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Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

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  • Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

    just bought one yesterday as a back up head. sounds awesome. 120 watts. and it pushes 4 5881'd really hard. ESPECIALLY for 300 dollars.

    anyway, the guy i bought it from asked me what "ahhmage" my cab was when i tested it....
    yes... "ahhmage". he said a non-existent word wrong. hahaha i couldnt help but laugh out loud. He still sold me the head and noe its his loss. becasue its a steal.

    MY REAL REASON FOR THIS THREAD:

    it runs 5881 power tubes and ec83 preamp tubes. I havent delt with either before. i want a tube that will sound raw, and powerful. and i dont feel like spending over 100 for a retube if i dont have to.

    any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

    FYI: 5881s=lower power 6L6s. You can use most any 6L6 in this amp with a rebias.

    also ECC83 is just the euro term for 12AX7. just make sure you get a blanced triode tube for the PI slot and then any replacement for a 12AX7(5751, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12DW7.) is usable in the slots as well.
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    • #3
      Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

      I wouldn't worry about balancing the PI tube. You aren't looking for max headroom or minimum distortion are you?
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      • #4
        Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

        IMO Marshalls and their clones, be them boutique or el cheapo, sound like crap with 5881s or 6L6s... EL34s all the way.

        Unfortunately, thereīs no real way to retube the pre and power sections without having the retube run about 100$ incl. rebiasing. Unless youīre using cheap, unmatched tubes. However, as much as I hate Bugera and Behringer for their reverse engineered knockoffs and love hearing stories about their failure in critical situations, even they donīt deserve to be tortured in that way. Better to throw the amp off a building instead.

        Bob at Eurotubes sells full retube kits for JCM 900s, hereīs the page... https://ssl.eurotubes.com/cart/index...ategory_id=136

        Side note / personal recommendation: IMO the Backup amp has to be even more robust and reliable than the main amp, as it is essentially the "failsafe" for tours and recording. I personally would want something that makes a good Marshall look like a flimsy Bugera and not the other way around... Just my 2 cents
        Last edited by Zerberus; 12-14-2009, 04:58 PM.
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        • #5
          Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

          Originally posted by Zerberus View Post
          Side note / personal recommendation: IMO the Backup amp has to be even more robust and reliable than the main amp, as it is essentially the "failsafe" for tours and recording. I personally would want something that makes a good Marshall look like a flimsy Bugera and not the other way around... Just my 2 cents


          In that case, I have a peavey Butcher to sell you. It's so heavy and tough that nothing can hurt it. You could set off a nuclear bomb next to it and the nuke would barely scratch it. Of course, the nuke probably couldn't lift it either because it weighs so stinking much...

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          • #6
            Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

            hmm so should i try and bias it myself to accept 12ax7's and 6l6's? those are a lot easier to find. i dont have anything to measure the circuit though..

            annd i bought this mainly for the sound ratio to price. i guess i didnt think about reliability.

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            • #7
              Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

              Originally posted by Kevincharles View Post
              hmm so should i try and bias it myself to accept 12ax7's and 6l6's? those are a lot easier to find. i dont have anything to measure the circuit though..

              annd i bought this mainly for the sound ratio to price. i guess i didnt think about reliability.
              I have the Bugera 333XL and i have had it for about a year never had a problem
              Originally posted by ginormous
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              • #8
                Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                hmm so should i try and bias it myself to accept 12ax7's and 6l6's? those are a lot easier to find. i dont have anything to measure the circuit though..
                !2ax7 are ECC83's like they mean the same thing its like how tube and valve means the same thing one is american the other is UK/European. So all 12ax7's can go in those slots. The 6L6's on the other hand need to be biased properly can't help you with doing it yourself but most amp techs could easily do it.
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                • #9
                  Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                  Originally posted by James Rock View Post
                  !2ax7 are ECC83's like they mean the same thing its like how tube and valve means the same thing one is american the other is UK/European. So all 12ax7's can go in those slots. The 6L6's on the other hand need to be biased properly can't help you with doing it yourself but most amp techs could easily do it.
                  good to know. now i just need to figure out how to bias it...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                    Out of the 900 series they had to copy the Dual Reverb. If anything, a reissue of the MkIII Master Volume (pre SL-X) would be better served.

                    Ah well, good luck with it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                      Dunno about the Bugera but apparently its a JCM 900 clone and you want a raw sound. Even though a lot of 900's used 6L6/5881 tubes my assumption is you want a sound an EL34 can give you. Not much you can do about that under $100 if you combine the cost of modifying the amp and buying the tubes.

                      For 6L6 tubes I'd recommend the JJ 6L6 in particular. To me its the most rock sounding 6L6 out there but that only being because I have only used the JJ and the Tung-Sol reissue 6L6's knowingly. I have "heard" other 6L6's from buddies with Mesas and have played some rectifiers knowing they had 6L6s but not knowing the brand of 6L6 and all of them were the cliche 6L6 sound. Thick and chunky but didnt have that EL34 grind or sizzle. The JJ doesn't have that "sizzle" but it has a good grind to it. Can get pretty rocky to me. That's what I used in my recto when I had it briefly.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                        Originally posted by Kevincharles View Post
                        good to know. now i just need to figure out how to bias it...
                        Just keep in mind that trying to bias an amp when you don't know how can easily result in death by electrocution. It's something best left to amp tech unless one is willing to teach you how it's done.

                        Luckily for me, my gigging amp has an auto-bias circuit.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                          Originally posted by Kevincharles View Post
                          hmm so should i try and bias it myself to accept 12ax7's and 6l6's? those are a lot easier to find. i dont have anything to measure the circuit though..

                          annd i bought this mainly for the sound ratio to price. i guess i didnt think about reliability.
                          Originally posted by Kevincharles View Post
                          good to know. now i just need to figure out how to bias it...
                          1. Preamp tubes donīt need bias adjustments, nor do most amps have any non intrusive way to do this.

                          2. The equipment needed to bias an amplifier properly will cost pretty much the same as haviong a pro bias the amp.

                          3. Tube amplifiers when opened are inherently dangerous appliances that should not be worked on by inexperienced personnel. Rebiasing one is not something you want to "figure out" how to do on the fly, you either already know or you probably shouldnīt be doing it
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                          • #14
                            Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                            I have heard the Ahhmage make pretty good cabinets

                            Not so good with the electricity though...
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                            • #15
                              Re: Bugera 1990, jcm 900 copycat

                              Originally posted by Zerberus View Post
                              1. Preamp tubes donīt need bias adjustments, nor do most amps have any non intrusive way to do this.

                              2. The equipment needed to bias an amplifier properly will cost pretty much the same as haviong a pro bias the amp.

                              3. Tube amplifiers when opened are inherently dangerous appliances that should not be worked on by inexperienced personnel. Rebiasing one is not something you want to "figure out" how to do on the fly, you either already know or you probably shouldnīt be doing it
                              you know, i just noticed a "bias adjust" knob next to the power tubes... hmmmm maybe i can find a manual. i bought it used and the guy tossed it.

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