Help me decide between the following amps...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by TimH, Jul 17, 2005.


  1. TimH

    TimH Member

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    Bad Cat Cub 15R
    Mesa Lonestar 1x12
    Mesa F100 2x12

    I'm playing country right now but I'm a blues rock guy at heart and I play a fair amount of pop-rock. I've had the bad cat now for about 6 weeks and love the tones I'm getting for edgier country and pop-rock. The lack of head room obviously means I'm not getting much of a clean clean tone which I don't mind but my country bandmates do. Another vote for the bad cat is that it appeals to the gear snob in me.

    The Lonestar is a great amp. Probalby the most appropriately versatile amp I've every played. More than enough volume and a great sounding gain channel. If the bad cat hadn't come into the store I work at I think I'd have had this at home for the past 6 weeks. I can see adding a high gain pedal to this amp and getting almost any tone I want out of it....except the class A bad cat thing....

    The F-100 makes real sense financially and I dig alot of it's tones. It had a great clean channel and the gain channel is cool for harder rocking stuff. I can see using that channel for the pop-rock gigs and using my ac and rc boosters on the clean channel for the country just like I am now with the bad cat.

    I'm really trying to get the best amp or all of my needs. I'm diving headfirst into the gigging scene and back into lessons in an attempt to see where I can get with music. Gear is not everything but it certainly helps to have a rig that just works you know? What to all you voices of reason think? For now this has to be my one amp to use with an Anderson Cobra and a Fender Strat to get all the tones I'm going to need. I want quality tones and versatility. Basically clean, edge of dirty and lead tones and a heavy rhythm tone as well. Fire away!
     
  2. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    Dump the Bad Cat. I've seen those go for around 1200-1400 used. Pick up two Mesa F-50 or even two DC-5 heads. Used, the DC-5's can be had for around 500-600 if you're patient. Great amp, and loud too....great bang for the buck tone wise and reliabilty wise. Definitely won't have a problem with headroom with a Mesa unless you plan on playing stadiums un-mic'd. Pick up an Avatar 2x12 and an head switcher (headbone) and you've got all the tone you need in your $ ball park....give or take a few bones.
     
  3. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i wouldnt just say to dump the badcat. if you really like what you have with the bad cat now. keep it. out of those three i would choose the cub. i think it has the best tone. the others are probably more versatile, but the bad cat tone is amazing.
     
  4. GeetarGoul

    GeetarGoul Member

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    Try and get a re-tweeded old Bassman and a blackface Twin Reverb. You'll be the man! :p
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    If you want to stay in the BadCat family, you should try a higher wattage amp like the Black Cat or Trem Cat or Hot Cat. All have nice cleans and crunch that you can control form you guitar's volume knob, and the Hot Cat gives you a high gain channel, too, just in case that is of interest to you.
     
  6. TimH

    TimH Member

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    see the only reason the bad cat is in contention is because it's used and at the store I work at. Otherwise I couldn't afford one. I agree that the higher wattage badcats might be ideal but they just aren't affordable.

    I've given thought to the lonestar special...if one would ever show up for me again. I've had one on order for 6 months :/
     
  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    I'd get the Lone Star out of those three amps for the tones you seem to go for most.

    It is my honest feeling, incidentally, that Mesa amps are a great deal. Don't get me wrong, I like lots of boutiques, but the Mesas perform extremely well and generally cost less.
     
  8. TimH

    TimH Member

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    well I'll tell you what...side by side the bad cat is the "clean" winner. With regards to pure tone and the clean tones it simply destroys the lonestar. By comparison the lonestar is flat and unlively and a tubby character that is hard to dial out. The upper end of the lonestar is spikey while the badcat is smooth and complex in the top end.

    The lonestar does have the edge in dirty sounds simply because it has a dirty channel. I find myself wondering however whether something like a Tonebone Hot British and a 1x12 closed back extension cab would not get me the rock tones I seek from the badcat.

    Volume is not much different really....nor is clean headroom when considering the lonestar in 50 watt mode with the "tweed" power setting. In fact with that set up on the lonestar I had it's volume at 3'oclock while the badcat was sitting at noon.

    The lonestar is also a pig compared to the badcat. It is at least 15lb's heavier and at 3am I know I'll hate that.

    All in all it seems the badcat is the clean winner unless someone knows some secrets I haven't uncovered about the lonestar yet.
     
  9. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    I love the wide body Lonestar 1x12 combo. Excellent Clean very versatile .....

    Sounds like you dont like it though. Get what you want but I thought you said the BC dont have enuff clean headroom. So what are you gonna do about that? I take it you like the BC but is it gonna do the job for you?

    If you dont like the Lonestar then why would it be one of your choices. I would take it out of the picture and concentrate on amps you like.

    Now my Lonestar has EL34's in it and I cant say enuff good about it. Very good Cleans ( yes I've had amps with better cleans but not that do all the Lonestar does).

    Wonderfull crunch that is very close to Marshally. And Insane high gain that to me reminds me of EARly Carlos but will go also in other directions. An Extremely Flexable Amp.

    Get what amp you want but consider you may need more flexability.

    2 cents
     
  10. TimH

    TimH Member

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    see I do like the lonestar...unless I play it next to the badcat...then it's not nearly as nice. I play it at my store all the time and LOVE it. That's why it was in the running.
     
  11. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    Then Bad Cat it is.

    Maybe you should consider getting the BC and looking for something that will get you a gigging clean sound for cheap. Say an old Music Man combo or something like that. It dosent have to be tube to get a good clean. Then you could use an AB Box.
     
  12. TimH

    TimH Member

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    true enough. If I had enough to get both the badcat and the used bandmaster head we have I would :D
     
  13. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    If you got a closed/ported extension cab with a highly efficient speaker (eg Celestion Century, or EV) that would give you both the frequency range to get heavier tones and the clean headroom for the country stuff. I'd look for a used Mesa Thiele cab or something like that. The Century is a very lightweight speaker too, if you're concerned about carrying it (the EV... isn't ;)). The difference in speaker/cab sensitivity between one of these and your open-back 1x12" will be about 3dB, or literally the same as doubling the power of the amp.
     
  14. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    never thought of that. sounds like a great way to have both options there for you.
     

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