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Dressed in classic two-tone vinyl, running on one power and one preamp valve and featuring bone-simple controls, the BUGERA V5 looks like a carefully constructed nostalgia trip. In fact, in many ways, it is! But plug into this beautiful little amp and you’ll not only find a sound that’s caked in real vintage raunch, but also modern features that take this sound to places it couldn’t go—until now.
Big Sound, Small Package
Rock music brings to mind amplifiers as big as skyscrapers, dishing out irreversible ear damage at ruthless volumes. But a studio secret among guitar greats is that little low-watt valve combos like the V5 can be maxed out for red-hot overdriven tone without blowing fuses or incurring any property damage.
The V5 is a living, breathing homage to those half-pint screamers of the past, but with two very important improvements. See, this amp may be small, but 5 watts in Valvesville is still loud as hell when it’s sitting in your bedroom. That’s why the V5 features a switchable power attenuator that allows you to run 5, 1 or 0.1 Watts. An attenuator reduces the amplitude of a signal without changing its sound. That means you can still drive the valves into banshee-league fury, but without waking up the neighbors.
Finding a headphone out jack on an all-valve guitar amp is incredibly rare because the integration requires loading the output transformer and filtering the signal for a loudspeaker simulation. (Translation: it’s a pain in the ass!) But in true BUGERA fashion, we’ve gone the extra mile to allow you some late night practicing. Just plug in a pair of headphones to the 1/4" phones jack on the back panel, and you’re ready to keep the V5’s all-valve sound all to yourself. Then again, if it’s more volume you need, the V5 has a 1/4" Speaker Out jack that allows you to connect an additional speaker with a minimum impedance of 4 Ohms. This dangerous dandy also features the same studio-caliber digital reverb found in its bigger BUGERA brothers. The spring reverb found in the V5’s post-war predecessors sounds lovely, but is delicate and expensive to repair. The V5’s modern update gives you an equally mesmerizing vintage reverb sound without the wallet-draining vintage reliability.
With the V5 in your home or studio, your tonal woes are over. It bears the true sound of an antique 5W valve amp, it’s built to survive abuse, and its price tag is tons lighter than the ones you’ ll find tied to its elders. Adopt a V5 today and get ready to pack 60 years of sonic inspiration into your recording or practice sessions.
Hand-built 5-Watt Class-A amplifier driven by 1 x EL84 valve
Way cool vintage look and feel
Original 8" BUGERA guitar speaker for true vintage sound
Authentic preamp design from the '60s featuring 1 x 12AX7 valve—everything from purring blues to mind-blowing crunch
Integrated high-class reverb with dedicated Reverb control
Vintage Equalizer with dedicated Tone control
Built-in 2-way Power Attenuator allows you to get ultimate sound at any volume
High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life
Bought this on Amazon. Incredible value. Hard to believe they can sell this for $150. I really like the way it sounds in the bedroom on 1 watt. Very full bottom end that sounds like a 10" rather than the 8" that is in the cabinet (when playing a single P90 hollow body Godin Kingpin). The 5 watt setting brightens up the sound (and raises the noise floor) but a bit brighter sound is what you want when playing with others and you need more volume. Excellent, natural sounding reverb. Behringer has really done their design homework on this combo and the sound and build quality is a step up from other Behringer products (which is maybe why they went with the Bugera name). I was about to buy a Vox AC4TV and I'm glad I didn't since I'm getting 10" style sounds and reverb for $100. less money.
If I have one complaint, it's that I would have gladly paid a few extra bucks for a plywood box. The particle board construction just adds weight to an amp that is already heavy with decent transformers and a good custom loudspeaker with a heavy magnet. Not a lightweight box by any means. Don't think a Weber, Celestion or Jensen speaker would make much difference and this amp sounds good enough out of the box to leave the tubes alone for now.
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I really like this amp for use at the house. The power attenuator is great for cranking down the volume while still getting a natural tube sound. I have found that I almost always run mine on the 0.1 watt setting and it's plenty loud for me in the lving room. Sounds best when the tubes are not driven too hard (just mild distortion / tube breakdown). If you push it too hard it gets into a king of weird tube breakdown that I'm not too crazy about, but maybe the tubes are not really broken in yet? The built in reverb is a nice feature and has a very good sound considering it's digital. This amp is a good deal if you just want something to get a nice bluesy tone around the house without blowing everyones ear drums out.
A great choice for practice and recording, this tube amp puts out 5 watts of tube volume, which is a lot of sound. I'd recommend this to any level of guitar player.
For recording, with an amp like this running about halfway, you can capture the amp's sweet spot at reasonable volumes. You're going to mike it anyway, so who needs the volume? And for practice, you can switch it down to 1 watt, one-tenth watt, or even use headphones, so you can still get the tone you want at low volume. You may need a big amp stack to play the outdoor stadiums, but for practice and recording anything but face melting metal, this is it.
I've been playing guitar for over 40 years and found this to be a great sounding amp when teamed up with any type of guitar, humbuckers or single coil pickups. Great tube tone, and with a bit of knob twisting on this amp as well as your guitar, and you can dial up a wide range of clean or dirty sounds.
Keep in mind this is a hand-wired amp at about one third of the price you'd pay for a bigger name. You can't beat the value.
And it looks great too. It actually looks better than the pictures. Heavy-duty case with thick black covering, chicken head knobs, and glitter speaker cloth. Looks like it's been around for years.
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Although this amp is not perfect it is quite amazingly good. Here are some of my thoughts after about a month with the amp.
Pros 1) Great clean tone. Not a great Fender-type clean but good in its own right. The reverb, although not a real spring reverb makes the clean even more pleasant. 2) The attenuator is fantastic for getting great tube tones at bedroom practice amp volume levels. 3) The extra gain control on the amp really sets it apart from the competition, the bulk of which have only the volume control or perhaps a volume and tone. 4) The amp is very inexpensive and is built like a truck. I can't speak for the electronic components or how it is wired because I haven't dismantled it but to me nothing feels cheap in any way. 5) Speaker out means you can drive a an external cabinet with it. I have heard people get great results doing this.
Cons (And most of them are pretty nit-picky) 1) Weighs a ton. The housing of the amp is stupidly heavy. 2) Although the attenuator is great for controlling the volume, I think the 0.1 watt setting doesn't sound nearly as good ast the 1 and 5 watt settings. 3) I don't like the way the amp breaks up when it is pushed to the limit on the 5 watt setting. I have heard that you can plug it into a speaker cabinet and get better results but personally I like the clean and dirty tones up to about middle volumes on 5 watts and all of the tones on 1 watt. 4) I don't think this amp handles overdrive and distortion pedals particularly well.Read more ›
Although I heard this is a copy of a vox ac30 I think it is more like a mini colossal. 3 wattage setting options with the built in attenuator. 8 inch speaker actually sounds fine in a bedroom. I don't think upgrading the 8" speaker will have much of an impact on the sound. However I'm interested in hearing this through a 10" speaker.
The reverb is nice. Its a big difference between the other low cost/low watt tube amp options.
The amp has a lot of headroom so there is no reason to go with a 12au7 as a pre-amp tube. However to get heavy distortion will require a stomp box to push it.
Maybe a set of jj tubes in replacement of the rebadged sovtek tubes that bugera uses. But that too isn't high on the to-do list.
The amp itself looks and feels well made and the handle feels plush.
I can see this becoming a favorite in the after market mod kit scene given the reverb option.
Wish I could say that this is a locally made amp but they are made in China. 10 years ago I don't see this price would have been possible.