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Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp  

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The Bad Cat Cougar 15 combo amp is a 15W tube amp combo that's built in Bad Cat's esteemed tradition. This tube powered combo amp has a Celestion Vin...Read More

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    $1,299.99
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OVERVIEW

15W of tube tone through a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker.

The Bad Cat Cougar 15 combo amp is a 15W tube amp combo that's built in Bad Cat's esteemed tradition. This tube powered combo amp has a Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker that provides plenty of power and classic tone. It also features Clean, Lead and Global controls that combine to make it super dynamic.

Bad Cat Amplifiers was founded with the purpose of building amps that could rival the classics from the golden age. Superior build techniques are used with assembly and there is no compromise in features or materials.

FEATURES
  • 15-watt Class A Guitar Amplifier
  • Power with Jewel power light
  • Reverb controlled via footswitch
  • Clean channel controls
  • Lead Channel controls
  • Global controls
  • Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker
  • 3 – 12AX7 Preamp valves
  • 2 – EL84 Power amplifier valves

Call or click to get 15W of tube tone in a seriously stylish package.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Bad CatCougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
4.4

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (16)
  • Easy to use (14)
  • Warm / comfy (11)
  • Portable (8)
  • Good power output (6)

Cons

  • Limited functions (4)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (13)
  • Performances (11)
  • Professional recording (9)
  • Amateur recording (7)
  • Outdoor events / games (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (11), Professional musician (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Full of pleasant surprises

After having some time to plug and play a little I was impressed with the range of tonal characters available using the 4 position rotary "Tone" selector. This control follows the...Read complete review

After having some time to plug and play a little I was impressed with the range of tonal characters available using the 4 position rotary "Tone" selector. This control follows the gain stage and alters the mids and lows in each of its 4 positions. For my taste, position 1 and 2 are too thin for a good clean sound, however, these settings are useful when the gain is cranked. I found that positions 3 and 4 are best for what I like to hear in a clean sound. Position 3 of the "Tone" selector has a more of a British character and position 4 yields a nice full, Fender-like tone which matched up well to the clean tone of a Fender Deluxe Reverb when I compared them side by side. The Bad Cat has a nice bloom to it's feel as well. Not stiff sounding at all. The Deluxe Reverb has more clean headroom though. The rest of the tone stack is nicely voiced and very powerful.

Pleasant surprise #1: The reverb. The Bad Cat's full size tube driven reverb tank provides a sweeter, more usable reverb than the overly sensitive reverb circuit of the Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue. (I'm tempted to pop a 12AU7 as a replacement for Fender's 12AT7 as the reverb driver in the Deluxe to tame the reverb response...another story I suppose.)

Pleasant surprise #2: The taper and response of the preamp gain are incredible. This is one of the most dynamic amps I've ever played. I already mentioned that the clean headroom on this amp is limited but it dynamically moves into overdrive land in the nicest of ways. Cranking the preamp volume yields an incredibly nice lead tone. No 12AX7 preamp buzz but rather a legit and dynamic tone that would warrant setting the Bad Cat Cougar 15 up with that lead tone and getting an amp switcher to get your clean tone from an amp with more headroom.

I've never owned a Celestion Vintage 30 but have received mixed reviews on them over the years from those whom I respect but this speaker doesn't seem harsh or overly strident which is a bit surprising especially since it's brand new and not broken in yet. Granted, you can dial in very obnoxious brittle tones with this amp if that's your thing but you can also get some sweet & smokey Fender like tones too...bloom and all. It's truly amazing the variation in tones and textures that are available from the controls which only consist of: Volume, 4 position rotary "Tone" selector, Bass, Treble, Master Volume, Presence, and Reverb.

If you're looking for a class A boutique amp and don't have a couple grand laying around, you may be pleased with this new Bad Cat offering. If you're looking for a lot of clean headroom, keep looking.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

You get what you pay for?

A great example of "looks good on paper." All the specs are there; Bad Cat makes amazing amps, Tubes are exactly what they should be, Class A power, and...Read complete review

A great example of "looks good on paper." All the specs are there; Bad Cat makes amazing amps, Tubes are exactly what they should be, Class A power, and for my buck Celestion Vintage 30s throw the best tone.

Not sure what happened with this one though...

I knew from the start the Cougar series was a "licensed" Bad Cat, hence the price difference, and wouldn't sound like a Black Cat 15 (which is AMAZING. If you ever have the opportunity to play through one, do it!) I A/B'd the Cougar with my AC30 which is pretty trebly on its own, and couldn't get anywhere near the tone I was looking for from the Cougar. All treble, no low end. Couldn't even get it to a clean stage where it would take pedals well.

If this is your first amp, It's a great value. Fender doesn't make much that's comparable in this price range. But it's a tough sell. It's far from how an amp with these specs should sound and very far off the Bad Cat product line.

(Note that I ended up returning mine after a few days, so take the review with a grain of salt.)

Reviewed by 18 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

One of the best deals out there, for sur

By Gator Blue

from Ft,. Worth, Texas

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Pros

  • 45
  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    OK, to start with, I like amps in the 15-20 watt range--because I like to over-drive "naturally." So take my review in that perspective. There's nothing like my 59 Tweed Deluxe, but I had been using a Vox AC-15 as a backup. Once I tried this, I sold my Vox (which is a very good amp). This amp has a very good class A tube pre-amp and good old EL-84 power tubes--the right combination for rock or blues. Excellent variations in sound using the master and volume knob in conjunction with the multi-position preset tone setting that goes from a Marshall-like sound to an AC 30 to a Black Cat AA type sound to a Fender twin sound. It's not a "modeling" amp, but this knob adjusts the eq levels to closely approximate those amps. Very handy for quick changes and great sound out of the Celestian. Overall, a best buy for sure at the price you can buy them right now. The amp is solid as a rock and nice looking. Black Cat has this made by Kustom in China, but it's to their specs and the pres of Black Cat has publicly stated that they "are very proud of this amp." For good reason-- You get near-Black Cat boutique American sound quality out of an amp costing about 1/4 of what you'd pay for the US equivalent. Really amazing job. I heard that the run of these they did the first 6 months had some problems, but all of that is apparently fixed. This amp is a dream for that price. I doubt you'll find an amp in this price range that compares to this one.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    A very wise investment

    By DADDY

    from Detroit, Mi

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      I picked up this amp as I filled in on guitar for a local modern country cover band. Everywhere we play, I am constantly receiving compliments on the tone this amp generates.

      The build quality seems excellent.

      I would recommend picking up an extension cabinet for live / rehearsal purposes as I have trouble hearing myself in a full band setting without micing the amp up.

      Only downside is that this amp is VERY BRIGHT. I play a telecaster and have to dial back the guitar volume, set the treble to about a "2" and the presence to about a "1". That resolved the issue.

      Comment on this review

      (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      You get what you pay for?

      By analogdebut

      from San Francisco, CA

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Portable
      • Powerful
      • Quality Parts
      • Value

      Cons

      • Limited Functions
      • Poor Sound Quality

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      A great example of "looks good on paper." All the specs are there; Bad Cat makes amazing amps, Tubes are exactly what they should be, Class A power, and for my buck Celestion Vintage 30s throw the best tone.

      Not sure what happened with this one though...

      I knew from the start the Cougar series was a "licensed" Bad Cat, hence the price difference, and wouldn't sound like a Black Cat 15 (which is AMAZING. If you ever have the opportunity to play through one, do it!) I A/B'd the Cougar with my AC30 which is pretty trebly on its own, and couldn't get anywhere near the tone I was looking for from the Cougar. All treble, no low end. Couldn't even get it to a clean stage where it would take pedals well.

      If this is your first amp, It's a great value. Fender doesn't make much that's comparable in this price range. But it's a tough sell. It's far from how an amp with these specs should sound and very far off the Bad Cat product line.

      (Note that I ended up returning mine after a few days, so take the review with a grain of salt.)

      Comment on this review

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      I'm loving this

      By MusicByDesignStudio

      from Tek-Sis

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        I was really wanting a Fender Princeton 68 reissue but just couldn't see popping out that much moola at the moment so I stumbled upon this jewel on sale for half a grand at MF and finally decided to give it a whirl. Some users claim theirs is noisy (which would be a big issue with me) but mine is almost silent with nothing plugged in and the volume up. The reverb does add a touch of noise but its way low and very acceptable even in a bedroom studio environment like I have. I like the front controls (I hate top controls on amps) and I use the last tone selection which is full and fender-like. I won't buy an amp if it doesn't have great cleans because that is where tone starts and this amp has true Fender cleans to my ears and I use to have a Deluxe Reverb Limited Edition. I keep my volume low so I imagine if you are cranking this bad boy up, the cleans may get a bit more overdrive going but its such a nice sound either way. This is a huge amp compared to what I thought it was going to be. Its like 44 pounds and not very portable but I keep it right in the studio where it will stay like new. It loves my favorite pedals which was crucial for me. Those pedals are :
        Electro-Harmonix - MetalMuff
        T-Rex -Tone Bug Distortion
        Mad Professor 1,
        RedWitch -Fuzz God II
        Lovepedal - Les Lius
        Earthquaker Devices - Dispatch Master

        Anyway, the onboard Reverb is interesting and fun to play with although I usually leave it off. I haven't tried the FX loop in the back yet and so far just running the pedals from the front. This amp doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but I kind of like it that way. If you want built-in overdrive, just turn up the volume and down the master and you'll hear its own overdrive character which is great to have and if you mix a bit of that with your own pedals you discover a whole new rocking sound to enjoy. This thing may have came from China but so did pretty much all the Macintosh and PC computers out there. This amp has great simple looks and I finally found the amp that tickles my ears and is boutique for a great deal.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Great Workhorse Amp

        By eriwebnerr

        from Cairo, NY

        About Me Experienced

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound

        Cons

        • Reverb Dwell

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Band Setting
        • Events
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        At the sale price, these amps are a steal, at the full asking price, there are many other options to consider. Great tone and all the basics: reverb, effects loop, EQ.
        The tone is chimey but with a rock edge. Somewhere between a Vox and a Matchless. Definitely it's own thing. The tone is lush and dimensional and it loves pedals too.
        Some players may find it a bit bright, but it is voiced to cut through the mix. Perfect little amp for a small band or club gig. That said the EQ is generous enough to let you get great tone at any volume.
        My only complaint is the reverb dwell is a bit much. The reverb itself is good but it can linger and wash out the tone. Pretty minor complaint overall. This amp can do anything from Blues to Country to Rock. Definitely worth looking into.

        Comment on this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesom

        By Spaff-Daddy

        from Anchorage, AK

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • It's A Bad Cat
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          It's a bad cat and thus a quality product. Awesome for practicing or smaller
          Venues.

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          electronic's are microphonic and nosiey

          By guitarman

          from ny ny

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                I was hoppinh this amp would be at least a decent bad cat.it's built well for what you can see.but what you cant see is the problem.super nosiey. ..microphonic..returned it..its too bad..the cab and speaker is great.concept was great.guyts were not great..I really hopped it would be good.

                Comment on this review

                (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                1/2 off SDOTD, yes. Full price, no.

                By rnappi

                from ny.ny

                About Me Professional Musician

                Pros

                • Excellent Sound

                Cons

                • Quality control

                Best Uses

                • Guitar Amplification

                Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                First thing's first, the amp sounds great. You get a spectacular tone without having to take out a second mortgage on your home. I have no problem with the fact that this is a knock off import that uses PCBs rather than point to point wiring. As long as it sounds good, who cares?

                That said, there' a known issue with the power supplies causing the 15w and 5w models to hum, even with nothing plugged into the amp. You can send the chassis to the Hanser Group(they make the amp, not Bad Cat) and they will do a capacitor mod for free. Beware, some say this changes the tone. Mine only hums when I use the reverb, so i'm not taking the risk, I have other outboard reverbs.

                I bought this amp for half off during a Stupid Deal of the Day, so I have no regrets. For full price, I would definitely go for a used hand wired amp instead.

                Comment on this review

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Excellent gritty tube tone!

                By Dan1125

                from Minneapolis, MN

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • Limited Functions

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                I bought this since it was on sale for cheap! pretty much expected it to sound good, and I was not disappointed. Sure, it's a "one-trick-at-a-time" pony, but can be used in many different settings.

                It has a very good range of tone, from sparkly-ish clean to pretty saturated OD. Every gain setting sounds really good and gutsy.

                The tone switch is kinda cool. It changes the character of the EQ quite drastically, and there is no way someone can;t find their tone on this thing.

                Good reverb, effect loop (yes, it has one, even if it's not well ducmented) and plenty of power.
                If you're looking for a Fender Twin kinda clean tone, this isn;t the best choice. But I absolutely love the clean sound on this, with a tiny bit of breakup.

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great tone for the $$$

                By LiamN

                from Northern California

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio

                  Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 15 15W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  My main instrument is bass, but I play guitar for demos and recording and I had been using a solid state Marshall which was inexpensive, but always sounded horrible. Have been wanting a tube amp forever, finally decided to take a shot on this one and I couldn't be happier.
                  Great tone for the price. Went with Bad Cat having seen Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree numerous times and was always impressed with the tone he had. We'll see how it holds up over time, but initially it seems very impressive.

                  Comment on this review

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