Bugera V22 Infinium Review (2021) – Affordable All-tube Amp

Updated on by Ross McLeod | There may be affiliate links on this page.

The Bugera V22 Infinium is a guitar combo amplifier that packs a powerful punch. The all-tube design of the amp allows it to exhibit authentic vintage rock tones for both live performances and recordings.

Although the V22 Infinium certainly emanates a vintage feel through its tone and appearance, it is also equipped with several modern features. These add-ons provide you with a platform to customize the tone to your liking.

If you’re looking for a great-sounding tube amplifier that isn’t ridiculously large, and can be played at volumes that won’t aggravate the neighbors, the V22 Infinium may be a perfect choice.

In this guide, I’ll dissect the pros and cons of the V22 Infinium so you can decide whether it’s the right guitar amp for your requirements.

Bugera V22 Infinium - Overview

This amplifier is made from the following components:

  • 1x12” Turbosound speaker
  • 3 x 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • 2 x EL84 power tubes
  • Black leatherette housing
  • Onboard reverb unit
  • 3-band EQ
  • Authentic all-tube tone
  • Powerful output
  • Relatively lightweight and mobile
  • Onboard controls for shaping the sound
  • Potentially not loud enough for larger gig venues

Sound & Tone

The Bugera V22 Infinium is powered by the classic combination of three 12AX7 preamp tubes, and two EL84 power tubes. This results in a vintage-style, all-tube tone that wouldn't sound out of place in a rock n’ roll record from the mid-1960s.

The 12AX7s have been specifically selected to provide you with two main qualities. With the gain turned down, they inspire smooth, immersive harmonics. Crank up the gain and you get an aggressive, powerful crunch.

The additional drive provided by the EL84s becomes evident when the amp is used at high volumes. Just when you think the amp has reached maximum power, the power tubes kick into action and turn up the heat even further.

The main reason that all-tube amplifiers are generally preferred by tone-purists is that they are more responsive to dynamics and different playing style.

The V22 Infinium is sonically versatile, responding to the velocity of your playing. The British engineered Turbo sound 12 inch speaker delivers crisp sound quality and hones the natural tube overdrive produced by the 12AX7 and EL84s.

This speaker may not be as large as the ones you find in bulkier tube amps, but it is powerful, nonetheless.

Connectivity

The V22 Infinium provides versatile connectivity options. Bugera designed this all-tube amp to facilitate standard connections and also fitted some additional inputs and outputs to extend its capabilities.

Housed on the top left of the amplifier’s face is the input section. This contains two 6.35mm jack inputs, both of which are useful for creating specific sounds.

The “normal” input will allow your guitar to interact with the preamp and power tubes, and the Turbosound speaker naturally. When using this input, you can expect the classic-driven tones of the British Invasion era.

Next to “normal”, you’ll find the “bright” input. When you connect your guitar to this input, it highlights the high-mid and treble frequencies of the instrument, rolling off the bass end slightly.

The “bright” input essentially acts as a quick EQ preset that you can access at any time. It’s also useful if you use multiple guitars, and find that certain models sound a little too dull.

The V22 Infinium also includes a pair of 6.35mm outputs. These are located on the rear side of the amp and include a switch for tailoring the ohm output. One of the outputs is pre-connected into the amp’s speaker.

Next to the output section, there is an input for the Bugera FSB102A footswitch. This is useful if you need to quickly switch between amp settings or input channels.

Then, there’s the FX Loop section located on the far right-hand side of the amp’s back end. This features a send and return channel, and allows you to send specific effects groups into the amp, ensuring that they sound as clear as possible.

Additional Features

Bugera has installed some useful additional features and tools on the V22 Infinium. These additions are what make this amplifier stand out amongst similarly-priced all-tube combo amps. They include:

  • 3-band EQ
  • Reverb with effect control
  • Infinium Tube Life Multiplier
  • Mode Switch

Firstly, there’s the equalization section. With three bands of EQ controlled by rotary knobs on the front panel of the amplifier, you can quickly increase or reduce the prominence of bass, mid or treble frequencies from the amp's output.

Combined with the aforementioned “bright” input, the inclusion of the 3-band EQ allows you to have complete control over the tone of your guitar when playing through the V22 Infinium.

Along with the EQ controls, Bugera has installed a high-quality reverb. This effect has its independent control, allowing you to add the perfect amount of high-definition reverb to your guitar.

The Infinium Tube Life Multiplier is also worth mentioning. This unique technology is used by Bugera to extend the longevity of the preamp and power tubes within the V22 Infinium.

One of the main issues with tube amplifiers is that the valves do eventually wear away, and need to be replaced. So it’s refreshing that Bugera has done their best to combat this problem and boost the tube’s lifespan considerably.

The technology works by monitoring the performance of the output tubes, and maintaining them at their optimal operating point. The load is evenly distributed, and an LED indicator lets you see when the tube is about to die so that you can replace them on time.

Finally, the mode switch allows you to change between two forms of operation – triode and pentode.

Manufacturer

They may not be household names like Fender or Orange, but Bugera, in their relatively short history, has built a solid reputation amongst musicians.

Founded in 2000, this manufacturer began producing guitar and bass amplifiers. It wasn’t until they introduced the innovative “Infinium” technology that their creations began to reach a wider audience.

It’s a well-known fact that most of Bugera’s amplifiers are the clones of Peavey and Mesa models. This isn’t a bad thing though – Bugera takes the solid and reliable designs of those manufacturers and adds their unique touch to them.

It’s very difficult to find authentic-sounding tube amplifiers at such an affordable price. The materials that Bugera tends to use on their amps aren’t as durable and solid as more expensive models, but that’s why they cost less.

However, the tone and power of Bugera’s amps have won them many fans around the globe, and they are a great alternative to other popular manufacturers.


Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable, all-tube combo amplifier that rivals more expensive models in terms of sound quality and tone, the V22 Infinium by Bugera is worth considering.

With many additional features such as onboard reverb, a 3-band EQ, dual inputs and outputs, and a special technology for extending the life of power tubes, it’s a very capable amplifier.

22 watts of tube-driven power is enough for small and medium-sized venues. It’s also conveniently sized for transportation from the rehearsal room to the recording studio or stage.

About Ross McLeod

Ross McLeod is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. His most recent project is named Gold Jacket, and he is the frontman and bassist of the garage rock band The Blue Dawns with whom he has released 4 EPs and toured extensively.

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