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Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head   

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Bugera made the 1990 Classic the first guitar amp head that switches between full-throttle pentode or more harmonic triode (60W) modes. The tube amp'...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

The 1990 is unique and a classic all at the same time.

Bugera made the 1990 Classic the first guitar amp head that switches between full-throttle pentode or more harmonic triode (60W) modes. The tube amp's Clean and Lead channels have separate master Volume and Reverb controls. Bugera tossed in a dual-control footswitch others charge extra for. Using powerful economies of scale and advanced manufacturing, Bugera produced a value-priced amp head that puts biting British tone within range of anybody who ever lusted after it.

The 2-channel preamplifier design includes Bugera ECC83 and ECC83A preamp tubes for breathtaking punch and impressive gain. First-grade Bugera 5881 power tubes, offer comprehensive sound control. 2 integrated reverb effects and an effect loop with Volume control round off the Bugera 1990 amp head.

Bugera guitar amplifiers are handmade under stringent production guidelines to ensure long life and reliability. Each tube amp includes classic valve electronics, hard-wearing switches and potentiometers, high-quality transformers and”not to forget”the hand-selected, precision-matched Bugera tubes. And, owing to their careful construction and component assembly, Bugera 1990 Classic Tube Amp Heads stand up to the toughest demands on the road.

FEATURES
  • Hand-built 120W hi-gain amplifier driven by 4 x 5881 valves
  • Classic 2-channel preamp design (Clean, Lead) featuring 3 x ECC83 valves for terrifying punch and mind-blowing gain
  • Integrated high-class reverb with dedicated Reverb control for each channel
  • Vintage Equalizer section with dedicated Bass, Mid, Treble and Presence controls
  • Power switch to select between pentode or triode (60 Watt) operation
  • Impedance switch (4, 8 and 16 Ohms) to match virtually any speaker cabinet
  • FX Loop with dedicated Level control
  • Frequency compensated Recording output
  • Heavy-duty footswitch for Channel selection and Reverb included
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Bugera1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head
 
3.9

(based on 38 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (7)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Deal, If You Know What To Do

Got this amp, in trade, with a friend, and I already knew about the inherent issue these things have with the PT's cheap plastic clip. I asked him if he ever had issues...Read complete review

Got this amp, in trade, with a friend, and I already knew about the inherent issue these things have with the PT's cheap plastic clip. I asked him if he ever had issues with it, cutting out. He told me it did it to him, once, he put a fan on it, and it was fine, from there on, and he just kept a fan on it, each time he played it. Sure enough, no sooner did he leave?...BAM! It fades off, just like I'd read. I fired up my soldering gun, cracked open the amp, removed the plastic clip and hardwired each wire to it's contact point, and VOILA! No more crap-out, and it's never done it, again. I like this amp so much, it immediately became my main amp. Do your self a favor: buy it, have it "fixed" like I said, and you will love it!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great Sounding service nightmare

I purchased this amp despite the brands reputation for poor dependability.

When the shipment arrived, I unpacked the unit, connected a speaker, let it warm up for a bit then...Read complete review

I purchased this amp despite the brands reputation for poor dependability.

When the shipment arrived, I unpacked the unit, connected a speaker, let it warm up for a bit then turned off the standby.

I was cruising thru the clean channel and really enjoying the sounds when the unit began to smoke and lost power. This was after the first 5 minutes of playing.

I began to trouble shoot the unit and discovered that the bias pot (easily accessible on the chassis) was fully turned to the "hot" side of it's range. This caused 2 of the tubes to red-plate, in turn causing a runaway current situation that severely compromised 2 resistors and eventually blew that main fuse.

The bias had never been adjusted by the factory!

So, I had the bias set.

I'll also note that the 4 Bugera branded 5881 power tubes were far from matched and varied widely - currents from 30 to 50 ma with a -55v bias setting. This range alone exceeds the spec for the 5881 (6L6) tube.

It's also worth noting that these are not true 5881 tubes, they are (probably very cheap) 6L6 tubes. A true 5881 is an industrial grade tube with a shorter form factor and more electrode mass (especially in the plate) to handle large currents. I know, it's customary to interchange the numbers, but if you get excited at the thought of a high reliability 5881 in this amp, well, this ain't that.

But, my bias problem solved, I began playing the amp. I really like the sound - both channels have a very useful range of tones. It was easy to dial in great Marchall-esq crunches, and the clean channel was bright and airy.

Then, like clockwork: every 5 minutes the amp would go quiet for about 7 seconds, the lights still on, make a loud POP and come back to life. If I happened to be on the lead channel when this happened, the unit would revert to the clean channel after it's "reboot".

Hmm.. I think not. Back to the Loch with you, Nessy!

Behringer seems to acknowledge the service problems with these, and the latest models have and "Infinium" branded tube protection circuit. The date code on this unit was 1 0 09 pretty close to when the brand was launched.

The experiences documented here occurred 7/30/2011 - so perhaps things have improved? One can hope.

As with many things for this company, this is a good sounding product. Also, as with many things from this company, there are quality issues.

But, I did like the sound. Make it dependable, and I would certainly buy one.
Mimics a Marshall JCM900
See below.
Theres is no value in service problems.

Reviewed by 38 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

A Good Sound Plagued By Build Quality

By dawnpatrol

from Lexington, KY

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great sound for 30 mins

Cons

  • Unplayable after 30 mins

Best Uses

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    I purchased this amp and was very satisfied for the first 30 minutes. The tone was excellent. Very reminiscent of that classic Marshall sound. After the 30 minute marker, the amp started to create this high pitch squeal that eventually fluttered out and then the amp's power was reset. I've read that this is due to an incorrect bias setting. I made adjustments to the bias control, which still resulted in the same issue occurring. I even tried swapping out all the tubes. Still the problem continued.

    I initiated an exchange with Musician's Friend because I really liked the sound, and wanted to keep this amp. The new amp I received had the exact same problems. I searched and scoured the internet for more solutions. But this seems to be a very common problem with this amp. It's sad that these things aren't properly tested before leaving the factory in China. Otherwise, they might be good.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Do your homework and this is a great amp

    By Ray

    from Salem, VA

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    I did a LOT of reading about this amp before buying it. The price seemed too good to be true. I've read a lot of negatives, mostly talking about the amp blowing up on first use. This is because you've GOT to check and fix the bias first. If you don't know how, the instructions are really easy to follow, or just take it to your local music store/amp dude for a tweak. Mine came biased very hot. I fixed it and did a 24-hour burn in on the tubes (other bad reviews talk about the tubes being bad). With this done, I'm riding high with these tones I didn't know I could get. Do your homework, do some setup, and this thing rocks.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Bugera Quality Control?

    By Megafrog

    from East of LA

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Excellent tone
    • Metal monster
    • Very Loud

    Cons

    • Damaged foot pedal

    Best Uses

    • Gigging
    • Practice

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    I have played out with this thing twice and I love the sound. This is a Marshall JCM without the quality control or price. This is a 120 watt beast that will blow out your ear drums. The tone is amazing. I use this for classic rock and metal and I am not disappointed at all. Well worth the money. My only issue with this is the foot pedal was damaged out of the box and doesn't work as well as it should.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Very Good Deal

    By aaa

    from bbb

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Big Output Power
    • Great build quality
    • Great Sound quality

    Cons

    • Need to make sure Bias V

    Best Uses

    • Blues Rock

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    I read reviews carefully before I order this amp. Many problems with bias voltage. So I made sure bias voltage is right as soon as I received it. I put the meter, and guess what? it was too high 63v, no way. I reduced down to 47v. And I am playing about a week now, this amp sound quality is awesome.
    I just want to see how long it will last. Curious about the reliability. If you don't have confidence about dealing with bias voltage, don't buy this amp. However, it is fairly easy to do.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    1.0

    a good doorstop.

    By mr.Lude

    from grand rapids, michigan

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Any Door Open Or Closed
    • It's Heavy And Will Hold

    Cons

    • Channel Sw Stopped Workin
    • NO SUPPORT
    • overheats and shuts off

    Best Uses

    • door stop

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    channel swithing malfunctioned during 2nd use. stuck on clean channel.
    thermal shut down during a gig.
    no one will service it.
    sworn off bugera products for life!
    terrible support.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Classic Sound, Rounds out the edges...

    By A work in progress

    from New England USA

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Amp
    • Great sound
    • Rounds Out The Sound

    Cons

    • Qualitiy Control Issues

    Best Uses

    • Gigs
    • Playing out
    • Studio

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    Great Amp for the money..
    This Bugera 1990 give you great wholesome sound on clean and ruffs it up on lead with great distortion as well. Foot switch included and allows switching between the two channels with one switch and reverb on or off with the other switch.

    On the down side, you may have try a couple or a few before you get a good one.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Finally a good one

    By A work in progress

    from New England USA

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

    This 1990 Bugera really does have the very distictive sound of days gone by.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Bugera 1990

    By rda3fan

    from Eagle Rock Va

    Pros

      Cons

      • none

      Best Uses

        Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

        I bought this amp used,and thus far no problems at all.The amp by itself sounds great on both channels,but I play through a Vox Tonelab multi effects unit,through the clean channel 95% of the time...It works great for me at a much more affordable price than the amp it's patterned after

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Don't buy... EVER!

        By Priest-fan

        from Cape Cod,MA

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Good Tone

        Cons

        • Cheap parts
        • Poor quality
        • Poor warranty

        Best Uses

        • Boat Anchor
        • Door stopper

        Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

        OK... I will now discuss my boat anchor. It is heavy enough, that's for sure and my boat should... what? Oh, what I USED to use it for? Well at one time it was a guitar amp. It had 2 channels, clean and lead. The clean took pedals pretty well if it was set right and the lead channel actually sounded better than the amp it was modeling.

        Now for the terrible truth. This amp is SOOO poorly made. It just stopped working one day. Keep in mind that it already had to be serviced. I was then told by the company (Bugera, not M.F.) that it was out of warranty after 13 months (it comes with a 12 month) and that I should consider buying the new Infinity model which comes with 3 year warranty. I swore right then and there that I would not buy Bugera or Behringer again.

        I own a different amp (hint - airplane town) that is made in China, just like the Bugera. I've had ZERO issues (knock on wood) with it. I have removed both from their chassis and it is like night & day. The other is made VERY well and can even be modded to sound even more killer. As for the 1990, I have seen better PCB boards in a pocket calculator! The Bugera board is paper thin with utter garbage components.

        Don't get me wrong, the amps can sound great. I have tried the 333XL and the unbelievably great sounding Tri-Rec but would not even consider pulling the trigger on either.

        So sad...

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        This amp is junk!

        By keith bresowsky

        from ny

        See all my reviews

        Comments about Bugera 1990 Classic 120W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

        The enclosure was very well built. The control knobs were cheap plastic and flimsey
        This amp was awesome this price for a marshall sound! Could not believe such a great deal. But soon after I recieved it my excitement faded when it came D.O.A. right out of the box! I returned it and got a replacement and it sounded wonderfull just like a marshall! I was thrilled untill 5minutes later it made a high sqweal and cut out! After a few minutes it came back on only to cut out angain and again. I called my local repair shops amd see if they would repair it under a manufactures warrantee
        but none of them were autherized warrantee centers.

        Displaying reviews 1-10

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