***An important message from James Heidrich’s wife Debbie-

“It is with profound sadness that I announce that Black Wing Amplification’s founder, James Heidrich, has passed away on the morning of Sunday, February 11, 2018. He is survived by myself and his daughter, Shay.

On behalf of our entire family, I would like to thank everyone for the generous outpouring of condolences, love, and support we have received. James’s unwavering integrity and singular passion have touched many lives. It is truly amazing to witness how respected and loved he was by so many!

It would require volumes to describe the effect James had on the industry he loved. In short, he first came to prominence as the founder of Bad Cat Amplifiers, a notable entry into the ’90s boutique amp craze. Bad Cat’s legendary sound became a beacon for those searching for that “Holy Grail” of tone. After leaving Bad Cat, James went into a “retirement” phase before getting the itch to start building again. His most recent company is Black Wing Amplification, which debuted at the 2017 Winter NAMM show. Even over the din of that show, it was easy to hear familiar aspects of the Bad Cat DNA in the Black Wing offering.

His unique products and passion for music led him to receive stellar reviews and accolades including 8 “Pick” Awards from Premier Guitar Magazine. James built more than just amplifiers, He placed great importance upon building relationships with artists, guitar techs, and industry influencers, which ultimately paved the way for him to work with world-renowned artists such as Jimmy Page, Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt, and Keith Urban.

Those who knew him best remember his entertaining stories, his caring and understanding and, above all, his knowing smile that always preceded a warm humorous chuckle. He deeply cared about people. The resounding proof of his life’s work is not only in the expertly crafted amplifiers he built, but in the lives he touched and the legacy of fond memories he leaves behind.

James, you will always be loved and remembered.

– Debbie Heidrich”

PS: If you would like to support the family during this unexpected occasion, in lieu of flowers, please donate to

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