The back panel
Taking into account that this is not considered a top-of-the-line model, it’s clear that it doesn’t need to come with the best features out there. However, it’s impressive how much it has to offer when you look at the multitude of features and effects found on its back panel. A lot of amps from the same category don’t have all of these, but this one does.
You get a line input, so if you want to run the feed from another amplifier or an MP3 player, for example, you can do that through there. You then get the FX Loop panel where you can make small adjustments if you want to kill the overall level a bit and reduce the noise.
A really interesting feature is the emulated output, in which you can run headphones, but you can also use it to run the amp straight to a recording interface. On the same panel, you have a selection for 1 by 12 or 4 by 12 emulated cabinet, which is a nice feature for an amp head like this.
You finally get the power attenuator that lets you run the amplifier at the full 5 watts, or at lower power.
The built-in reverb can sound really nice if you can get it to the right position, but otherwise, it can get really heavy. You will definitely need to back it off to a 3 o’clock position or even lower for it to sound nice. It’s a digital reverb and that’s why it’s not something you will want to praise this amp for.
If you really need reverb in your sound, plugging in a pedal would do a much better job and will help you get the tone you want. Given that it’s an amplifier made for recording, that shouldn’t be much of an issue though.
Main features explained
Given that this is a two-channel amplifier, we will be discussing its sound in two separate parts. First, let’s talk about the clean channel, which is a simple, straightforward part of the amp with just a tone and a volume knob. You can’t expect the cleanest sound here, and it’s not the kind of amp that can compete with a clean Fender model.
However, it does do well when coupled with pedals, as it doesn’t offer much colorization of its own. This can be declared as a common theme for this amp – although it offers some sound modification, it doesn’t change the sound all that much. You won’t find extreme tonalities here.
Using single-coil pickups you will see that the sound will start to break up at around 7 or 8 on the volume wheel, or 6 to 7 if you’re using humbuckers. The single tone knob doesn’t change that sound all that much and you won’t find yourself listening to something that is too dark or too bright. The good thing is that you can always dial to the amount of brightness you want.
Moving on on the front panel you will find that the Morph EQ function does nothing when it comes to affecting the clean channel. And this is where we move on to the drive channel, which is the part where the amplifier really shines. It has the ideal modern crunch, and you can get plenty of gain from the corresponding knob.
The EQ will offer enough flexibility, although the separate knobs for treble, mids, and bass don’t seem to affect the sound all that much. Leaving them around the middle area should result in a decent sound for most applications. Brighter or darker sounding guitars might need a finer readjustment of the treble knob.
After many years of intense testing and design, the Infinium Tube Life Multiplier Technology can now be used through this amp and it has been created to extend the lifespan of your device’s power tubes by 20 times. This means that you will save a lot of money while ensuring the integrity of your tone in the long run.
This brand-new technology monitors the performance of each of the output tubes automatically and in a continuous manner, and drivers it towards the desired operating point dynamically, so that the load is evenly distributed. Compensating against aging effects, the technology adjusts the current levels so that the tubes sound as good as new.
You could find similar technology in systems used for all-wheeled cars, where the power needs to be modulated to allow each wheel to get its own traction power. In that sense, you can consider the Infinium technology as the 4-wheel drive system for your guitar.
This series from Bugera will help you when it comes to replacing old tubes. Usually, you will have to guess when a tube is close to the end of its lifespan, or if you’re an experienced player you would feel it. However, with the new technology, Infinium amplifiers use an LED positioned next to the tube, and when the end of the tube is near, the LED starts brightening up.
With this feature called auto-bias, you just have to replace the indicated tube, without having to go to the repair shop. This will save you time and money. Being an exclusive feature of Bugera amplifiers, the Infinium technology is a breakthrough from a design and manufacture perspective, as it can offer incredible reliability and a more consistent sound over the course of more years. The tubes will act more predictably and will operate at optimal levels.
When analyzing this amplifier, front, and back, you can see that there are plenty of knobs that should allow you to have control over the sound, from the level of reverb to the EQ settings. Starting with the Morph knob, this one is meant to give you the possibility to choose between a British and an American sound, or anywhere in between.
It’s not something that’s easy to observe, but British amps tend to have a more powerful midrange, while American amps come with a “scooped” midrange. You might sense that turning the knob in either direction gives the amp an overexaggerated shift in the mids, but it all depends on your style and how you like your guitar to sound.
It’s probably best if you leave it somewhere in the middle, as that is probably the nicest sounding point. The same could be said about the EQ knobs that let you control everything from the treble to mids and bass. This is an amplifier that can be used for recording and if that is the reason you are using it you might sometimes use some treble extremes when adding extra guitar layers over the initial piece, just to create a fuller sound.
Amongst the list of tone-shaping options, you have the Infinium high-definition reverb that can add the finishing touch to a signature sound. You have a dedicated control knob on the front panel, and this allows for subtle changes. Furthermore, the convenient built-in power attenuator will let you choose between the full 5 watts of power or, if you wish, you could operate it at 1 watt or even 0.1 watts.
If you prefer hearing everything through a pair of headphones so you can monitor everything more efficiently, the G5 lets you do that.
This amplifier has been transformed into a great device for recording purposes, and at its basis of it all, it can offer some really nice tones. It is known that the Bugera amps got off to a rough start when they were first produced, and the first versions of their amps had quality control issues.
Most of the time you would have problems with them overheating, and although that was only a problem with some of them, the brand had to suffer for that. However, this is the Infinium series, and by the time the company got to producing these series, it had the time to work out all the bad aspects.
One of the main thing that beginners or even experienced guitarists may question is the power – 5 watts doesn’t look like too much, and you can’t really play a show with that. Despite that small number, this small amp is still capable of blasting high-volume sound that can make you heard even in heavy metal bands when you’re rehearsing.
The amp has no problem keeping up with the other members of the band in terms of volume, even in loud rehearsals. Of course, if you take this amp to a show it would be miked up through a PA and it would have no trouble being used in live events.
This is a straightforward amp that works on two channels. On the front panel, you get the classic level control for the reverb, which is built-in. The next section controls the shared EQ between the clean and the overdrive. Some say that the next section, the Morph knob, has been “stolen” from Blackstar amplifiers that come with IFS control – this knob should change the overall tone of the amplifier if you want to change its sound from a more British to an American one.