BadCat CubIII = AMAZING.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by shaner1989, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    Guys....this amp. GUYS. for real. THIS AMP.

    Ok, seriously its time for a long review. I have had this amp for about 8 months, first 4 months with an Avatar 1x12 cab (Alnico Gold which i sold because i did not like the way it broke up at all. to harsh, but good cleans) and the last 4 with a Badcat Custom 1x12 cab (bad cat speaker...which is heaven in this amp).

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    Bottom line is that this is really an incredible amp. It is very much like an AC but the grind that it gets when cranked is all Badcat. It has a LOT of headroom, especially for a 15 watt amp, it feels like most 20-30w amps I've played, and stays very clean even with tons of fx hitting the front end.

    I play mostly p&w for my church and other churches every once in a while. The magic of this amp is the K Master circuit. I have read everything on TGP about it, I have read people disputing it, and people praising it, I have read that its life changing and that it makes no difference. here is my experience with it:

    I am blessed to usually play in areas where a cranked amp is not a problem at all, and I run my amp pretty hot and loud, but there are a few times a month where volume is a huge issue (for good and bad reasons alike). ALL my past amps sounded like crap when turned down to appropriate levels in those places. its really depressing dialing in your tone and then playing at a level that fundamentally changes the FEEL and tone of your amp. The Cub III really does an amazing job changing that experience. even at the most ridiculously low levels, it FEELS almost exactly the same. there is no substitute for pushing a speaker really hard, but this is as close as I've ever heard.

    A good buddy of mine has a BadCat Judah that I got to borrow after I had my Cub III for a couple months, I set it up and played loud for a couple minutes, then twisted the master down to around the same level I would put my Cub when needing to keep it quiet...I FREAKED OUT.

    I thought the Judah was broken for a second. the master was turned down to about 9 o'clock, and the tone was just very very different. The amp wasn't broken, nothing wrong with it at all, the master volume was just behaving like a regular master volume. I turned it back up to 12 o clock and got close to what it was running full out, but man, i was SPOILED by the K master. no matter where you set it, the amp responds to your touch the same way, and sounds KILLER.

    ok so TONE. how does it sound? I hate it when people say that any amp sounds "better than *insert brand name here*" too many different amps for different styles and skill levels, but I will say this:

    this amp has everything in it to make you sound as good as you can play. if you are a punk rocker who loves power chords and fun rock licks, the Cub III can compress really smoothly and has enough gain to cover a multitude of sins. If you are an indie player who loves bright chimey finger work, this amp is crystal clear and can be set really clean and nice. if you play p&w like I do and you need to cover rock/blues/indie/folk/jazz and run tons of fx while doing it, this amp has an fx loop and a great front end that gobbles any pedal i throw at it. it is incredibly touch sensitive, and with my tele plugged straight into the front, and the footswitch that controls the preamp tube and the boost, I can go ll the way from clean and clear to solo dirty. it is the first amp I've played that I could gig straight up with. I'm not worried if my pedalboard goes down. sure i won't have delay, but everything i NEED is right there in the amp.

    Here is my signal chain for anyone wondering what works well with this amp, I love all these pedals with this amp!:

    Amer Std Tele->Walrus Audio Deep 6 Comp->Emerson EM Drive->Emerson Paramount Drive->JHS Superbolt->Micro POG->VP Jr(tuner out to polytune mini)->Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay->RV-5->Cub III.

    I also have an Oddfellow FX Caveman V1 that is AMAZING with this thing, I just have been trying some new stuff lately and don't need 4 drives on my board.
     
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  2. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    Great write up. I was looking for a CubIII 40R but I ended up buying a new Black Cat 15R that I found for a good price. I'm still wanting to try one of the Cub IIIs though.
     
  3. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    Me, too.. issue I have is that there's nowhere near here that has them.... the Cub IIIR definitely has my interest though.
     
  4. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I was abouut to buy a Cub IIIR40, but the new 3rd Power British Dream was released in late November 2014, so that is what I decided on.

    However, that K-Master volume is the best idea yet. I love power valve saturation, and that amp sounds great doing it. Congradulations! I love your color combination for the amp and cab! Classy!
     
  5. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    If you can find one to play you gotta try it! the K Master will blow you away. how is the black cat? I have been looking for a more american voiced amp...
     
  6. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    I am going to attempt a recording, see if I can really capture how this thing sounds. I just don't want to throw out another crappy recording that does nothing for anyone and sounds nothing like the amp. i'll post if i get something good!
     
  7. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    Thanks man! black tolex just doesn't do it for me :p how is the british dream? doesn't that have power scaling on it as well? or at least a different type of the same trick?
     
  8. jmontgomery

    jmontgomery Supporting Member

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    It sounds marvelous. The EF86 channel with my Tele is pure bliss :)
     
  9. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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    Where have you been?! Lol
     
  10. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    MMMmmmmMMMmmmmm.....must find. MUST PLAY.

    I wonder how the black cat differs from the classic deluxe....
     
  11. shaner1989

    shaner1989 Member

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    Where have I been? I don't understand....
     
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  12. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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  13. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I'd give it a listen.
    I've tried to find stuff on youtube, but there's not a lot out there.
     
  14. 72Telecaster

    72Telecaster Silver Supporting Member

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    @shaner1989 any chance you've compared the CubIII to a Matchless HC30? Tempted by the Cub due to your description of the master volume and 15 w vs. the HC's 30. (FWIW I do a lot of church music as well and the HC30 is great, just can be too loud sometimes.)
     
  15. bloozeman1

    bloozeman1 Supporting Member

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    I agree its a nice amp. I just traded a bad cat cub III for another Dr Z as I prefer Z better, but the bad cat was a good amp and I noticed its K master circuit is pretty much the same as a Z PPIMV. I think that bad cat may have gotten that idea from Z
     
  16. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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    I can assure you they didn't get that idea from Z. The K Master is a patented design. PPIMV's have been around for quite some time. Both great builders.
     
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