Price paid: $ 329
Purchased from: zZounds Music
Sound — 9
I have 21 electric guitars that I use with this amp, single coil and humbucking. I am not a big fan of active pickups so I don't have a guitar with active pickups. I play blues and classic rock, which fits this amps abilities to the 'T'. As I mentioned before, the cleans are lush and full and the distortion mode is absolutely killer. The amp nails the classic rock crunch distortion without needing a pedal in front of the preamp. The amp is not noisy unless the gain is dimed pre and post. Then you get the usual noise floor intrusion, but then, the amp is being maxed out so this is to be expected. The amp has reverb as its only effect, which is all that I need for the intended use of the amp. The clean channel maxed out is very, very loud but still sparkling clean. Almost Fender sounding but with a tone of its own. The distortion channel gets louder yet from the clean channel level. The distortion channel will handle just about any brutality, but it won't quite get the all out house leveling metal sound. While the distortion channel is not metal head heaven, it still is brutal enough to impress the neighbors, LOL!
Overall Impression — 9
As mentioned before, I play the blues and classic rock styles. Again, the Bugera V22 is a great match for these styles. I have been playing guitar now for some 48 years now and I still enjoy playing. I try to learn new things and practice on a semi-regular basis. My influences are many, a veritable who's who of players. I had done my research before purchasing the Bugera, it was the right amp at the right price. It has the tube sound that I wanted without the heart attack price. I have no regrets in buying this amp, I realize that there are those who turn their noses up at Bugeras, but since this amp is for me, I don't care what they think. I love the round, juicy sound the Bugera produces, I use round wound strings so this was important to me. Some amps have a brittle character in their clean sound but not the Bugera. Nice and warm, very organic. The distortion channel is also organic sounding, without all of the fizz and brittleness normally associated with extreme gain structures. When I play solos while in the gain mode they stand out without being overpowering. The Bugera can attain a Marshall like sound without the bombast and ear damage. I would put out a hit on the moron who dares steal this amp, it is that valuable to me. I would never lose this amp, it would basically be attached to my belt, LOL! But I would keep my eye on this baby regardless of its location. If need be, I would purchase this amp again. It's that good! I love the tube sound the Bugera puts out, with more than ample volume for its size. I don't like that it is a bit on the heavy side, but as I mentioned before this is the nature of the beast. I compared the Bugera to many other tube amps of about 22 watts and the Bugera more than did the job at a very manageable price. After playing through the Bugera I knew this was the amp for me. The only thing I wish this amp had or didn't have is the weight. But I guess I need to go the gym, LOL!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This has been a very dependable amp for me and I would use it without a backup with confidence. It has never let me down, and when the tubes go I will replace them with equal or better tubes depending on my budget at the time. I don't neglect my equipment, I do try to keep up with whatever is needed by my equipment since I am depending on my equipment. I take care of my equipment and my equipment will take care of me. With proper attention and maintenance I suspect this amp will last a long, long time.
Features — 10
The Bugera V22 amplifier I own was made in 2010 and was purchased new. It has been a solid piece of equipment for me. The versatility is more than adequate for my needs, from gorgeous, lush cleans to all out gain destruction. The V22 has 2 channels that are switchable and an effects loop. There is no headphone jack, but I already have an amp with that feature. For what I use it for it is what I need, no extraneous functions or switches that I don't use. I use the amp for practice, jamming out and home practicing. For these uses this amp at 22 watts is more than plenty enough. The power amp has 2 EL84 tubes and the preamp has 3 12AX7 tubes, so yes, I can make the drummer deaf, LOL! The only thing that I wish this amp didn't have is the weight, but since it's a tube amp, there is a significant chunk of iron to hall around. Not to mention the speaker magnet is almost 4 pounds by itself!