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MF MD HG August Big SaleRefresh 08-25-15
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Product H89215

Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp   

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The Bad Cat Cougar 50 combo amp is a 50W Class AB guitar combo amp that features a Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker. The controls allow for you to se...Read More

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OVERVIEW

A 50W combo with loads of versatility.

The Bad Cat Cougar 50 combo amp is a 50W Class AB guitar combo amp that features a Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker. The controls allow for you to set the tone as clean or dirty as you want. The plywood cabinet construction and leather handle offer great durability.

Bad Cat Amplifiers was founded with the singular purpose of building guitar tube amps that could rival the classics from the golden age. Superior build techniques and no compromise in features or materials has earned them seven Guitar Player Editor's Pick Awards.

FEATURES
  • Power switch with jewel pilot light
  • Footswitchable channels
  • Reverb controlled via footswitch
  • Volume, Tone and Master controls
  • Three 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • Two EL34 power tubes
  • Effects send and return patch point
  • Plywood cabinet construction

Call or click to go from crystal clean to rich distortion with this stylish package.

Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
Bad CatCougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
3.8

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

60%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Easy to use (5)
  • Good power output (5)
  • Warm / comfy (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Performances (6)
  • Professional recording (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5), Professional musician (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

One Bad Cat

I noticed that the other reviews for this amp were from folks who bought it blindly and dinged it because they either didn't research it and know what it was, or how to use...Read complete review

I noticed that the other reviews for this amp were from folks who bought it blindly and dinged it because they either didn't research it and know what it was, or how to use the features, so I figured I would chime in and try to give a bit more info.

Yes, this is not one of the hand-wired USA bad cat amps. Bad cat did a licensing agreement with Hanser so that they approved the amp design, and Hanser actually builds the amp overseas in China. The amp is a pcb amp rather than hand-wired. But while it might not be a boutique usa hand-wired amp, it still sounds great, Bad Cat would not allow their name to be used if they didn't think they were good amps. The Bad Cat president himself mentioned so in various forums. This amp is geared at a lower price point, it's not a 2k boutique amp, but you can get a taste of that bad cat sound.

I actually bought the head version of this amp first and liked it so much I couldn't resist grabbing the combo while it was on sale. When I first tried the cougar 50, my drummer (who runs his own studio, so he sees and tweaks a lot of different amps that come through) and I both were impressed by how good it sounded right out of the box with most controls set around noon. 15 minutes of narrowing down the right tone/mid boost settings and tweaking it from there, and we were blown away. You'd be hard pressed to find another new amp close to the sale price that can touch this thing. My other guitarist has a mesa mark v at the practice space, and while it doesn't nearly match the mesa as far as features go, for straight up jamming and tone it can hold it's own against it. I was able to dial it in so it had that same throaty growl, it has plenty of gain on tap for anything, and the gain does not sound all super fizzy when it's up too high like a lot of amps, it simply sounds like you have the gain up too high.

I play mostly metal, so for me, the best tones from this amp don't come from using the speaker in the combo, but plugging it into an external cab. This is mostly because the combo is open back, and the music I play just sounds better coming out of my closed back 4x12. A blues or rock player might like the open back set up more though. The good thing is, I can practice with the combo, and then when it comes time to record I can just plug in my cab & get that tighter sound. V30's also sound better once you break them in a bit, and the speaker in the cab is new, so I recommend you play it for more than 10 seconds before you pass judgement and lambast the thing.

The gain channel is where this amp shines, but the cleans also sound pretty good. I've heard better, but I've heard much worse, and the downside I think is mostly due to the fact that there are not eq knobs for the clean section, just the tone selector. The tone selector and the mid boost each have four settings, which give the amp a different EQ. On the tone knob, to the left is darker, to the right is brighter. The mid boost does just what it sounds like it does, it boosts the mids, letting you choose the scooped mids route to the left, or boosting them up to the right. On the gain channel, that mixed with the EQ knobs lets you get pretty much whatever you want out of this amp. On the clean channel, you're going to have to select the best tone setting you can and then if you are particular, adjust the knobs on the guitar or add a separate eq to get you the rest of the way there. It still sounds good as-is though.

My only two wishes would be for a footswitch to be included, and eq knobs for the clean channel. At the price I got it for, it's still a five star amp without them. At the list price, I'd want those things or I'd ding it a star or two. If you're looking for a great amp without breaking the bank, this amp is stoopid good for the price. Just remember that you can plug it in to other cabs too if the sound you are going for calls for them. I'm extremely pleased with the amp, I bought the friggin thing twice because I like it so much. I might even try to put a video up on the utubs at some point to show what it can do, it's definitely a sleeper amp.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Unfortunately a DUD!

Straight out of the box this amp was a fail,first the output volume was very weak. I had to almost dime it just for mild listening volume, second everytime I hit a single...Read complete review

Straight out of the box this amp was a fail,first the output volume was very weak. I had to almost dime it just for mild listening volume, second everytime I hit a single G note the amp would buzz and rattle, next the Reverb didn't work at all.Too bad because I had hopes for nthis amp because of it's Brand name,I know it wasn't the USA version but I expected better.For what it's worth this was an open box model...cosmetically I didn't see a scratch or ding just the electronic defects.I returned the amp of course immediately.

Reviewed by 10 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

Unfortunately a DUD!

By 

from New England

About Me Experienced

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use

Cons

  • Poor Sound Quality
  • Weak

Best Uses

    Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    Straight out of the box this amp was a fail,first the output volume was very weak. I had to almost dime it just for mild listening volume, second everytime I hit a single G note the amp would buzz and rattle, next the Reverb didn't work at all.Too bad because I had hopes for nthis amp because of it's Brand name,I know it wasn't the USA version but I expected better.For what it's worth this was an open box model...cosmetically I didn't see a scratch or ding just the electronic defects.I returned the amp of course immediately.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Great sounding amp

    By 

    from New England

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

      Great Bad Cat tones for their imported amp

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      NICE

      By 

      from poconos

      About Me Experienced

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        As others have pointed out. This guy has a unique and appealing sound. It is not another Fender or Marshal sound. Yet... it can be dialed in close.

        If you're looking for something unique this is a good option. I have the 5 and 15 as well in the Cougar family. The other hum a bit... this one is quiet.

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Listen With Your Ears

        By 

        from East Coast

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • heavy
        • Power And Standby On Back
        • Power Standby On Back

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        Don't pre-judge this amp based upon what you read online - listen with yout own ears. No, this is not an American-made hand-wired PtP Bad Cat - it's an Asian Hanser-manufactured PCB amp with a design approved by Bad Cat. Before I bought, I contacted Hanser support, and depite the fact that the Bad Cat logo is not one of the brands listed on the site, the rep did confirm that Hanser would support the product. So you should judge this product for what it is, and on those merits, for the current sale price it is an absolute STEAL.

        Build-wise, I would compare this very favorably to my Blackstar HT Club 40 combo - it's nearly identical in size and weight. It feels substantially put together, the knobs and swicthes feel as though they are high-quality, it looks good, and it comes stock with a Celestion Vintage 30. 'Nuff said.

        Sound-wise, my ears love this amp. Overall it sounds more open than the Club 40 - probably because of the open-back vs closed-back design, and the better speaker. I find the clean channel on the Club 40 a bit dark, and tend to max the tone control on that - but with the Cougar 50 the clean channel retains a nice high end without being harsh. And with the 4-position tone control, it's easy to dial the bass up or down depending on your guitar / pickups - all four detents are usable. With 50 watts, there is a significant amount of clean headroom. I do like the Club 40's option of the "boutique" clean with lots of breakup, but I'l give the nod to the Cougar 50 for the clean cleans.

        On the dirt channel - there's a ton of it. Like the Blackstar, even with ridiculous amounts of gain, the notes retain a good amnount of definition, and the bottom end doesn't flub out. And there is a TON of gain on tap. I run staight into the amp, no pedals, and I certainly don't feel the need for a dirt pedal in front of the Cougar. There are alot more tonal tweaking options, with the full B M T, a 4-position mid boost, and presence. The controls are very sensitive and interactive - but I like leaving everyting around 12 noon and using the 4-position mid-boost to flavor.

        The quality of the gain is very crisp, but not fizzy. It's not quite as smooth as the Blackstar HT Club 40 (which uses some transistors in the gain stage to get some of that creaminess), and it's not quite as harmonically rich or interesting as my Mesa Express Plus - but it sounds phenomenal. Dialing the gain back below 9 o'clock will give you some nice blues and crunch tones - around 10 it gets thicker, and beyond that everything gets thicker.

        The reverb is OK...I only use a little bit, and I am happy to have it onboard rather than having to add a pedal. The tube reverb on my Boogie spoils me for all others.

        Caveat - I just got this, and I have not gigged it, but I took the plunge in consideration of the ridiculous sale (which amounted to about 75 per cent off of the original MF sale price) and I am extremely happy that I did.

        So, in summary, I think the original price point / MSRP is a stretch for this amp. But with the current sale you have no reason not to try it. I'd compare this directly to the Blackstar HT Club 40, and might give the nod to teh Club 40 due to the different voicings - it's SOOO easy to get bluesy crunch from the clean channel on that amp. But this box has punch, clarify, volume and some character to boot.

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        The best amp in tghis price range

        By 

        from NY,NY

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound

        Cons

        • Open Back

        Best Uses

        • Performances

        Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

        I , like the reviewer below me also have the 50 head in fact I bought 2. the reason the combo get's a lower review is the clean channel does not have a lot of EQ and it is an open back large cab so you may need to use the tone pot on your guitar . The gain channel is the best of any amp under 2K including hand wired Bad Cat's as many have stated before that have the high gain Hot Cat and the Cougar 50 to compare side by side. Get this amp at a close out price while you can, Where else do you get a non particle board cabinet with a Vintage 30 with 50W of Bad Cat engineering for even double this price.

        Comment on this review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Awesome Amp

        By 

        from Boiling Springs SC

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Excellent Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          Let's start by saying I am a tube amp lover and this amp sounds great! I currently own a EVH 5150iii, JSX, Plexi, Jet City and Fender combos for tone comparison and this amp has a tone all of its own (midrange) to cut thru the mix. Give it a try..... I'm glad I did!

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          One Bad Cat

          By 

          from Frederick, MD

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Versatile
          • Versatility

          Cons

          • Footswitch not included

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          I noticed that the other reviews for this amp were from folks who bought it blindly and dinged it because they either didn't research it and know what it was, or how to use the features, so I figured I would chime in and try to give a bit more info.

          Yes, this is not one of the hand-wired USA bad cat amps. Bad cat did a licensing agreement with Hanser so that they approved the amp design, and Hanser actually builds the amp overseas in China. The amp is a pcb amp rather than hand-wired. But while it might not be a boutique usa hand-wired amp, it still sounds great, Bad Cat would not allow their name to be used if they didn't think they were good amps. The Bad Cat president himself mentioned so in various forums. This amp is geared at a lower price point, it's not a 2k boutique amp, but you can get a taste of that bad cat sound.

          I actually bought the head version of this amp first and liked it so much I couldn't resist grabbing the combo while it was on sale. When I first tried the cougar 50, my drummer (who runs his own studio, so he sees and tweaks a lot of different amps that come through) and I both were impressed by how good it sounded right out of the box with most controls set around noon. 15 minutes of narrowing down the right tone/mid boost settings and tweaking it from there, and we were blown away. You'd be hard pressed to find another new amp close to the sale price that can touch this thing. My other guitarist has a mesa mark v at the practice space, and while it doesn't nearly match the mesa as far as features go, for straight up jamming and tone it can hold it's own against it. I was able to dial it in so it had that same throaty growl, it has plenty of gain on tap for anything, and the gain does not sound all super fizzy when it's up too high like a lot of amps, it simply sounds like you have the gain up too high.

          I play mostly metal, so for me, the best tones from this amp don't come from using the speaker in the combo, but plugging it into an external cab. This is mostly because the combo is open back, and the music I play just sounds better coming out of my closed back 4x12. A blues or rock player might like the open back set up more though. The good thing is, I can practice with the combo, and then when it comes time to record I can just plug in my cab & get that tighter sound. V30's also sound better once you break them in a bit, and the speaker in the cab is new, so I recommend you play it for more than 10 seconds before you pass judgement and lambast the thing.

          The gain channel is where this amp shines, but the cleans also sound pretty good. I've heard better, but I've heard much worse, and the downside I think is mostly due to the fact that there are not eq knobs for the clean section, just the tone selector. The tone selector and the mid boost each have four settings, which give the amp a different EQ. On the tone knob, to the left is darker, to the right is brighter. The mid boost does just what it sounds like it does, it boosts the mids, letting you choose the scooped mids route to the left, or boosting them up to the right. On the gain channel, that mixed with the EQ knobs lets you get pretty much whatever you want out of this amp. On the clean channel, you're going to have to select the best tone setting you can and then if you are particular, adjust the knobs on the guitar or add a separate eq to get you the rest of the way there. It still sounds good as-is though.

          My only two wishes would be for a footswitch to be included, and eq knobs for the clean channel. At the price I got it for, it's still a five star amp without them. At the list price, I'd want those things or I'd ding it a star or two. If you're looking for a great amp without breaking the bank, this amp is stoopid good for the price. Just remember that you can plug it in to other cabs too if the sound you are going for calls for them. I'm extremely pleased with the amp, I bought the friggin thing twice because I like it so much. I might even try to put a video up on the utubs at some point to show what it can do, it's definitely a sleeper amp.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          You get what you pay for

          By 

          from Mpls, MN

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                I should have known that this wasn't going to be the overbuilt hand wired Bad Cat like the Cub.. These are better than the Blues Jr though. Anyway, I returned it and bought a real Bad Cat!

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Concur with other review

                By 

                from Columbus

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Powerful

                Cons

                • Limited Functions

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  As stated in the other review, I too purchased this amp without hearing it first. It is well constructed and would be a great purchase for someone seeking very middy tones. I found both the high and low end lacking, the clean channel offers very little in available sounds. Not sure why a couple tone knobs are not on the amp. Quality amp, just not what I was looking for.

                  Comment on this review

                  (9 of 18 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Screaming Deal, Not For Me

                  By 

                  from Phoenix, AZ

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Powerful

                  Cons

                  • Limited Functions

                  Best Uses

                  • Performances

                  Comments about Bad Cat Cougar 50 50W Class AB Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  Bought this on a Black Friday deal without auditioning the amp. I have been using either a Fender Vibrolux or a POD XT Live. I was looking for an amp that would give me lots of clean headroom, and it does a great job of that. Really good rock tones as well. But I am mostly a blues based player, and it only did an ok job of getting blues tones, no matter what I tried, and ok isn't good enough for me. I'm sending it back. Nothing really wrong with the amp, it's just not for me.

                  Comment on this review

                  Displaying reviews 1-10

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