Dr Z Maz 18 vs Bad Cat Cub II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by impactblue, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. impactblue

    impactblue Member

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    Which would you pick and why???
     
  2. relix63

    relix63 Supporting Member

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    Are you looking at the reverb versions of these amps? I think the price jumps significantly on the Cub II when you add reverb. Not sure if that matters or not to you.
     
  3. ScioBro

    ScioBro Supporting Member

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    which would YOU pick and why?
     
  4. relix63

    relix63 Supporting Member

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    I prefer the Cub II by a big margin but I've been a fan of Matchless/Bad Cat for some time. I'm sure I'm in the minority but every Z I've played was too bright. They just haven't worked with my Strats. Clips I've heard have been great but they don't work for me.

    To me, the Cub sounds big and open. Can be bright but can be controlled.
     
  5. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    I had a Hot Cat 30R for a couple years and still own my Maz 18 Jr NR. I found just the opposite regarding the two amps. It was hard to tame the brightness on the Bad Cat, but between the Cut and Treble knobs on the 'Z', I could make my Strats sound like big, fat, dark, smokey jazz boxes or thin, bright Teles. In fact, of all the amps I own, when I want a thick, dark tone with tight piano-like lows, I go for the Maz 18.
     
  6. impactblue

    impactblue Member

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    I haven't played either so I cant really pick myself! All i know is the Maz 18 demo on the Dr Z site is wicked....I prefer no reverb in both amps...

    Other than that they seem similar? The bad cat looks cool coz of the glowing logo.

    But tone wise I'll need the help of you guys to help me decide!
     
  7. Having owned a Cub for a few years, and played the Maz18 a couple times, i will say the Cub is more ballsy sounding and thicker.
    It chimes more in my opinion as well.
    Not saying its better though.
    However, with the Maz, like ALL Z's, there is a stiffness to it that i just never liked.
    Its part of the sound/feel of their amps.
    The Cub has a nice clean sound as well.
    I will say that the Maz probably takes pedals better though. But thats just my ears.
    Actually, just go with the Cub, lol.
    They are built incredibly well and James(the owner) over at BadCat usually answers the phone when you call and is helpful.
     
  8. impactblue

    impactblue Member

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    Thanks mate =)

    Do you know what the price difference is bewteen the two? Both non reverb models.
     
  9. No, i dont know exactly.
    Probably around $500.
    Just do a search online.
     
  10. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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  11. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    I would buy neither in Australia. I would call a builder in the USA and buy twice as much amp for half the money. Or, alternatively, I would buy a Ceriatone chassis, and put it in a nice hand-made cab for about $1K. In in Oz too, so I know what the economics are here.
    I have a Bad Cat HC 30, but only because the dealer was totally over the Bad Cat distributor, and sacrificed my amp at well below cost to clear the floor.
    If you PM me, I can point you in the direction of people in the US I would deal with. They will put a switchable 110/240v tranny and a standard computer cord connection, so there are no power issues. Many builders do that anyway, so their artists can tour Europe easily.
     
  12. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    A good part of that is due to the #6 GT-EL84S Zaite uses stock. By going with a lower hardness rating, you can get as loose as you want. I've tried #3 and #4 and they sound and feel fabulous in the bedroom. However, at gigs, the #6 is perfect and anything less gets too soft and more easily lost in the mix. 'Z' builds his amps for the stage!
     
  13. Dave_C

    Dave_C Supporting Member

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    The other thing I'd consider is customer service. I had horrible customer service with Bad Cat and excellent service with 'Z'. Bad Cat also tends to get a little flaky with mods from batch to batch. You can play two samples of the same amp, sitting side-by-side in a store, and they can sound totally different. Their layouts are also typically extremely congested and can be a nightmare to work on. (Check out the recent pics in GP. My Bad Cat was even worse!) I know one very popular high end boutique store who stopped carrying Bad Cat for all of those reasons and more.

    Conversely, 'Z' does his R&D before going into production so his amps from 10 years ago are still the same today. I've talked to Mike about this and he says it's not for lack of development, which he is constantly involved in (as is attested by his steady introduction of new models), but it's more a reflection of the perfection of the original designs. That's why you don't see people modding 'Z's, which is so common with Fenders, Marshalls and so many boutique amps. 'Z's layout is also open and sparse and extremely easy to work on. Once again, check the recent GP article.
     
  14. Bad Cat always had excellent customer service with me.
    Anyway.
    The OP needs to play both himself and decide.
    End of thread.
     
  15. LocustXReign

    LocustXReign Member

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    +1. James at Bad Cat has been nothing be a delight to work with and I'm can recommend them with all of the confidence in the world.

    As for the wiring, I would have to say my Lynx's guts are some of the most organized I've ever seen and I've never heard a single person comment on Bad Cats being difficult to service, mostly because the majority of them don't really need to be serviced aside from fresh tubes.

    I've never heard of ANY consistency issues with them either for that matter. I know two other people with Lynx and the two of theirs sound identical. I've never heard mine next to it, but I'm sure if I was to plug into theirs it'd be the same story.

    Just my two cents.
     
  16. 1969spacecowboy

    1969spacecowboy Member

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    I have owned the maz 18 for two years now and just played through the cub 2 yesterday. These amp's our different in feel and sound. The maz 18 to me is a very straight forward great plug in and play while using your guitar controls to change the character of the amp kind of sound. The maz 18 is very alive and dynamical sounding. I use prs custom 22 & 24's with dragon 2's and hsp's and a custom shop telecaster with four way switch with wicked tele neck custom wound bridge. I never get tired of the sounds that I can achieve with just a single channel amp. This amp also likes pedals very well as long as they are high quality ones. The cub reminds me of my Tremoverb Mesa Dual rectifier in a since. What I mean is there's a lot of switching options. Not as much as the Mesa though. The cub 2 is el84 vs el84 on the maz. My mesa is both el34 and 6L6. The cub I tried had a lot of different sounds with a very strong reverb which can be tamed down with a mini toggle. Theres a mini toggle for choice of master volume or no master also. The cub seemed noisy in some settings which was a little dis heartening. The cub I tried had a rotary knob that seems to change the eq of the amp probably good for different pickups and guitars. I haven't owned a bad cat product ever and would be strongly interested in buying this amp or another model. I understand that the Cub II can be bought with options such as tremolo, bass treble boost cut, five way rotary, higher wattage, etc. I don't know enough about this amp yet to give it a strong opinion, but did enjoy playing through it. Owning both these amps would be a true pleasure. One could multi amp or use alone when wanting something different to play through. I personally think owning either of these amps would be a lot fun and both would be very useful for recording. In conclusion I still like my Dr. Z partly because it was a special time in life for me when I purchased it. I do however really dig the Bad Cat CubII. This amp is something very different and very cool sounding!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  17. noserub

    noserub Member

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    I played both the other day at a small music store. I was in an isolated room with no one else playing so I think I got a good feel for them, but I only played them for about 20 minutes each... so take this comment for what it's worth. Maz 18 was new and the Cub II was used.

    These amps are very different. I went in looking for something a bit darker, but for some reason I much preferred the Bad Cat Cub II to the Maz 18. The Maz had a loud buzz going on at fairly low volume. It did have a nice rich sound to it with some nice dirt when digging in (nice reverb)...but it seemed noisy and didn't have the clarity and articulation that the Cub II had. The Cub II was very bright (with a tele), sounded beautiful...had reverb, but it was pretty intense and I had to scale it down to a really low setting. I was very happy with the sound of the Cub after 5 min, but never got the Maz where I wanted it to be after 20. Not saying the Maz is bad in any way, it was just harder for me to find what I was looking for at the time.
     
  18. tst3v

    tst3v Member

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    Old forum... but I wanted to bring it back because I'm in this position now: Dr. Z maz 18 or BC Cub III. I have a specific question. I posted this same reply in another forum so I'm really fishing for some answers lol.

    About me:
    I'm a P&W guitar player and use multiple overdrives that I stack on into each other for my gain stages. I love playing this way and feel comfortable with it.

    I've been playing my Nash t-63 through a vox ac15c1 with a greenback. I've pulled the bass back to 11-ish and the treble to 10-ish to get a bit of a midier tone. I don't like a huge mid spike but this sounds like a flattish eq with vibrant mids to me. (Tone cut is totally off).

    Pedals I'll be using:
    I've hit it (the ac15c1) with a morning glory, em drive, paramount and PoT. And they all sounded amazing. I'm redoing my drives to be: morning glory->Timmy->Sick As->cusack screamer. I assume will never be running the last two together because I feel like it'd be a mud bath but I want both as options for a final gain stage.

    Question:
    Bad cat cub III or Dr. Z Maz 18: will the cub sound okay taking these pedals??

    Other comments:
    I've heard bad things about it (the BC as far as taking pedals go) but I've never even seen one in person so I haven't played it or heard it live. I've played the Maz and it sounded great but felt stiff. It also didn't seem to have the same openness + growl that the cub seems to have in vids I see. The hot cat 15 (clean channel) demo on YouTube shows that it takes pedals fantastically! Does it take them better than the cub? And if so should I go with it over the other two???

    Would really appreciate some responses/comments on this.


    Thanks guys.

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