Bugera v55 Review

bugera v55 review I hope that by reading my “Bugera v55 Review” – you might be convinced (as well) that these are some of the crappiest budget amps on the market today. Go on down to your local guitar center and you’ll find a new budget priced amp on the all called “Bugera”. Looks like it’s a German company – but the amps are made in China. I’ve nothing against Chinese made equipment, if it’s made right. They’re doing pretty good at making guitars now (Ibanez), some Korean makes are better. I haven’t yet, however, seen a good Chines made tube amp (of nearly ANY kind).

Here’s the story…I have a Carvin Legacy 100w Steve Vai head that is awesome. I wanted a backup amp (and something new to play with). I had already tried an Egnator (that crashed and burned – story for another day), and I didn’t want a Crate, a Peavey, yet another Marshall, or a Fender. What does that leave besides oddball used crap at GC – just this new Bugera thing. I plugged in at Guitar Center with an Ibanez Artcore, and the Bugera v55 head was on top of a cheap Crate 4×12 half stack – and I fired it up through those speakers.

The clean channel was pretty stellar, the overdrive wasn’t the greatest – but I honestly thought it was the sh*tty Crate speakers! It was only $349, so I bought it up and took it home. I plugged the v55 Bugera head into my Avatar 2×12 cab with 2 Greenbacks – and tested the thing for several hours.

It’s a 55 watt head (hence the “v55”), and supposedly a Fender clone. It has 3 – 12AXT’s in it, who woulda thought you could mess that up? I started with the clean channel and some reverb. It was ok, but didn’t break up very well at high volumes. Pedals didn’t help much, distortion, overdrive – I didn’t like any of the combo’s, and when I ran through the effects loop instead of the front, it was even worse – like a volume drop or something.

You get the standard mid, treble, and bass controls + presence. I switched over to the overdrive channel and that’s where I just started to hate this amp altogether. I couldn’t get a decent sound from the overdrive channel NO MATTER WHAT! I didn’t matter, more mid, less bass, all presence, low or high volumes – the overdrive channel SUCKS on this amp! It’s muddy – there’s no clarity AT ALL, there’s no definition in the notes. I expected the amp to be not as good as say a Mesa or Fender because it’s cheap, but I didn’t expect it to be “Wal-Mart First Act” bad!! I would buy a solid state Vox, or even (God forbid) one of the cheaper Marshall MG solid state models before I ever touched a Bugera amp again! I forgot to mention that I took the “footswitch” pedal out of the box to test it when I tried the amp (to switch from clean to dirty channels), and that thing was the cheapest piece of plastic garbage I had ever seen! It wasn’t metal at all, and the button for switching looked like some kind of 80’s organ pedal or something. Such awful cheap garbage!

So the last part of this story is – I took it back to Guitar Center for a refund later that week – and the clerk (who happened to be the manager) told me that the #1 returned item to the store was Bugera amps, and the #2 was Egnator amps (BOTH Chines made tube amps!)

I have since moved on to custom made amps hand built by a local builder in my area. My advice to you is – if you want an amp in this price range that doesn’t suck, there’s quite the buzz around “Jet city” amps – check them out:

JET CITY THD PicoValve 5w Guitar Amp 6L6 Head Amplifier w/ River City MOD Kit !!

USD / 117.00 (14 Bids) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-19 03:23:44

Jet City Picovalve Tube Amp Head with Extras

USD 222.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-21 16:47:03

Jet City Amplification JCA22H 20W Tube Guitar Amp Head Black/Blue LN

USD 378.39 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-20 19:15:55

JCA50H 50 watt 2channel tube guitar amp head, Jet City Amp by Soldano

USD 324.77 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-19 04:07:37

Light Duty ATA Case For Jet City Amp JCA2112RC 20W Amp-ID 21.75x11.75x21.75

USD 159.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-21 13:19:26

1/4” Ply Case For Jet City Amplification JCA2112RC 20W Amp-ID 21.75x11.75x21.75

USD 149.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-20 18:45:54

Light Duty ATA Case Recessed/Carpet Lined For JET CITY JCA50H JCA 50H Amp Head

USD 159.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-18 14:27:51

Light Duty Carpet Lined ATA Case For JET CITY JCA50H JCA 50H AMP Head

USD 149.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-18 14:29:41

Light Duty Carpet Lined ATA Case For JET CITY JCA100H JCA 100H AMP Head

USD 149.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-18 14:30:21


USD 50.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
End time: 2018-01-17 13:51:07

2 Replies to “Bugera v55 Review”

  1. I had a similar experience to you, except with a better outcome (so far). I also bought an Egnator (a Renegade), clean channel was decent but the distortion channel sucked. I really wanted to love that amp, but just couldn’t. It went back. Btw, I too was looking for a backup amp (for my JSX head). Fast forward 7 or 8 months, I see all these glowing reviews for the Bugera V55. For $349 how bad does it have to suck to not be worth it. Get it home and plug into my rig and was so disappointed I wanted to smash it. Clean channel could not go over 3 and turned into mush, distortion channel was almost as bad as the gain channel on a Fender HRD. Turned it off and thought to myself, this is going back tommorrow. Then I remembered I had some Mesa tubes laying around from when I had a single recto head. Replaced the first 2 preamp tubes and both power tubes, flipped the switched and holy sh*t. This amp was thunderous! I looked closely at the Bugera tubes and they were a mess. One of the power tubes was completely white inside and one of the preamp tubes you could see where some of the leads were ready to come loose at any second. So anyway, in conclusion, I am hopeing that the rest of the amp holds up, but the QC on the tubes needs to be priority one for Bugera before they ruin their own reputation.

  2. @Steve: thanks for the comment! Post back here when you get the chance, and let us know how that thing works over time. I’m glad to hear that you were able to improve the sounds of your Bugera with better quality tubes. I have heard many times that the main problems with Egnator and Bugera tube amps (being made in China) were that the Chinese tubes were just plain garbage. I hope (now that it sounds better) the workmanship of the amp doesn’t takes it toll. Good luck to you!

Leave a Reply