BAD CAT ‘THE LEASH’ ATTENUATOR
September 11, 2008 | Reviewer: Marcel Yammouni
Distributor: EGM DISTRIBUTION (03) 9888 6687 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Armed with Bad Cat’s proprietary “Infinite Volume Control”, the Leash provides seamless volume selection across your amplifier’s power section. One knob simplicity takes you from growl to prowl … selectable for 4, 8, or 16 ohm loads, two speaker outs, and an AC powered internal cooling fan for reliable performance.
The ever-present problem of reducing volume while still overdriving large tube amps has resulted in the development of many devices designed to tame an amp’s bite. And while modern attenuators have evolved, the basic concept has remained the same: The idea is to place something between the amplifier and the speaker that can absorb the power and release some of the energy as heat to reduce excessive volume.
The Leash is a compact black box. The back panel houses most of the action, featuring an impedance selector, two cabinet output jacks, an amp-in jack and an in/out switch for bypassing the unit. The front panel control is simple – there’s one large knob used to control the degree of attenuation.
I tried The Leash through a hand wired re-issue Marshall Plexi and two stacked quad boxes. This was the dream rig for any Hendrix fan. As I slowly increased the Leash, it would in turn decrease the overall volume. At one point we we had all the knobs on the Plexi set to ELEVEN! Using the Leash, it was possible to stand in the same room as this amp without earplugs. At it’s most severe setting, you could hear the Plexi working overtime yet the volume was at bedroom level. For me personally, having the volume that low results in the gain you want, but you also tend to lose the bottom end, as the speaker is not getting the same workout as the amplifier. I’d suggest the ideal use of the Leash would be to slightly tame the beast, but not radically. Like all of us, the speakers still need the air. The Leash- RRP $799