Lower gain on rat, without losing its "sound"

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, May 18, 2017.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Is it possible? I know I am playing with perfection here, but any one do this, attempt this, have a good sounding mod to recommend?
     
  2. doctor_capleson

    doctor_capleson Tele-Meister

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    Is simply using less gain from the pedal not an option? Not asking sarcastically, I guess I don't understand the question fully.
     
  3. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keith over at Machine Head Pedals can mod it for you. He put a lower gain pot in my WF Rat Re-issue. You will broaden the lower gain range of the pedal, at the expense of losing some of the "fuzzy" portion at the upper reaches of the drive knob. If the area from 3 o'clock and up on the Distortion knob is too much for you then you might be a contender for such a mod.
     
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  4. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    Rat 2? Turbo Rat? Fat Rat? You Dirty Rat?

    Maybe you have the wrong Rat for the job. Maybe the Deucetone is in your future...
     
  5. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

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    I used to have my Rat as the lower gain OD pedal. I was really into Scofield, and he used (or still does use) a Rat for that slight "bitey" overdriven tone.

    Low gain (talking 8/9 o'clock) with higher volume on the pedal worked for me back then.
     
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  6. Redvers

    Redvers Tele-Meister

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    Low gain IS the rat sound. But yeah lowering the gain pot would give you more tweak ability. Think carefully about the pot though, I think it's 100k log. Basically if you put in 50k log you might actually find there's no difference because 9,10 o clock on the pot still gives you a very small value. (Although the Max gain will be halved ). 50k lin is probably is good starting point.
     
  7. Agitator

    Agitator Friend of Leo's

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    This. I've done the same thing, for the same reason. :D
     
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think a 10k pot works great actually.

    But the thing is, to my ear as you turn up the distortion you get two things (I mean, in addition to more clipping):
    1. Highs are cut
    2. More compression. A lot more compression.

    You can compensate for 1. with the Filter. Don't be afraid to turn it fully CW if you are using the Dist really low.

    You can't really get 2. though (that I know of). And the Distortion pot mod (which is great) doesn't supply it. It just spreads the low gain sounds over a wider distance so you can dial them in more precisely.

    So off the top of my head, I'd put a compressor pedal before the Rat if what you are missing is the compression that is present in the higher Distortion settings.

    I could be way off base, as I'm a player, not a tech. But this is what I hear and feel.

    Curious if @11 Gauge, @cousinpaul or @waparker4 or other folks who like to poke around in circuits have some thoughts.
     
  9. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Part of the "Rat sound" is pushing that op amp to its limits, generating op amp distortion. So you kinda have to be at that minimum level of gain to get that going on, I guess.
     
  10. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have chatted with Keith before, incredibly knowledgeable - that could be an option...
     
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  11. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keith is great! In addition to swapping in a 50k pot for the Distortion knob, he also added LEDs to the inside of my WF Re-issue that shine through the sides of the pedal (because they have no status light) He does quality work at a reasonable price.
    100_2625.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  12. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    I'll second a 10k, or even a 5k. The resistance is very low when the pot is at 9:00. Somewhere in the 1k-2k range IIRC.

    For point 2, you just need to swap out the diodes for your needs. Germanium or rectifier diodes like a 1N60 for more compression. LEDs or more silicon diodes in series for less compression.
     
  13. allesz

    allesz Tele-Meister

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    Don't spend a lot of money: solder a 22k 1/4 watt resistor across the outer gain's pot lugs.
    Done.
    The taper of the pot will be altered, of course, but you can test the "gain zone" with a mod easy to undo for just 0,10 Euro.

    My 0,10 Euros :)
     
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  14. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    Ha! Never could bond with a Rat. Not enough gain. Maybe you are really looking for something else like a good boost pedal like EH or Xotic
     
  15. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Well the Rat is immensely versatile, if I mod one to be on my board, it will sit next to an un-modded one.

    Never saw the day coming that I'd love the Rat...
     
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  16. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    playing with the feedback loop filters is a place to start. use the amz rc filter calculator and start with the 47R/2.2u filter to a 470R/.22u.
     
  17. Hollandcaster

    Hollandcaster Tele-Holic

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    I bought a bigbox Rat (reisseu 90's), less gain but fatter in sound.[​IMG]
     
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  18. Redvers

    Redvers Tele-Meister

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    Good idea. Putting resistors in parallel will also make a log pot slightly more linear so this is a doubly good mod. Wouldn't it be a central lug and an outer lug though?
     
  19. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    Dude, the RAT not only sounds good with the distortion knob all the way down, it's actually still got plenty of grit.

    Try bringing it all the way down and then inching it up to where you want the maximum clipping. Season with filter to taste. Volume at or slightly above or a good bit above unity to taste.

    :)
     
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  20. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    This clearly points to a board with two rats on it...
     
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