Bad Cat Cub 2 vs Dr Z Max 18 Jr vs Matchless Lightning

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MeMota, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. MeMota

    MeMota Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi,

    I've just tried a Bad Cat Cub 2, and was pleasantly surprised.

    I haven't tried a Maz 18 Jr, and there aren't any anywhere near me (or in the country!)

    Matchless Lightning still untried.

    Does anyone have experience with these and can comment on the similarities / differences please? I'm in the market for a new amp and have read good things about these amps, and would love to hear comments from anyone who's tried them.

    (Oh, and in the bonus round, any comments on the Reverb vs Non-reverb versions? Sounded different in the Cub 2)

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  2. ben_allison

    ben_allison Supporting Member

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    Bump for a good topic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  3. MeMota

    MeMota Silver Supporting Member

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    Hmmmmmm, no-one?
     
  4. msgdsrf

    msgdsrf Supporting Member

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    Played a Maz Jr and own a Black Cat. Though not the same output as the Club, it has it's similarities.
    I think Z's have very much there own flavor/tone going own that's different from the Bad Cats with those being more similar to good vintage Vox and the Z's having a more forward cutting mid tone. The BC, more softer.
    Both are great. Wouldn't mind owning both. The Jr, I felt, needed to be wicked up to get the goods the BC's not so much if low volume is something your after. The Z's have a different feel too, I'd say tighter.
     
  5. Big White Tele

    Big White Tele Member

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    Ive had them all, The Z does have its own thing, sounds great, fatter mids, not so sparkly, great with pedals. The BadCat sounds more Hi Fi, Tighter bass, more sparkle, The Lightning is in between, nice sparkle, tight tight bottom end, and great raw tube growl. There all great, and you have to try them to find which suits your needs.
     
  6. Degle

    Degle Supporting Member

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    I've owned the Maz JR, and currently have a Matchless Lightning Reverb 1x12 combo. I have not tried the Badcat. The Maz definitely had more bite than the Matchless. The Matchless is softer and smoother. They are not real similar. As for the reverb in the Matchless, it is OK, but nothing to write home about.
     
  7. Radax

    Radax Member

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    I've had/have 4 Cubs(just 'bout my fav) and 1 Maz Jr., I just can't get the deeper tone from the Maz. Nice Amp but the Bad Cat is more my style.

    Mike
     
  8. MeMota

    MeMota Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys.

    If the Bad Cat's a bit similar to a Vox, then is it possible to describe the Dr Z and Matchless in terms of "known" sounds? They are the two I'm not able to try out at all so it's really difficult. Is the Z a bit more "British" sounding with prominent mids? How about the Matchless?

    I should point out that typically I'm into the scooped mid Fender tones but love a bit of tweed crunch too!
     
  9. impactblue

    impactblue Member

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    I have the Maz 18 Jr with Scumback greenbacks, and as most have said its a mixture of Fender, Vox and Marshall...mainly because it is such a versatile amp. The Maz can have very prominent mids especially with greenbacks, or it can sound very scooped and fendery. To me personally, i would say the Maz is Marshall + Vox.

    Also with the Maz you wont need dirt pedals if you have an attenuator.

    I think the Maz is the cheapest of the 3 amps...so the Bad Cat and Matchless would have to be a hell of a lot better to be worth it!

    Here's a good vid demoing the Lightning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTA0CV6ULtU
     
  10. HeartfeltDawn

    HeartfeltDawn Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly with your description of the BadCat. I've had mine a week and it is very hi-fi, perhaps too hi-fi for my liking.
     
  11. teleache

    teleache Member

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    Never tried a badcat, But love the the tone of the maz 18, Works well with my custom cabinet. I reconed two vintage 25's in an old sano cabinet closing off the top and one of the back slots. I get a huge sound live out with my band with my rig. I reconed one with a 444 55hurts cone and the other with a modern 6402 75 hurts cone, much like the 53h 1777 blue bell cone. love that combo. dial my master in for the club i'm playing and let's rock ! low's and high's in one cabinet. You can hear my cover band with that rig on youtube user name teleache. We do all type of textured rock. try this link:www.youtube.com/user/teleache

    I used a 1995 8mm stereo hi fi camera recoring just the feed from the live mix.
     
  12. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    If you think your Bad Cat CubII sounds a bit too "hi-fi", try better tubes. Even just JJ 12ax7s will sound better than the Rubys on board.

    I have a Cub IIR which I got last year and it is one of the most amazing amps I have heard - most who play it agree. Now I build amps as a hobby so don't own many amps not built by me! The two I do own are both Bad Cats. I find the Cub IIR to be fuller and less sizzly inthe top end than the Matchless eqivalent. I also find the low-end fuller and smoother. The Reverb on mine is excellent if a tad splashy. But it's easy to get it to sound subtle if you want.

    I played a CubII when they first came out and was less than impressed. But the newer version (which I have) blows me away - warm, sweet, clear, perfect biting OD tones, sounds amazing with any guitar I plug into it. I really can't say enough good things about it. It does sound a bit Voxy but much tighter and if anything chimier.

    I haven't played a Maz but my other experiences with Dr Z were less than stellar. But hey, everyone likes something different, so take it all with a pinch of salt.
     
  13. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    Whoa, great thread to pop up now... these are three of the four or five amps I just looked at on my last amp hunt, and I also ended up with the Bad Cat. So far there's been nothing but good things to report. I pulled out the V30 and swapped in a 30W Blue Dog, but I think I'll be reversing that - while I'm not a wild fan of the V30 it might just be the right speaker for the amp.

    Anyway, here's the rundown - I played a Maz 18 reverb and it sounded good. Not great, just good. By itself it was okay, but then I played a Goodsell Super 17 next to it and it was clear I'd never buy the Maz. It had the headroom I wanted but no heart to the sound. It was kind of dry, flat, and 2-D in comparison to the S17 which seemed to be in the warm sweet spot all the way up the dial. A little more headroom and a little less mids, and that Goodsell would have been my amp. I'd still like another crack at the Custom 33 since I think it was the one I liked best besides maybe the Bad Cat. Anyway, they carry Bad Cat at Willie's in St. Paul and they had a used Lightning and a used Spitfire as well, so I tried all three. There was NO comparison - the Bad Cat is exactly as described. Beautifully touch responsive and wonderful 3D cleans. Killer grind when cranked. And with the tone stack options you get, there's a lot of shape available for the sound. Great reverb too. I could not recommend an amp more if you're looking for this sound.
     
  14. bmcmusic

    bmcmusic Member

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    Teleache, I check out the sound of your rig on youtube. Very nice tone.
     
  15. i used to own a CubII NR...........very nice, sparkley, chimey and plenty of volume.
    it didn't like certain overdrives to my ears at times, but it was a great amp and im curious as to how the new ones sound.
    I eventually had to sell it and i started getting into a different style of sound anyway.
    The Maz is nice.........but like all Z's it has the trademark stiffness that you cannot dial out. The eq is kind of flat but they grind nicely when pushed and seem to be pedal platform amps. Ive never been blown away by any of his amps and the controls always felt a little cheap to me.
    The Matchless Lightning is a nice amp, but not much clean headroom at all. Mainly a dirty amp, but a very nice overdrive indeed.
    Very fun.

    I'd go with the Cub all in all.
    And James(owner of badcat) is a decent guy, good customer service.
     
  16. jacobhf

    jacobhf Supporting Member

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    I was talking to James about a custom cub and I was going to go the blue dog route, but after a bit of chatting I figured I leave it to the man's choice speaker.

    I was over at willies and played both the cub and lightning, the cub won out by a long shot. The lightning didn't get to me like the cub did. Plus it loved every guitar I plugged in(tele's, rick's, sg's).
     
  17. MeMota

    MeMota Silver Supporting Member

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    What are the different versions of the Cub II? Isn't it the Cub, then the Cub II, or are there two Cub II's? (Try saying that fast)

    Any differences between the Reverb and Non-Reverb versions of the the Cub II? The sales guy reckons the non-reverb is tighter and simply better
     
  18. jacobhf

    jacobhf Supporting Member

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    You can email james and he should steer you in the right direction.
     
  19. teleache

    teleache Member

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    I've tried a budda,not bad. it's not a Z, too much gain the one i tried. And i played bad cat "what i would call" Enough low end to be a bass amp, Although my Route 66 has lot's of low. No where near the too much iron power transformer bad cats. I think the maz 18's cut control allows for brite alnico's or dark 55 hurtz celestions. Ok, guess i biased to dr. Z.... I have three gain pedals that all work great with the amp. 1: addrock ol' yeller 2: Blackstone appliances mosfet overdrive 3: Aramat soul patch RIP Keith S. All those gains work great with my maz 18. Hear for yourself on the youtube link.
     
  20. shark_bite

    shark_bite Member

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    ?

    There's a pretty even response in the Cub, but according to your first post, you've never played a Bad Cat. Now it's a bass amp?

    Sounds like you are... the Bad Cat has a cut control as well... functions pretty much the same way.

    Of course, to be fair, I'm pretty biased toward the Bad Cat myself, but after putting all these amps up side by side it seemed pretty obvious. I guess it depends on what the OP is looking for, and how he wants to use it. You don't any of the three dimensional cleans from the Maz that you get from the Bad Cat, but based on your clips and the effects you listed, it seems like you pretty much always push it with dirt pedals. In which case the Maz probably is the most appropriate amp of the three. But, if you're looking for big chimey cleans as well as EL84 grind, the Maz really falls short of the others, in my opinion.
     

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