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 | 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!