Category 5 Tempest

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by JZG, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. JZG

    JZG Member

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    Last winter, my desire to acquire a boutique Marshall style amp started to get the best of me. I was looking for something in between an 18 watter and a 50 watter. It also had to have the ability to get some serious crunch without ear bleeding volumes, and an fx loop. After much deliberation and trepidation, I decided to pull the trigger. A couple months ago, I took delivery on my first custom amp - the Category 5 Tempest. The Tempest features two discreet channels - a Volume/Tone channel based on a JTM45/Fender Bassman, and full tone stack Plexi channel with fx loop and footswitchable mid boost. The Plexi channel features the tone stack from Joe Bonamassa's custom Category 5 Plexi. This amp also has Power Scaling and an absolutely killer reverb on both channels.

    This amp is true Marshall glory. I started laughing when I first plugged in because both channels really do sound like a JTM and Plexi respectively. The JTM channel provides a warmer, cleaner tone than the Plexi channel. It makes a great platform for your overdrive pedals, and also works really well when combined with the Plexi channel. The Plexi channel can really get the grease going when you start getting into the 5-8 range on the volume. The mid boost provides what's described as a Dumble-style midrange. I have played the proverbial D-style amps, and I think the mid boost on the Plexi channel delivers on that claim. I also hear a little Matchless C-30 in this channel. Very harmonically rich. Chords just ring out with all kinds of cool overtones. For me, this amp really shines with single coils. My Strat and Nocaster may have never sounded better. Everything I always wanted my Fenders to be. That’s the thing with this amp. It really brings out the best qualities of your instrument. A Strat sounds like a Strat, a Tele sounds like a Tele, and a Les Paul sounds like a Les Paul.

    I also have to mention the great service Don at Cat 5 provided. Always attentitive and patient, and he did a great job keeping me up to date on the amp’s progress. The after sale support has been great too. Keep in mind, this amp didn’t exist when we started discussing the details. The platform was there with their 18 watt Tsunami, but I was looking for something with more headroom and an fx loop for one of the channels. From what I understand, this will be a new model in their amp line. These guys are definitley worth checking out.
     
  2. JZG

    JZG Member

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    A couple of pics.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. The Last Rebel

    The Last Rebel Member

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    Shhh... We can't let everyone else know about the Cat 5's! I'd kill to play one of these, definately one my list of amps to check out.
     
  4. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    I played the Tempest at the Arlington show.:dude
    Actually I played a few Cat 5's and had the "gotta turn down" from a show organizer.lol
    I think it might have been the Tempest I was playing at the time.;)
    Damn,I must suck.Sigh...
    I had a good time with great tone time though.:bow
     
  5. JZG

    JZG Member

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    It's definitely an amp that likes to let everybody know it's in the room.
     
  6. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I was wondering about when Cat 5 was going to start hitting the Gear Page. A couple years ago I asked the guy why he didn't have more of an internet presence, in particular the Gear Page, he said he wanted to build the reputation through artists.
     
  7. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    Hello Riverastoasters,

    Believe I met you in Memphis at the Blues Music awards - you represent Michael Powers , right? Michael played prodigal son through one of our amps at the awards ceremony and at a club afterwards, really cool song, he is a great player!

    We have been busy building the rep through artists, and that has gone very well for us. We added three this month, Mike Zito, Dan Leonard, and Otis Taylor. We had our first company review in Premier Guitar, and we will have amp reviews in Premier,Vintage Guitar, and possibly tonequest in the coming months. We wanted to have a good base built with artists and our production capacity ramped up before we actively marketed the amps. We refused to do mag reviews untill we had more to write about than just another boutique amp co with one model. We are there now, so you should see us pop up alittle more in the mainstream and the internet.

    We also backline the River City Blues Fest(Marietta, Ohio), Blues From the top(Winter Park) and Telluride Blues Fest(along with the Blues Music Awards). Time for us to start leaning into Country, etc.

    thx for checking in and commenting!

    DonR
     
  8. JZG

    JZG Member

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    I'm no artist, but I feel as if I've been treated as one. I know Bonamassa has been playing these amps for awhile. I'm sure his gaining popularity has helped build the brand. The Jimmy Thackery stuff I heard sounded pretty incredible as well.
     
  9. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    777
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    Jason,

    It's been a pleasure working with you on the Tempest. Hope this is just the first of your amps from Category 5.

    Thx for the kind words,

    DonR
     
  10. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

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    Don and Steven make a great product. Very versatile, great tone and clean look. Highly recommended.
     
  11. LilSteve

    LilSteve Member

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    hmmmm, i wanna know more about the Isabelle...sounds like a OD100 killer. I'd rather support local folk too...
     
  12. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Yes that was me. My relationship with Michael is that Baryon Records put out his two albums and a promo live album. The previous time we went with him to Memphis we recorded both at Hopson's Commissary and Rumbottom's but for reasons of a rental vehicle screwup in Newark at the beginning of that tour he only had a Blues Junior, and frankly, even though Michael gets as much out of that as anyone, it's not what we had hoped for. If only you had been around for that Memphis trip.

    It was a pleasure chatting with you in Memphis, and I really did dig your amps given that couple days' exposure. Is the picture of Fiona Boyes in your artists section from that gig before the Blues Awards (with Sean Carney on the bill as well)?

    Nice to see you here on the Gear Page.
     
  13. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    777
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    riverastoasters,

    That Gig was after the awards, at the Pig on Beale Street - and that was Sean Carney playing with her-they tore it up. Mookie Brill was on Bass and Bob Margolan stopped by as well.

    DonR
     
  14. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    777
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    LIL steve.

    JT covered most of it. The Blackface side is VTMB, the Dirty side goes from jtm45 to plexi to jcm800 to Hotrodded jcm with the turn of the gain dial. There is a global presence and power scaling control, seperate effects loops for each channel and a line out(I Think). Getting an authentic tone from each side of the ocean is the real trick with this amp.

    PM me with your contact details and I'll let you know when it is finished:)

    DonR
     
  15. Jay Strange

    Jay Strange Member

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    That seems like one amazing amplifier!!
     
  16. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    777
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    Hello Jay,

    Isabelle is a 90 watt version of Allen-which I think we talked about awhile back.

    Hope all is well in FLA!

    DonR
     
  17. Jay Strange

    Jay Strange Member

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    We did and I gotta tell you I appreciate it so much that you remembered
    that we spoke and even what we talked about!! I'll be in touch!
     
  18. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    777
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    Hey Jay,

    just send me an email don@category5amps.com or call 469-556-3757

    Look forward to talking with you again!

    DonR
     
  19. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Sweet! I'd like to try one sometime!
     
  20. Category 5

    Category 5 Member

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    sickboy79,

    let me know which one you are interested in.

    DonR
     

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