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Hot Box Wild Cat 50

Frenzel Hot Box Wid Cat 50 Guitar Tube Amplifier
  • Model No. HBX-WC50  (50 Watt Standard)

  • Model No. HBX-WC100  (100 Watt Upgrade)

  • Push-Pull EL34 Guitar Amp

  • 4-8-16 Speaker Impedance

  • Dual Channel Hot Box & Hot Cat Preamps

  • Separate Channel Gains, Master, Tone Stack

  • Bright & Deep Switches
  • 3 Band Tone Stack

  • Presence With Edge Boost

  • Buffered Effects Loop

  • EL34-6L6 Bias Switch

  • Post OT Line Out With Level Control

  • Tubes: 5 -12AX7, 2 - EL34

MSRP: $1865.00




Sample Image -  Panel Design May Vary Depending On Upgrades    

FREE 1YEAR-TECH-made in usa11.27.22 - 125px.jpg


The FRENZEL HBX - WC50  " Hot Box Wild Cat 50" design was "INSPIRED" by the classic  Matchless Hot Box and the Hot Cat amps. The preamps have three stages of high gain and are modeled after the classic Hot Box channel Clean and one channel Boost. We have added separate HI - LO inputs, gain controls, tone stacks, and master level controls to give you maximum tone control.  This allows you to set each channel for the exact tones and overdrive you want, and then to select or blend both channels  with an AB/Y footswitch.  Both channels share a custom Presence control to accentuate the high treble tones. There is also Edge boost pull switch on the Presence control which turns off the negative feedback compression to produce soaring leads. The output stage uses a pair of Class AB EL34's that will give you 50 watts of pure sound reproduction.  This amp is truly a "wild cat" and will drive you crazy with all the tonal variations possible...some which you have never heard before!

Standard Features:

  • Dual Channel - Each channel has High/Low input jacks, separate Gains, Tone Stacks & Masters.

  • Channel 1  - Hot Cat clean lead  tones.  Channel 2 - Hot Box boost dynamic  overdrive lead tones....or you can use an AB-Y switch and create your own distinct tones.

  • Bright Pull Switch On F channel Gain control.

  • Classic  style 3-BAND TONE STACK for extended flexibility in shaping your tone.

  • Deep Pull Switch on Bass controls.

  • Master level controls so you can crank the GAIN's up and overdrive the preamp without overdriving the output tubes.

  • Presence control  - used to adjust the high-frequency response and damping factor of the power amp section.

  • Boost - Unique NNFB "Edge" boost switch on the PRESENCE control that transforms the power amp section into a No-Negative-FeedBack style amp for soaring dynamic leads. 

  • Effects Loop - pure tube buffered serial effects loop designed to perfectly match the low impedance solid-state pedal levels with high impedance tube levels.

  • Line Out - post output transformer LINE OUT with LINE OUT LEVEL control for recording or driving a power amp, Auto switched internal load to simulate speaker if speaker is  not plugged in. Inject great tone directly into the PA system. 

  • Custom heavy duty output transformer for extended low frequency performance with 4 - 8 - 16 ohm outputs selectable by a rotary switch.

  • FRED  ultra fast high voltage solid-state rectifiers provide sharp pick attack and dynamic bass. 

  • EL34/6L6 Bias Selector Switch - Allows you to use either 6L6 or EL34 power output tubes.

  • Standby Switch - Protects tubes from cathode stripping during warm-up

  • Tube Complement: comes standard with 5 - 12AX7,  2 - EL34,  but you can substitute 12AT7's or 12AU7's in the preamp and driver for different tones and overdrive sounds. You can also substitute 5881's, KT66's, KT88's, 6550's, or EL34's and KT77's when using the EL34/6L6 Bias Selector Switch  in the output stage for different sounds. 


Electrical Specifications: 

  • Input Power  120 VAC 50-60Hz - 225 Watts Standard IEC plug-in three prong grounded power cord. (230 - 240VAC available. See Upgrade Options) 

  • Output Power - 50 watts RMS

  • Speaker Output Impedance - selectable by switch 4-8-16 ohms.

  • Line Out Impedance - 1K ohms

  • Effects Loop Send Impedance - 10K ohms

  • Effects Loop Return Impedance -  470K ohms

  • Instrument Input Impedance - 1 Megohm

  • DC on filaments to eliminate 60 hz hum.

  • Star ground system to eliminate induced current chassis noise.

Physical Data: 

  • Retro Vintage Cage Head  - heavy duty lightweight steel mesh cage provides protection and excellent ventilation for tubes. Comes with easy carry Fender style strap handle. Overall  Dimensions - 17" Wide x 12" Deep x 10" High (Includes feet, handle and knobs)

  • Chassis - Heavy gauge aluminum with welded corners.

  • Weight - 19 lbs. 

  • Rock solid point-to-point hand wiring with military style tie-wrapped wiring harnesses for long life and reliability.

  • Input and Output Jacks isolated from chassis for low noise, eddy currents, and hum.

  • Heavy Duty Toggle Switches

  • Components:  Only the highest quality parts are used including heavy duty transformers, low noise tubular polypropylenes capacitors, metal film resistors, Micalex sockets, Neutrik jacks. All parts are rated for commercial high use conditions. Wherever possible we use parts made in the USA.

  • Front Panel:  Channel 1 Clean Hi/Lo Input Jacks, Channel 2 Boost Hi/Lo Input Jacks, Channel 1 Gain with Bright Pull Switch, Channel 2 Gain with Bright Switch, Bass with Deep Pull Switch, Middle, Treble, Presence/Edge Boost Pull Switch, Standby Power Switch, Pilot Lamp, On/Off Power Switch

  • Rear Panel:   Power Cord Connector, Fuse,  Effects Loop Return Jack, Effects Loop Send Jack,  Line Out Level, Line Out Jack, Speaker Output Jack, Speaker 4-8-16 Impedance Selector Switch.


I got my new WC50 a few days ago.  Just wanted to let you know that everytime I turn this amp on, I am surprised.  Depending on the pre/master setting, on the CLEAN inputs, I can go from bell-like clarity to a thick crunch overdrive with tons of attack and sustain.  The variety of sounds from the CLEAN  input alone is worth the price.  I am literally blown away by the BOOST inputs.  I can't believe the sustain and raw power of this channel.  With the pre and master set to less than 1/3 of the knobs travel, the amp starts breathing fire.  Most amps loose attack when the preamp volume is increased to higher distortion levels but this amp has the attack of a sledge hammer at all levels with amazing tone and sustain. I own many amps and have played most of the "big name" amps; I have not heard an amp yet that can stand toe to toe with the amp, at any price. I love this amp, thanks. Jimmy W.
Received amp head in March 2007. Killer. The best. Get this one. 50 watts of sheer tone. Two channels that can do any style of music. I hooked up an ABY footswitch to it to go between channels or to use both. It screams in any language. I will be dumping some of my other amps because this is the one. It also works perfectly with my powered reverb unit (and other effects) in the effects loop circuit. This is the model with the two EL34's in it. Can't say enough about his amp. You have to get one and try it yourself. Gary J. 

Harmony Central Reviews:

HB-WC50 Head 

Review By:  BSPE  

Purchased From: Frenzel Tube Amps


Features:Everyone else has listed the features. I got mine used and it has a Black Tolex cab and a plexiglass front. It has every feature you could really want except for an included A/B/Y or reverb, but that is now an option. 2 Channels I play at home and in church currently.

Sound Quality:I own about 10 electrics. 3 Gibsons, a Peavey USA, a Warmoth Custom, a handbuilt custom, a schecter, and an Ibanez. I play mostly rock of all stripes. Started out with Punk and Hardcore in the 90's, thrash as well, and mostly classic rock these days. Absolutely perfect for me  in that all settings sound good. For high gain I use a zendrive 2 into the boost channel. Not what either are intended for? Who cares? It sounds amazing. The amp will handle anything shy of the hardest metal on its own IMO. The amp is very quiet in terms of background noise. The clean channel is amazingly rich, especially with the NFB loop defeated. The weird part about this amp is that there is no sweet spot. Everywhere on every dial is a sweet spot. It just depends on if the settings match the sound you want at the moment. The clean channel distorts at a fairly high volume level which is ideal. Just for reference I use a Celestion Alnico Gold loaded Avatar 1x12.

Reliability/Durability:I depend on it hands down. I have only had it a few months now, so I will forgo that.

Ease of Use: Customer Support:I have emailed Jim a few times and he is awesome to deal with.
Overall Rating:I sold My Traynor YCV50 Blue, My Peavey Rockmaster, and in my quest, I have played practically every production amp you can imagine, Marshall, Mesa, fender, etc. I was saving for this sucker new, and somebody put it on ebay for $550. there loss, my gain.


HB-WC50 Head 
Review By:  Mike C.
Purchased From: Frenzel Tube Amps

Features:This unit was built in August, 2007.  It is extremely versatile, and that was an important feature for me.  I don't have the space in my home studio for more than a couple of amps. This one can apparently do anything I need it to do, so I am very satisfied with the flexibility and versatility of the WC30.  It is nominally a 30 watt amp, but it is certainly one of the loudest amps in its class that I have ever experienced.  On the few occasions when I really turned it up, I was stunned by the volume and quality of the output.  I generally keep the volume on the lower side, especially when recording, but this unit can go up against larger amps if need be.  I'm more concerned with tonal quality than sheer volume, and this amp has proved to be a very good purchase as far as I'm concerned.

Sound Quality:It sounds very musical, very rich and highly detailed.  There is very little discernable noise in the electronics--it is without question the quietest amp I have ever owned.  I am currently running it through a single 12" Weber Blue Dog in one of Mr. Weber's cabinets.  The two input channels provide distinctly different "flavors," which are generally considered to be Fender and Marshall style tones, but I think this is oversimplified.  The amp has it's own characteristics and qualities, and is capable of a lot of nuance.   I value a rich, deep "clean" sound as much as crunch, and this amp can pretty much do it all.  I'm using a newer Gibson SG, a 1995 Fender American Strat, and a 1979 Gibson ES-347, and I think they all sound great through the Wild Cat.  There are enough handles on tone--master, gain, bass, mid and treble, as well as a "presence" control with boost-- to dial in a wide range of responses from the system.

Reliability/Durability:I have had it only a few months, so I have no real data on reliability, but it works flawlessly so far.  I broke it in gradually, though there is some debate about whether that is really necessary.  Worked fine from the moment I took it out of the box, and judging from the way it is built, I expect it to perform well for many years.  It is relatively simple and solid in its design and construction, and I expect that to be a plus in terms of reliability and service life.  

Customer Support:Mr. Frenzel was prompt in his responses, detailed in his answers, and seemed clearly willing to help whereever he could.  The amp was built to order with a minor mod that Jim was kind enough to "throw in."  I waited some time for the amp to be built and shipped, but that's part of the trade-off when buying a product that is hand-crafted as opposed to mass-produced.  I have no complaint whatsoever about the transaction, and would gladly do repeat business with Frenzel.
Overall Rating:I have been playing for more than 30 years, and have purchased a number of amps from companies such as Fender, Sunn, Peavey, Kustom, and Vox.  This is clearly one of the best purchases I've made to date.  I would be interested in playing with other models in the Frenzel line down the road to see how they differ, but this one seems to be the best choice overall for my needs.

HB-WC50 Head 
Review By:  bryon
Purchased From: Frenzel Tube Amps

Features:Same as the reviews posted-  I'm Lazy so I won't type what tubes and everything since you can view these details on their site,  ebay, of the other players. Brand new-   

Sound Quality:am-mazing-       plugged in the tubes- and off we go-     Sick sick sick-   I'd been kicking myself in the head for buying something sight unheard-   went to Westwood music and jammed on everything from the Carr amps which are great to the THD's I'd also spied. I was pleasantly blown away when I fired this WC 30 up and plugged in-   sustain and tone- all there is to it.   Two Clean channels well voiced-   different yet so many slight variations of tone-   The Boost Channels are pretty rad-   I thought it would be a classic sounding beast but it has some nice room for modern rock as well.   I'd use a nice pedal for truly modern sound though-   This amp is built for tone.  Tone and then some more tone. Bell like clarity with the clean channels and a fun-   even at quiet volume distortion.  By fun I mean a lot of room for the player to dig into the guitar and pull out some soul vibrations.   I'm now curious what else I should grab from the Frenzel labs.....
Reliability/Durability:new -      I'm sure Jim would help out in anyway- Solid-   I Got the metal cover so that I don't wreck it on my own...   just gotta keep the drinks away..  

Customer Support:Jim will speak plainly and truthfully about his products..    I'm thankful for his help in directing my towards this amp head. 

Overall Rating:Please read this carefully -   This kicks the crap out of Mesa-   I've owned a few and they all disappointed me live and in the studio-  Had the Road King and that was a waste of time and money-    Sold it and bought a bunch of cool stuff like a Gibson SG and this amp. It certainly has its own unique voice and character-   Looking forward to recording with this badass amp soon-    Sounds amazing at bedroom levels..   Haven't stopped playing except to go and work 
HB-WC50 Head 
Review By:  Gary-R5Hsg 
Purchased From: Frenzel Tube Amps

Features:Received amp head in March 2007.  Killer.  The best.  Get this one.  30 watts of sheer tone.  Two channels that can do any style of music.  I hooked up an ABY footswitch to it to go between channels or to use both.  It screams in any language.  I will be dumping some of my other amps because this is the one.  It also works perfectly with my powered reverb unit (and other effects) in the effects loop circuit.  This is the model with the two EL34's in it.  Can't say enough about his amp.  You have to get one and try it yourself.

Sound Quality:Beautiful natural distortion when I push it to the limit.  Clean as clean can be when I want it.  Extreme range.
Reliability/Durability:I only had it a few weeks, so time will tell about dependability.  But it is made so well that I doubt there will be any problems.
Ease of Use:Customer Support:Good communication.  I had questions and they were answered.  No stalling, waiting or BS.

Overall Rating:I have been playing since 1968.  I would absolutely by another Frenzel amp.  There is no question.  Maybe a tube spring reverb in a future model would be nice.

For more reviews please check our REVIEWS page.

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