Bad Cat Amplifiers have announced a new range of models at this year’s NAMM Show called the USA Players Series. These new amps seek to add a more affordable amp model to the company’s portfolio.
Bad Cat are known for making high-end, boutique point to point, hand-wired amplifiers. This year they have announced some new, cheaper models. The have achieved this is by designing an amp section built around a PCB, or printed circuit board, which is cheaper to produce. This saves time and costs on hand-wiring each amp, and these savings are passed on to their customers. The rest of the amp has the same specifications as their hand-wired ranges, though, with the same cabinet, speakers, chassis and so on.
The amps have Bass, Treble, Cut and Reverb controls, as well as a Fat switch. Apparently you can also switch between two different preamp tubes – a 12AX7 or an EF86 – with a footswitch. They all appear to have the K Master control as well, which if I understand it correctly allows you to dial down the volume and still maintain the core tone of the amp. This could be useful for both home and studio work. My only issue with the Bad Cat products I have tried in the past is that to sound really good they need to be cranked up, and they are amazingly loud. This would make the K Master control a welcome addition. Other than that they have always weighed a small ton, but they don’t mention weight anywhere yet…
Overall, the package sounds interesting and the prices (currently only in US dollars) are pretty competitive for the boutique amp market. There is not much more information on their main website as yet, however there’s a little info on their Facebook page.
I will update as soon as I find out more.
- 15 watt head with reverb USD $1099 head or $1299 combo
- 40 watt reverb USD $1199 head or $1499 combo