I've got a humble $60ish brand new Rat 2 and it's one of my primary distortion pedals. It's super versatile and probably the most "built like a tank" pedal I own. It's truly awesome how great these affordable proven pedals are.
I hunted down an LM308 that I was going to swap into it, but after playing it for a while decided that I like it just fine as is.
I have a small box one from 86. Great pedal that I used pretty exclusively for dirt through the 90s. Nowadays I change dirt boxes pretty frequently because I have a short attention span and because stomp boxes have become so cheap. Lately I’ve been playing a Nux plexi clone that is pretty rad.
I built my first Rat using a layout on the Tagboard Effects page, using an LM308 that may or may not be genuine, and I had it on my board for ages. I'm mostly using a recent stock Rat2 now. The Rat2 is a little more aggressive in the high mids--I like how it sits in a band mix--and it's also a bit less noisy than my homemade one.
This page is dedicated to the correct history and timeline of the ProCo RAT and all surrounding versions since 1977. I have spent almost a decade purposefully collecting, cross referencing and studying actual RAT units and any information below is given as a result of information I have seen and gat
This is pretty early. I think they changed the “Tone” knob to “Filter” in the late 70s. I recently sold a fringe logo Rat for $1200. I got a great deal on it and knew it was valuable. There were no comparable pedals listed, so I put it up for the craziest price I could imagine someone paying for a Rat.
It sold in an hour.
I already have a black logo small box from 86 or 87, and I did a side by side comparison before I sold the fringe logo - they sound exactly the same.