“One of the best-sounding USA amplifiers currently available”: Bad Cat Jet Black head review

Bad Cat’s new addition combines its classic signature sound with a unique new high-gain voicing – and the results are remarkable

Bad Cat Jet Black head
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

Aimed at professionals and serious amateurs, admittedly it’s far from cheap, but you’re paying for one of the best-sounding USA amplifiers currently available, and it compares favourably to other high-end boutique products.


  • +

    Typically well made.

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    Neatly executed traditional styling.

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    Top-drawer tone with the range to cover many musical genres.

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    Channel 2’s rock-intended, unique voice.

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    Reasonable price compared to other premium USA-made amps.


  • -

    We’d like to see Bad Cat do more with the effects loop – maybe a footswitchable bypass.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Bad Cat Amplification is celebrating 25 years of manufacturing this year – no mean feat in the turbulent world of boutique guitar amp production. Bad Cat was founded at the turn of the millennium to fill the gap left by the demise of Matchless and, in the early stages, there was some design help and assistance from Matchless founder, Mark Sampson.

However, Sampson left soon after to explore new ventures as Bad Cat followed its own path, with innovations including the K Master volume control and popular new models including the Hot Cat and USA Player Series amplifiers.

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Nick Guppy

Nick Guppy was Guitarist magazine's amp guru for over 20 years. He built his first valve amplifier at the age of 12 and bought, sold and restored many more, with a particular interest in Vox, Selmer, Orange and tweed-era Fenders, alongside Riveras and Mark Series Boogies. When wielding a guitar instead of soldering iron, he enjoyed a diverse musical career playing all over the UK, including occasional stints with theatre groups, orchestras and big bands as well as power trios and tributes. He passed away suddenly in April 2024, leaving a legacy of amplifier wisdom behind him.