Mooer Black Secret - Vintage v Turbo (or Rat v Rat Turbo?)

DAKnox

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Just got myself a Mooer Black Secret. Main advantage over buying an actual Rat...footprint and Vintage/Turbo toggle.

Prior to buying I thought, Vintage....that'll be for me...I like classic rock and indie etc.Turbo sounds like it's for heavy metal people.

What I've actually found is that the Turbo is where the usable sounds are for me. It's brilliant actually.

I thought the Vintage would be less gain, so less distorted etc. And Turbo would be super distorted.

What I've actually found is that the Turbo has more clarity, note definition, less mush, more treble and still has loads of gain on tap. But just retains more clarity etc. as you dial it in.

My best guess is that the Turbo has more gain/volume....so actually has more headroom...a bit like a tube amp. So it's not breaking up and compressing as much....so the more volume on tap....doesn't equal more distortion.

Does this make sense? If so it performs brilliantly! Is this how the Rat and Rat Turbo compare?

Seems strange that the guy who likes indie would use Turbo, but the guy who wants more distortion or fuzz would maybe use Vintage. But this is what I have found.

Unity seems to be very high up on the level on Vintage too. If you can get there at all...depends on the gain.

Turbo just seems so usable. Wonder why you see so many more Rats on boards than Rat Turbo. I'm not sure I'd have any use for the Vintage side. Tastes vary of course! Just wondering of my conclusions check out.
 

fidopunk

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I have a vintage RAT that I've modded for turbo, IC clipping, Rutez, and all that jazz. I find that I too use Turbo more than any other mode. I also have a couple of those Sunn Life Pedals and I use them in the same fashion.
 

beyer160

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Yep, you have it right. You’re far from the first person whose been confused by this.

“Vintage” just refers to the original Rat circuit, the Turbo came later.

The difference is that “vintage” Rats use silicon clipping diodes, Turbo Rats use LEDs. I modified an old Rat II into a “Fat Rat” with a 3-way toggle for silicon (vintage), germanium (Dirty Rat) or LED (Turbo) clipping diodes, but I just leave it on Turbo.
 

DAKnox

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Yep, you have it right. You’re far from the first person whose been confused by this.

“Vintage” just refers to the original Rat circuit, the Turbo came later.

The difference is that “vintage” Rats use silicon clipping diodes, Turbo Rats use LEDs. I modified an old Rat II into a “Fat Rat” with a 3-way toggle for silicon (vintage), germanium (Dirty Rat) or LED (Turbo) clipping diodes, but I just leave it on Turbo.
Ahhhh I see. On this little Mooer pedal I can see a red LED glowing through a very slight gap at the filter dial. Pretty impressed with the turbo mode can see me getting a lot of use out of it. Without the Turbo mode I don't think I'd have used it.
 

Mr.Ike

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Huge rat fan myself and have tried them all as well as many more expensive clones. Only ones still around are the stomp under foot Skinner box and cmatmods ratified. To each there own I suppose. Plus, depends on your gear too.
 

J-bass&Tele

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I have a recent production Proco Rat 2 and a Mooer Black Secret that I'm going use as reference pedals for a couple of Rat builds.
For me, Turbo is where it's at.
 

11 Gauge

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“Vintage” just refers to the original Rat circuit, the Turbo came later.

The difference is that “vintage” Rats use silicon clipping diodes, Turbo Rats use LEDs.

The reason those two types of diodes sound so different is actually quite simple. The silicon types have a much lower forward voltage (~650mV), and LEDs have a much higher one (~1800mV+, depending on color and such).

...The lower the forward voltage, the more effect the diodes have on altering the waveform - more alteration of the peaks themselves, and a reduction in amplitude, too.

Anyway, specifically WRT LEDs as clipping diodes, that seemed to be somewhat of a new thing in the late 80's (the Guv'nor and Turbo Tube Screamer made their debut around this time), so I guess that ProCo decided to release their own offering as well.

Aside from the clipping diodes, the Rat is kind of unique in that it utilizes an op amp (and it doesn't matter if it's the LM308 or OP07) that limits the gain bandwidth. So even with 'less intrusive' clipping diodes such as LEDs, it still will sound different than something with a more hi-fi op amp (which is just about anything other than a LM308 or OP07).
 

J-fish

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In praise of the Rat.. It's just such a successful design to me. A simple circuit but a kind of a complex, unique tone, with some applications at least.
I still have to find one pedal which gives such an authority to the tone by itself.
It often reminds me a little the old, good Mesa Mark series crunch tones, which to me represent THE distortion guitar sound.
If the Rats were just a tiny little bit less "raw", they would be right the only distortion pedals to have in my book.
 

4pickupguy

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I have been messing around with the Wampler Ratsbane. It’s a tiny little thing. It has a ‘voice’ switch that has ‘classic’ rat setting and ‘modern’ setting. Both are good but since the modern setting enhances some mids, it gives it a bit of utility that my other rats don’t have. If you are tight on board space the Ratsbane might be something to consider.
 

bonilsen

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Still testing with mye band. I use a plexi 50w head with 2x12 v30. Turbo mode is great.

Took a bunch of pedals with me today to experiment. Preamp about 4,4 -5 edge of break-up.
When running turbo mode, I discovered that I maxed out the headrom. So when I used other boost/drive behind mooer the sound for mushy and the preamp/power amp slammed to hard.

I could probably have turned the volume down, but I didnt feel I got the same sound and feel then, especially not enough gain and a different structure. I put the pedal in vintage mode with sound level 1 O clock. and then used my archer and got a good boost inn volume and sustain. I didnt perceive the volume drop to be so big.

I think when the amp is coocking, the different modes doesent mather that much, and same sounds can be adjusted with gain and filter in vintage mode to get the sounds of turbo.
If you dont use boost, other pedals at the same time with the rat, I think turbo is all good.

Of course this could be user error, and experementing with preamp gain.
Still need to be better to use amps gain and my volume knob. But that rat sound is great!
 

allesz

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Me too have the mooer BS :)
I like the turbo mode for low and High gain setting, but like the vintage mode for mid gain. It's my least used mode btw.
Low gain BS in turbo mode into a mooer Blue faze (silicon FF clone) Is very good, and since the BS Is true bypass I can still enjoy the full FF cleanup experience.
 

chris m.

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The way I would describe the difference is that the vintage diodes in the vintage mode yield a more compressed sound that quickly ramps up on gain. The use of LEDs as the clipping diodes in the Turbo (a.k.a. Power mode on the Brownie below) makes it sound less compressed, more open, and the gain doesn't ramp up to full on distortion nearly as quickly. More like an O/D than a distortion. Depending on the sound I'm going for I might want one or the other. I have a GFS Brownie and like having a switch that gives me the choice. I did replace the incorrect 56k ohm resistor in the circuit with the correct 560 ohm resistor.

The Brownie has a 3rd switch option, called "Open", that I think might be no clipping diodes at all. I don't think I've ever used that mode. And they call vintage mode "Comp", probably because it does sound much more compressed.

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