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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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    $899.99
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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
 
3.6

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (15)
  • Portable (15)
  • Excellent sound (10)
  • Warm / comfy (10)
  • Good power output (5)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Professional recording (8)
  • Amateur recording (7)
  • Home studio (6)
  • Performances (6)
  • Outdoor events / games (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (10), Professional musician (7)

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 17 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

     
    1.0

    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 3 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

    (1 of 1 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

     
    4.0

    Great amp. Classy. Tone Machine

    By welkers

    from colorado

    About Me Experienced

    Ask me a question

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

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

      I've almost hit my 30 year mark of guitar playing, and naturally I've played thru many amps over the years. This is not a high gain amp by any stretch but it is a great sounding, easy to use amp. It can get great country to 70's, Southern Rock over drive. The stock speaker is a little on the darker side and I believe the amp maybe that way itself as well. This is not a Fendery bright or thin sounding amp. It is generally very warm sounding and full since it has a 12" speaker onboard. Overall build quality is solid and clean. The covering and grille clothe look great.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Fabulous except in one facet-

      By Brian C. Butler

      from Wisconsin

      About Me Professional Musician

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fabulous Dirty Sound
      • Portable

      Cons

      • Clean Tone Sounds Boxy

      Best Uses

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

        There is only one thing wrong with this amp- they put it into a box that is too small. I don't know why makers do this. Blackstar 5 watt made the exact mistake. So did Fender with the Blues Jr., I think. It has no bass at all compared to a larger cabinet.

        Other than that, which doesn't mean anything to some players, this amp is magnificent. The clean tone is very crisp and great-sounding (if you can get around the "no bass" thing). And when you turn it up it is a monster. The tone of the dirt as the Gain knob goes over half is about as good as I've heard. If an American-made Bad Cat sound better than this, I'm pleasantly surprised.

        But in my opinion, the boxy sound of that tiny cabinet is way too close to a deal-breaker.
        I'm keeping mine, but just barely. :)

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        I'm a fan

        By Will Work For Tone

        from Central Coast California

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

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

          Great little amp. Nicely built and it has excellent tone. Very simple and straight forward controls. This amp does not play the guitar for you. You are definitely going to notice your playing. This little amp works out well in smaller clubs. Guitarist are inevitably too loud, we are trying to get to the sweet spot on our amps. This amp gets to that point at reasonable volumes. Many reviews reported unwanted hum or noise, the one I received is quiet. Overall this amp is a great value. You can pay a lot more money and still not get the quality of build and tone. These are not point to point hand built boutique amps, but they sound like they are.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Marvelous and classic sounding tube amp

          By jams

          from Hampton, virginia

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

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

          Cons

          • Limited Functions

          Best Uses

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

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

          This Amp is a tone monster and I have not had a chance to crank it yet !
          The way I hear it so far this is a classic beautiful sounding tube amp that stays mostly clean until the master volume is near full on.
          For this amp I have a NOS el-84 power tube to put in .

          The tube driven FX loop sounds fantastic with a delay and reverb .
          A couple of folks are complaining about hum which el-84 tubes are known for.
          It is possible the filter capacitor on the power supply needs to be formed more completely by running the amp for a few days ?
          Possibly Replace the power tube is a option !

          This amp begs for the right 3 NOS tubes .

          I bought 2 OD pedals from musicians friends , the Green Rhino and T-rex Alberta OD and they sounded fantastic with the Cougars stock tubes !

          I think the BC Cougar 5 sounds like a great Magnatone amp !
          I have a Univox copy of a Magnatone combo that's sounds very similar too my ears !

          This Cougar combo amp does not have a bad tone in it anywhere with stock tubes , no booming bass ,no fizz nor any artifact or hint of bland tones.
          You can find high gain amps cheaply , but tone like this amp is not cheap nor does it sound like it neither !
          If I played on a big stage this amp would be in my dressing room back stage for me to warm up !

          You would not believe how good this amp sounds using a glass slide , I never heard the sound this good from my other tube amps too be truthful !
          The 5 watts limits it somewhat on where and what it can be used for unless you mic it thru the PA .

          This is the 3rd stupid deal of the day I did something smart on , MF made it easy for me each time .
          Thanks MF again.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          Awesome

          By fecarr

          from MA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Excellent Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

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

            This one of the best sounding 5watt amps I have owned.
            Love having a 12" speaker and the effects loop is awesome for deelays and reverbs.
            Sounds great with pedals overdrive, Wah etc.
            loud enough for small gigs

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            GREAT AMP!

            By jack22

            from San Francisco

            About Me Professional Musician

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Excellent Sound
            • Good Warmth
            • Great Construction
            • Portable
            • Powerful
            • Very High Quality

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gigs
              • Recording
              • Rehearsals

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

              The Bad Cat Cougar 5 is a fantastic amp. I just got mine in yesterday and it has become my favorite amp overnight. This is by far the best 5 watt amp for under a grand. No Vox, Marshall, Fender, Blackheart, or any other amp in a similar price range can compare. The sound is very warm, crunchy, and defined. You can hear every note clearly, even when strumming with a very overdriven sound. The build quality is also superb. I own a few new and vintage fenders, along with other amps, and this amp is by far the best build quality. Very heavy duty handle, knobs, and cabinet.

              I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on this stellar amp that I think that I should clear up. No, this is not the same quality as the USA Bad Cat amps and yes, it is made in China. Though some people can't get over feeling like Bad Cat "betrayed" them, the rest of us can enjoy the fact that they put together a superb sounding, super high quality, awesome amp for a super reasonable price! My amp does have a tiny bit of hum, but I don't notice it unless I'm listening for it and it seems go go away once the amp is sufficiently warmed up.

              I've been playing professionally for years, and this amp will definitely be making it's way around all of the studios and clubs that I play in. Awesome job, Bad Cat!!!

              Comment on this review

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