage Lead channel with Pre, Post gain and Master controls - Amazing Mode switch to select between Triode or Pentode operation - Impedance connectors (4, 8 and 16 Ohms) to match virtually any external speaker cabinet - High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life" This is all fairly accurate. Don't let the blemished language fool you though. By Multi-gain, they mean one gain knob that gets you a pretty good range of distortion and a boost knob for those accelerated mids. The reverb works well to make your tiny closet room into a full fledged rock arena. The amplifier comes with a footswitch that allows you to change channels and toggle the reverb, however it does not let you toggle the boost, which in my opinion would be a lot handier than deciding when to use reverb or not by foot.