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Bugera V22
4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

27th December 2011

by Silent Sound

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25

Over the past few years, two trends have appeared in the amplifier market that this amp addresses in spades. First is low cost budget equipment with an eye towards more professional applications than it's cost alone would suggest. Second is the low wattage amps with minimal features designed to "cook" the power tubes for a different sounding distortion than what you can get from just over-driving the preamp tubes.

Features: Cosmetically, this amp resembles some boutique amps, namely Matchless. If you weren't familiar with the name on this amp, you might initially mistake it for a boutique amp itself. Some of the fit, finish, and materials involved suggest that it has a the budget market in mind, but these are only noticeable upon close inspection. Inside, this amp has 3x 12AX7's in the preamp section and two EL84's in the power amp and produces around 22 watts output to a 12" Bugera branded speaker. The power tubes can be run in pentode and triode, and there's an adjustable bias trim and an insert to hook up your meter of choice so that the average user with just a bit of experience can change and bias their own tubes. I find this feature to be very thoughtful. Also there is an output impedance adjustment switch with 4, 8, and 16 ohm options that will allow you to use most any external speaker cabinet you wish. There is also and effects loop, and a footswitch that allows you to switch between the two channels and turn the digital reverb on and off. On the front is are normal and bright inputs, treble, mid, bass controls, a mid-boost switch, reverb control, and gain and master volume controls for each channel. The dirty channel also has a second volume control so you can drive the preamp section as hard as you want, and leave the preamp as clean as you want on the clean channel, and still have matching overall volume levels, as there is just one master volume knob.

Sound: This amp has two amazing sounds, and several other usable ones. First, the clean channel is breath-taking. Dime the master volume, engage the mid boost, and roll back on the preamp volume and you have an extremely dynamic and responsive amp with a gorgeous tone all it's own. I've heard people say it has a Deluxe Reverb preamp section and an AC15 power amp section, and while I can't say for sure if that's true, it does give a pretty accurate description of the overall sound of this amp. It loves pedals, especially a boost pedal like a Tubescreamer with the drive down and the volume turned up to really crunch the preamps tubes. It's very warm, articulate, detailed, and full bodied in tone. It definitely captures that vintage amp vibe.

The second sound this amp produces that out-classes it's price considerably is the one you can get from the dirty channel. Turning up the dirty channel past 4 doesn't do much but sap bass and introduce more fuzz, but up to around 4, you can get some great crunchy distorted sounds. It also helps to have the amp in triode mode, for as this amp sounds best in pentode on the clean channel, and it seems to sound best in triode for the dirty channel. The dirty channel also has a unique sound to it. Once again it straddles the line between a Fender and Vox, but this time leaning more towards the Vox cream. I wouldn't recommend it for use in any modern metal style applications, but it would do justice to most music from seventies hard rock up to ninties grunge.

The reverb is digital and really only sounds usable in low to moderate settings. It's really only good for adding ambiance, and not as an overt effect. The foot switch lights up, but the switches themselves are pretty cheap and don't lead me to believe that they will hold up over the long run, but this amp is a few years old now, and I've not experienced any problems yet, so who knows? I've tried several different speakers with this amp, and have yet to find a speaker that better compliments the sound of this amp than the stock Bugera. Managing the highs on this amp is the secret to it's sound, and the stock speaker does an excellent job of this. The bright input doesn't seem to be very useful. It seems to suck some of the bass tone as much as add any brightness to the signal.

Overall: This amp is an amazing bang-for-the-buck proposition. I would easily place in on par with any modern mass produced amp short of the boutique market without hesitation. You can get two astonishingly good sounds out of this amp without any aftermarket modifications. Buy it as a cheap practice amp, or a back up amp to gig with, or just another flavor for the studio, and see if it doesn't work its way into a more prominent role!

6th December 2015

by Rockledge

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5

I realize this amp has probably been reviewed, but I am not just reviewing this amp.
I have an incredible story to tell.
The short version is that my V22 and I were in my Scion XB, which is my gig mobile.
I just happened to have it strapped to the wall in the back with a heavy plastic/nylon strap. .
I was in an accident that by all opinions of everyone at the scene I should not be alive.
I was hit broadside by a car with no lights and the Scion was flipped on its side, slid sideways into another car that was at a stop sign, and the car that hit me ended up on the other side of the car I hit. All three are total losses.
Please don't get bored with this, I am getting to the good part.
The amp flew out of the rear back side passenger window , apparently was either dragged under a spinning car or was thrown over top of the car I was driven into and ended up under the car that hit me.
The car that hit me was in a 55 zone and hit me full impact, no brakes, no lights, and no advance warning. I suspect the car was doing far more than 55. Full impact.

The long version:
My V22 is something I custom built. I bought one new, immediately took the head out of the new amp, and built a combo because I wanted an 8 ohm 15" speaker instead of what it came with. I had a matching pair of old hifi Magnavox 15s, which are old alnico speakers from the 50s or 60s.
I built the combo with an open back, and another matching closed back cab with another identical Magnavox 15.
I like running tube amps at minimum ohmage because I like the sound. I run both cabs so I am always at 4 ohms.
Musicians locally rave about this rig. I gig a great deal and have a bit of a local reputation, so the amp gets heard a lot.

I had both cabs strapped to the drivers side in the far back of the Scion. I took the back seat out and built a storage compartment where the seat was that made the vehicle like cargo fan specifically to gig with.

After the accident and the Scion being up righted, me and a cop with a flashlight were looking in the back of the car for the amp and only the speaker cab was there, it was beat all to hell and I need to build another one, the speaker has a small tear that should be able to fix.
But the amp was GONE. I told the cops it was important to me, and wanted to retrieve it and other gear so it didn't go to the impound lot.
I was standing talking to a cop when I happened to look at the car that hit me, and there beneath the front bumper was the head, gone forever, destroyed. the chicken head knobs staring me right in the face. Wedged and apparently crushed beneath the front of the car.

This was past Wed, 12/2. Of course the scene was chaos, squads and cops and the entire road blocked off.
Later it appeared those who cleaned up the accident scene had tossed the head in one of the other cars. The cop told me some of the stuff was by the guardrail, which , there by the guardrail was the Magnavox speaker that had been in the combo, still attached to the front of the cab and with one side of the cab remaining. INTACT. The cab was destroyed, but the speaker intact.
But the head was gone, the wrecker guys unconcerned and just wanting to get the job done and go home.

Friday ( yesterday, a day and a half later) i went to the impound to get the rest of my crap from the car, which looks like it was hit by a semi ( no exaggeration) .
Under a bunch of debris in the back of the Scion...against all odds was the head.
The tow drivers apparently chucked it in there while I was taking care of business with the cops. With the piece of wood that was the top of the cab still attached.

Two tubes were entirely missing, had flown out of the head apparently on impact.
Two of the 12AX7s were broken , 3 chicken head knobs are gone, and the power switch was broken off. The power transformer is cockeyed , and the chassis bellied where the transformer pulled away. Some of the standoff screws for the circuit board are popped off, and the contact that goes to the return send popped off.
And of course the chassis is bent up, but not as bad as I expected and not beyond what pliers and brute force can do.

Just now, two hours ago, I decided to clean some of the dirt and fluids off of the head and calculate the damage and decided to use a screwdriver to pop the power switch on , then decided to put some tubes in it.
I ran it into a speaker cab, fired it up, and after juggling tubes around a bit, it works.

The only problem seems to be that the reverb is not working.
But it sounds just like it did.

Again, somewhere between 50 and 70 MPH flat impact, broke through the back window, either sailed through the air at least 20-30 feet , maybe more, and being disassembled under a car, the damned thing still works.
The window it exited through was the window facing up, so it could have been 10 feet in the air before hitting pavement.

The naysayers can say what they will about Bugera and Behringer, but that is by far the best sounding amp I have had in my 50 years as a guitarist, and it took a beating that kicked my ass ( I am quite beat up and can barely walk, and feel quite fortunate to be here to post this).

I like it so much that, even among dealing with the business at hand of insurance and cops and impound guys and all that, I took time to call guitar center and have them trace me down another one ( I found a used one , it is on order now).

I am going to build another rig just like the one I had, as well as make a similar rig from the one on order AND order one of the new V22 heads now available.

I will not be without one in the future.

AND I am going to get another Scion. That car saved my life. The fellow in the Cadillac which sustained far less damage than my car ( and stayed on all four) was injured and those in the other car, which was a mid sized American car, were taken away in a squad.

Also, had I not been wearing a seat belt I could very likely have went out of that Scion with the amp and been under that other car with it.

I climbed out of that Scion without a scratch, beat all to hell and can hardly walk now, but every bit alive.
And so is that Bugera. Gimpy but waiting to be ready for action again.

Saying "Bugera rules!" is the understatement of the century.
I fully intend to contact Bugera and copy and paste this to them.

  • 3
11th October 2018

by drkam6

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75

Just want to add to the above reviews that the effects loop in this Bugera V22 Infinium is "instrument level" (-10 dB) and not "line level (+4 dB). This is a rarity and it means that modulation/delay/reverb pedals can be used in the effects loop (and sound great), but only rack units that have the input pad (e.g. Roland SDE-3000) can be used on the effects loop if switched to -10 dB. The SDE-3000 sounds great on this amp, but the TC M300 induces a lot of impedance hiss as it does not have the input pad switch.

Due to the above, I'm giving the amp a 4 on "Features". It would have been nice to have at least an impedance switch/knob to match all types of impedances on the effects loop.

Other than that, this amp is a Matchless in disguise, great sound! Wish there was a rackmount version of this amp, to use with larger rigs!