Hot Plate with a Bad Cat Black Cat?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by tlester, Oct 25, 2005.


  1. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Hey all -

    Has anyone ever put a hot plate on a Bad Cat Black Cat before? I just aquired one and it has a master volume that can be bypassed. When bypassed, it sounds HUGE. But with it in and turned down, it thins out a bunch and gets raspy.

    I'm wondering if a hotplate or something similar would work to get me that "big" sound without damaging anything.

    Thoughts?

    -Tom

    PS. The manual warns against attenuators.
     
  2. Cranknfrank

    Cranknfrank Member

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    I've been playing my Wildcat for almost 5 years now and have been very happy with it. Mine has a "half power" switch on the back....check to see if yours does. I'm not a big fan of master volumes and I think the HP setting does help. Give it a shot.
     
  3. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Hi Crank -

    How are you running your wild cat? It looks like it's the same as mine, but w/ EL34's. Are you running it with an ABY? Or are you just using one channel? Are you running it clean w/ pedals or dirty?

    The Black Cat sounds awesome and will be rocking for studio stuff (which is primarily why I purchased it), but I'm trying to figure out how to set it up best for live work (which I play about once a week).

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    -Tom

    PS. Yes... I have a half power switch. I have it in half power all the time.
     
  4. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    i must play really loud! I played the Black Cat in full power on the EF86 channel at about 10:00 or so with the master out of the circuit. No wonder my drummer always put something between him and my amp at our shows. :D
     
  5. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Hehe!!! Yeah.... it's loud. For normal playing, I'm cool with it. For recording, I'm cool with it. It sounds great!

    However.... I do a once a week gig at church. That's where I need it a bit quieter.

    -Tom
     
  6. Cranknfrank

    Cranknfrank Member

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    Tom,
    My Badcat is my main amp so I've used it for tons of live work, recording, etc. I have several different pedal boards that I use with all the usual suspects....overdrive, chorus, fake leslie, delay, etc. After much experimentation through the years, I now just use Channel 2 with the EF86 based preamp and tone selector. I've tried all the ohm settings and have currently settled on the 8 ohm setting. I used the 4 ohm setting for several years but have recently tried to "calm" the amp down a little bit.

    I like channel 1 and have used a A-B-Y in the past, but I found myself using channel 2 most of the time so I eliminated the AB pedal. I've used the master volume for recording but never live. I've used the HP switch on lower volume gigs but mainly use it at full power.

    Just my opinion....I would stay away from the Hot Plate or other power attenuators since the Badcat operates in Class A. If the Badcat is too loud or too much amp...you might want to consider the Cub or Minicat. My Wildcat is 40 watts and I'm very happy with its versatility. The Blackcat is 30 watts and really shouldn't need a power attenuator.....or maybe if tube saturation is the goal...the Hot Cat may be the way to go.

    The Black Cat and Wild Cat were Bad Cat's first designs and do not have the high gain characteristics of their recent designs. Or consider a very gainy pedal if high gain at low volume is the goal. Anyway, I'd try to define specifically what you're looking for tone and volume wise and make sure that you have the right amp for your needs. Hope that helps. Take care.
     
  7. Cranknfrank

    Cranknfrank Member

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    Just read the church post.....

    Man, I'd really consider using another amp for a church gig. I don't think you'll be able to calm down that Class A beast for that purpose.

    Get a really small amp you can turn up or look at a Pod or something.
     
  8. tlester

    tlester Member

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    Well... I'm coming from a PodXT and trying to get rid of it. I take the Black Cat to it's first rehearsal tonight. I'll how it goes.

    We do run the house at between 90 and 95 dB. So, we are pretty loud already.... I just don't want to freak everyone out on stage!

    -Tom
     
  9. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    i think using a od pedal with the amp at lower volume for church would sound fine. Here are a few I've used with that amp that sound great:

    Lovepedal Eternity
    FoxRox ZIM
    Jersey Girl Plusdriver
    Fulldrive 2

    Any of those will sound great with the Black Cat.
     
  10. Gril Grissom

    Gril Grissom Member

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    when i used to own badcat amps i had this conversation with James - he didn't condone or suggest any attenuator,
    which the manual (gasp) isn't fond of either.

    be careful.

    Gril
     
  11. tlester

    tlester Member

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    OK.... I just went to the first rehearsal with the amp. It did great! Better than I expected. I just gained it down low, switched to 8 ohms (instead of 4), and used a tube screamer (new one) for OD. Everyone was complimenting me on the tone. It sounded very good in a band context.

    I don't think the OD9 is the right pedal for the sound I'm wanting, but it was close. It made the OD a bit to "honky" sounding. The amp already has a ton of mid-range... a pedal that bumps the mids is not the right pedal, imho.

    I'm going to fool aroun with some other pedals and see if I can find something (or a couple) that can do a good OD sound and another for a distortion. Or something like the ZIM or Jekyll & Hyde that can do both. Suggestions (other than ones already suggested)?

    -Tom

    PS. Can I do damage by running it at 8 or 16 ohms when the cabinet is 4 ohms?
     
  12. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    tom, when I talked to James, he said it won't do any damage at all to run the amp at 4/8 or 16 ohms when the cab is 4 ohms. It just seems to make it quieter on 8 or 16.

    I really think you'd like the ZIM. Or, maybe try the new Workstation by Robert Keeley when it comes out. I think a Eternity and a BJFE Dyna Red would be killer with the Black Cat too.
     
  13. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i used an ac booster with my cub II. maybe you will have as good of the tone i was getting if you use that with the black cat. the ac booster isnt the flavor of the week anymore but it is a great pedal.
     
  14. Dennis Rayburn

    Dennis Rayburn Supporting Member

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    I've been using an Ultimate Attenuator with my Black Cat for the past few months. It is a fantastic combination. I can dial in whatever level of grind I want (I use ch. 2 for that), leave the master bypassed, and adjust the final volume with the Ultimate Attenuator. I use this rig on club gigs and on my church gig.
     
  15. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    I recently got on board with Bad Cat. I went with the Black Cat model. I too have talked with James about different options, but nothing related to attenuators. You may be better off switiching to one of the amps with a half power switch. I play in church, but at a large enough church to where I run it at the full 30 watts with the master out of the loop. The EF 86 is much hotter than the 12Ax7s. In the studio I typically use it at half power though.
     
  16. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    His Black Cat 30r has a 1/2 power switch.
     
  17. B Vance

    B Vance Member

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    My bad...

    Didn't catch that.
     

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