Great amp - very versatile
Pros: Great bang for the buck,Good Warmth,Excellent Sound,Easy To Use,Portable,Rugged,Powerful
I really like this amp. Bugera is a Behringer division - designed in Germany, built in China. The 4 EL34 tubes give it that big rich sound. I play classic rock, and while this amp is more geared to the metal crowd, you can easily get classic rock tones out of it. It is, in my view, very versatile - much moreso than other tube amps I've played, which tend to produce a much narrower range of tones than this one is capable of. For what I do, I have to roll the gain back to fairly low levels - but this amp has so much gain that "low" levels generate more gain than other amps with the master turned all the way up! Also, the tone controls on this monster give a full +/- 15 dB, which is a LOT. If you're used to turning any of the tone controls all the way up, or using a lot of gain, this thing will sound harsh. Again, that maybe just the ticket depending on what genre you're playing. If you keep the gain pretty low on the lead and crunch channels (I set mine to 9 o'clock or so) and avoid cranking the tone up all the way you can get nice creamy Marshall type sounds. Beware - this head is LOUD, and definitely not a bedroom practice amp. But unlike many tube amps, you can get decent tone out of it at lower volumes... but, even so, tube amps are meant to be played loud and this is no exception.
The presence control is very effective on this head, changing the voicing considerably. Also, the reverb sounds pretty good. I use a digital delay with mine, but a compressor doesn't seem to do much - the natural compression of the tubes seems to do the job. There is an effects loop, and the level control on the loop "input" works like an added gain boost (as if this amp needs more gain!) if you aren't using the loop. Some effects do well in the loop, some do better between the guitar and the input jack. You have to experiment. The "XL" switch (there's one on the lead channel and one on the crunch channel)gives a bit of a low-end boost, but not really a gain boost. It's a subtle effect and honestly I wouldn't miss it. Personally I was attracted to this because I like the three channel configuration. It's like a Marshall TSL, but with a lot more gain. Doesn't sound like a TSL - very good, but not the same same as the Marshall. Some think this sounds like a Peavey JSX - but I don't think you can get the sounds out of the Peavey that you can get out of this. The Bugera's clean channel has a very nice clear, bell like tone. There is no gain control on the clean channel. The crunch channel is what I use mostly. The lead channel is very similar to the crunch, but a little brighter (so your solo will cut through a bit better). Since in this configuration you have totally separate controls for all three channels, you can move from clean to heavy to searing leads all by hitting the footswitch. The footswitch is a good quality rugged 4-button unit in a metal housing. You can select any channel directly from the footswitch. The fourth footswitch button toggles the reverb off/on.
The head is large, very heavy and feels solid. Quality and workmanship on mine are good. I wish Bugera would post the schematics on the web, but it hasn't broken yet and I don't have any modifications in mind yet so no big deal.
Overall, this is a really good sounding amp, very versatile, and loud. No bad habits, and nothing to complain about. Like all amps, you have to try it with you guitar(s) to see if the sound suits your taste and playing style. I have a lot of gear, but I like this one a lot. As an added bonus, it is really affordable.... dirt cheap, actually. I'm really pleased with it.