Excellent Value, Exceptional Tone
This is quite possibly the best tube amp one can buy under five (maybe even six, seven) hundred dollars. Cosmetically, it's an attractive looking amp, somewhat resembling a boutique amp that costs 15x as much. As for controls, the Bugera V22 comes packed with many different options including a drive channel, EQ (bass, middle, and treble), mid boost, presence control, and a usable digital reverb. As for tones, this amp is impressive. Despite being 22 watts, it's a very loud amplifier. The V22 has qualities that are reminiscent of both Fender and Vox amplifiers but the V22 retains its own tonal character. The clean channel is beautifully clear for a low-wattage EL-84 based amp. The amp can easily conjure up great vintage rock, smoky blues, and country-flavored tones within minutes. The V22 also features a bright channel and a pentode and triode mode as to not wake the neighbors or provide new means to experiment with volume and pushing the amplifier at a reasonable master volume. The amplifier also takes pedals incredibly well and has an effects loop.
There do exist some issues but they are mostly minor. While the V22's drive channel is usable, it does lack a certain punch and can seem a little fizzy at times. However, this is nothing that adding a tube screamer or overdrive pedal can't fix. Also, I highly recommend having the stock tubes in the amplifier switched out by someone who knows how. One of the stock Chinese tubes went microphonic within minutes of unboxing and playing. A set of JJ's really opened up the dynamics. While the amplifier allowed me to dial in single-coil guitars (strat, tele) easily, humbuckers proved more challenging (Les Paul, Epiphone Dot). Given time, however, I found settings that I enjoyed for humbucker-based guitars. Also, the V22 is not an amplifier for the metal crowd. It's a vintage voiced rocker not a high-gain destroyer. The Bugera line of amps also have a notorious reputation for subpar quality control but I have not experienced any issues (other than the microphonic tube probably caused by shipping) in the eight months I have owned the V22. From reading others reviews, it seems as if Bugera has done much to improve the reliability of their products.
In conclusion, despite some (fixable) issues, the V22 is an affordable and impressive amplifier that has a variety of different tonal options and features. I tested the V22 against a Vox AC-15cc and felt the Bugera easily went toe-to-toe with that amp and even bested it in many regards. Dont be fooled by the fact that it doesn't have a popular or boutique company name plate bolted onto the speaker cloth. The Bugera V22 is a seriously underrated (and maybe even under appreciated) amplifier that can benefit new and seasoned guitar players alike.