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  #16  
Old 01-16-2018, 04:51 PM
maxtheaxe maxtheaxe is offline
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That should be a really really nice class-A amp. The guy that designed that is Mark Sampson, who, along with Rick Perotta started Matchless Amplifiers. I think this is the one he started making after splitting from Matchless, but if the build quality is anything like Matchless (and I've heard that it is), that thing really is a mil-spec, hand-wired tank of an amp with a really nice class-A chime to it.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2018, 02:31 PM
ParisStarlight ParisStarlight is offline
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Long overdue, finally snapped some photos. Lighting in our house is horrible, so had to get them during the day.
Build quality is great and I love the piping with the grill cloth. The chicken head knobs are a nice look. Handle is a nice quality leather. Speaker outs and ohmage switch on the back as well as effects loop. Tubes are behind the metal grate.




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  #18  
Old 01-23-2018, 10:52 AM
ParisStarlight ParisStarlight is offline
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So if anybody is still following or interested, thought Iíd give a few though thatís that came to me now that Iíve played the amp a few weeks and am over the ďhoneymoonĒ phase.

The overdrive is definitely a Vox tone overdrive. Thatís one thing I wanted and really enjoy in the amp. I love the drive of a nice el84 amp. The tone however is, as I said before, somewhere between Vox and Fender. It has more low end and is less shrill than a Vox amp. I owned 3 different AC30 amps on my time and just never clicked with them. They sound great, but werenít my feel. I really love the tone that comes out of this amp, and the single tone knob is extremely versatile. Like any tube amp, it sounds best cranked. Even with master and volume at 10 the notes still retain clarity. Thankfully, at 5 watts it isnít deafening to turn it up. It still sounds good at lower volumes, but a nice tube sound comes in around 2/3 volume in my opinion. I think the Celestion Vintage 30 is a wonderful compliment to this amp. Then tone from the speaker is wonderful and pleasing. Itís not at all muddy or shrill and it pushes a lot of air. Knowing the speaker was a high quality speaker was one reason I chose this over an AC4. Iím intrigued to try the amp through some cabs and see what it sounds like with different speakers, but I will not be swapping out the V30 in it. It did have stock tubes that said nothing more than ďChinaĒ on them. I swapped out the EL84 for a Sovtek I had lying around and the the two 12ax7 tubes for some Electro Harmonix 12at7 tubes, all that I just had lying around. The new tubes made a noticeable difference in sound. I will at some point likely get JJís for it, but Iím in no hurry as it sounds great already.

So all in all I think these amps are a great bargain. I payed $300 shopped, which would be the same as a used AC4 and a speaker upgrade. Iím very pleased with the sound and just as much the look of this amp. I donít foresee any issues with its build, everything about the amp feels very solid.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2018, 01:31 PM
ripdotcom ripdotcom is offline
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cool amp, bought a new one a few years back, always had a hum to it that bothered me for a low wattage amp. Sounded great cranked though. Very nice value on these especially with a V30 included. It did take some high end stuff to replace it though.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2018, 03:27 PM
rockabilly69 rockabilly69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxtheaxe View Post
That should be a really really nice class-A amp. The guy that designed that is Mark Sampson, who, along with Rick Perotta started Matchless Amplifiers. I think this is the one he started making after splitting from Matchless, but if the build quality is anything like Matchless (and I've heard that it is), that thing really is a mil-spec, hand-wired tank of an amp with a really nice class-A chime to it.
Some info...

Mark Sampson didn't design this amp. They are offshore produced (China) and designed by James Brown of Peavey 5150 fame for the Hanser Music Group. James Brown is an engineer for Kustom who are part of the Hanser group. The Cougar is not handwired. It's a PC Board amp. Some people say these aren't really BadCat amps, but according to John Thompson (owner of BadCat), he had final approval on the design of the amp amp. BadCat wanted to have an amp that would compete with all the other offshore built amps. They are no means in the same leaque as a US made Badcat, but for the price, many people feel they are really good amps. There are many good reviews of the amp on the TGP and TDP forums. Altough in the first few runs of the amp there was a bad hum problem, but I think they have modified the circuit to fix that in later runs!
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2018, 03:35 PM
ParisStarlight ParisStarlight is offline
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All good info. The design was approved by Sampson (according to Bad Cat reps), but yes, was designed by Brown. While not being USA or handwired, I find little wrong with a well made PCB amp (other than repairs being a pain). For the price they sound killer, and a huge step above the AC4 in the opinion of my ears.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2018, 10:17 PM
ParisStarlight ParisStarlight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripdotcom View Post
cool amp, bought a new one a few years back, always had a hum to it that bothered me for a low wattage amp. Sounded great cranked though. Very nice value on these especially with a V30 included. It did take some high end stuff to replace it though.

Still had a minor hum, but the ďbadĒ hum was supposedly fixed by the time this one was made. I agree entirely, a V30 would be half what I payed for the amp, making it a steal with that. Turn the master and volume to 10 and it sounds like bliss with my Ric running through it. I doubt youíd find an amp with as unique of tone that sounds this good in the price range (at least I havenít yet). Admittedly, I miss my Mesa Nomad, but have no use for a 120w amp anymore. Iím glad to hear it took some very nice gear to get you to let go of yours, I think mine will be around for a long, long time with me.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2018, 02:47 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Paris - thanks for the pics and the review. I'm tempted to ask about the Ampeg
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2018, 07:14 PM
ParisStarlight ParisStarlight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Paris - thanks for the pics and the review. I'm tempted to ask about the Ampeg

Oh man. That Ampeg, GVT5H. My local shop had it about a month ago (the week after I got the Bad Cat) for $150. I couldnít say no to a low wattage tube amp for that price. Went home and read up on all the specs and some reviews.

Itís a 6v6 and a 12ax7, and already had Groove Tubes in it from the previous owner. Itís 5 watts, switchable to 2.5 watts. Only has volume, bass and treble controls. The eq is the Baxandall (spelling?) style eq. Turning the bass or treble up cuts the mids.

Iíve played it through the speaker in the Bad Cat only so far, but god does it sound amazing. It is almost all clean tones. Gets just a bit of grit between 8-10. A lot of reviews said think 70s Stones for its tone.

My huge goal is to find the matching 1x12 cab for it. Itís a closed back with matching grill cloth and a Vintage 30 as well.
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