World Music Supply | Bugera Infinium

Hey guys it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, supplying you with your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews. Now I believe I’ve mentioned that as much as I can, I am going to try and keep this week as Halloween themed as possible, and that means supplying you with the most dark and brutal equipment I can find, and today that includes a few amplifiers from our friends over at Bugera. These amplifers all feature their Infinium technology, which regulates and closely monitors the tubes, and even rebiasing them as necessary, allowing them to last at full potential much longer than normal. This means that over the life of the amp, you will spend substantially less on replacing tubes, as you will no longer have to spend huge sums of money on whole matched sets of tubes.

The Bugera 333XL 120 Watt 3 Channel All Tube Guitar Amplifier Head

The Bugera 333XL 120 Watt 3 Channel All Tube Guitar Amplifier Head

The First amp in today’s review is the Bugera 333XL which is a massivly high gain, high wattage amplifier designed to let you play loud and proud. The 333XL is a hand built 120 watt monster, driven by four EL34 tubes, which can be switched out for 6L6s for a totally different tone, and the preamp is powered by four 12AX7s. Bugera integrated a high class digital reverb, which is a little cleaner, and clearer than a more typical spring reverb, which tend to get rather muddy when it comes to high gain tones.

Clean, this reverb added a ton of depth and body to my guitar tone, the feeling of having a small hall style reverb, as opposed to a spring does a lot to boost the quality of your sound, giving you studio style sounds in a live setting. The amp was sweet and clear, and all of my notes sang out with a clean, singing voice, never muddying up, no matter how much I messed with the EQ. Switching over to the Crunch channel, I was greeted with classic, AC/DC style bark. The classic rock vibe was nice, and comping 70s rock rhythms with it was no problem. Flicking on the XL switch, which is a low mid boost, the sound suddenly was chunckier, and could almost pull off some early Metallica style tones as well.

Finally switching over to the Lead channel, I was greeted with gigantic, over the top roaring distortion, with overtones and harmonics galore. I was clearly in modern metal territory, and the addition of a built in noise gate really was a great idea, as it really does clean up the over the top roaring hiss that you tend to get from a setting like this. The distortion is more than enough to do anything from modern rock, to full on shred metal, so there is plenty or room to move around with a sound like this. The XL switch on the Lead setting would be an ideal tone for anyone who spends most of their time in a dropped tuning, as it really keeps your sound tight, and heavy. Overall the Bugera 333XL is a beast of a machine, and easily deserves its 10 out of 10 rating.

The Bugera TriRec INFINIUM Guitar Amp Head

The Bugera TriRec INFINIUM Guitar Amp Head

Next up is something I really wish I could be more discriptive about, but sadly due to some production restraints, they haven’t exactly came in just yet, and that would be the Bugera TriRec. I was able to briefly scope out, and listen to the TriRec at NAMM and was blown away by its sound, and power. A few features stuck out to me, and because I know so many of you have already preordered it, and are waiting patiently to get your very own, I figured I would give you my opinions on it, to help satiate your want for this high gain beast.

The name TriRec comes from its three fully independent channels, as well as its switchable silicon diode rectifier, and tube rectifiers, which allows it to have everything from roaring modern rock tones, hyper overdriven metal tones, to soaring almost synth like lead tones. It also features what Bugera has termed the varipower switch, which is a type of attenuator, that you can dial down, rather than use fixed power points, which was a really cool feature as it acted as a sort of mega-volume knob.  

The few moments I was able to actually to hear it clean, as a majority of the time getting to hear the amp was spent with them amp on a much higher gain setting, the clean sounded rich and pure, with a slight bit of that tangy solid state character you sometimes get from hybrid style amps. The overdrive setting, was big and beefy, with a sort of woofing quality to it, almost reminiscent of the XL boost on the 333XL. The lead sounds though; those were heavy as possible, just raw, metal heaviness. Chugging drop tune chords, and searing, vocal like lead tones, this amp really is going to be killer. Sadly it still might be a little while before the TriRec actually hits our warehouse shelves and I get to do a proper test for all of you. However, I will go ahead and say that the tone of this monster easily deserves a 10 out of 10, Now to sit and wait for a chance to actually play it for myself.

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World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer P16 Powerplay System

Hi guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews, and today I get to take a look at something that complements a previous review quite well, in this addition of New and Improved, I get to talk about the Behringer Powerplay P16 series of personal monitors. Designed to work in conjunction with the X32 mixer, the whole Powerplay series is designed to give each individual their own custom mix, no matter where they are, and no matter what they need.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

One of selling points of a lot of mixers as of late, was that you could work monitor mixes from on stage via an iPad, but this does something negative as well, it’s only useful if you are using the traditional floor wedge style monitor, if you’re using in ears, then you are way out of luck. The other problem with this is, you can’t just have your sound man run onstage mid show and start tuning your monitors just because you aren’t 100% happy with the way its sounding, it’s just not practical.

The P16 system works by allowing each individual their own private mix that they can adjust to their liking. This is ideal for dozen upon dozens of different mixing situations, and the most commonly advertised one is using it onstage. Just think about it, you can now tune your own in ear mix without having to worry about yelling at the sound guy, or hoping they get it just right, factor in the limiter and gate on the mixer and there is no more worrying about ear damaging sound levels on stage ever again. The Cat 5e cables used to connect the system can be run very long distances without negatively effecting sound quality, so you can still have your mixer way out front so the soundman can do his job, and now you are free to do yours, except now with a perfect monitor mix.

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The I/O Section of the Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

But let’s not stop at simply using this for stage, because a system like this is as versatile as the X32 mixer it is designed to work with. In my review of the X32 mixer, I mentioned that it is sort of a Jack of all Trades, its great for live work, for studio work, you can use it for theaters and plays, you can use it for houses of worship, it just is designed to do anything you want it to, and the P16 system is designed to do all of that and more. In most professional recording studios, they have had little boxes like these for years, but the problem was the price point was well out of the way of everyday people like you and me. So most of us have had to deal with using splitter jacks to hook multiple sets of headphones up to our computers or mixing boards to try and give everyone the ability to listen back during recording, and that never works because not everyone wants to hear the mix the same way. Suddenly with the Powerplay system, and the X32 mixer, you can now have real, pro level studio equipment, at about the price of renting a studio long enough to make a decent demo.

Imagine using this for theatre work, most people who have ever had to do musical work, know what its like to wear those little skin colored headset mic, and a set of in ears, all wired up to you. I know the annoyance of having to sit and work the mix out on these at the beginning of the night, and hope that no one gets louder, or softer as the night goes on. You could actually set an entire arsenal of these up back stage, and if at any point during a scene change, someone is unhappy with how their mix sounded, they could go back and actually tweak their levels before going back out on stage, pure genius.

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

The Behringer P16-1 16 Channel Rackmount Personal Monitor

Or what about houses of worship? Now I’m not talking little four piece youth bands, or a solo singer with an acoustic guitar, they already see how the P16 system could benefit them. Let’s talk about the giant groups, with 15, 20 musicians all up on stage, with a few dozen singers all up there, all at once. What about them? For years they have either had to just listen really hard, and do their best to fall into where they need to be, or just go by muscle memory, and hope it sounds good. Not anymore, you can set the entire P16 system up as a permanent installation, and now everyone can have their own private mix, all of them can hear just what they need to hear to do their job, and when you can hear yourself better, you can perform better.

As you can plainly see, the P16 Powerplay is just like its companion the X32, designed for anything and everything you could throw at it. It does a job that almost every musician needs done, at a price point that isn’t out of the range of possibilities for most working musicians, and the entire system is well within the combined budget of a band, theatre or house of worship. For all of these reasons, from its affordability, its simplicity, and the fact that it does a job many of us have needed done for ages, the P16 Powerplay system earns itself a definitive 10 out of 10.

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

The Behringer P16-M 16 Channel Personal Mixer Station

World Music Supply | New and Improved The Behringer X32

Hey guys Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you the usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, sorry for the lack of an update yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather as of late but luckily that’s all over and done with. To make up for the lateness I figured I would make it up to all of you, with a new addition of New and Improved, feature the Behringer X32 digital mixer. There have been a lot of new digital mixers hitting the market the past few months, from the Line 6 StageScape, or the Mackie DL1608. The key difference between the X32 and these two mixers however, is while the StageScape and DL1608 have taken mixing towards a more touch screen interface, decreasing the reliance on knobs and sliders, aiming on a more live friendly mixing situation; the X32 keeps the giant banks of sliders and knobs, but adds iPad interaction into the traditional mixing format.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

While talking about mixers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I know the pain of having to sit behind the board and try my hardest to get a good live mix for all parties involved. This job is never easy, from attempting to mix monitors from 40 feet away, judging what needs turned up and down from a singer whose yelling from across the room. This is why I liked the X32, it has everything you could need for any application, with 16 fully motorized sliders, dozens upon dozens of built in effects, Firewire/USB outputs and of course, iPad support via the remote app and the use of a standard wireless router, you can own a room with this, mixing the stage monitors from on stage, and the room monitors from your perfect little mixing booth, with all of the effects you could ever need.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

Sitting down with the X32 to try my best to completely understand it in the short amount of time I had to review it, the first thing that needs to be mentioned, is that the new Midas designed preamps sound absolutely fantastic, with a very pristine, very clear sound to them. The motorized board was lightning fast, and was down right fascinating to watch when you control them via an iPad. The next really interesting feature was the scribble strip, which on most mixers is where ever there is enough room to lay down a piece of tape so you can write down what instrument is on which track. On the X32 however, there is a tiny LCD screen for each track, which shows an equally tiny picture of what instrument is on that track, with a little picture of a bass drum, a persons face for vocals, a guitar etc, as well as text to remind you what it is, and color coded lights all to help you keep everything straight. Add in the fact that each individual track features a limiter and gate, as well as a level meter so you can see which tracks are spiking at any one time, and you quickly have one of the most impressive mixing consoles to hit the market in years.

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

The Behringer X32 32 Channel Motorized Fader Mixer Console

There are some features of the X32 that make me think it was designed as the jack of all trades when it comes to mixers, which is a refreshing change of pace. There are dozens of features that make it seem like an amazing live board, from the bright LED lights, the scribble strip and the use of an iPad so you can mix anywhere in the room, but there are also features that make me believe that this mixer was designed with recording in mind, like the USB and Firewire outputs, the dozens of effects, its ability to link up with the P-16 monitoring systems, and last but not least the 32 bit floating point DSP. All this together creates a mixer that is designed from the ground up to do everything, from huge rock concerts, church worship groups, tiny clubs, and even budget conscious recording studios. With the X32, it doesn’t matter what you need a mixer to do, it will get the job done, and that’s why the Behringer X32 gets a solid 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Bugera Vintage Amplifiers

Hey guys its Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about the Bugera Vintage series of Amplifiers. Bugera has made it their mission to get classic great sounding tube amplifiers to the world, at a very affordable price. Within the Vintage line of Amplifiers are the V-5, the V-22, and the V-55 combo and head.

The Bugera V-5

The Bugera V-5

First up on the chopping block is the V-5, an amplifier that is close to my heart, as it has been my “secret weapon” so to speak in the studio for a while now. The V-5 is a simple Class A, 5 watt amp driven by one EL84 and one 12AX7. This amp might not be as feature laden as some little practice amps, but what it lacks in technology, it makes up for in amazing tone. Right out of the box, the V-5 is certainly a handsome little devil, and so are the rest in its family, with their two tone cream and black coverings. Mic’d up this little amp is down right amazing, at low gain settings it adds that tube “girth” that even high end solid state amps seem to lack, giving your playing a very warm character, with added harmonics thanks to its hyper simple design.

Running straight into the amp, the guitar has a character all its own, and sure enough, swapping out guitars changes the sound entirely, even when they are very similar guitars. This is in part due to the Class A design, which while I wont go into explaining its benefits, it’s worth reading into. The long and short of it is, Class A amplifiers sound fantastic, even though they are only low power amplifiers. The V-5 also accepts pedals rather well, although you will notice a loss of signal clarity the longer the chain is, and similarly the longer your cable is. The V-5 produces big classic rock tones when you crank the gain and volume up, which are halfway between later Led Zeppelin and early Van Halen. You can hear the Amp distort and feel it pulse and sag with your playing, as well the V-5 is equipped with a power attenuator so you can drop it from 5 watts to 1, to 0.1 watts, meaning you can have awesome tone at any volume. For its ability to be a beast in most studio situations, and for being one awesome practice amp the V-5 scores a nice 9 out of 10.

The Bugera V-22 Combo Amp

The Bugera V-22 Combo Amp

The V-22 is a slightly different beast to its little brother the V-5, in that it is a A/B style amplifier and has a much more versatile and “live friendly” feature set.  The V-22 is a straight forward 22 Watt amp that features two channels, clean and dirty, and two inputs bright and normal much like most vintage amplifiers. The amp has a very different character to the V-5 when it comes to tone, with a much brighter, sweeter sounds with a very, lets say Californian feeling clean section, and a rather British feeling dirty channel.

The clean channel still has that nice girth thanks to the tubes warming them up, although it doesn’t have the guitar to guitar sensitivity of the smaller V-5 it still has a slightly different character from guitar to guitar. The dirt channel has a nice very Queen sounding tone, and thanks to the included mid boost switch, you can even get a very good AC/DC tone out of it. The bass, mid and treble controls are very sensitive and moving them a little does result in some rather dramatic changes, which is good for people who get frustrated with never having enough Bass in their guitar tone. For bedroom practicing there is a Pentode Triode switch on the amp to drop its power threshold to take it to a much friendlier volume, which is great for recording as well. The V-22 also includes a footswitch to switch between the two fantastic channels, and for its ability to have some rather classic tones in an amazingly affordable package the V-22 gets a well deserved 9 out of 10.

The Bugera V-55 Head

The Bugera V-55 Head

Last in the line up are the V-55 head and combo. The V-55 is the most powerful in the line up, with all of the features of the V-22 but far more output and much more headroom in the clean section. The clean tone is still nice and fat, although it does lack some of the tube character of the smaller, lower watt amplifiers, although this is to be expected. The clean channel has a very rock vibe to it, and it is a tad dark, which felt great for jazz and for some rockabilly style country tinged licks. The Dirty channel has a much more distinct sound then the V-22, and a much higher level of gain on tap, which makes this perfect for everything from blues to modern metal.

The Bugera V-55 Combo Amplifier

The Bugera V-55 Combo Amplifier

The tone still has a very classic rock vibe to it, with plenty of over the top saturation and jangly overdriven chords. Out of all of the amplifiers in this review, the V-55 makes you feel like your playing on a real vintage amp the most, with its beefy clean channel, and its super Californian vibe, and its drive channel for all of its British bark and bite. For the price the V-55 has the most complex and convincing vintage amp vibe to it, and this fact snakes it a deserved 10 out of 10.
 

The Bugera Vintage line of amplifiers are amazing rock machines, they feature tones and looks that feel like they were yanked out of the late 60s. They have all of the bark and bite of those classic amps from way back in the day, but at prices that the working guitarist can afford, and you can get them right now at Worldmusicsupply.com!

World Music Supply | Bugera Infinium Technology

 

Within the world of electric guitar, the tube amplifier is the almighty, unchallengeable king of tone. Capable of producing everything from clean sounds that are beautifully articulate while at the same time it can go all the way to the most degenerate overdriven tones that breathe with warm harmonics, string definition and clarity. from the beginning, its been the same, tube amps have ruled the world. Opinions as to exactly what great tone is, have evolved over the years but through it all one thing has remained constant; solid state, no matter how advanced modeling gets, no matter how good computers can replicate the sound, it just can’t compete, and you don’t have to be a tube amp purist to know that solid state will likely never be able to match the warmth, or breadth of tones as the venerable vacuum tube in most audio applications.

 For the past three quarters of a century, tube amps have constantly been a source of headaches to guitarists worldwide, as they are just so frustrating to own and operate. Cost of ownership includes both regular maintenance items like replacing tired old tubes and rebiasing as well as the occasional repair bill, often due to a tube’s lifespan being unexpectedly shortened because they tend to be so very fragile. I mean lets be honest, one good jolt to the chassis while moving an amp before its tubes have had a chance to cool down, is just asking for trouble.  As most of us dedicated guitarists will do anything for our sound, we have typically shrugged these issues off with little drama because we all know that great tube tone is worth almost any amount of extra effort. Swapping out tubes once or twice a year (more often for some of us) and having our amps rebiased seemed a small price to pay. Of course it also gives our friendly neighborhood amp techs a reason to get up in the morning.

Bugera's 1960 Infinium Guitar Head

Bugera’s 1960 Infinium Guitar Head

Rejoice Tube Fans! The days of expensive maintenance issues and annoying and untimely gear failures may be forever behind us. Enter Bugera Amplification with their Infinium Valve Life Multiplier Technology. The good folks at Bugera have been hard at work engineering ways to make our lives as tube amp aficionados both easier and less expensive. How would you like to be able to indulge in all of your favorite tube tones without ever having to worry about failing valves or rebiasing? Now throw in tube life that averages 20 times longer than normal. Sound too good to be true? Well guess what, it’s not.

Years and years of R&D have produced the revolutionary new Infinium technology. Automatic and continual monitoring of each individual power tube gives you ample warning before a tube has the chance to dramatically affect your tone, or worse yet, ruining your performance. This is accomplished via the Valve Life Monitoring indicator on the back panel of the amp. Any upcoming valve failure will trigger a bright red LED next to the corresponding tube.

Infinium Valve Life Monitor

In addition to making sure you get through your bands set without equipment failures, Infinium also continually monitors for optimal tube performance. The system automatically keeps an eye on operating conditions and tweaks for top notch tone. For instance, current levels are monitored and adjusted automatically, all to keep your tubes sounding great,  even if line voltage drops below optimal levels, so no more of that annoying tone “suck” that happens from time to time.

Biasing is also handled automatically with Infinium. Just swap out a tube and the system automatically takes care of it for you. No more trying to do it yourself, risking the lives of you and your amplifier, and definitly no more expensive visits to an amp tech. So you can save those guys for serious problems instead.

Also, how’s this for a neat trick? So your Infinium just informed you that one of your EL34’s is about to go and you only have a 6L6 available on you? No problem. Out with the EL34, in with the 6L6, or 5881, or 6550, heck, just about any tube will do the job! Replace it later with the “correct” tube or enjoy the tone crafting ability of being able to run the amp on which ever odd tube you would like! 

Never again replace an entire set of tubes because your amp suffered a serious jolt right before a show. Never again throw the power switch on your amp and find it dead because it was loaded out at the last gig while the tubes were still too hot.

In fact, most of the issues that used to cause us undue expense and stress have been addressed and promptly, eliminated by Bugera’s Infinium Technology. Since the company’s extensive lineup of amplifiers covers just about every musical style from classic rock to ultra modern metal, there is sure to be at least one model that suits your needs perfectly. Take a long, hard look at Bugera’s complete line of Infinium equipped amps at WorldMusicSupply.com today!

Bugera 1960 & 1990 Classic Guitar Amps Deliver British Tone for Less

Now available from WMS are two very new, very-striking amplifier options from Bugera – the 1960 & 1990 guitar amplifier heads.

Bugera 1960 Classic Guitar Amp Head

Bugera 1990 Classic Guitar Amp Head

Look familiar? Well, they sound familiar, too. Both amps are voiced for that unmistakable, classic British tone and they pretty well nail it – and at under $500 bucks each ($449 street price), that’s certainly not a bad thing!

The Bugera 1960 Classic is a high-wattage (150w), single channel beast with clean headroom up to high-heaven and is perfect for players who derive their dirt from pedals. It’s got a robust, full tone with all the beef, spank and sparkle one might need. Of course, it’ll break up when you push those 4 EL34 tubes, but at 150 watts – it’s gonna be LOUD! (Yeah, you’ll need an attenuator to get those Ramones toanz at bedroom volume).

The second model is the Bugera 1990 Classic– a 120/60w Modern Classic style amplifier with dedicated reverb control for each footswitchable channel and a direct out for those late night, bedroom recording sessions. It provides plenty of crunch on the dirty channel and a nice sparkle on the clean. The high-quality reverb is also a nice touch and allows for everything from a little space to cavernous tones.

Both amps feature FX loops, output compatibility with 4, 8 & 16 watt speaker cabs, merging must-have modern features with classic amplifier design. Check out videos and more info at www.worldmusicsupply.com!