Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R vs Fuchs 30 ODS-SLX?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AJ Love, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Can you knowledgeable folks compare and contrast these two amps? I'll be buying one of these two heads later this year... I'll be playing a Lentz L-90 guitar with a T bridge pickup and a P-90 in the neck... I play alot of blues and blues rock influenced by SRV and Jimi but I also count high gain cats like Van Halen and Vai as influences too

    I'm not necessarily wondering which one is better per se, just hoping for some contrasts and comparisons... clean tone is somewhat of a secondary consideration for me, I want an amp that can SCREAM with bigtime sustain, and harmonics jumpin' off like sparks from a fire, without having to use an Overdrive pedal
     
  2. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    either could probably do that equally as well but differently.


    thats good because you'll get as many opinions on that as you will replies. haha

    i own the hot cat 30r and love it. from the clips ive heard of the fuchs (which most were great) im thinking these amps are very very very different sounding
     
  3. scottl

    scottl Member

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    Apples and oranges I think........ Both well received. I think you'd need to play them.
     
  4. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Definitely a hearty +1. They both have great sustain, harmonic complexity, and that tubey richness to them...but they do it differently. To compare these two, you really got to give it a go.

    I went to your website and checked out some descriptions of your playing, etc. If I were you I would lean more in the Fuchs direction (and this is coming from a Bad Cat nut) for that really soulful singing blues/rock tone.
     
  5. glasman

    glasman Guest

    Probably kind of like comparing a Dumble to a Trainwreck with respect to sound.


    Gary
     
  6. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to check out my site... apples and oranges were mentioned by Scott L... I'm wondering (hoping) y'all might be willing to try to describes the differences in those apples and oranges :YinYang

    If the Fuchs excels in a soulful singing blues/rock tone, what does the Bad Cat excel at? Can one play some soulful singing blues/rock on a Bad Cat?

    Part of the appeal (to me) of a Bad Cat is that maybe it sounds a little different from the typical killer blues/dumble sound... while I love Stevie Rave On I don't want to try to sound just like him... etc etc yadda yadda

    I appreciate the replies so far
     
  7. Fretmaster

    Fretmaster Member

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    I owned the first Hot Cat 2x12 combo to come out of the factory a good while back. I owned it for a few years and never ceased to be amazed by how good it sounded. The Hot Cat has a very Marshallish tonal character but much tighter and more refined. Also extremely touch sensitive and a little more overall midrange. All good things in my book. The cleans, while not “black face” by any means where very good for blue and or rock. While the Hot Cat is capable of gobs of gain it’s not quite the same type of gain as say Van Halen. It’s a little darker and again much more refined almost to the point of hifi. The lead tones are thick and articulate and the string to string definition even in first position chords is amazing. The amp kinda reminds me a little of an AC50 a little too. But definitely more Marshall than anything.

    The ODS30SLX. is extremely organic and raw in comparison. Where the Hot Cat is chunky and refined the ODS30 is searing, smooth and harmonic as hell. The ODS30 is very touchy feely but not quite as dynamic as the Hot Cat. Another words I quess you would have to say the ODS is slightly more compressed when running a lot of gain. To my ears the ODS30SLX has a much more appealing lead tone. Very few amps I’ve ever owned or played have had the type of inspiring feel and tone the ODS30SLX has when soloing. The Hot Cat is slightly better for rhythms with a chunkier more bottomy rhythm tone. But the ODS30 while maybe not quite as good at rhythm has a lead tone that sits in the mix and sounds fuller while maintaining amazing clarity than about any amp made.

    I guess you could kind of make a generalization that the Hot Cat is clearly on the British end of the spectrum and the Fuchs clearly and strongly Dumble influenced. Both are more than capable of amazing tone and playability. But these two amps are more than enough different to be in two completely different camps IMHO. I agree strongly with the above suggestions that you try them each for yourself before making a decision. But if you are in a situation where you absolutely have to make the choice without playing either in person then I would first suggest (though don’t ever base you entire decision on them) that you listen to the clips of each on their respective websites. I think it’s also safe to say that if your playing style is strongly rock rhythm style playing with solos mixed in then the Hot Cat may be more appealing to you. If you are going to be playing in the mix or are very much a soloist looking for a truly searing and incredibly musical lead tones then the ODS is probably going to be your better choice. Tough choice for sure, although I would venture to say either one will make you happy. It’s just a matter now of figuring out which one will make you the happiest. ;)
     
  8. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Thanks very much, fretmaster, for such a detailed response...

    I am more of a lead player, most definitely... and recording in a high studio will be a priority for me later in the year
     
  9. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    Fretmaster put it really well in this generalization. Also I think the Bad Cat clips on the site don't do the Hot Cat justice, there are just SO many different gain tones. I've heard it called a Class A Encyclopedia, I can definitely tell why when I tweak knobs on one. Also, you need to check out the Hot Cat's channel blending- my favorites tones are mixing the clean and OD channels together. Wow! Also, both of these amps get better as you turn them up! Concert volume is where they really ROCK! If you like that nice raw Marshally bark with an almost Voxy high-end extension, go get a Hot Cat and enjoy it! If you like the smooth Dumbly texture in the mix, go Fuchs it up! :D

    I'm excited to hear what you choose.
     
  10. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    if you want to check out one (of many) classic hot cat tones. check out the song wedding nails by porcupine tree. but dont think thats the only tone
     
  11. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    It almost sounds like I need one of each in order to record a truely killer album that would feature a variety of tones! :)

    Unfortunately, at least in the forseeable future, I'm only gonna be able to afford one of those bad boys...

    Are either one of them better at (somewhat) lower volumes? Of course I'll be able to turn up in the studio, and I'm going to get to play some small theatre and outdoor festival shows, but I'll also be playing some small to mid-sized clubs too...
     
  12. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    I'm kind of digging some of the Radiohead-esque sounds on In Absentia from the iTunes previews! Maybe I'll pick this one up...
     
  13. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    it's definately a must own albumn. check out deadwing as well .
     
  14. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Am I correct in my thinking that the Hot Cat has a little more gain/sustain on tap?
     
  15. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    IMHO, yes. Definitely more gain. Sustain is a closer call, but I'd still go Hot Cat.
     
  16. Berre

    Berre Member

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    well I owned a Bad Cat Hot Cat head for 2 years, did great recordings with it (if you want i can send MP3 samples...) but live the Hot Cat just couldn't cut through, the singer in our band who also plays guitar uses a
    AC30 or a Marshall JCM 800 and it's my opinion that the Vox or Marshall and the Bad Cat work to much in the same frequencies... so it didn't work for me..

    I ended up selling the Bad Cat and bought a Fuchs ODS 50, now that's something else, this amp cuts through everytime with every gig I do,
    did not use it in the studio yet, but i'll bet it's gonna smoke !!

    I always get great feedback from people about my sound, and our sound engineer was the first who came up to tell how good it sounded in the mix....

    me like it !!!

    bert :JAM
     
  17. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    fretmaster, great response.Good info for those of us who have not been able to play one or both.Thanks
     
  18. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    PM sent on those clips. I'd love to hear em. IMHO I've found that Bad Cats sound really good in the mix with Matchless and Vox amps, and if not dialed completely high-gain, also fare well with most vintage Marshally tones. Definitely depends on cabs and settings though for sure.
     
  19. darkbluemurder

    darkbluemurder Member

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    I bought a Hot Cat 2x12'' two years ago. Mine does not have reverb. My original intent was to buy an amp which could do the AC 30 tones and have a sustaining lead tone. While the Hot Cat has the latter and also has a nice clean tone it fails in the bright crunch department IMO. Nothing remotely similar to an AC 30. The lead channel only sounds good to me if you set the gain at about 2 pm and the level at 12 am. Below that it loses too many highs. I also find it difficult to set the tones with the bass and treble controls since at their extremes they scoop the midrange in an unusual way. In addition, the OD channel does not clean up well when you turn down the guitar volume - the tone just mushes out. Dynamics - maybe some mistake punch for dynamics - the amp has lots of punch but to me it does not seem very dynamic. My definition of good dynamics is that the amp follows your playing exactly and lets every nuance - be it good or bad - come through. The Hot Cat just doesn't do that on the OD channel IMO.

    The build quality is excellent. Noise level is well acceptable for an amp with this much gain. One problem I have is that there are no upgrades reasonably available if you are outside the US. E.g. I was told that there were no authorised dealers in Germany to perform upgrades to the Hot Cat 30. So even if you want a simple upgrade like the midboost of the Hot Cat 30R (which would probably only entail to replace one pot with a push/pull pot) you would have to ship the amp forth and back to the US or void the warranty by letting someone in Germany perform the upgrade :( Also I am not sure what the designer had in mind with the channel switching by not making it a remote switching.

    I have not yet played an ODS 30. I have played an ODS 100 and really liked it. I modified my Deluxe Reverb II to a *umble clone and I definitely prefer the sounds I am getting from this little guy over the Hot Cat. Besides the Hot Cat with the 2x12'' speakers is quite heavy. But as many have correctly stated in this thread these amps are totally different animals.

    BTW if anybody wanted to swap their Fuchs ODS or TDS combo for my Hot Cat I would seriously consider that ...
     
  20. mdog114

    mdog114 Member

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    I don't mean to bring back such an old post, but I've got some questions, and having read some of the posts from my "Fuchs" search, this seemed like a good one to start with.

    I've been playing a Hot Cat 15 for the last 2 years and I just love the thing. It's got that magic that pairs well with my playing style perfectly. I'm a big fusion-fan, and the tones of some of the favorites I see here (Henderson, Landau, Ford et al) are something I don't really seem to be able to nail with the HC15. I love the rawer, R&R/Blues type sounds I get, but the tones from the examples given seem to be allusive at best.

    In addition, the only complaint about the HC15, and it's not really a biggy in most venues, is clean headroom. The bigger rooms need a little more clean HR and I can't get it loud enough before the sweet-ass break-up occurs.

    I've been doing a lot of research on an addition to my amp arsenal and I'm leaning towards the 6v6 version of the ODS slx. I really like what I've heard, but the 6v6 is not a valve I've ever had in an amp. I've played through a Fender Deluxe Reverb before and thought it sounded good, but I'm not sure if it had the headroom I'm looking for. Also, does the DR use 2 tubes or 4 for their 22 watts?

    The OD sounds like it'll be just the ticket for the fusiony tone, but I guess my main question is, does thie amp do the rests. It sound logical to me, but it's always nice to hear what the experts have to say.
     

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