Bugera 1960 Infinium

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by black knight, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. black knight

    black knight Member

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    Greetings.

    I didn't want to hijack any of the other threads on this amp, hence yet another. I just wanted to share some pictures of mine and maybe a sound clip if I can find some time this weekend to record it properly. Marshall tone is what I have found to work best for my application over the years because of their ability to cover so much ground. From the JTM45, 1986, 1992, 1987, 1959 to the 2204, 2203, 2205, 2210 circuits and beyond, the tone seems to just work for so many classic rock and other genres very well. Just think of how many styles by countless players using these circuits over the years have been presented and have become iconic. The tones have become benchmarks for countless amp designers with their own take as well. I'm a firm believer that tone starts with a good amp and not people's fingers. Yes folks can manipulate almost anything if they have the talent but how much more pleasing to the ear is it when the same talented folks play through good gear? Anyway, back to this Bugera.

    The amp sounds amazingly good. I, like many others here I'm sure, have been through many, many amps searching for tone that works for us. Personally I've had many Marshalls and boutique amps over the years in that search. I keep coming back to basic Marshall circuits in some form or another. It is my understanding that this circuit is the 1959 circuit with two of the inputs having a simple cascaded gain mod at different db levels, one input being normal, and one paralleled. I'm just scratching the surface of understanding circuits so I cant confirm that it is an exact 1959. Obviously it is physically different having these mods, a master, and the loop, but the rest I don't know about. Apparently, the schematics are hard to come by unless you are a certified repair shop or can physically trace it yourself.

    In any case, it sounds close enough to my ears that in a blind test I could not differentiate it from an actual Marshall. Leaving aside the component and assembly quality (which seem good to me, but not to Marshall standards) the tone is undeniable Marshall tone.

    The amp is loud. Frighteningly loud. As a matter of fact, I was playing it while a friend was adjusting the eq and volume once and after he made an adjustment and I inadvertently struck a couple strings, the SPL level startled me almost to the point that I felt like I got shocked. So to make it usable, I have pulled two power tubes, put a 12AT7 in the PI position, use the bottom right input (cascaded but -6db), and use the master but on 10. I also use a Ceriatone Kleinulator in the loop and adjust the send, return, and recovery accordingly. The cab is an Avatar with G12M-65s. Through a G12M-25 loaded 4x12 cab the amp sounds nothing short of stellar. But for gigging, I use the 2x12.

    I got the amp used for $200. The owner said it was a return as a result of the tolex bubbling. I planned to re-do the front anyway to match the Avatar cab that I re-grilled. It's not perfect but it looks good enough that I'm satisfied. Anyway, I wanted to share my excitement and provide somewhat of a PSA to all of you Marshall fanatics like me. Time will determine longevity but if it hangs in there, it will continue to be my main gigging amp. I only gig locally and transport my own gear but under different conditions, like a major tour in which gear is handled roughly, I might be somewhat concerned. However, I wound not hesitate to buy one or two more as backups at the current used prices. Even new prices are more than fair considering the tone and features of this model.

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  2. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool man. You can drop in 6V6'S in the power section and get less volume. It's still loud though.

    I have a great time playing mine. Good to see you do too.
     
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  3. Exojam

    Exojam Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the amp.

    When I first got mine, I posted about it over at the Seymore Duncan forums and had a few Marshall steroid guys try to start shit about it. Of coarse the old as hell plug being burnt was brought up.

    I post about here on a Marshall forum and did not get any crap about it at all.
     
  4. stringtree

    stringtree Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the amp too! :dude:

    I really dig that you made it your own, looks great too!

    Amen brother, that tone starts with a good amp and not in the fingers.

    Looking forward to a clip of that roaring beast!
     
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  5. ibmorjamn

    ibmorjamn Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know how to play it with out peeling paint off the wall? I am going to guess a overdrive pedal would do it. I played a new one briefly but no pedal and it was Damn loud.
    At the time there was a 333XL I played and of course it can overdrive with out 100 decibels lol.
    Looks awesome , I know they sound good I am curious how to make that work ?
     
  6. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.....great write-up. Holy cow.......$200 bucks. Can’t beat that. I think my EVH5150 pedal was that much. I really like the appearance change. The only thing that held me back on this is the volume. I had a previous generation 1960 and a/b’d it to my vintage 1977 Marshall 1959 SLP and the tones were similar.....I actually gave the nod to the Bugera. The SLP was the wildest untamed beast I ever played until I got the Bugera. It was at least as incredibly loud. Unfortunately that amp died in 2 days while the Marshall was a bull at nearly 40 years old. I understand all those reliability issues are fixed now.

    I would love to compare the Bugera 1960 Infinium to the new Studio Vintage 20 Head. I love the look of Marshall and the new Studio Vintage heads to me have that look. But beyond that....price point for price point the Bugera is an insane value buy. With the typical Musicians Friend Discounts and Back Stage Pass membership you can get one in the low $300s. I’d love to try and see if you could tame the volume with the master and an antennuator but without pulling two tubes to where it’s in the same range as the Studio Vintage - which I hear is also wicked loud at 20 watts.
     
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  7. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done! :thumb:
     
  8. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member

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    I'd do the new 800. That's just me though. The Boog can kick ass. I feel it won't do what the 800 will. Different enough.
     
  9. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member

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    The Boog is fun to romp with...

     
  10. Springfield Scooter

    Springfield Scooter Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great Solar!
    Sounds like your furry friend was singing along too!
     
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  11. Adieu

    Adieu Well-Known Member

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    It's very Malevich meets MTV
     
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  12. black knight

    black knight Member

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    Thanks Exojam. Just goes to show how some have such extreme bias when voicing their typically under-informed opinion. What is particularly frustrating is when they speak without experience. I'm a firm believer in the old saying that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Tasty chops solarburn! Next time do Bark At The Moon. I've not tried 6V6s yet but will eventually. I may try a couple KT66s as well. I did throw in some tired 6L6s I had laying around, wasn't that enthused about it. To be fair though, the tubes were old and past their usable life and as a matter of fact, it's how I knew the Infinium feature was working. What a cool feature that I'd love to see other amp makers implement. And I like the self biasing feature. I haven't measured bias after any tube changes but if it's ballpark, how helpful is that if a tube bites the dust during a gig? Right now I have modern production Tung-Sol 12AX7s in V1 and V2, a JJ ECC81 in V3, and 2 Tung-Sol EL34s in V4 and V6.

    ibmorjamn, yes, an OD pedal would work just fine to get great tones at reasonable levels. There is a slight difference of course if you have the amp lower in volume and using a bit more gain from the pedal to get you to nice over-driven territory, but not a bad difference. Just different. There is a happy medium somewhere in there when using the pedal/amp combination in which you don't sacrifice that much tonal goodness from the amp itself if you know how to use each component to its fullest. Especially a well-paired pedal. Not necessarily expensive, just well-suited for a pairing with the amp. The same holds true for any amp/pedal combination. And my apologies if everyone already knows these things. I don't mean to sound condescending, just sharing my experience.

    Deep Purple fan, you're right about the insane value of these things. And wow! What a fine collection of gear you have. I'd love to see a family photo or even a portion of one. I'm sure you have no problems achieving beautiful tones. Currently, I'm sorta cheating using the Kleinulator but an attenuator works well with this amp as is evidenced by Steve Senes on YouTube. Fantastic player and knows how to dial in an amp for his application. I've not tried it but I think a JHS Little Black Amp Box for $45.00 might work in the loop as well. I was thinking about all the amps I've owned over the years and how each one actually helped guide my ear to the tone and response I was looking for in an amp, with as few unpleasant anomalies as possible. By that I mean certain aspects of an amp's overall character that held it back from checking all the boxes. For example, great tone at 5 on the volume but as you go higher, the over-driven tone sounds less musical. Or lacking low end, too many mids, no harmonic content, too fizzy, too muddy, non-musical decay to notes, etc. All of them were from reputable builders. (Yes, I suppose I'm a recovering amp snob.) They were largely great amps, but just left me wanting that extra 5% to achieve perfection - for my application. That last part is important. Some were Marshalls of course, which helped me figure out which circuits worked for me and which ones didn't. For reference, I love a great sounding JTM45 circuit or a perfectly voiced 1987, 86, 59, 92 etc. I can appreciate the higher gain and modded Marshall tones but I feel like once you cross a certain threshold, you sacrifice being able to dial it back to get your Paul Kossoff on. Fender style circuits are nice but when I want to go dirty, my ear wants to be in Marshall-land. Early Fender circuits come dangerously close though. Long story short, this Bugera checks all the boxes. The versatility is insane. Options galore with literally no unpleasant anomalies. My only gripe with it is not due to the tone, it's the weight. It's rather bulky and heavy by today's trending standards. But then I'm old school all the way anyway. I too want to try and will likely buy one of the new Studio series amps. But for now, I couldn't be happier.

    And to get back to using pedals, That is how I primarily play with any amp. I always have a few shades of OD on my board. I prefer this method to just the amp. I like getting the amp to the point of breakup, and beyond if there are no diminishing returns, and using OD pedals and/or boosts with only slight gain to coax the harmonic content out of the equipment. Yes there are amps and mods that do this already but can those amps still deliver pure bluesy goodness when dialed back? I prefer audio taper pots in my guitars and literally, I can leave an OD pedal on, and just use the volume knob on my guitar to adjust from clean to filthy. There are so many ways to achieve this goal but this is what works for me. Right now on my board I have an OCD (has lasted years when others came and went), an EarthQuaker Devices Speaker Cranker, and a TC Electronic Mini Spark boost.

    Sorry for the dissertation. I will try to get a video up soon, just been really busy lately.
     
  13. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member

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    Well 6V6's can be a bit bitey. I want to try the 66's sometime as well. It's real cool we can jump around with same pinned power tubes. It does effect tone and feel.
     
  14. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    Nice stuff. Well done....... you definitely have you’re own groove and it’s very cool. The Boog is smokin......I still can’t believe they are under 400 bucks new.
     
  15. steveb63

    steveb63 Well-Known Member

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    Check out any of the online dealers, looks like Bugera had a little price increase .

    Still, a whole lot of amp for not many dollars.

    Steve
     
  16. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    The amp does sound good, no question.
    It's just the service parts support that is the big obstacle.
    We couldn't buy parts, (even from the service center) even for a Bugera that was less than 2 years old. The parts support has been terrible. :shrug:
    There is no customer support from Music Group, the corporation that distributes the Bugera line.

    So, if you know how to work on tube amps, and you have the experience, Bugera is viable.
    But if you are dependent on Music Group, don't expect any help.

    In other words:
    It may seem like a bargain.....until it breaks. :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  17. steveb63

    steveb63 Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha, kind of like a bic lighter.....
    Ain't no Zippo?
     
  18. steveb63

    steveb63 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. @ampmadscientist

    What a great site, mention an amp and someone like yourself shows up.

    Great to hear from a guy who's had his hands in the amp! Great resource.

    Thanks again.
     
  19. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    Start the reactor... Free Mars!
    If Bugera had service and parts support, they could put Mesa Boogie out of business, no problem.

    But Mesa has nothing to worry about....
     
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  20. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member

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    You’re right. They are $549 on MF. That’s a pretty big increase from $399......38%. It’s been a while since I checked but it was in 2018. At that price you’re getting into some areas where there are some great alternatives.
     
    steveb63 likes this.

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