Price paid: $ 217
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 7
In the showroom and through the headphones this amp sounded great. A full warm sound that goes from bright clean to a crunchy classic rock souund. Just what I was looking for. Notice I didn't mention what it sounded like in my home. The overall sound and tone are great for my tastes but definely not for a metal sound at least not with out some pedals in front. There is no effects loop. I ended up returning mine as there was an annoying rattle coming through at volumes above 4 at any power level. I could not test the clean accuratley for break up since this rattle would cut it even at moderate volumes. At low volumes the sound was clean to Vintage rock growl with the gain knob or guitar volume being very responsive. The overall tone was the consistent as the master volume was raised.
Overall Impression — 6
Unfortunatley despite all the great reviews and the way it sounded in the showroom I ended up returning it. I mainly play in my bedroom or family room areas of my home late at night, hence the power attenuator Switch being a huge plus for me. When the volume or gain was turned up past 4 I got a cymball sounding rattle during the sustain. I thought ok maybe there was something loose inside, but couldnt find it. The sound persited no matter what I tried. I tried changing power levels, pick ups, cables, guitars, even the power chord itself. I finially decided to take it back to have it checked out. The guitar manager at the Sam Ash I bought it from took the time to figure it out. At first he couldn't get the rattle to sound out, all that came out was the great tone I bougth it for and I was beggining to think it was my playing and the manager was starting to doubt my story. We tried one last idea, we moved the amp to the guitar techs work area which is about the same size as the area where I typically play at. Eureka, on the first strum the rattle sounded and we figured out the problem. As he put it, the speaker was picking up the vibrations of the tubes due to their close proximity to the speaker magnet. This was magnified by the smaller area in which in which I play that's why we couldn't hear it in the show room. I am waiting to hear from Bugera regarding the issue out of curiosty. I could keep it and just listen from headphones but what fun would that be. So reluctantly I ended up returning the V5 and am in search of a different amp. If Bugera called me and said it was just my particular amp that did had this problem I would buy it again. It sounded that good and for the price point there is nothing else out there with same number of features.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't gig but it is built like a tank. I was suprised at the solid feel and quality of the materials for the price point. I think this amp would hold up to heavy use, and is small enough to lug about easily especially since you can use it as a head with the external speaker jack.
Features — 9
- Model year 2011 - 5 watt all tube practice amp with digital reverb. - 8in speaker - headphones, and external speaker out - Power attenuator 1/10, 1 and 5 watts Bugera V5 is a small all tube practice amps with generous features and great Vintage tube sound. The amp has many features that make it a great value. Headphone emulated out put, and power attenuator for silent or very low volume playing that still has the saturated tube tone. It also has a great sounding digital reverb. Only thing I would wish for was am aux input. The most features of any other amp in it's class.