Bad Cat have been making professional-level, hand-wired, boutique amps in the USA since 2000, building a reputation for their high build and sound quality - and this amp is no exception. Originally an artist build, the Stella the folks at Bad Cat felt it was just too good to not to offer the general public. With its single channel, powerful EL34/EF86 tone, and straightforward tone shaping controls, its easy to see why they had to offer it to a wider audience.
The EL34 power amp valves provide the Stella with much of its tonal character. These tubes are most commonly associated with classic British amps that helped define the sound of rock in the 60s and beyond. EL34 offer a great clean tone, but it's their overdriven sound that makes them so beloved. Crank up the volume and watch the Stella deliver a gut punch of raw, powerful gain. While the Stella can handle a wide range of styles, it'll really excel at dirty blues through to hard rock. The power amp tone is complemented by the EF86 valve in the preamp which adds brightness and chime for a more aggressive, cutting tone. Whatever style you're going for, 12" the Bad Cat custom Celestion speaker will keep it sounding crisp.
The Stella is a pretty straight-forward rock machine, however this plenty of control here when it comes to shaping your tone. One interesting feature is the 5-way tone switch. This switch allows you to swap between dinstinct tones that vary from dark and thick through to bright and biting - great if you want need to change your tone quickly between songs without having to fiddle with several controls. If you prefer to dial in your sound the traditional way you can simply flip the switch next to it and you can use the Bass and Treble controls.
On the rear of the amp is a Full/Half power switch; use full power if you need high headroom and the full 15-watts of power, or drop it down it to half-power and get great gain sounds at a lower volume. There's an onboard FX loop which allows you to place certain effects (usually modulation) in between the preamp and power amp sections of the amp - especially useful if you like amp distortion but don't want to distort your modulation effects. You also get a variable impedance switch so you can use the Stella with a wide range of extension cabinets.
- Power: 40 Watts
- Power Amp Valves: 2 x El34
- Preamp Valves: 2 x 12AX7, 1 x EF86
- Rectifier Valve: GZ34
- Channels: 1
- FX Loop
- Variable Speaker Impedance
- Speaker: 12" Bad Cat Celestion