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We all know how expensive tube amps can be, however, there are budget options available, and one of the best is the Bugera V22.
When Bugera initially started selling their amps, every guitarist was impressed. Obviously, their amps being clones of well-known circuits, were not the best option out there. What surprised everyone was the build quality at such an affordable price. Since they were initially released, Bugera, which is owned by Behringer has constantly updated different versions of its best-selling amps.
The new series Infinium raises the bar, and it is by far one of the best alternatives if you are looking for a tube amp on a low budget. The reliability problems with the original Bugera series were something common.
The Bugera V22 feautures
For the price, the Bugera V22 packs a lot of features. One of the things that are reminiscent of the older fender amps, is that it has two different inputs. A normal input and a bright input, allowing you to get that twangy country sound out of your electric guitar.
The amp also has two channels. A clean and overdrive channel, allowing you to get some breakup tube sounds. A boost knob that allows you to boost those mids, and a master volume knob.
It also comes with a footswitch that allows you to switch between the clean and overdrive channel, and use the boost. The Bugera V22 has both reverb and presence knobs, which is something common in vintage fender amplifiers.
It also includes a 3-ban EQ, and an effects loop to bypass those pedals. It also has a speaker out, so you can use the amp with other cabinets. The Bugera V22 also has a half-power switch, which allows you to use the amp in your bedroom, or if you cannot make that much noise. This is an extremely useful feature that will be helpful to most guitarists.
The Bugera V22 has one of the best clean tones in its price range. Straight out of the box the amps has some great pristine clean tones, that are very similar to any Fender amp. It is very versatile and you can certainly get all sorts of tones out of this amp, from Jazz to Hard-Rock. With the help of a pedal, you might even get some heavy gain tones.
It must be said that the clean channel is the best. The overdrive does not sound bad, but there are better amps out there for that kind of tone. In fact, a recommendation would be to use a distortion pedal with the Bugera V22 to get those crunchy and overdrive tones. The Xotic BB Preamp would be a great choice.
The best about the Bugera V22
It is important to understand that the Bugera V22 is a budget amp. Therefore we need to review it with that in mind. The clean channel is the selling point of this amp. This is the best clean tone you will get of any amp in this price range. It is simply outstanding, and it is reminiscent of the vintage fender amp cleans.
Another great thing about the Bugera V22 is how many features it actually has considering its price. Different inputs, presence, reverb, two channels, a boost, and effects loop. Just to name a few, but considering the price, this is one of the best amps in its price point.
Our personal recommendation is that when you get the amp you swap the tubes, and either replace the speaker or use another cabinet. This will make the amp really shine, and you are essentially getting a great-sounding amp for a very affordable price.
The worst about the Bugera V22
When Behringer initially released their Bugera line there were a few problems with the manufacturing. Some of the amps were not working properly right out of the factory, and a lot of customers experienced some problems. Since then the company has been able to improve the quality of the components, and the Bugera is now much more reliable than it was before. But still, this is something to consider if you are planning on buying any Bugera amp, or in this case the Bugera V22.
Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of the Bugera V22 for us personally is the overdrive channel. It could be much better, and in fact, if you swap the tubes, it will sound much better. However, considering the other options available this is one of the bad things we have to say about this amp.
Another point that should be mentioned is the speaker, which could be much better. This is similar to the tubes, if you swap it with a Celestion speaker you will see a great tone improvement.
Despite the overdrive channel not having the best tone, it can be improved especially with Boss distortion pedals, or a Xotic BB Preamp if you can afford it.
Bugera V22 price
This is certainly the biggest advantage of the Bugera V22, its low price. Starts at $439 for the 22-watt version, and $499 for the 55-watt version, which is the Bugera V55. Considering the price point of most tube amps, the Bugera V22 is a complete steal.
Bugera V22 is a budget-friendly tube amp
We have to be honest, the Bugera V22 is one of the biggest bargains when it comes to tube amps. When we compare other tube amps available in the same price range, the Bugera V22 stands out for its features and specs, and obviously its tone. Considering the alternatives, this has to be one of the biggest amp bargains out there.
You get the specs of a high-end amp at a very affordable price. It is an ideal solution to play in small clubs or even record. If you are planning to use this amp on larger venues, you might want to consider the 55-watt version, the Bugera V55.
You might also want to use this amp as a practice amp. As it allows you to get great tones, and the price is not so different than a solid-state amp. It is also a great practice amp.
We have to be honest when it comes to the sound quality, that there are better tube amps out there. However, once you replace the tubes that come with the amp, with better ones you will see a clear improvement in the sound. If you swap the tubes and the speaker you will definitely get a much better tone, at a very affordable price.
In terms of reliability, this might not be the most reliable amp out there, so if you planning on using it constantly on live shows, this might not be the most reliable option out there. Nonetheless, we have to say that the Bugera V22 is one of the most impressive amps for its low price. For guitarists looking to get their first tube amp on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the Bugera V22.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.