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New tubes for Bugera 333 infinium
Old 18th May 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 
Collinschipper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Question New tubes for Bugera 333 infinium

I am looking to replace the tubes in my bugera 333 infinium 212 combo amp. I mostly like the sound it has now, but it is pretty noisy all on its own on the crunch and lead channels. Beyond that, I do like the big, round clean tone I have on the clean channel, but I'm looking for a much tighter distortion on both the crunch and the lead channels. I play very drop tuned heavier stuff, most of the time, but I'm not necessarily looking to have an insane gain, just tighter than what it is right now, if that makes any sense. Also, this thing is stupid loud, so if there is a lower output tube that would make it so I can turn it up past 2 without my ears bleeding, I'm all in for suggestions.
I'm a noob here at replacing tubes. I'm comfortable with electronics, and I've done old fender amps, but just replaced tubes with the exact same thing that was there, so I really don't know much about what is going to get me different tones, where I should be looking, and what options I have. The 333 infinium can use EL34 or 6L6 tubes in the power section. It's a bugera, so obviously I'm looking to stay somewhat budget minded here.

I would really love to hear any suggestions on possible preamp/poweramp tube combos, what people have had luck with, and also if anyone knows a good dealer to go with.

Thanks much in advance
collin.
Old 19th May 2016
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It doesn't really matter what tube that you put in it, it's always going to be noisy. They're pretty badly designed and built product (just like all Behringer). This is where all the noise come from.

If you want a tighter sound then use a tubescreamer infornt of it. Have the drive set low and the output 3/4 of the way up. It'll act like a mild compressor and give you a tighter overall sound.
Old 21st May 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
When you say noisy I think of preamp tubes rather than output tubes. Preamp tubes are cheap. I would try getting a noise tested 12AX7 for the first tube in the crunch/lead channel and see if it helps. If not, it's the amp.

Too loud? You have a master volume on this amp don't you? If that doesn't give the sound you want you should consider getting lower powered amp instead. For rehearsals anything above 50w (tube) for guitar is too much in my opinion. And for playing at home, a 5w tube amp is plenty, anything more is just unnecessary. There are lots of great 5w amps out there and they will probably sound a LOT better at low volume than your current amp. When it comes to tube amps people often have a tendency to buy more powerful amps than they really need, not realizing that tube amps sound so much better when cranked! 95% of small/medium size clubs I walk into have 100w Marshalls and 300w Ampegs as house backline, which is RIDICULOUS when bands end up having the volume on "2" to keep the engineer happy. For small/medium clubs 30-50w guitar tube amps and 100-200w bass tube amps are usually more than enough (provided there's a PA of course). So your 120w amp is by my definition simply too powerful for your needs.

Tighter distortion... this is an open back combo, right? For tight distortion I think closed back cab. Open backs are very sensitive to placement relative to walls, corners, etc, so perhaps you can get some improvement by moving the amp, if possible?
Old 23rd May 2016
  #4
Gear Head
 
Collinschipper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
So, I ended up with a set of Grove tubes ecc83s in the pre amp, and switched to Mesa boogie el34s in the power section. I got the tone I was looking for nailed. I actually really do love the way this amp sounds. Noise was/is definitely the pre amp, which, being super high gain, isn't surprising. There's (perceptibly) none on the clean side. The low end did actually clean up to a little tighter crunch, and the el34s allow break up sooner, with a more mid forward pronouncement. I'm happy south that combo, and switching them was very easy with this amp.
As far as volume, I'm aware how stupid a 100 watt, especially tube, amp is for, well, anything, let alone the 120 watts on this thing. But I do love the way it sounds so, especially when my ears start bleeding a little.
I'm definitely considering a smaller tube amp combo, seeing as I'm mostly holed up in the studio these days, and don't play larger clubs ever anymore. I was considering attenuators, but I'd have to pull so much out I don't think I'd have any gains in tone at that point. And yes, it has a master volume, that goes from quiet and thin sounding on 1 to loud as hell on 1.25, and sounds good finally at 4. I also back the can up to a gobo, which helps with the open back.
So now I guess it's too shopping around for low wattage amps. I've played and liked the black stars, considering the htr 5 watt metal head and a 1x12 cabinet. Open to suggestions here as far as if anyone else has used some good small amps that work well for studio purposes. I mostly record metal and post rock, so something that can handle stupid low tuning, take effects well, and have or handle high gain is the desire. I'm in a desert for nice gear, where I am, so I have to travel a few hours to try out anything other than super low end carried at a tiny guitar center. Narrowing down what to look for, if there are suggestions, would be a huge help.
Thanks for the replies.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Ah, so you originally had 6L6s in it? Good idea to get EL34s. I can easily see how that would get you closer to the sound you described.

As for wattage... The classic 100w tube amp models were designed in an era when bands had no PA support. And then they kinda stuck. People want the amp Jimi and Jimmy played, not the "half watt version" of those. But in this case less IS more. At least more often than not. (and cheaper too..)

Glad to hear you are happy with the amp now. If you decide to keep it long term you might look into new speakers. There is no way to alter an amps sound as much as when upgrading the speakers. Upgrading tubes = subtle improvements. Upgrading speakers: potentially HUGE improvement. I'm sure almost anything would blow away the stock speakers in your Bugera. It's just a matter of picking the right flavour.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #6
Gear Head
 
Collinschipper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The biggest improvement with this amp was actually tightening screws . I know these get some crap for being cheap, but i truly love the tone, more so than any other amp I was looking at. The circuit is a great design, and overall build is surprisingly good, they just forgot to tighten down the soakers. And the back plate. And the handle. and I may have had to use a tube of solder to augment the factories efforts. (which, actually, were pretty good, they just had room for improvement.) I'm sure speakers will be next, seeing as I never leave anything alone, but again, I'm not sure where to go on those. I used to play peavey black widows in a 2x12 cab on top of a 4x10 ampeg svt cab, with a 6505 head. Good tone. But, less is more now. For the moment, I will probably focus more on a little guy, and upgrade those at a later date.
Thanks again!
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