Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

If Fat Sandwich is Rat-like, I guess I don’t like Rats...

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Mike Eskimo, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Spent a good long time with the way huge fat sandwich today that I picked up super cheap. Into my AC 15.


    Could get nothing out of it except kazoo-like sounds.

    Even though the rat is always recommended for an AC 15 I guess I don’t need to bother anymore, do I?
  2. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2008
    East of you
    I flipped the FAT Sandwich within a week. Endless trim pot tweaking got me nowhere. It never sounded like a RAT to me...
  3. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 10, 2013
    Greater Atlanta
    Yes, you should bother.

    The Fat Sandwich and the Rat are nowhere near similar. I've had both and one does not replace the other.
    Obelisk likes this.
  4. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    I've been dinking around with a rat & an ac15, also with the origin 20, can't seem to tame it. going to give it one more session & down the road it goes. I suspect that it's a perfectly good sound for somebody other than myself.
  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I was gonna try to source one of the 90’s Rats with the LM30-something chip rather than just a new one - does it matter ?
  6. Whiskerz

    Whiskerz TDPRI Member

    Jun 15, 2018
    Canberra, Australia
    I'd say it probably doesn't matter. I have a newer RAT and I think its great, better than two RAT clones I have tried. That said changing the opamp is trivial and you can always do that if you want (among other mods)
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Yes, It does matter. I use to use Rats back in the day and when I started playing again I went out and got a new Rat 2. Here is what it missed IMHO.

    1. The lush harmonic content of a 'real' Rat. Instead, its harsh and buzzy in comparison. A proper Rat has a very rich series overtone magic in there that makes things just sing. In fact, there is a sweet spot when you just barely roll back the guitars vol knob where these overtones REALLY leap out.
    2. Range. The Rat was one of the first pedals out there sounded as good 'just barely breaking-up' as it did at high gain settings. My Rat2 doesnt have that barely breaking up range and it gets raspier as you roll the gain off.
    3. The lower mid thump/ mid-point. At about 450hz and again at around 850/900hz. The 450hz thing is that thumpy 4-12 cab sounding effect and the 850/900hz is the 'you can hear me in the mix' thing. W/Rat2 I got lost in a band mix and that thumpy thing was too low.

    I modded my Rat2 with help of some knowledgeable folks on here and it helped, but it was still no proper Rat.
    I since bought two Rats that were 'old school' Rats like I remembered.
    The first was a Chicago Stompworks Mr. Vermin. It nails the circuitry and has whatever 'mojo' chip in it and is only about $60 bucks.
    The second was a whiteface Vintage Rat reissue made in the early 90's that I bought at a guitar show. I a/b'd these two and I cant tell them apart.
    All this said. You will either love a proper Rat or hate it. They are not everyones favorite. I cant live without one though... I think they are the most versatile and adaptable thing out there low these 40 plus years.
    Happy hunting! ~Fletch.
    Ex-riverman and kevsonic like this.
  8. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    ^ I'm gonna disagree here. The LM308 has a crappy slew rate - and that crappy slew rate is the reason it sounds good! The current op-amp that is being used has the same slew rate as the 308 and is just as crappy! Therefore, if the Rat doesn't sound like it used to, it would have to be from some other factors. Component drift, memory, other pedals changing impedance, buffers, the guitar, pickups, etc, etc, etc.
    MilwMark, aerhed and OttoCorrect like this.
  9. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2014
    I guess we could start with the fat sammich being nothing at all like a rat in design or execution ... where that comparison got made is beyond me. as for vintage vs modern rats ... two parts difference, the op amp and a capacitor in the tone control ... as for rats that are barely clipping etc ... you could use whatever op amp at that point because any "magic" derived from the 308 is when the op amp is being pushed into clipping ... with regards to the op07 vs the 308 ... you've got to have a pretty sharp ear to pick out the difference in feel and harmonics buried under all that silicon diode clipping ... obviously some people can, I'd argue just as many if not more hear with their eyes and preconceived notions on that one
    TokyoPortrait and MilwMark like this.
  10. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

    Feb 24, 2018
    The Fat Sandwich is a completely different circuit than the Rat. Not Rat based at all. I’m confident @11gauge could go into more detail than I ever could but, while they are both distortion pedals, there’s no reason to write off the Rat based on your experience with the Fat Sandwich.

    You wouldn’t write off Burger King because you didn’t like your most recent meal at McDonalds, would you?
  11. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Why not trade/sell/keep the Fart Sandwitch and get a $60 Mr Vermin.
    If you dont like it. I’ll buy it from you! There, no risk!! and I’m serious. I promise you will hear what an actual Rat sounds like. Again, there are armies of people like me that cant live without the killer Rat. Then there are the folk (crazy as they may be) who cant stand them.
    But, it has been voted the number one desert island pedal for a reason!!!
  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I’m not sure whats causing the difference because when it comes mojo chips and circuits, I’m lost. But I have played them forever and, for whatever reason, THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE! Something causes what I actually hear in the harmonics series. I know preaching to the chior here, but surely, you hear it too, of all people Rat afficted. Rat 2’s arent like Rats....<
  13. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    I have an older RAT II with the 308 and I think it sounds great, it has been my go-to dirt pedal for years. Also have a "Vintage RAT" with 308 and it is equally great, just slightly different sound, but also slightly noisier. It's probably the later versions that don't sound as good, I think they did some circuit changes along with the chip change, but I don't know exactly what is different in them. I think any of the older RATS are fine, along with the WF RI. Still would like to get a Turbo RAT and maybe a Deucetone RAT, both with 308 chips.
    4pickupguy likes this.
  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    The best sounding Rat I ever played was a bog standard Chinese Rat 2. I stupidly sold it.

    I’ve owned Rat 2s that sounded terrible.

    I’ve owned WFRI’s that sounded awesome. And that sounded bad.

    Same with blackface Rats. Same with USA Rat 2s with LM308.

    I don’t know what it is. Some are noisier than others. Some are raspier than others. It doesn’t seem to relate to the “era” of Rat to me.

    Maybe the circuit is more susceptible to component tolerances than typical? Or maybe it’s all in my ears? But I don’t think so. Some seem to do a lower gain, slightly “smoother” thing and a bit more low mids.
  15. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    Fat Sandwich is not a Rat.

    I had to go back and re-review the circuit particulars on this one. It is quite unorothodox, IMO.

    ...It's got sort of a circuit chain that goes like this:

    1. Silicon Fuzz Face that substitutes first transistor for a similar mosFET to what's used in a Z Vex SHO
    2. DS-1 with a LOT of extra twists (soft clipping in addition to stock hard clipping, plus curve, pres, and res controls)
    3. high control added onto DS-1 circuit's tone control
    4. Red Llama
    ...So - more like three hardwired pedals in one - yes, they are three classics, but may not give any kind of preferable sonics when hardwired in that way. Brilliant work on the part of Way Huge, but again, doesn't mean much if you don't like what you hear. And if you're expecting to hear anything even remotely resembling a Rat, good luck!
    artdecade likes this.
  16. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 11, 2008
    This sounds good to me, so I guess I don't get what the problem is.
  17. NWinther

    NWinther Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 16, 2007
    Denmark Solbjerg.
    As said..the FS is no Rat...and is a three in one pedal....had mine for a year....did not like it much and finally sold it....
  18. gizzard

    gizzard TDPRI Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Seabrook TX
    I was searching for vintage rat tone and discovered this gem. not cheap but reasonable for a top quality boutique style pedal with top notch components and build quality. Shipping to the USA was cheap and quick all things considered. My uncle had a vintage rat that burned in a garage fire and this pedal rings all the bells of my tonal memory recall of the original rat. Sounds amazing with the ac 15 and the bassbreaker 15 even sounded great with the katana 100 I had for awhile for bedroom use. Did not like the adio air but the tumnus and velvet fuzz are the only dirt pedals I care for with my coffee table purse.
  19. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    I’m not you and the video clip was not filmed at my house when I was auditioning it.

    A kazoo is what it sounded like to me.

    Sold within hours so all is well.

    Well, I guess the That Pedal Guys were wrong when they said it sounded crappy like a Rat (don’t you wish they bagged on the occasional pedals they didn’t like instead of Dan’s orgasmic eyes-closed smiling with his head back every third pedal ?)

    Anyways - I’m going to search out one of the 90’s original chip Rat reissues as kind of a middle ground - especially because it’s always mentioned as being ideal for AC15’s.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  20. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    Probably user error. There are five EQ controls on that pedal. It seems like many people get confused when there is more than one tone control.
    MilwMark likes this.
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