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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by adelphi710, Aug 7, 2005.
is the underground 30 a two channel amp? can it do crunchy orange ad30 sounding rythm stuff? thanks!
The two channels are basically both non-master volume, one with EQ and one without. It can do crunch but it's UNGODLY loud at that point so plan on an attenuator, ear plugs or getting your crunch from pedals. As an comparison, both the Matchless DC30 and the Vox AC30 get crunch at lower volumes.
It will do great cleans to a medium gain lead sound. I don't find it all that loud compared to my other amps. I actually use it sometimes as my rhythm amp and switch to the Komet for leads. It is a great sounding head.
so i'm guessing with all of that headroom and power it takes pedals really well? esp overdrive? how would a hotcake do with one?
I used a Hotcake with mine, liked it a lot.
any reason why don't anymore (or why you sold it if you did)?
It sounds nothing like an Orange or AC 30 to me. MUCH better sounding IMO! The Matchless has a MV and gain knob, but if you do not use the MV, it does not breakup at any lower volumes than the Bruno. I had a 93 DC 30 and the Bruno at the same time, and did A/B clips of both. (Clips below) The Matchless has a much more raw and middy tone. The Bruno WAY more refined. Also, the Matchless has a really bad feel in the strings. Everything shoots out no matter how light or hard you pick. Depending on your style, this may or may not matter. The UG 30 responds even better than my Cowtippers. For low volume crunch, you will NEED a box, just like with an AC 30. A Mudhoney pedal sounds so good with the amp, its all you will need. It takes away NOTHING from the amp. (For an anti pedal guy like myself, thats pretty incredible!)
Here are the A\B clips. Scroll down about halfway and you will see "Bruno UG 30 Blues". Right under that you will see "Matchless blues Bruno A\B clip" They were both recorded at the same volume, trying to dial in a similar tone. The Matchless is always buzzier and raw sounding compared to the sweetness of the Bruno. Listen for yourself. I sold the matchless shortly there after.
The Orange is totally different, and a great amp itself.
I have used a FDII and a Klon with mine. The Klon sounds great. I love the UG 30 and my band always comments on the tone. My problem is that I have a lot of amps and I usually use my Bruno Super 100s and the Komet. My UG30 doesn't get as much playing time because it is a "different" type of tone than I usually go for. Same as my London head.
I have a Hotcake Soft clip, and while it is pretty cool, I think the MudHoney is WAY better. Less fuzzy\buzzy, and just as much or more gain available.
You can hear clips of the Mudhoney into the UG 30 at the same site. The clip is called "PRSs Blues"
I had an early UG30 (3x10 combo) that I got right after it (and the Diaz CD30) had received accolades in one of the glossy guitar mags -- probably mid-to-late 90s...
It sounded very good, both clean and crunch, but you really had to push it to get crunch. At that point, while it sounded really good, it was just too loud for the rooms I was playing. Outdoors, it was great, but inside it could be punishing. I also found it to be a bit bright. Single-coil guitars sounded great in the clean mode, while 'bucker-equiped guitars really made the overdriven mode sing...
At about the same time, I acquired a couple of Alessandros -- a stock Beagle, and a high-end English. Both are EL-84-based amps, with the English being a 4xEL84 format, like the UG30. IMO, the English blew away the Bruno in terms of the sheer complexity and richness of tone, both in clean and overdriven modes. The interactivity of the tone controls on the English provides a HUGE sonic palette, making it a much more versatile amp than the UG30, IMO...
That said, I prefer the Beagle even more... I think the Beagle is one of the best-sounding amps -- if not THE best-sounding amp -- that Alessandro makes, even if it's not as loud/gigable as some of the others...
So, as my collection of amps grew, the number of times I reached for the Bruno diminished severely. So, after a couple of years of regularly gigging it, I retired it, and eventually decided to sell it to another Gear Pager, who may or may not still have it... don't know for certain.
FWIW, I had had some ongoing problems with noise in mine, and took it to two different -- and very well-known -- amp builders, both of whom were nonplussed by all the fuss for this amp, both in terms of it's sonic and build qualities.
All in all, my impression of the UG-30 is that it's a good amp, but not nearly as perfect as some make it out to be. I also think of it as kind of a one-trick pony kind of amp. It does it's one thing fairly well... but that's about all you get. I've played three others since, two with reverb and one without, and my conclusions remain the same...
And of ALL the amps I've owned and sold over the years, the ONLY one I really regret having sold is the Diaz CD-30 Club Classic.
Oh, and for what it's worth, I find this whole A/B thing to be kind of ridiculous....
Imagine if I were to put up a couple of paint chips, and then proceeded to tell you that the one on the left is the "better" of the two purples...
I'm going to have to comment on the crunch thing with the UG30. I have two early Matchless DC30s, and with the 1/2 power switch they can crunch at levels that don't cause all the walls in the music room to rattle and don't cause the cabinet of the amp to rattle. With the UG30, by the time I had it crunching, everything was rattling (and that was thru a 112, it was louder with a 212). It also had a problem with overpowering bass-I essentially couldn't crank it with the first (nonEQ channel) and humbuckers-it wasn't flubby just unpleasantly unbalanced. I tried it with a number of different speakers (original Naylor, V30s, Blues, greenbacks) in open and closed back cabs with Tele, Mullard and RFT preamp and RFT and Mullard power tubes and the only way I could play my burst thru it was on the EQ channel with the bass turned off or with an Ayans Smooth and Slim. Clean, of course, there was no problem, and the reverb is the best I've ever heard, but I just couldn't justify having $2500 tied up in an amp I only used rarely. And yes, it does take pedals very well. Perhaps there's differences in preamp gain between some of these amps, mine really didn't sound like what I expected from the GP review-just too clean and bassy. I've been told that they basically marry a fender Pro preamp with a EL84 power amp, and that's exactly what mine sounded like. Of course, YMMV!!!!
Unlike Dave, I think A\Bing amps is the absolute ONLY way to tell which sounds better. I did this with The high end Allesandro English, and ulike Dave, I found the English to have one of the hardest, and brightest tones of any amp I have played. It punished the ears unless the treble was WAY down. It was a decent amp, but that is where it ended for me. I HONESTLY preferred the PV classic 50 to it. I later tried an Allesandro Rottwieler (sp), and thought it was an EXCELLENT amp. Still a large cut below the Brunos. IMO, many builders do not like the fact that GP magazine chose the UG 30 to be the best amp of the lot. Its tough being #1. Of all this talk, I think clips are WAY better. At my site, you can hear the bruno UG 30 with single coils, Humbuckers, clean, crunchy, with a pick and with fingers, and with two different overdrive boxes. On almost all of my clips, the controls are close to 12 O'clock. perfectly even response from bottom to top, with ZERO flub in the bass. I think my clips represent what I am hearing extremely well. If you like the clips, you will LOVE the amp. If you do not like them, you will not like the amp IMO. I have EXTENSIVELY A\Bd everything I can find against it, and nothing has beaten it out yet.
Good comment about the bass... I had the same problem...
I have to say, compared the Allesandro English, the UG 30 has LOTS of bass.
Mine has a lot of bass, I usually run it just slightly open on the bass knob, but live, especially outdoors, that makes for a nice full sound. For my style it's not an issue.
The tight bottom is one of my favorite things about the UG 30. My DC 30 would fart out all over the place if I tried to add some bass. On my clips, everything is around 12 which I find perfectly balanced with a Strat or LP. I sometimes bump the treble up to 1-2 Oclock with Buckers if I want tons of chime, and turn the presence up for more gain.
Best of what lot? what other amps were in that article? and where do they proclaim it a "winner" or "best?" Here are exact quotes from the article as posted on Bruno's website:
"Bruno's Underground 30 ($1799) provided some of this shootout's best..." Note - "some of" NOT "the" best.
"Judgement Day. While you could hardly go wrong with any amp in this shootout, a few managed to steal our hearts. Bruno's Underground 30 gets high marks for it's superior AC30-meets-Fender-Reverb tone. Its crispness, balance and Godzilla grind easily make it one of the best-sounding amps in this shootout ...." Again, "one of" NOT "the" best.
And to clarify - the "solid winner" and "coveted best of" crap is marketing BS from Bruno and Ultrasound to make you think that the UG30 actually won. Nowhere in any GP article does it say that. So much for not believing anything you read.
What about the two reviews where they give the Alessandro Beagle (a 1/2 power English) AND Blue Tick the Editor's Choice award? If GP is always right as you say in several threads, then you must be wrong about Alessandro amps.