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Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp   (Open Box)
Ships Internationally
  • Write a Review
Product# H89214
OVERVIEW

Big sound from a small package.

The Bad Cat Cougar 5 combo amp is a 5W guitar combo amp with standard controls and a Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker. Great for practice and recording this combo delivers pure class A tone. The plywood cabinet construction and leather handle offer great durability.

Bad Cat Amplifiers was founded with the singular purpose of building tube amps that could rival the classics from the golden age. Superior build techniques are used and there's no compromise in features, material or performance.

FEATURES
  • Power switch with jewel pilot light
  • Volume, Tone and Master controls
  • Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker
  • Effects send and return patch point
  • Plywood cabinet construction
  • Two 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • One EL84 Power tube

Call or click to pick up a Bad Cat of your own.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Bad CatCougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
3.8

(based on 26 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

73%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (22)
  • Portable (22)
  • Excellent sound (15)
  • Warm / comfy (15)
  • Good power output (6)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (5)
  • Weak (4)
  • Limited functions (3)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (12)
  • Performances (12)
  • Home studio (11)
  • Professional recording (11)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Best Practice Amp!

FIRST THINGS FIRST: The idle hum is seriously NOT a big deal and is barely noticeable. Many of the low reviews for this amp mention the idle hum and state that it makes the...Read complete review

FIRST THINGS FIRST: The idle hum is seriously NOT a big deal and is barely noticeable. Many of the low reviews for this amp mention the idle hum and state that it makes the amp unusable, yet in my experience this is far from accurate. It IS there but it's very subtle, doesn't get louder as you turn up the volume, and is immediately overpowered by the beautiful chimey tones from this amp as soon as you start to play.

SOUND: As you can probably guess from the EL-84 power section this amp definitely has a VOX sound to it, in the best way. The Vintage 30 takes a while to break in with only 5w pushing it, but it starts loosen up nicely after the first hour or so, and it sounds great with this amp. Some people have mentioned a lack of bass, but I find this amp to be very nicely EQ'd for a low watt practice amp. Generally speaking, lower watt amps will always have less bottom end than higher watt amps due to having smaller transformers, and also any added bass would require more power and reduce headroom and overall volume. The open back design gives the amp a very full sound, and the cabinet is sized just large enough to sound great yet still be light and portable. The interaction between the Volume and Master knobs allows for a wide range of classic clean and overdrive sounds, while the Tone knob lets you dial in the brightness.

QUALITY: This amp is made in China, but so are most new Celestions. Who cares. This amp comes with an awesome stock speaker and a quality plywood cabinet (no particle board anywhere). The plexi front panel and orange jewel light are nice touches, as well as the leather handle. The knobs and jacks feel solid. The tubes that ship in it are cheap Chinese tubes, but a set of nice JJ's can be had for a minimal investment (only 3 tubes to replace) and would definitely be worth it.

FINAL WORDS: For the sale price this amp is a STEAL. For full retail I might lean more towards a Vox AC15 or an Orange Tiny Terror Combo (mostly for the extra power), but for a LOW watt amp (4-6 watts) this little Bad Cat is king. The Cougar 5 gets loud enough for gigs (with PA support), but also sounds great at bedroom levels. I previously used an AC4TV 10" combo for practice, but this blows it out of the water.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Cheap & Noisy

Bad Cat should be embarrassed to have their name on this product. Right out of the box I noticed the cheap construction...even the control knobs are light weight plastic. I can only...Read complete review

Bad Cat should be embarrassed to have their name on this product. Right out of the box I noticed the cheap construction...even the control knobs are light weight plastic. I can only imagine how cheap the interior components are. Plugged it in and immediately had a very loud, unacceptable hum. The amp sounds OK, but for the price, it should be better. I know this is not a USA made Bad Cat, but at this price point the quality is subpar. I returned it and will not be testing my luck again.

Reviewed by 26 customers

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1.0

Not the greatest amp

By 

from Shreveport Louisiana

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Portable

Cons

  • Poor Sound Quality
  • Weak

Best Uses

  • None

Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

At the origonal price I never would never have bought this amp...too expensive for me. When the price it is now, I got very interested and decided to buy. I love a simple amp...the more so the better, and I had high expectations for this amp...but it turned out to be one of the worst amps I've ever owned. The sound is absolutely horrible and no matter what I tried I couldn't get a good tone and there was a rumbling bass on the lower strings that would not go awaywhich made it completely unusable. I had to return it. I am really bummed out about it...there's nothing more I can say.

Comment on this review

 
5.0

Even my cats like my Bad Cat!

By 

from Southern California

About Me Experienced

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances

    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    I love this amp! It has plenty of volume for its intended use in my home studio. Unlike some of the reviews I've read here, my Bad Cat has virtually zero hum. The amp has excellent workmanship and is built like a tank, even if it was made it China. Most importantly, it has the sound I've been looking for the past 49 years! It sounds great at relatively low volumes, too. I have nothing bad to say about this amp and I am very pleased.`

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Extremely good tone

    By 

    from Washington DC

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Small Hum
    • Weak

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    Despite all the comments across the net about this being manufactured in China in partnership with Bad Cat, rather than hand-built by them here in the USA, this amp is extremely well put together and offers unrivaled value at this price point.

    The 5 watts of Class A EL84 tone is simply outstanding - clear, punchy, loud enough to make yourself heard in a small gig (use a PA for anything louder), extremely smooth and creamy overdrive. Literally every inch of all three dials is useful, which hardly ever happens. The preamp volume goes from crystalline clear to a medium overdrive. Rhythm guitar with the overdrive is thick and edgy and full. Lead tone is really round and singing, but for an extra oomph you may want to put a boost out front. The single tone knob goes from very dark/all bass and mids/plush to very sharp/heavy treble and high mids emphasis/grinding, and everything in between.

    The effects loop is a welcome feature on an amp this small, and works great. I usually use it to add reverb, the only feature I wish the amp had that is doesn't.

    Construction is top notch across the board, it just oozes good contruction. They chose the right assemblers in China, that's for sure. Someone really paid attention at every step. It feels built like a tank.

    The only drawback, which I didn't subtract any points for, is that the circuit features a small hum. If you play at any volume at all it will be immediately forgotten. If you play at any distance from the amp at all it will be immediately forgotten. It's really only noticeable in a small room, at low volume, when playing right on top of the amp. Even then, it's VERY low volume, and doesn't increase with the amp volume. I don't know if there is any batch-to-batch or unit-to-unit variation, but I would rate my Cougar 5's hum at 1/10. It's not dead quiet, but it's very close. I've owned and experienced far worse in the hum department.

    Additionally, I've read that if you truly object to any hum at all, Hanser/Bad Cat will have you ship them the chassis and modify it for no cost. It will, of course, change the tone (how, I'm not sure).

    I highly recommend this little beast, it just sounds incredible at all volumes. Never thin, never "small," always bug and lush and round. Pure tube tone. A real steal.

    Comment on this review

     
    4.0

    I great amp at these prices!

    By 

    from Iowa

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Can Be Fairly Loud
    • Easy To Use
    • Overall Sound Is Good
    • Portable

    Cons

    • Sound Is A Bit Thin

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    I have to say, I just couldn't pass up the detail they are having on these amps now. I wouldn't have bit at the normal price, but the discount, why not? I am OK with the over all sound, not the best and for sure not the worst. It could be the V30 is just not my speaker, possibly swapping out for a WGS Reaper in the future, but for now letting the speaker break in. It does seem to be full of upper mids and highs, could be from the EL84, the V30 and the small cabinet size. the tone controls turned down a bit helps, but changes the overall sound a bit was well. With single coils I'm not that impressed, but with humbuckers it is much better. It does have a hum, but honestly the only time it would be noticeable would be in a recording setting. Planning to use it together with a 73 Fender Musicmaster Bass amp at the next gig... can switch between the two or run them together. Now that's a great full sound. Dislike the tube protection system in the back, but removed it with no plans to re-install (was kind of tricky).

    I would recommend this amp for this price, without a doubt. Makes a perfect home amp as well as places were low volume is required (so many places are really cutting down the volume level - the most I can use these days inside is around 12 watts).

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    great tone, but never stops humming

    By 

    from Durham, NC

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          The tone really is great, and the FX loop is a great feature on this inexpensive unit. But the reviews about buzz are true: I bought one mint with open box, and it hums constantly, even when nothing is plugged into it. That makes it not really usable for gigs (or at least the ones I play)

          If you're looking at buying this one mint level 1 open box, don't buy--that's probably the one I got, and I am returning it.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Best Practice Amp!

          By 

          from Detroit, MI

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Performances
            • Practice Amp

            Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

            FIRST THINGS FIRST: The idle hum is seriously NOT a big deal and is barely noticeable. Many of the low reviews for this amp mention the idle hum and state that it makes the amp unusable, yet in my experience this is far from accurate. It IS there but it's very subtle, doesn't get louder as you turn up the volume, and is immediately overpowered by the beautiful chimey tones from this amp as soon as you start to play.

            SOUND: As you can probably guess from the EL-84 power section this amp definitely has a VOX sound to it, in the best way. The Vintage 30 takes a while to break in with only 5w pushing it, but it starts loosen up nicely after the first hour or so, and it sounds great with this amp. Some people have mentioned a lack of bass, but I find this amp to be very nicely EQ'd for a low watt practice amp. Generally speaking, lower watt amps will always have less bottom end than higher watt amps due to having smaller transformers, and also any added bass would require more power and reduce headroom and overall volume. The open back design gives the amp a very full sound, and the cabinet is sized just large enough to sound great yet still be light and portable. The interaction between the Volume and Master knobs allows for a wide range of classic clean and overdrive sounds, while the Tone knob lets you dial in the brightness.

            QUALITY: This amp is made in China, but so are most new Celestions. Who cares. This amp comes with an awesome stock speaker and a quality plywood cabinet (no particle board anywhere). The plexi front panel and orange jewel light are nice touches, as well as the leather handle. The knobs and jacks feel solid. The tubes that ship in it are cheap Chinese tubes, but a set of nice JJ's can be had for a minimal investment (only 3 tubes to replace) and would definitely be worth it.

            FINAL WORDS: For the sale price this amp is a STEAL. For full retail I might lean more towards a Vox AC15 or an Orange Tiny Terror Combo (mostly for the extra power), but for a LOW watt amp (4-6 watts) this little Bad Cat is king. The Cougar 5 gets loud enough for gigs (with PA support), but also sounds great at bedroom levels. I previously used an AC4TV 10" combo for practice, but this blows it out of the water.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            Class A Kitten

            By 

            from MA

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Portable
            • Powerful

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

              Great amp for the studio or small gigs.
              Takes pedals well the effects loop sounds great too

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Very nice warm but a bit of a hum

              By 

              from poconos

              About Me Experienced

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Good Warmth

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  This amp sound really warm with lots of tones. Like it a lot. But it seems to enjoy playing hum and electric noise as well. A HumX and good line filter seem to help. A keeper even with the hum.

                  Comment on this review

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great little amp

                  By 

                  from NYC, NY

                  About Me Experienced

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Grab And Go
                    • Home Studio
                    • Performances

                    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                    Have seen this on sale before but based upon the overall ratings I passed it by. Last time it came up for sale I actually read the ratings. Seemed that the negative ratings all referenced the same hum. That' was it.. Typical problem with imported tube amps.
                    Either tubes are bad or most likely one was jostled loose during shipping. I took a chance and only regret not doing so sooner. My amp is dead quiet, I need to double check that it's on sometimes. I play single coils 99% of the time and out of a 1/2 dozen or so name brand low watt amps in my house this is the most quiet.
                    There seem to be haters out there that was t to compare this to a hand wired american amp. IDK I judge my gear by the way it works, not how much it cost or warped political bias based upon where it was built. Good is good regardless and this amp is a keeper and at the price I bought it for its also a bargain.
                    If these guys that tanked the reviews based upon the hum were the experienced guys they claim to be they would have recognized the problem immediately. I guess MF has their reason for not suggesting they reseat the tubes themselves but if you own tube amps it's just something you learn to do regardless of the brand name or the cost.

                    Comment on this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    AWESOME,

                    By 

                    from NYC, NY

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Effects loop
                    • Excellent Sound
                    • Good Warmth
                    • Great price
                    • Light weight
                    • Portable
                    • Quiet
                    • Sweet Sound
                    • Takes Pedals Well

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Bedroom
                      • Home Studio
                      • Living room

                      Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                      This amp is dead quiet.. I play mostly single coil fenders and even after running it through boost pedals the amp is silent. I saw some reviews complaining about hum, first thing that comes to mind is that a tube needed to be reseated. Pretty common issue with tube amps, boxes get jostled pretty well during shipping. Happens with tube amps from any manufacturer.
                      I have several low powered amps and never could find the tone I was looking for in a practice amp at home volumes. This amp is exactly what I have been looking for. I've seen it on sale many times but avoided it because of many negative reviews. After some research I realized that most of the negative reviews were from people that had unrealistic expectations or haters that don't like the idea of a manufacturer using modern build methods to get an affordable amp to their customers.

                      Comment on this review

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