Badcat Unleash The worlds first re-amplifier / attenuator. Any Amp to 100watts

Curlymaple

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I need one of those cool swag bag carrying cases. I didn't realize people were still having an issue with the footswitch. Any momentary switch will do. I pretty much use my BOSS FS-6 for all of my amps, including the VM 2266. You can switch it between latching and non-latching (momentary). To tell you the truth I don't recall right now what setting I used with the BCU, but if your VM Dynamic Range switch works, that's definitely a momentary switch.


I just had to look for my FS, lol! I also own two of those fs5 boss fs. That was my next choice if VM fS don't work, but glad it did.

I know what you mean... That swag... I like it too and I wish my unleash came with the neutrik/speakon jacks!!

Wonder what the unleash sound plug thru my Carvin 1503 Speakers?:hmm:
 

Hoboman

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I just got done trying out my Bad Cat Unleash plugged into my Budda SD18.
I used an Avatar 2x12 Cab loaded with Budda Phat speakers.
I don't have the adapter to connect it to my combo speaker.
Going to order one tonight.

The Unleash works GREAT!

I set everything at 12:00 on the 18 and then controlled the volume with the Unleash.

I then proceeded to blow out the walls.
Sounded great at low volume but turning it to about 100 watts was AMAZING.
All the great, fat tone of the Budda but at extremely loud, ear splitting volume.

At first it seemed like some of the highs were lost BUT I then realized that I never have my MV up to around noon.
I dropped it down to around 9:30-10:00 position and that's when it became very clear how transparent the Unleash is.
For those of you trying one out keep this in mind.
Start off with setting all of your settings like you normally do to see if the Unleash causes any tone change.

The clean channel was really cool to hear & play thru at a higher wattage setting and of course the gain channel just KILLED!

It also works great at lowering the volume but when you turn it all the way down it sounds like a fizzy transistor radio.
Bump up the volume just a tiny bit and it sounds GREAT.

The Unleash gives me a very lightweight combo that will blow out the walls.
I can keep up with high wattage amps but still have the low maintenance cost of a 2 EL84 amp.
I can put in a new set of power tubes for around $25.

That's my quick review after playing it for about 20 minutes.
I'll try it out at a gig in a couple of weeks for the real test.

Here's a crappy cel phone pic:

Budda-Bad-Cat-Unlieash.jpg
 

cybermgk

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I have no 'fizziness' on mine at any volume setting.
 

Hoboman

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I have no 'fizziness' on mine at any volume setting.

Hmmm

Now I'm curious if mine is working correctly.

It's only when I turn the volume all the way down.
You'd think that it would turn the volume completely off but it still puts out some noise. It's like a transistor radio in very low volume.
 

George Jetson

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Apparently some of the BCUs had a manufacturing defect where some resistors were wired in reverse. A couple of the owners over at TGP have reported the fizziness. Of course with that crew its hard to tell if it is a real problem or corksniffery. I noticed a very slight dip in the bottom end thump when attenuating a 50w Marshall 20% or so into 2 2x12 cabs, but that is probably more a matter of physics than electronics. A slight tweak of the bass control on the amp and I was a happy camper again.

Nobody talks about serial numbers, so it is hard to pin down which ones have the alleged resistor issue. It seems that the very early ones like mine (#11) were not affected, but sometime right around the switch to speakon jacks is when it happened. Of course with a lifetime warranty you can always have them check it out for you if you are in doubt. I've not had to use it, but everyone raves about the customer service from BadCat.

UPDATE: there is a new thread over at TGP that does discuss the issue see "Bad Cat Unleash Review". Apparently the first 100 built MAY have a construction problem. Other than that the unrealistic expectations for some of the members over there should be taken with a boulder grain of salt.

The very early non-speakon jack models are painted differently. See the pic of mine and notice the difference with Hoboman's. "Unleash" is above the knobs and "Badcat" is below.

3amigos.JPG
 

George Jetson

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Hmmm

Now I'm curious if mine is working correctly.

It's only when I turn the volume all the way down.
You'd think that it would turn the volume completely off but it still puts out some noise. It's like a transistor radio in very low volume.

Try turning the trim also to zero and see if that eliminates it.
 

Hoboman

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Try turning the trim also to zero and see if that eliminates it.

Yep, that did it!

Turned the trim down and turned up the volume a little.
Then brought the trim up and no fizz, just whisper quiet fat Budda tones.

THANKS!
 

onioner

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FWIW, I have no fizziness issues, and the moment I see that word I think of the swapped resistors. So far a few people have complained about low volume fizziness, and every one that made the effort found that they had swapped resistors. It's an easy fix if you're comfortable with that sort of thing (it really is just swapping two wires), or you can have Badcat do it. Shame to have an early production issue, but it's a far bigger shame to unfairly judge the product itself based on a mistake (which, for sure, you're free to judge the company for, if you are so inclined). Sadly, I feel like at this point the internet is gonna end up with folks sayin' that the Unleash is fizzy when turned down.

From what I've seen, the reviews that don't have fizziness are pretty excellent. A couple folks have tried to do A/B clips where you can indeed hear some slight changes when the Unleash is used, but they're ever so slight (as in unnoticable without A/Bs), and the reviewers tend to state such, and in general are still quite positive.

My review is certainly quite positive. I can't recall ever being so pleased with a gear purchase, or indeed, just about any consumer good I've bought. Works as intended, and that's a beautiful thing.
 

Hoboman

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FWIW, I have no fizziness issues, and the moment I see that word I think of the swapped resistors. So far a few people have complained about low volume fizziness, and every one that made the effort found that they had swapped resistors. It's an easy fix if you're comfortable with that sort of thing (it really is just swapping two wires), or you can have Badcat do it. Shame to have an early production issue, but it's a far bigger shame to unfairly judge the product itself based on a mistake (which, for sure, you're free to judge the company for, if you are so inclined). Sadly, I feel like at this point the internet is gonna end up with folks sayin' that the Unleash is fizzy when turned down.

From what I've seen, the reviews that don't have fizziness are pretty excellent. A couple folks have tried to do A/B clips where you can indeed hear some slight changes when the Unleash is used, but they're ever so slight (as in unnoticable without A/Bs), and the reviewers tend to state such, and in general are still quite positive.

My review is certainly quite positive. I can't recall ever being so pleased with a gear purchase, or indeed, just about any consumer good I've bought. Works as intended, and that's a beautiful thing.

The fizzy transistor radio sound for me was only when the volume was turned all the way down so I'm not sure if I have the switched resistor problem or not.

Someone is going to be posting pics of the resistors over at TGP.
That will help a lot of people.
 

NYC LP player

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Has anyone tried using headphones with this yet? I realize you can get it down volume wise to the point where the strings are louder than the output but still curious.

Since the load is in the Unleash would you just plug headphones into the speaker port?

I am guessing if that works you could use a 1/4 to usb to record directly into a computer as well.

Right now I use a Vox amplug when I need super quiet playing and I still want to blast my signal but I would sure love to use my Phaez instead.
 

onioner

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Has anyone tried using headphones with this yet? I realize you can get it down volume wise to the point where the strings are louder than the output but still curious.

Since the load is in the Unleash would you just plug headphones into the speaker port?

I am guessing if that works you could use a 1/4 to usb to record directly into a computer as well.

Right now I use a Vox amplug when I need super quiet playing and I still want to blast my signal but I would sure love to use my Phaez instead.

I think you'd need to use the line out, and I think you'd need something between the line out and your headphones. I think. Definitely not the speaker outs.
 

cybermgk

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Direct out is line level. Line level is too low to drive headphones. Would need a headphone amp, mixer with headphone tap etc. I use my 8 track mixer. Run lineout from Unleash to mixer, headphones on that
 

cybermgk

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First, that link is a reprinted review, from another site, posted by Bad Cat on their site. It is not officially from Bad Cat.

But, I assume you refer to this
The electronic load approach can drive any type and number of speakers simultaneously, including headphones, with different processing for each speaker, without affecting the distortion voicing.

What the author's whole discussion is, is the benefits/superiority of the Unleash approach of electronic load and line level tap. It talks about the real and potential advantages of the tech.

The above quote talks about IN THEORY, this approach can be used to feed any number and types of speakers, i.e. actual speaker, headphones, etc, with different processing for each.

However, the stock Unleash does not take advantage of EVERYTHING possible. It provides for 2 types, line level output and speaker output. Trust me, I have tried, the line level out will not drive headphones directly.

Read this Line level out vs headphone out... what's the difference? - What Now | What Now
 

b3john

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I don't yet have an Unleash but I would take that line out to one of the many unpowered mixers I have laying around (perk of being a keyboard player) and plug in a set of phones to the headphone outs. In fact, that's exactly what I already do with my modelers. Makes it easy to mix in backing tracks from an iPod, computer, etc.
 

cybermgk

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I don't yet have an Unleash but I would take that line out to one of the many unpowered mixers I have laying around (perk of being a keyboard player) and plug in a set of phones to the headphone outs. In fact, that's exactly what I already do with my modelers. Makes it easy to mix in backing tracks from an iPod, computer, etc.

EXACTLY what I do. Except mine is powered mixer and DI to my DAW as well.
 

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