Bugera V5 Tube Combo Amp
Bugera Amps, bugera-amps.com
For practice and studio applications, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better bang for your buck.
The market is overflowing with little tube amps that offer sound and features similar to big amps, but manufacturers are starting to realize that many guitarists still appreciate the distinct sound and unique character of a low-watt tube amp with a tiny speaker and relatively few controls. For decades guitarists have created extremely cool sounds in the studio by cranking up these little wonders, which overdrive gloriously when the tubes are pushed hard and the tiny speaker gets a good workout.
The Bugera V5 is a five-watt combo with an eight-inch speaker that’s proud to be a small amp. While it offers a few more features than the average vintage little screamer, the V5 delivers the attitude and character that small-combo aficionados love, which makes it a cool studio tool and a truly inspirational practice amp.
Powered by one EL84 power tube and a single 12AX7 preamp tube, the V5 delivers a maximum five watts of output power. An attenuator switch lets you select five, one or 0.1 watts of output so you can enjoy the V5’s clean and overdrive tones at various volume levels. The controls are a little more advanced than what you’ll normally find on a five-watt tube combo, consisting of gain, volume, tone and a level control for the built-in digital-reverb circuit. In addition to a single 1/4-inch instrument input, the amp provides a 1/4-inch headphone jack that instantly bypasses the eight-inch, 30-watt speaker when headphones are plugged in. You can also use an external speaker cabinet (four-ohm minimum) by unplugging the V5’s speaker and connecting the cabinet to the amp’s speaker jack.
Despite having relatively limited tone and gain controls, the V5 provides everything from sparkling, sharp clean tones to raunchy, aggressive overdrive with all the desirable character and attractive charm of a vintage low-powered combo. The eight-inch speaker delivers a fat, focused midrange growl that sounds absolutely huge when properly miked in the studio. The attenuator’s 0.1-watt setting pumps out glorious overdrive at a volume just above conversation level, and at a full five watts it’s impressively loud. The digital reverb’s smooth, lush decay is more elegant and refined than that of many reverb pedals in the V5’s price range.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Bugera V5 is a bold-sounding addition to the proud legacy of the vastly underrated small tube combo. For practice and studio applications, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better bang for your buck.
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