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Please help me with in quest for an "expanded" Rat.

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by 4pickupguy, Dec 15, 2019.

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  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks 11 Gauge! Wow, I am a hairs breath away from ordering a VFE Dragon Hound!! The order form for one of the custom built models (the only thing Brian's offering) is filled out on another tab of my browser... :( I agree with this statement which is why I was just filling the form out. It is basically a TS & Rat combined. I used to have these on my board back in the day when I had my BF Supers/Princetons and loved them. Although my '68 CDR Deluxe not voiced exactly like either of those, it's not miles away either. Is it your opinion that this is like the fabled "Pool Que-Golf club-Umbrella"? Sounds good on paper but doesn't do either job well? These aren't shipping until this summer... so, maybe hesitating a bit is a wiser thing to do.... Thoughts?

    P.S. I have been exploring other non-Rat options (I know, God, please forgive me). The cheap Mooer OCD clone sounds pretty tight on this rig, it's just noisier than a rolling trash can full of cats and bottles. Completely unusable noise.
     
  2. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I've been using a Machine Head Pedals 98 Degrees to fill that role. IDK whether or not it carries any Rat DNA, but I was able to get pretty close to an 80's small box Rat in A/B testing. Low cut is a little less severe than a TS but clarity is still good on the low strings at most settings. It might be worth checking out if you can get your hands on one.
     
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  3. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    I think you are referring to a Hustle drive and I did not experience the trash can full of cats and bottles when I tried it - no perceivable noise that I recall....perhaps something went wrong with the one you tried. I remember it being a great sound, liked it better than the OCD actually, but I don't think its Rat territory.

    As for a Rat variant, I settled on the You Dirty Rat - it has true Rat DNA that you hear but a different flavor of it. Not anymore adjustable than a stock Rat, but between an original Rat (1986-ish), a Rat 2, and a Turbo Rat (Led clippers), I like the YDR the best.

    W/r/t the YDR, there was "some period" of time where they put the wrong diodes in there - should be germanium but I got one that had silicon of some sort, Zeners perhaps - anyway, ProCo corrected that mistake for free. The germanium's really do make the YDR sound cool....
     
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  4. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I've hacked around on the Rat circuit some, and in my world there are only really two mods worth doing:

    -LED clipping mod (aka, Turbo Rat). You get a MUCH less compressed, more "amp-like" pedal with a lot more volume. I put a 3-way switch on my LM308 Rat for Ge diodes ("Dirty Rat"), Si diodes ("Classic Rat") and LEDs ("Turbo Rat"), and I only use it in Turbo mode. The differences between Ge and Si are noticeable, but subtle. Would I hear them in a band context? Probably not.

    -If you're using it for bass, the Reutz mod is highly useful. For guitar, not so much. It definitely changes the basic character of the pedal, but is still recognizably Rat-like.

    If I had to do it all again, I'd probably just get a Turbo Rat and be done with it, but that's me.

    I had an R.Attack for a while- it was Rat-ish, but had too much boxy low mid for my taste and not enough buzzsaw high mids. Their BS1 Bass Fuzz (Wooly Mammoth clone) is outstanding, though.

    If you want to try out an OCD, the classic $20 Joyo Ultimate Drive is very, very close. Just be careful that the diodes are oriented correctly (it's a quick fix with a soldering iron if they're not, though)-
    http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25443
     
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  5. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I'm very happy with my Jam Pedals Rattler. I got the Rattler+ with the toggle switch.

    It looks like Jam changed the name of this pedal from Rattler + to Rattler Ltd.
     
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  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yep, and yep
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well, I don't mean to discourage, but I've personally concluded that there are just limitations to what can be done to the Rat circuit, where it still sounds recognizable as a Rat, and adds or tweaks something that is actually sonically beneficial.

    The Rat is almost a unique distortion pedal, IMO, in that the op amp used really is absolutely responsible for a large part of what you hear. Because of that, it doesn't respond the same way to EQ and clipping diode tweaks. Well, it does, but the end result is usually something that doesn't sound like a Rat.

    ...Anything based off a TS, in comparison, typically has both the bass and treble liberally rolled off, so you can substitute in a whole host of different op amps and typically not hear much if any differences. And something like the tone control in a TS would IMO be a complete waste in a Rat, where the filter control, which just rolls off treble, is absolutely what is needed.

    I dunno...to me, a Rat is like a hardtail chopper or something, and I usually work under the assumption that someone buys such a thing because that's what they want. You could add a rear suspension, pull the V-twin for a water cooled inline four with fuel injection, alter it for shaft or belt drive, lose the ape hangers and so on...but by that point, you probably should have started with something other than a hardtail chopper.

    ...I almost love that every time I experience a Rat that it's almost like hearing it again for the first time. I think it's the only distortion pedal that I've tried where I have to adjust the filter control for more treble as the distortion is set higher.
     
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  8. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Holic

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    Has anyone mentioned the MXR Bass Distortion yet? I’ve never tried one but it’s literally a Rat clone with an LED/SI switch and separate controls for both the distortion signal and the clean. No idea how it works on guitar but it might be a good option if you want more low end.
     
  9. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the interest is rat like fuzz (the rat is a fuzz circuit) then I’d suggest checking out the triangle big muff the original big box rat and triangle big muff sound similar although I’m not sure if the triangle reissue or clones are close worth checking out though

    If the interest is a fuzz that is infinitely tweakable I’d suggest checking out the
    Big tone music brewery “Royal Beaver”
    It’s a muff that has 3 separate transistors that you can control the gain bias and voltage to them and turn them on and off with 4 different eq settings it’s the ultimate muff and comes with a booklet that shows how to replicate all the muffs except the op amp version
    So if your delving into fuzz I can’t recommend it enough I wish someone would have shown me it when I was on my fuzz hunt
    image.jpg

    I learned long ago anything fuzz related is the worst thing you can ask recommendations on as you will get answers with 90% of them about fuzzes you didn’t even ask about
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's a Rat. It has a sound. Embrace it. If you really need a tweaked version, just get a ProCo FatRat.
     
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  11. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Or just admit that you don't really like the Rat tone and get yourself another distortion pedal. It's not like there aren't any alternatives out there.
     
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  12. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you want a Rat with different gain structures, a different mid shift, and added lows.... you don't want a Rat. Just find another dirt box that works for you.
     
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  13. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    What!?! Never!!! Blasphemy!
    Love Rats. Have since ‘87. Like I said, I have changed rigs and it’s taking me a while to land. Any time you use two amps there is a bit of bass coupling that comes along with it. Sounds great! Love everything about it. The rat through a Fender has that lower mid thing that I keep referring to as thump. The freqs that are ’coupling’ the most just happens to be right there too. Just a bit of lower mid roll off would sort it but, if that comes at the cost the rats rattyness then, you’re right, maybe it’s on to the OCDv2, or an Angry Charley or some such for the mothership board W/D/W rig... The rat will always sound great when I use just the Deluxe:):cool:.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
  14. Mr.Ike

    Mr.Ike Tele-Meister

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    I’ve tried a dozen or so from the list you posted, and stopped when I picked up the stomp under foot Skinner box. Just my two cents.
     
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  15. SweetClyde99

    SweetClyde99 Tele-Holic

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    Subscribed. I think a Rat with a TS-type pedal in front to tighten up the bass sounds and feels great, but I always find myself wanting more bass from the sound (added after the clipping), at least when playing at home. It sounds like an EQ after the Rat might be my best option to add that bass, but then I’m looking at three pedals, and possibly a loop so I can turn everything on with one stomp, for that sound, which probably isn’t worth it.
     
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  16. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    4pickupguy, are you using those powered cabs from your Ethos rig for the wet sides of the current set-up? If the Rat sounds good into the DRRI, I might be looking elsewhere to address the problem.

    Be that as it may, if you want to be able to tweak the low cut, something like the Zen Drive's voice control might be a useful mod. Not sure if it's possible on a Rat but it seems like the kind of mod that might work for you. Maybe 11Gauge could comment?
     
  17. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes. It sounds just fine through either the Ethos by itself or the Deluxe by itself which is what points to the freq coupling as the culprit. This is common any time multiple amps are used. The clean sound is absolutely killer. All other drives sound nice and balanced. This kinda points to the rat which unfortunately has a peak at the same frequencies as the rigs coupling hot spots. I use the rat for the higher gain stuff. The only other “high gain” pedal I have is a Mooer Hustle Drive (OCD clone). To my ears it sounds like it was designed to be a MIAB type thing. The tight low end works well with this setup, it’s just a very noisy pedal. I don’t have blind loyalty to the rat, I’ve used it all these years because it sounds right. When it doesn’t I will find something that does.

    He did comment and I think he saved me $200 bucks at the last possible second. (See above). I like rats for the complex harmonics but as people have point out, these days there are many, many nice sounding things on offer. I’ll get the high gain sorted eventually.

    I am still tweaking on this rig but I can say this. It’s by far the clearest, biggest sounding rig I’ve ever played through. It’s super clear and spacious at the same time. A tiny bit of verb sounds enormous yet you barely hear the verb out right. Same for delays etc. It’s a multiple source thing. If I turn the tremolo on the Deluxe, I swear it sounds stereo. Consequently, I’m using far, far less effects but still sounds much bigger than my true stereo rig alone. Still all fits in the backseat. very stoked.
     
  18. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    Astonishes me that however many decades on, the RAT still works so well for so many situations.

    Presently using a Black Secret. Very, very good
     
  19. jjudas

    jjudas Tele-Meister

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    I have the Moor Black Secret and I like the Mosky Black Rat much better. The Mooer was double the price of the Mosky.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Interesting discussion and to me the crux is cramming too many options into one box vs buying multiple boxes of different flavors.

    I’d be interested in a rat with the tweaks you seek but certainly not a rat with a tube screamer and ganged controls.
    I thought that one sounded awfully tame as rats go.

    My rabbit hole has been tweaked muffs and while I have three six knobbers that are do all boxes I prefer several simpler builds.

    That said I thing the Stomp Under Foot mids knob is a beautifully voiced and implemented addition to a similarly better-left-alone circuit.
    If SUF makes a tweaked rat I’d look at that too but I’m not sure there is such a box.
    I liked the first VFE well enough and generally find I need it on my board to know which is best.
    Remember that Mike Herman’s and his recording studio make every pedal sound great, but may not make them sound like your rig.
     
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