Meet George, otherwise known as Mr. Yin. He is the creator of the impossible – the Willy Wonka of the guitar amplifier world if you will. When he looks at me with “that look,” I know I’m about to see something I’ve never seen before. Sometimes that’s good but sometimes it’s not. Often his inventions smoke or flash like a knife in a toaster. Frankly I’m surprised he hasn’t killed himself yet! But every now and then we are treated to a true advancement in amplifier technology or gear that is simply mind blowing. The Unleash and the K Master are some examples of these advancements as well as a product you’re all going to see in January that I can’t yet reveal.
Now meet Mike – our, Mr. Yang. He is the ultimate pragmatist. An “old school” type of guy who can draw the circuit of almost every classic amp from memory. He knows which parts to change if you want your amp to be brighter, darker, fatter or more 3D (yes we get that one occasionally). Mike has created amps such as the Cub III and the Bobcat 20. The man coughs up solder smoke and bleeds flux – he is the wizard!
Often times I find myself perilously stuck between these two opposing forces and points of view. If I only listened to Mr. Yin, Bad Cat would produce solar powered guitar amps that look like Sony PlayStation’s. However, if I just followed Mr. Yang, we would be building 65 Fender Deluxe’s and Vox AC-30′s. George is fond of saying, “If there are footsteps in front of us we are going the wrong way.” Mike would retort, “If there are no footsteps, I’d say we’re lost.” I think they’re both right on occasion.
To build great tube amplifiers you need the foundation of tried and true old school hand-wired construction with a solid, high quality circuit design. To build Bad Cat’s though, you also need somebody who is not afraid to get lost once in a while. It’s the only way to find something that nobody else has seen before.