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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 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

74%

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 (14), Professional musician (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Small and yet very big sounding

I picked up a Cougar 5 when MF had it on a 'secret sale' (sale price didn't show until you "add to cart"). I had done a little research...Read complete review

I picked up a Cougar 5 when MF had it on a 'secret sale' (sale price didn't show until you "add to cart"). I had done a little research on the Bad Cat Cougar series prior to my purchase and I understood that they were designed by the folks at Bad Cat USA, but were made in China and used PC boards and components from Kustom and had plywood cases, etc...but for the price I paid, how bad could it be?
Let me be clear; this is possibly the BEST amp for the money out there. I've tried the Class 5 and AC4TV and Blues Junior and LP Jr. amp and many others and it just smokes them all. It compares much closer to a USA Bad Cat Mini Cat or Cub, amps that cost way more even on the used market.

With only 3 controls (Master, Volume, Tone) you'd think it would be limited in available tones, but those three controls allow for a wide array of sounds, from near-shimmering cleans to full-tilt beautiful tube-squished overdrive and much in-between. I've already done one studio gig and two live gigs with the Cougar 5 and it brings the goods and then some.
The sound from 5-watts (Class A) all-tube power into the Celestion V30 speaker is a wonderful thing.

This amp is a keeper. I'll end up getting a genuine USA Bad Cat in the future, but the Cougar will remain with me for a long, long time.

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 23 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

 
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

         
        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 4 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 6 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

                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    beautiful sound indeed

                    By jams

                    from Hampton, virginia

                    About Me Experienced

                    Ask me a question

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Excellent Sound
                    • Good Warmth
                    • Portable
                    • Vintage 30 Speaker

                    Cons

                    • Expensive

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Home Studio
                    • Mic Too Pa System
                    • Mobile DJ
                    • Performances
                    • Play Great Clean Tones
                    • Professional Recording

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

                    First I remove sino el-84 and replaced with a GE el-84 .
                    The pre amp tubes were very sweet sounding and could not improve the tone it had , my NOS 12ax7 had more gain but less sweetness !
                    The amp loves pedal overdrives and the FX loop is fantastic for my pedal delays and reverb and chorus.
                    It sounds like a good 12 string with chorus but I am playing a 6 string.
                    No el-84 hum problems , but like all tube amps crank the gain way up and your single coils will cause some hum.
                    You do not notice this on 30 watt amps as much because you do not have to crank it as high.
                    Fantastic practice amp for me.
                    I never had a thought to send it back , but I recommend a change for the el-84 tube for reliability.
                    I bent the cover screen on the tube section back some and was able to switch tubes without removing chassis.
                    It is self bias class A so its plug and play.
                    The speaker is perfectly matched for the tone I like !
                    Its a very nice and expensive combo, but if you love great clean tones and no overdrive pre amp tube stack it is for you.
                    You may overdrive it with a nice treble booster or OD pedal or even higher gain !
                    You pay a lot but get a lot too , a tone that is awesome .
                    Fact is it has the best clean tones I have ever gotten out of a amp.
                    This amp plays music where others try but can not match the 5 watt cougar combo.
                    Other brand amps has no clean tones this good in my opinion.
                    Experience with this amp I consider invaluable too me.

                    Comment on this review

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