You may not have ever heard a Javanese gamelan or even an oud on your favorite album. But, chances are, you’ve probably heard a Bad Cat Amplifier rockin’ your stereo or iPod earbuds. If you’ve spun tracks from Green Day’s American Idiot album, seen the Goo Goo Dolls or Panic At The Disco in concert, or danced along to the Dixie Chicks recently, it’s a good bet that a Bad Cat amplifier was used to propel the guitar tones slammin’ your eardrums. And the coolest thing about these amps—other than their superior tones—is that they’re built right here in the Inland Empire. Bad Cat’s “main cat” James Heidrich is the man responsible for designing such highly-desired sounds, having cut his teeth in electronics and amplification while working on car stereos and hi-fi systems back in the day. Now he’s designing and dialing in his Bad Cat amps, offering a large selection of boutique Class-A tube amplifiers to pros and the general public (through his dealer network). His Corona-based shop will even build custom amps depending on the customer’s needs. And if his standard models are out of a pocketbook’s range, there’s the “Boutique Within Reach” series that’ll make a musician’s life a bit more affordable yet equally awesome. (Waleed Rashidi)
Bad Cat Amplifier Co., 286 Winfield Circle, Corona, (951) 808-8651.