V5 Tube Guitar Combo review by Bugera

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (42 votes)
Bugera: V5 Tube Guitar Combo

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I am using a cheap Stratocaster copy with SSS 5.3, 5.6, 8.7 on the bridge, that probably would seem thin with any amp. A lot of people claim that speaker on this amp makes it sound muddy. Either they changed this or they are playing heavier axes like an SG or an LP. I find that this amp is a great compliment to a Strat. What it excels at is producing a clean to slightly crunchy warm tube tone. You wont get the jangle of a Fender, and you won't get the Brit tone of a Vox, but you can get a warm Bluesy tone like that of SRV, some Clapton tones and with some overdrive some perfect Cream, or Jack White. The amp stays mostly clean all the way to 9 if the gain is on 2. But with the gain on 5 it really starts to break up good around 5 on the master volume. And you can actually crank this thing into better overdrive than a lot of people are saying if you can deal with the loudness of it.

Overall Impression — 8
For Blues, Funk, some country styles and some rock styles this amp is great without any pedals. I am beginner and have only been playing for 6 months and this is my first tube amp. I also own a Vypyr but it is great for metal but can't get close to this thing for that great warm tube tone. I would definitely buy this amp again. The only thing I wish is that it was not quite as loud for bedroom playing but at .1 watts that aint gonna happen with any tube amp, period.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I just got it so I can't say much about reliability. Some people have had problems with these, but with the price on these, those bad reviewers could be rank amateurs who don't know to warm up the tubes or how to replace a tube, since some people say these come with cheap economy buy by the thousands sovteks. Of course these could be lemons, but I took the chance because there are not many amps with these features, this tone and this price... and I got the extended warranty for $20 However, I will say this thing feels like it's built like a tank. You won't find any plastic on this like the Vox AC4TV. The Two-tone Tolex is beautiful, as well as the nice chicken heads and thick leather handle. And this thing is very heavy for it's size, at 20 lbs.

Features — 8
This amp is feature poor and tone rich. It's pretty basic Gain, Tone, Master Volume, and Reverb. It also features a headphone out, a 4 OHM speaker out, and an attenuator. The Attenuator adjust the wattage from 5w, to 1w, to .1w. Since this is a Class A tube amp, the .1 is still louder than you would expect. You can get by playing in your bedroom at .1 as long as you don't have a baby or a wife sleeping on the other side of the wall. I am giving this an 8, not because it has tons of features but because compared to other tube amps in this range and even expensive models with less than 4w it has a lot of features.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    So my question as far as this amp goes is how do you go about recording it? aside from the obvious sticking a mic in front of it...Is the headphone jack the same as the output jack?
    Old LesPaulRock
    I use this amp as my main recording tool for classic rock with a BBE Green Screamer. I use a Behringer GI100 Ultra-G with the 4x12 emulation to the Mixer and a Gibson Les Paul. It Rocks!!!
    I think mine works well with my Pod 1.0. It was good enough to make me bypass pedals. All of the ones demo'd online show this amp accepts pedals VERY well.
    @ljeto--the v5 is kind of a stand-alone amp. it seems to like very basic effect pedals: boost or overdrive (NOT distortion!), wah, and compression work pretty well. this thing is not meant to be the power amp to be used with the equivalent set of "rack" effects you use a pod for. when you bunch up your signal at the front end of the amp, the sound gets all smooshed and muddied. the v5 is supposed to be a simple, straight-ahead, no frills, no add-on type of amp. it is meant to be a recording tool, not a "...this is my first cheapo amp to go with my first act guitar from toy-r-us." if you are looking for a small amp to go with a pocket pull, er, pod...i would suggest a fender 25r frontman series II. solid-state amps for effects, tubes for stand alone creamy goodness.