Bad Cat Hot Cat 30 - some thoughts?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by hw2nw, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    hey guys! So I've been looking lately at the Bad Cat Hot Cat 30- I really want to pick up a 2x12 because you can do so much with that amp it seems. Bad Cat's site claims "veritable Class A tone encyclopedia with tones ranging from chimey jangle to full-on distortion all enveloped in a sea of harmonic richness". I played it briefly and I could tell there were some great tones in there, you just need to spend some time dialing in. The linked channels, interactive EQ, and amount of Gain channel options excite me...just wanted to get some thoughts/comments from my favorite gear hounds.

    I'm not a fan of "fizzy" rectifier gain, I really like amps like the jcm800 and my Shiva that respond to picking and excel at medium gain. What my only complaint about the Shiva is is that I can't get a chimey overdrive...it's a dark amp. If you're looking to compare it to something, I already own a Bogner Shiva (EL-34) and my standard touring guitars are an LP Standard and a Standard Tele.


    Thanks guys!

    :JAM :JAM :JAM
     
  2. Eugene

    Eugene Supporting Member

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    I started with the 1X12 combo and while it sounded great, I "upgraded" to the head/2X12 cab and IMHO it sounds much more open. I absolutely love the amp...the clean channel sounds great and can break up nicely with a humbucker-equiped guitar. Of course, the amp can get VERY aggressive sounding and still retain focus (no fizziness here) with the gain channel. There is no farting out with this amp. Of course, blending the channels yields some unique tones as well...

    I agree, you have to spend a bit of time figuring out how to dial it in, but the rewards are well worth the effort. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, its a superb amp and I couldn't be happier with it. Plus, Bad Cat has some of the coolest covering options around!:D

    Here's a link to a pic of my amp. BTW - I have the non-reverb model and I don't feel that I'm giving anything up by not having it.

    Good luck...I don't this you can go wrong with this amp.

    Eugene

    http://www.fatsoundguitars.com/gallery/amps/images/hotcat30-212cab-sparkle-eugene_lg.jpg
     
  3. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i have a similar setup. head and 2x12 cab. i have the reverb model though. i think for the mid switch alone, it is worth getting the extra. its also nice not to have to use an a/b/y box when you can just use the internal box. i really like this amp. i think it has more gain than the shiva but it very usable for great cleans, high gain or anyhting in between. i have found it works best with the new bad cat speakers from celestion.
     
  4. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    ooooohhh.....so pretty :)

    Can you dial in some creamy, articulate tones for arpeggiated passages and U2-style leads? That'd be amazing. And does it take pedals well?

    I was going to look for a 2x12, and if I couldn't find it a 1x12 (those seem to be the most popular). I've never gigged with a 1x12 before, so I'm not sure if I'd like such a narrow sound scope. Maybe I'm terribly wrong :)

    Thanks for your feedback!
     
  5. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    just so you know. the head is incredibly heave. i dont know if i could lift a combo without throwing out my back.
     
  6. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    I've had mine for almost three years now, it's a 112 non-reverb model. It's a fantastic amp in all regards, some of my favorite tones are had by using an aby pedal (Lehle) to combine the channels. I don't even play it with much gain, it sounds great with just a bit of dirt and blend in the clean channel--I can get some huge tones this way, quite Vox-like in my opinion. Yes, it will do creamy lead if that's what you want. It's articulate as hell too. Never used it w/pedals. To be honest I haven't found much it can't do, although I am looking at adding a Trem Cat maybe next year. . .My advice is go for it, you won't be sorry.
     
  7. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    I'd recommend getting the newer model with the Mid switch if you like clean tones. This amp is awesome and articulate from low to huge gain but the clean channel on the old model made me sell mine. The newer model is supposed to be much more versatile on the cleaner side.
    Maybe a TremCat would suit you...I use an Engl RB Sig model now.
     
  8. v-verb

    v-verb Supporting Member

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    If mine had a mid control I would still have it
     
  9. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    I've been considering a 30R... anyone have any clips (besides the ones on the Bat Cat site)?
     
  10. Eugene

    Eugene Supporting Member

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    Yes, the amp can be very creamy and articulate. As others have indicated, you don't need to dime the gain to get VERY aggressive tone. However, the amp can be pretty subtle as well. I have the Bad Cat A/B/Y switch and it works great...it really lets you tap everything the amp can do.

    The only pedal I run into it is an analog SIB Echodrive and it sounds great.

    As with all Bad Cat/Matchless amps, they are heavy. The 1X12 combo is quite a handful, but a 2X12 combo would be back-breaking (and I'm in good shape). I like the flexibility/portability of the head/cab set-up. If you do go that route, DEFINITELY go with a Bad Cat cab....the amps really do sound best with their own cabs. That said, the 1X12 combo packs quite a wallop and sounds considerably larger than its size.

    I guess all you need to do now is pick what color sparkle tolex you want to go with!:D

    Stu at Fat Sound knows all about the Bad Cat line. That's who I bought mine from and he'll take the time to make sure you get exactly what you're looking for.

    Keep us posted!

    Eugene
     
  11. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    hmmm..yeah this sounds great. Wasn't sure if it would be more articulate/responsive than my Shiva. If it is...man I think that's the one :)
     
  12. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    also anyone else know what the wait is if I order direct? I think I want a Hot Cat 30R 2x12 in THIS finish.
     
  13. TimH

    TimH Member

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    I don't know why know one has mentioned this yet but here it goes. I had a 2x12 combo for a bit and my main beef was that the amp seemed a bit buzzy to me at lower volumes. Now, some might not find that bad but to me, at bedroom levels (I'm a gigging musician but I used my amps at home as well) the amp was not very pleasant sounding. It really had to be above 10'oclock on the volume dial to sound great. There is was awesome. Anyway, just my .02.
     
  14. bobbtoz

    bobbtoz Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a shiva and a new Hot Cat 30R head. I would say the hot cat is definetley more responsive than the shiva. I do like the shiva cleans slightly better but the hot cat has a way better od channel and it sounds great from light gain all the way up to metal. As you turn the volume up you really notice the seperation between the hot cat and the shiva. With all that said, the shiva is a great amp and at bedroom volumes it sounds almost as good as the hot cat, but it needs to me boosted by an OD pedal.
     
  15. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    I found this out to some degree when I tried one in a store. However, being a 30w amp it will get turned up at the gig for sure.
     
  16. Shark Sandwich

    Shark Sandwich Member

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    hw2nw--that turquoise color is very cool. Bad Cat has a new grill cloth called "light gold" that I think would look better than the grill cloth in that picture, which is their standard gold cloth, just my opinion.
     
  17. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Hmmm...I'll check it out at NAMM.

    Anyone with a username from Spinal Tap is pretty kickass in my book :BluesBros
     
  18. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    do you think with the 'edge' knob it can sound good at lower volumes?
     
  19. alguit

    alguit Guest

    I have a Hot Cat 30 head which I plug either into a Zinky 2x12 cab, a PRS Harmonic Generator 4x12 or an old 70's Marshall 4x12. The clean channel alone on the Hot Cat is considerable; it truly sparkles, even in a closed-back configuration, and the drive channel, as long as it can be pushed a little, is very thick and controllable.

    I have found that even for a thirty watt amp that I need to push it a bit to get it to give up its goodies; it's great on gigs where I can do that, but on others, where the soundman keeps saying, "keep it low on stage, and I'll pump you more through the system (such an old lie, and such a seemingly difficult thing to achieve to everyone's satisfaction), the lead channel retains too much upper-mid bite and not enough low-end mass (though this is not the amp's fault, just the nature of sound).

    My Carr Slant 6V sings and blooms much better at lower volumes; 6V6 amps tend to sound great, though, at lower levels.

    Ultimately, if you're going to gig with a Hot Cat and be able to turn it up a little (not cranked, by any means, but just to get the volume at around ten o'clock), it's an amazing piece of equipment.
     
  20. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Hmm. I play in a loud rock 4-piece band. There should be some decent room to turn it up. I gotta see how loud 10 o'clock on this Bad Cat really is. Can't you just turn up the edge knob to get a little more power tube power in there? Hmmm.
     

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