Bruno Underground 30: Detailed feedback wanted

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GeoBull, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    I'm considering a Bruno Underground 30 (also considering Matchless xC-30). Am interested in real world feedback on the Bruno and thoughts on this question:

    -There is a 2-3 year old UG 30 head with 2x12, mahogony cab with blues for 3k including an attenuator. Bruno lifetime warranty is non-transferable; I hear Tony has found better parts in last few years and upgraded sound.

    Any concerns with buying used over new?

    -Any thoughts on direct A/B Matchless vs. Bruno? I've gotten some feedback but I'm looking for more details

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. fuzzyguitars

    fuzzyguitars Supporting Member

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    i have an upgraded ug30 to the latest specs.

    to my ears, there has not been significant changes to the amp voicing over the past few years.

    i bought mine used.

    it was damaged slightly during shipping.

    called ken at ultrasound, and the amp was up and running in two weeks.

    absolutely no problem in terms of customer service, unless you want to speak to tony bruno himself.

    i used to own an matchless hc 30 and there is no comparison, the bruno sounds better to me in every way.

    cleans are more lush and 3-d

    crunch is marshall 18 watt heaven, all from a toggle knob

    reverb is very nice.

    sounds great with nos or generic glass.

    as with all things

    better to try before you buy.

    :p
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I owned an older UG30 (probably from around '96 or '97) that I had for about 5 years. Mine was the 3x10 non-reverb model with two "channels." It was a good sounding amp that had a tight, ballsy grind when pushed hard ( I liked it better with humbuckers, as I recall), at which point it was fairly loud. It was also a fairly bright sounding amp, as well. I respeakered it with Weber alnico 10s which fattened up the bottom a bit. All in all, it was a good sounding amp, especially when it was in its "crunch" zone, but as I said, it was quite loud at that point. I did not try it with an attenuator.

    While I still had the Bruno, I acquired a Matchless Chieftain 1x12 combo, with reverb, from about the same era. I found the Matchless to be more three-dimensional sounding overall (both in clean mode and in grind mode), and with the master volume, it gave me a variety of clean and crunch sounds at different volume levels.

    I still have the Matchless, but the Bruno is long gone. To my ears, the Matchless sounds better and is more versatile. And the reverb is an added bonus, as is the loop.

    I am not nearly as familiar with the DC-30, which is a different beast from the Chieftain...

    Your mileage may vary. ;)
     
  4. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    Thanks very much for the details response. Very helpful. A few questions about the Chieftain:

    -Single channel, correct?
    -More of a Marshall vibe due to EL-34s? Or more versatile than that?
     
  5. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    When I used to rehearse at Ultrasound every week, I had my choice of HC-30, UG30, BadCat Hot Cat, etc. etc. Almost always I ended up playing the Bruno. It's just an amazing amp. I would sometimes get the itch for the Matchless, as it did seem to have a bit more hard bite, for when you're in that mood. It's a great amp, too. But overall, the richness of the Bruno, the touch sensitivity, the chimey but not harsh high end, and plenty of bottom....I could go on and on. I'm a confirmed Bruno lover.
     
  6. GeoBull

    GeoBull Member

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    Thanks for the detailed response. I will definitely get a chance on to try the used one. Some further questions:

    -What was the cost of the upgrade?
    -What is the 'toggle knob' you refer to?
    -Is yours single channel or two channel?
    -Head or combo?
    -What did it cost you?
    -Given these options what is your recommendation:

    #1: Spend 3k, get the used UG 30 single channel head w/mahogony Bruno cabinet with 2 blues
    #2: Spend 3k, get a brand new UG 30 head (latest upgrades, lifetime warranty), wait on the cabinet. Run through an existing 2x12 with Mesa Black Widow speakers.

    Thanks again for all the help
     
  7. DrSax

    DrSax Member

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    I would go with number 2 and be thrilled as a pig in .......
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Bruno is much more refined and smooth, C30 is more raw and aggressive. If I were playing an amp only at home by myself I'd choose the Bruno. If I were playing an amp in a band, it could go either way depending on the musical style.
     
  9. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, single-channel. The cleans are VERY Fender-y, IMO... some of the nicest cleans I've EVER heard. The gain has a Marshally flavor, but is a little looser, almost Tweed-sounding, to my ears. It's a great-sounding, versatile amp, IMO.
     
  10. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    +1

    Agree with just about everything said here. I too used to own a HC30 and I currently own a UG30R. The HC30 is a great amp but the UG30R is simply amazing. Has one of the best natural tones I have ever heard or played. The cleans are ridiculous and with that luscious 3-knob verb its just intoxication to play.

    The choice is very clear to me that the Bruno is the better amp IMO, but I do feel they cover different grounds.
     

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