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would i be happier with a different amp than my hot cat?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by fetuspetus, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    Hello. Let me sorta introduce myself. I'm Ben, I play in this band http://www.myspace.com/renaemusic

    The stuff we have been writing, however, is a lot less heavy and more diverse. Its more melodic and more cleaned up, and a bit more "experimental". Here lately I've been more inspired by bands such as at the drive-in, mewithoutyou, sparta, radiohead, and others. The thing is... I really like my rig setup, but I've kinda got this feeling I'd be happier with a slightly different setup.

    currently I run a g & l asat special > effects (no dirt right now)> bad cat hot cat 30 2x12.

    a few weeks ago if you would have asked me I would have told you i found my dream rig.. but then I picked up the g and l which has a glassier more single coil type of sound, and personally I think it would sound better with something that is more of a 3d cleaner sound, and less mushy amp gain like the hot cat. The other thing is, the hot cat is very hissy, and the channels really affect one another, because the truth is the clean and gain channels are the same channel, just routed differently. It also doesn't accept pedals very well in the front end of the dirty channel, and i have to build an a/b box to utilize both "sides" of the amp, which I haven't been able to afford yet.

    I also plugged into my friend's orange rocker 30 and honestly it didn't sound much different, if anything, it was more controllable with the eq. its easier and more straight forward.

    What I've been possibly thinking about was finding an amp that can still overdrive, but that I can put a nice boost/overdrive in front of to send the amp into bliss. (read: klon centaur) yet still utilize effects and of course be able to have the sound my guitar actually makes shine through

    amps I've thought about would be amps like a valvetech hayseed, tophat (not sure which model), orange ad series, maybe a matchless, etc.

    I can't really justify getting rid of the bad cat right now
    because it IS a wonderful amp (and hey, I did custom order it in a 2x12 with custom tolex after all!), but down the line i'll be able to afford another one, or maybe i can trade for something nicer if i can be certain it will do what i want better.

    I just want to know what you guys' experiences have been with a. the g and l guitars and b. the klon centaur into various amps.. and honestly maybe you can help give me some suggestions on the road to my "sound"

    I keep worrying maybe its just a bad case of the GAS if i can't be happy with what i have, as well! haha!

    Thanks a lot. Hope that wasn't too much

    Ben
     
  2. Beam Tetrode

    Beam Tetrode Member

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    Stick with the Bad Cat and avoid solid-state pedals. Just screw the overdrive pedals. In my opinion, an A/B box is cheaper and better than a Klon. The G&L should be a perfect match with your Hot Cat 30. They're fantastic guitars.

    Turn down the gain.
     
  3. wolf9309

    wolf9309 Member

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    Honestly, if you're describing the Hot Cat as having mushy amp gain, I think you've got to be doing something wrong. It can get up to a ridiculous amount of gain, but it seems completely defined all the way through, not mushy at all. And I have to say, roll off the guitar volume a bit and it can get a beautiful 3d clean tone.

    Just my opinions of course, you're free to disagree, but I at least am in love with the hot cat (Though having a 1X12, I can't imagine how heavy a 2X12 must be...)
     
  4. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    well it isn't "mushy" its jusdt that i don't feel like i need that much gain. I keep the gain really low and the level really high.

    waht kind of settings do you guys tend to use?

    The klons ARE expensive I do know that. I just think its GAS, gah!
     
  5. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    btw i've gotten nothing but compliments on my sound every show i play with the rig.. so maybe i'm overcomplexifying **** in my head.
     
  6. g.griffith

    g.griffith Member

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    I don't necessarily think you need to use an amp's gain to full capacity to justify it... What I mean is, the Hot Cat is generally known for the high gain capability, but it gets great sounds all through the overdrive spectrum. You might try the overdrive channel with the Gain down and use the Level to dial in the overdrive sounds you're looking for. Even used low gain, I think the Hot Cat is extremely versatile.

    Out of the amps you mentioned, a Matchless might be the one to try. A friend of mine uses his HC-30 with a Klon and all sorts of pedals and loves it. TopHats are very nice for clean amps and certain low overdrive, but are fairly well known not to take pedals too well (I have a Club Deluxe, but I haven't tried any of his CS series). Never tried a Hayseed, and never recommended an Orange to anyone. Just my two cents...
     
  7. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    thanks man! You definitely ruled out one thing for me: the top hat. I'll still try one though.

    i think the bad cat is a great amp I can definitely get the sounds i need out of it.. i just think that some effects sound bad in front of it, and that, if anything, i want to be able to use some dirt boxes. I may just get one i want and see how it sounds in conjunction with the hot cat too.

    Ben
     
  8. lespauldude

    lespauldude Member

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  9. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Supporting Member

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    hot cat 30r user here. i keep the gain low and the level high. the interaction between the master and the level control also matters. i keep the master maxxed out.
     
  10. DejavuDave

    DejavuDave Member

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    Those are fine amps. But if you feel that something's lacking then...

    Go try some amps. Hopefully you've got some decent music shops nearby. Take your guitar and plug it straight in. Find out what your guitar sounds like super clean in an amp with a lot of headroom. Try Fenders, Marshalls, and their clones. Get a sense of what might feel right to you, what kind of tonal approach brings the best out of you, super clean, on the edge, really cranked, uber-modern metal, etc. Once you have a sense of that, read up on all the amplifiers out there --- read, read, read. Which ones appear to fall into your idea of tone? Which of those get top reviews by experienced players? Build a short list and try to find some of those to try out.

    Remember this is a craft not a science. It's also a psychology. Sometimes we want to sound like "that guy" when all along our personal natural domain is in another direction. I struggled for years to sound like "that guy" and resisted my instincts. I guess wisdom comes with age because now, at 48, I finally want to sound like "this guy." I'm a better player for it, I sound better than ever, and that's a great feeling!

    I use a good tube amp with decent headroom and a lot of dynamic response so that my playing technique affects what's going on. I push the amp to the point of a little break-up when hitting a hard chord. I use a small number of pedals to boost the signal and add additional gain to the structure. The combination of tube amp gain and pedal gain can be outstanding when the amp and the pedals are all very good (and the Cat's a good amp). I've spent hundreds of hours --- not to mention an obscene amount of money --- finding the right pedals for me. I use pedals that are for the most part fairly transparent. I like to add gain in a way that colors my original tone as little as possible. That's where having a really good amp comes in. I get the basic tone I want with the guitar and the amp, then I use pedals (or not) to send it deeper into that territory. Sometimes I don't use any pedals at all, except perhaps a very transparent booster to drive the tubes more.

    For reference, I play jazz-rock fusion. Strat and Tele mostly, but I like my Rickenbacker 360/12 and my Gibson ES-175, too. All these through a Carr Slant 6V 40 watt amp and 2x12 cab. Quite amazing, the Slant.

    Cheers!
     
  11. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    pssssst ... just send it to me ;)

    Johnny
     
  12. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    I gig with a Hot Cat 30 2x12 combo! I actually end up in the clean channel most of the time - it's one of the best clean tones ever IMHO! Works great with OD pedals too. I find that if I turn level up in the dirty channel it does increase the dirt. Good advice above - keep master up and gain and level down. In fact I like to keep the first three knobs in the dirt channel just about 9.00 o'clock with bass and treble about 10.00. With my amp this works great with a Tele.

    Also I find the stock speakers a little muddy. I use G12Hs and they chime more.

    Even though the dirt channel is so good I do use a dirt box into the clean channel so that I can use a delay after the dirt. You just have to hear a Badcat Two-tone into this amp!

    I know what you mean though. That's why I got a Badcat Wildcat! Less gain and even better cleans. Just the most amazing amp I have ever heard, and when it dirts up it is unbelievable.
     
  13. TopJimmy5150

    TopJimmy5150 Member

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    Lots of players A/B through two amps on stage...say a Marshall for crunchy stuff and a Fender Twin for cleans.

    I personally go for great clean amp dirtied up with pedals...it's easier to dirty clean than to clean up dirty..;) If I had the budget and the need, I wouldn't hesitate to run two amps
     
  14. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    Maz 38 Sr. 2x12" w/ reverb.
     
  15. dave s

    dave s Member

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    Here's a potential fix for you:

    1) Set the Bad Cat cleaner than you have it now

    2) Get a decent OD pedal, like an Xotic RC or AC boost, set it mild-medium overdrive and leave it on all the time

    3) Use the volume on your guitar to regulate both volume and gain through the amp

    This is a way to possibly reduce amp hum and at the same time, have control over clean / overdrive by using guitar's volume.

    dave
     
  16. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    the advice you guys have given is great. I'm pretty sure the bad cat isn't going anywhere for sure now. Now.. to just get a decent od (loved the ac boost when i messed with it) and a decent a/b/y box i'll be able to work it all out.

    That doesn't mean i won't buy another amp down the line :)

    (i want one of those valvetechs dang it! haha)
     
  17. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I just can't get over your display name
    :rotflmao

    With the Hot cat, at least you have that gain there if you ever want to make things sound a bit hotter. You don't always have to use it. It's fine to keep it on low gain or clean, so long as you're pleased with the tone. I think it is GAS, pedals are fun toys, but ultimately, they fall behind for most.
     
  18. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    As soon as you mentioned 3D clean, my Aiken Sabre came to mind. You might want to look into one of these as well
     
  19. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    I tried putting in lower gain preamp tubes...it killed the vibe. nowadays I just set the gain low and ride the master, then with my pick attack I can get all over the spectrum. For glassy tones right A/Bing with the clean channel and put a mild OD in that loop.
     
  20. fetuspetus

    fetuspetus Member

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    i messed with it today. a. i raised it up on the bottom of my new roadcase for it, that helped me a bit. b. i messed with the gain a lot... and i found i could pull some of the sounds i was thinking of in my head, and iu know if i got a decent overdrive such as an ac boost i could even get another type of sound out of it.
    I definitely have GAS issues as i've went through quite a bit of gear to get to this point, however, I know that I won't be getting rid of anything.. from here out its just adding to my collection :)

    Ben
     

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