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Fractal Audio AMP models: Hot Kitty (Bad Cat Hot Cat 30)

Discussion in 'Axe-Fx II Discussion' started by yek, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. #1 yek, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
    yek

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    * EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *

    [​IMG]

    HOT KITTY: based on Bad Cat Hot Cat 30

    Note: the picture above is of the later Hot Cat 30r amp, not the original (and modeled) Hot Cat 30 amp.

    Luckily we’re not limited to Marshall / Fender / Vox / Mesa etc. models. Bad Cat amplifiers became really famous when Mark Sampson of Matchless became their chief amp designer (he left later).

    This is their Hot Cat 30 model. Mind you: not the current Hot Cat 30r, which has different controls.
    It’s a 30 watts cathode bias head or combo with EL34 tubes, voted by Guitar Player as "the second best combo of all time”.

    I owned a Hot Cat 30. I played one in a shop and was so impressed that I took it home with me. But from there were disappointments. The first one became apparent when I lifted it. It was the heaviest 1x12 combo I ever came across. The second one was that it got extremely hot. The third and most serious one: I never got it to sound as good as in that store again, for reasons unknown.​

    It's a different kind of amp, unlike all other amps, IMHO. It can do clean-to-crunch stuff als well as high gain tones.

    Bad Cat (current Hot Cat 30r model):

    "We started with one of the nicest most touch responsive clean channel ever designed enabling the ability to tailor the amp to bright single coils or thick warm double coils. We've added a K Master volume that can be utilized to drive channel one into all shades from clean to soft pushed overdrive and beyond. The little secret that loyal users of the Hot Cat have known for years is that the clean channel crunches like the sounds found on vintage 70's vinyl. Channel two is a pure Class A EL34 high gain. The same sweet harmonically rich gain only now with an added mid-range knob to help you dial into a rich scooped thump. This amp covers everything from clean sparkle to harmonically rich saturation."​

    Our Hot Kitty model is based on the amp's 2nd channel. The controls on that channel are: Gain, Edge (model: Bright), Level, Bass, Mid, Treble, Brilliance (model: Hi-Cut), and Master. Note that the tone controls on the amp are pretty radical and interactive. Turning them fully up or down can make mute the amp (not in the model).

    Cliff:

    "Brilliance is their name for Hi-Cut. I set the Edge control to where I thought it sounded best. It essentially does the same thing as the Bright knob though less precise."​

    "The amp has a Hi Cut but it's labeled Brilliance. It's wired backwards so turning it CW gets brighter."​

    Review in Vintage Guitar.

    I know that some people love this amp and model. But sorry, not me, it's "not my thing". To my ears, it sounds hifi-ish, lacks low mids and reminds me of cardboard. Just like the real amp. ;-) So prove me wrong, please!​

    Some players say that you have crank the Master (and HiCut) to make it work, and I do agree that maxing the Master helps a lot.

    Here’s the original manual.

    Bad Cat uses proprietary Celestion speakers. We have a Hot Kitty stock cab: #85.






     
    rm60, Mr.nobody, Mark Cullen and 7 others like this.
  2. sheky

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    I had this amp for a few years. Very buzzy distortion, way too loud and it's weight seemed to defy the laws of physics.

    My all-time favorite clean channel though. I wish Cliff would model the clean.
     
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  3. James schelkun

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    Ah yes the BadCat,these amps are truly something different.I owned a HotCat 15 and it was one of my favorites to gig with.It actually got the police called on me one night jammin outside at my friends house.The touch sensitivity is magic.The 15 uses EL84 tubes but still acts the same as the 30.I would tend to run it just to the point of breakup and then hit it with a pedal.Pure tone bliss and sustain for ever.The weight was a killer though,but not as bad as my Kingsley ToneBaron.
     
  4. atquinn

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    Not a valid complaint. I mean, it's right there in the name. Truth in advertising :D
    -
    Austin
     
    vulcan32, Rotti and yek like this.
  5. MSS

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    I owned one of these. Great clean channel but was never impressed with the rest of it.
     
  6. Gregmang

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    Steven Wilson makes it work really really well :)
     
  7. pdup

    pdup
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    The only amp I'm missing is my old Matchless Phoenix with a Telefunken E806F.
    No Stand-By between sets. You could boil an egg on top of it, but it never failed.
    Still havent been able to Axe it.
     
  8. kartman

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    We have lots of clean options but more choice is never a bad thing. I'd love to hear this model as "all-time favourite" is a pretty good sales pitch! :) Now, all we need is for FAS to find some spare time! :)
     
  9. VeryBadMan

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    Boxy yes to a high degree. Cardboard is an apt descriptor of its tonal quality. I tried like hell to dial out that cat kneading on a box sound but wouldn't work lol. I realize that is its inherent charm I suppose, if that's your thing. I too would like to hear this clean channel as well.
     
  10. greiswig

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    I had an early combo. Totally agree about the weight, but part of the magic was the massive transformers used. Also agree about the cleans: pretty unique tone, and a great one. Try using a Vox-ish amp and sub in the Hot Cat tone stack?

    The amp I had was less gainy than the model in the AFX, and the overdrive seemed to have more focus. The other thing I never bonded with was the Vintage 30 speaker "with Matchless treatment." I ended up with an early Weber Blue Dog in there that was really sweet, though.

    First amp to make me want a Tele, because it could handle the bridge pickup without getting ugly. Before that I was a Mesa guy.
     
  11. Brownmatthall

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    Love this model, crank the master and the mids and set gain to taste for me. Didn't know the bright switch corresponded to sonething on the amp though I'll have to give it a couple twists later!
     
  12. marshall2553

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    Sam Vilo, the guy in the second video, can make anything sound good.
     
  13. Speculum Speculorum

    Speculum Speculorum
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    If only I could sounsounds like Steven Wilson. Hahaha! That guy has quite a bit going for him, and it's sad more people don't know his music. Fantastic musician!
     
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  14. Gregmang

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    Here is a great example in a live setting of how Steven Wilsons amp sounds.


    This is back in his Porcupine Tree days and just......kicks...so.....much....ass


     
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  15. simeon

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    i thought to myself "i'll just watch a few seconds of this to remind myself of his tone" and ended up watching the whole thing. it just sucks you in, doesn't it. absolutely love this band. the coda in this (6 mins onwards) is just sublime...gavin (mr displacement) harrison is such a monster.

    the bad cat certainly works well for those massive chords...it's thick and abrasive and works well with low tunings, but it's just nasty for leads
     
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  16. Gregmang

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    Gavin Harrison really is an amazing drummer, isn't he ?

    This whole Blu-Ray is in constant rotation here at my house :)
     
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  17. #17 dsimms, Apr 25, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
    dsimms

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    I loved pushing the clean channel as much as the overdrive, and used a stereo pan pedal to combine both channels. My main amp until I got my Axe. Little known fact... Mark reserved all the special ones for blue sparkle. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. dsimms

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    No kidding. I ended up watching PT live YouTube videos for an hour after clicking that first link. Almost as bad as cranking up my Axe.
     
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  19. Gregmang

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    He is still using the Bad Cat with all of his solo stuff - which is equally as amazing (saw him in DC as well as Montreal last year). I've seen PT in Germany, NC, DC and Baltimore as well.
     
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  20. Lifestalker

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    I see Steven Wilson being mentioned, but he uses the Lynx. I wish Cliff would model both channels. :) Was Steven using the Hot Cat at one point?
     

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