Bugera V5 owners here? opinions? swaps/mods?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KmCyPreSs, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    I've been on the hunt for a lightweight little tube amp for an apartment player on a smaller sized budget that can go for bluesy clean-semi dirty and I think the Bugera V5 may be it. Possibly on the dark side tone-wise but definately better than the other <5 watt tube combos under $250 that I tried. I think I'll probably swap the speaker to a Weber 8" if I went for one. Just want to see if there are any owners out there and what they think? Also, made any changes to these little guys?
     
  2. mrkbrks

    mrkbrks Member

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    Try a Blackheart Lil Giant. Think you'll love it. Great with pedals.
     
  3. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    looks like a killer little guy but for my wants/needs it just doesn't apply. i'm moving into a 1room dorm in seattle in the fall. I have a 15watt matchless lightning similar size-wise to the blackheart but i want a really inexpensive combo with under a 12"speaker. (very small/light/inexpensive/clarity). i know it sounds radical to say, but for that size/weight + $350 i might as well just use my matchless.
     
  4. _Brandon

    _Brandon Member

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    Well, that about describes it. Very responsive to playing dynamics. Sounds great at low volume. But I bet you can make the neighbors hear you if you want to, even on the 0.1 watt setting. I've kept mine stock.
     
  5. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    I was in your shoes last december when I picked mine up. I LOVE it, and in my apt on .1 watts, there are some great tones to be had. Much better than pedals, though it takes the well. I use a boost if anything.

    Heres my experience....

    -The stock speaker is excellent, it is made for this amp (seriously) and you can tell. I assumed a $130 amp would need a speaker upgrade. The Weber Sig 8 alnico I put in just didnt to it for me. Seemed harsh, brittle, and thin. It does move the tone a bit towards the fender champ-but this things marshall/voxy tone is too good to pass by. I do have a very lightly used sig 8 if your interested. Perhaps because the cab is nice and big for an 8 inch speaker its more effiecient-but this amp does not hurt on the bottom end. With an EQ you can pull off princton-like tones.

    -Tubes make a HUGE difference-this amp only uses 2, so you can REALLY hear the difference. Pull the stock ones and put em in the back as spares you will not regret losing. I ended up scoring an old GE longplate 12ax7. Immediatly the overall tone and gain improved. The old sylvanias sound great too. Before I had read up on tubes, I sprung for a New Mullard long plate-it sounded thin and had lots of buzz.

    For powertubes, I tried a rubytube, but then I read up on Saratov tubes here, and I LOVE them. They are old Soviet tubes, and can be had cheap. I got 8 shipped from the Ukraine for 20 bucks. Much more bottom, clearer top end, and smoother mids. It sounds louder, but that may be the enhanced basss and treble-just what this amp needs. One cool thing about the V5 is its single ended and uses just one power tube-so you dont need to worry about matched tubes, etc. And with the Saratovs you dont feel bad about burning through tubes, though they are actually milspec.

    -The reverb is NOT bad, could be much worse actually. It takes boosts, and OD's quite well, its made to be slammed. Opening up the tone knob will get you quite a bit more output. I have not used it with an extention speaker yet, and though the line out is usable, it is a bit harsh. For recording I still use a speaker sim. I only wish it had a loop, but hey, its a 5 watter. I did pull the tube cage but rattle was not an issue.
     
  6. lang.murphy

    lang.murphy Supporting Member

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    Nice post. I tried one at the local GC and was fairly impressed. I thought it sounded WAY better than the Vox ACTV4, and I'm a huge Vox fan.
     
  7. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    I did the same, and it killed the Vox, the little gretch, and the champ reissue. As time goes on-its more and more clear how great this little amp is. Im stoked about this amp, and its a $150 piece.
     
  8. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    picking one up on thursday. got it for $99.
     
  9. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    picking one up on thursday. for $99 I had to. Interesting that you said not to switch out the speaker...I was planning on it but I'll def give it a while before I jump into that to test the waters on the stock speaker. Where'd you buy the Saratov tubes?
     
  10. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    Ill pm you. Im seriously considering getting another to run in stereo.
     
  11. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    Let us know how you like it.
     
  12. xStonr

    xStonr Member

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    I got one when they first came out and it sounded terrible. Very very thin sounding. After a tube change and speaker change, running it through a cab I decided it was too much trouble to get a decent sound out of it. On paper it seems great. 5 watts, attenuator, reverb, PT w/4,8, and 16 ohm taps. For me it just didn't cut it.
     
  13. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    Funny you say that, I got the Weber Alnico based on your experiences-but I thought it made the amp sound thin, buzzy, and harsh. The stock speaker on the other hand was awesome-I assumed an "upgrade" would be in order, but as of now Im happy with what I got.

    Clearly tone is subjective.
     
  14. Alton

    Alton Member

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    Anyone try this Bugera 5w with a harp? I've been picking the harp back up and have been thinking that the 5w would be a good amp for that.
     
  15. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    just got mine today and got 20 mins on it. still all stock but i dig what i'm hearing so far. I like that it retains clarity...too many of the small combos are about getting crunch at low volumes. while I like a good breakup, I wasn't looking for too much. This thing can get intense but the clean sound is there. My only complaint thus far is that i wish the tone knob had a little bit more of an impact. it is a dark sounding amp...even with a tele. Still plan on doing a few modifications. wondering if i can install a bright switch or some kind of mod to make it more interactive. more to follow by sunday once i've sat down with it more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  16. Maruuk

    Maruuk Member

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    Who's got em for $99?
     
  17. KmCyPreSs

    KmCyPreSs Member

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    oh. a guy on craigslist did :D
     
  18. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    I cant help but think the same. Its worth a shot.
     
  19. Davo17

    Davo17 Member

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    Are you playing it at .1 watt? If so try it at a higher setting with the gain down. Also, a real 12ax7 is both warmer and has more top end, with better clarity. I usually leave the tone dimed at .1 watts.
     
  20. Alton

    Alton Member

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    Me too. Right now I'm practicing with an Epiphone BC 30. It's got great tone but only at higher volumes and I know it's too doggone heavy to be lugging around.

    When opportunity presents itself I think I'll nab the Bug 5w.
     

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