Bad Cat Leash

Tube amps always sound best when they’re turned up enough so that the power tubes can flex their muscles. Doing this, however, often results in so much volume that you have to use the master to hold down the level, which simply constricts signal to the output tubes.

The other solution, of course, is to use a power attenuator—basically an adjustable load placed on your amp’s speaker output—which allows you to run your amp as hard as you like, while keeping the volume down by limiting how much of the output signal hits the speakers. Most attenuators offer several steps of power reduction, however, the Leash ($647 retail/$349 street) uses Bad Cat’s proprietary Infinite Volume Control circuit to provide continuously variable power throughout the entire range of your amplifier. Designed for use with amps of up to 100 watts, the Leash incorporates an AC-powered fan for reliable heat dissipation under heavy loads (which can be unplugged from the wall socket if necessary to quiet it for studio use), an In/Out toggle switch that bypasses the unit entirely when you don’t need it, and dual speaker jacks. The device’s steel enclosure features a large rheostat knob for adjusting the output and a pointer-style impedance switch for convenient matching to 4, 8, and 16ž speaker loads. The Leash’s high-grade components include dual ceramic sire-wound rheostats, Teflon-insulated silver wire, aluminum-jacketed resistors, and an audiophile capacitor to ensure no loss of high end. Used with a 100-watt Marshall head driving a Marshall 4x12 cabinet, the Leash proved capable of handling full-power loads while making it possible to dial in any degree of loudness, right down to “bedroom” volume levels. The Leash throttled only the loudness, and did not kill the highs or mids—something not all attenuators can boast—and while you may notice a jump in level when turning up from the most attenuated setting, the convenience of having such broad control over your amp’s loudness is well worth the trade.

Kudos The only attenuator to offer continuously variable output—from zero to full signal.Keeps your amp’s tone intact even at full output reduction. Top-notch components.
Concerns None.
Contact Bad Cat Amplifiers, (951) 808-8651;