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Bad Cat Cougar 5 5W Class A Tube Guitar Combo Amp  

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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 recordi...Read More

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  • MSRP:
    $899.99
  • Your Savings:
    - $200.00
  • On Sale Today:
    - $400.00
  • Shipping (48 Contiguous U.S. States)
    FREE
  • Sale Price:
    $29999

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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

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

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

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (19)
  • Portable (19)
  • Excellent sound (13)
  • Warm / comfy (13)
  • Good power output (6)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (10)
  • Performances (10)
  • Professional recording (10)
  • Home studio (9)
  • Outdoor events / games (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (9)

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 24 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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(0 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Really 5 watt amp / tone ?????

By Asjockey

from Wyckoff nj

About Me Experienced

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

        I'm going to pick up one of these today because it's cheap and I'm going to leave it out in my garage just for jamming at night. I have a huge collection of vintage highly desired amps tha mostly stay in my house that I don't care to lug in and out. I'm not expecting to much, but why should I, it's a cheap amp, for my garage. (2 years and it will probably be rusted from humidity). What kills me is all you experts talking about tone with a practice amp and probably a Korean made guitar. Listen to Eric Johnson, "real tone comes from the way you play, the different styles of pick attack, along with fingerpicking and muting " . If your home in your bedroom strumming with a flat pick, you should probably stop embarrassing yourself with tone conversations!

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        I great amp at these prices!

        By musicmaniowa

        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 guitar

        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 Mike Mountain

              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 fecarr

                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 harvey

                  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 Jerry

                      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 Jerry

                        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

                          (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          1.0

                          Very Poor Quality

                          By ACH

                          from Sacramento

                          About Me Experienced

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use
                          • Portable

                          Cons

                          • Limited Functions
                          • Poor Sound Quality
                          • Weak

                          Best Uses

                          • Amateur Recording

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

                          I had to leave a review for this amp after purchasing it new from MF. It is terrible in my opinion. If you have money to burn go for it. If you are a beginner this might work for you. But if you care about your tone at all avoid it. I am a bit surprised by its poor tone. I read a number of reviews, Vintage Celestial speaker, tube quality... whatever the case, it was terrible and I immediately returned it. There is just no quality to it whatsoever. Hope it helps.

                          Comment on this review

                          (1 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          1.0

                          Cheap construction and noisy

                          By rider7

                          from NYC

                          About Me Experienced

                          Ask me a question

                          Pros

                          • NONE

                          Cons

                          • Poor construction
                          • Poor Sound Quality
                          • Weak

                          Best Uses

                          • Paper weight

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

                          Return the amp as this was very noisy. Contact BadCat tech support and they point me to Hanser instead.

                          Save your money and by the real thing and not this. The only thing this has in common with the real Bad Cat is the name.

                          Comment on this review

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